…scanned from my archive. Erich Fromm, Bennington College, 1943

…scanned from my archive. Erich Fromm, Bennington College, 1943. Going through the photos archives of my grandparents can usually turn up some interesting images. Sometime I know the back-story, often I can only piece together what I know with what I see. From the many photos I have of theirs, and the stories I have been told, their community of friends and associates was vast and impressive – Albert Einstein and Willa Cather just to name a couple.


Erich Fromm was a renowned and respected German-born American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. I have no exact information about how he and my German grandparents knew each other, but their many mutual ties would make it likely that they would. My grandparents were both doctors in the field of psychology, had a strong background in socialist politics, and being a German in America during WWII had to be a confusing and tightknit community just in it itself.

These photos of Erich were taken in 1943 during his time teaching at Bennington College in Vermont. My grandmother’s handwriting on the back of each photo indicates the year and location, but I cannot verify that she took them. I did a Google image search of them and found no other versions of them, so I have to guess my grandparents or a friend took them during a visit.

They had made trips to Vermont during that time as part of a relocation effort by them to find work and a place for themselves in their new country, so it would make sense, and be an opportunity to visit a friend. I love the casualness of them - playing the xylophone and chess during what appears to be Christmas.

In any case, they are just another interesting addition to my family photo collection, which in years I hope to learn more about.