Eva Renate Reich (* 27. April 1924 in Wien; † 11. August 2008 in Hancock, Maine, USA) was an Austrian-American Doctor, particularly in the field of "gentle birth" and the treatment of so-called crying babies, using theories of her father, Wilhelm Reich, in the practice. (*)
Life[change | change source]
Eva Reich was born in 1924 as the first child of Wilhelm Reich and his wife Annie, née. Pink. She grew up in Vienna. In 1928 her sister Lore was born in Berlin. After her parents separated in 1933, Eva and Lore, alternately lived with their mother in Prague , or in the case of the grandparents in Vienna, as well as various "children's homes". Because of their Jewish descent, after the connection of Austria to the German Reich in 1938, Eva emigrated with her mother and sister to the United States, Annie being sponsored by the Psychoanalytic Society of New York. Eva graduated from High School at the age of 16, attended Barnard College, and then studied medicine at the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, which she completed in 1949. Much of her residency as a General Practitioner was spent at Harlem Hospital. She had wanted to become a mathematician, but her mother insisted she could not make a living as that. So Eva said that she went on to prove to her mother that she could not make living as a Doctor! After nearly two decades of estrangement from her father, she reconnected with him in approximately 1950 at the "Orgonomic Infant Research Center" where avoidance of early character "armor processes" in infants was researched, along with research in to the healing properties of what WR termed "orgone energy" .
Her father emigrated to the USA in the last boat out of Norway in 1939.
Eva Reich's parents were both psychoanalysts. Wilhelm Reich, a student of Freud who eventually parted ways, saw that almost insurmountable difficulties of the society stood in the way of political Vision: He and Annie faced specifically the Problem of education of their own children. Inspired by model projects of a psycho-analytically-based collective education in the young Soviet Union (Wera Schmidt) they decided to place Eva and Lore in a Berlin Communist Kindergarten in 1931, where the children lived. This, however, proved a Disaster, due to a wide range of circumstances (local education practices, the breakdown of the marriage of the politically active parents, victory of the NS), allowing little analysis of the reasons. Wilhelm Reich later, together with his friend AS Neill (who launched Summerhill), were staunch advocates of a self-regulatory education.
Eva Reich was was kept apart from her father (by her mother) since approximately the age of 8. Eventually, after her studies in America, she broke away from the influence of their mother, reconciled with Wilhelm Reich and became his assistant. She also met her husband, William Moise, who worked for WR as personal assistant and public relations person. After WR's death in prison in 1957 (where he had been sent for contempt of court, when he pled that the court had no jurisdiction over his work with Orgone Energy), she was made executor of his estate. This was, however, not a task she was suited to manage, as the will instructed that a museum be opened, among other things. The will also stipulated that the papers be sealed and secured for 50 years. Eva gave over the executor-ship to Mary Boyd Higgins, who had library experience and personal funds for the project. Unfortunately, there was then life long estrangement between Eva and Mary, and Eva lost a lawsuit asking that she (Eva) be allowed access to the papers.
Eva Reich never worked as a typical Doctor in any institution. In 1951 she moved to Hancock, Maine with the artist Bill Moise, where they began a small farm, and she worked as a country doctor for the community. They chose Hancock because the area needed an art teacher as well as a doctor, and it was 3 hours drive from Rangley, Maine, where WR had his laboratories and home (Orgonon). She made house calls as a doctor, and had her office in the family home in Hancock. Eva combined modern medicine with Orgonic medicine, using the Orgone accumulator with her local patients, with excellent results. Her skill as a doctor was well known in her rural community. In the early 1960s, after the birth of her only child, Renata Reich Moise, Eva suffered multiple miscarriages, and closed her medical practice. She then ran a Montessori school in her home for her daughter and the neighborhood children, from 1963 to 1966. She studied Astronomy, Advance Mathematics, and Physics, in an attempt to solve questions of the universe her father had asked.
In 1971 Annie Reich, who had been a psychoanalyst in New York City, died, and left Eva some money. Eva set up a portable clinic in a travel trailer, and began to travel the State of Maine (USA) to provide free methods of birth control and sex education to low income teenagers and women.
The marriage to William (Bill) Moise ended in the early 1970s, and it was after that when Eva began the path which eventually took her to teaching, to traveling around the world 8 times, to more than 40 countries. Initially she tried to make a new life locally, but was unable to get hospital privileges due to her perceived unorthodox beliefs, such as natural birth, and her interest in the medicinal potential of the placenta in stopping postpartum hemorrhage. She assisted with homebirths for a while, but found it difficult without the ability to have hospital collaboration or backup. She tried to make a new life in California, but that did not work out. Internationally there was much interest, and she began to lead groups, provide her own variation of Reichian Therapy (a more gentle variation), teach about natural birth, breast feeding, Orgone energy, Accumulators, Cloud Busting, and more. She was a woman ahead of her time, and never had an assistant- she traveled on a shoe string, believing that helping to make a better world was the important thing. She also felt herself to be a follower of Jesus, and prayed with people at times during therapy. She and Bill remained as friends, and he continued to live on the same property in his painting studio. She loved him very much until his death.
William (Bill) Moise died suddenly on a heart attack while playing tennis on August 6th, 1980.
She worked with alternative medicine, such as Bach Flower Remedies, Polarity, and psychosomatics, including bioenergetics. In addition,to she advocated"gentle birth", and knew Frédérick Leboyer and Michel Odent, In many places, also in Germany, crying baby outpatient clinics, continue from her impetus. She began what is called Baby Butterfly Touch Massage. In her theory, following the theories of her father, the screaming was due to the muscular tension, an expression of strong displeasure that the baby feels in it's diffcult energetic disconnection with a tense mother (or father). The outpatient clinics are trying to help parents, partially through the application of Eva Reich's butterfly massage for babies, which promotes the early parent-child relationship. Heidrun Mössner has a documentary film, I Was a Doctor on an Expedition, filmed in the year 2004. During all these years she returned each summer to her old farm house home in Hancock to garden, swim, and berry pick.
From 1985 to 1989, she was several times in East Berlin and gave a lecture in East Berlin in 1988, just before the fall of the Berlin wall. In the early 1990s she had the first of several strokes, but was able to still travel a few times with help, after her recovery. In January of 2001 she suffered a stroke of the spine, and could only move her hands, but could breath and talk. She gradually recovered the use of her upper body, and was cared for in her home in Hancock by her daughter, and other helpers, for nearly seven years, until her death at home, in her daughter's arms, on Aug 11th, 2008. The use of the Orgone Energy Accumulator prevented bedsores during her long decline, and helped with her vitality until the very end.
- Eva Reich: pregnancy, birth, and self-control.
- Life energy through gentle bioenergetics, Kösel Verlag, München 1997, ISBN 3-466-34372-0
Literature[change | change source]
Meyer, Andreas. Gentle Butterfly Baby Massage. The development of the life forces and their physiological basis. Frankfurt/Main: Mayer-Info3 Verlag, 2015. ISBN 978-3-95779-026-2
Links[change | change source]
- Works by and about Balkywrest/Eva Reich in the German National Library catalogue
- Interview with Eva rich
- "Butterfly massage"
- Notes on the Work the Kingdom in "After the Empire"
- Film documentary about Eva rich
- “Wilhelm Reich's daughter dies at 84”, the International Herald Tribune, 12. August 2008 (English)
- Drexel University College of Medicine Newsletter, Vol. 9,No. 6, 2008, In Memoriam, p. 7 (PDF, retrieved 25. March 2009; 842 kB)
- Lyrics to the Gentle butterfly baby massage and on the work of Eva Reich in East Berlin
- Historical archive material on the work of Eva Reich in East Berlin
Evidence[change | change source]
- The history of the work of Eva Reich in East Berlin, is to read: Andreas Meyer: Gentle butterfly baby massage.
[[Category:2008 deaths]] [[Category:1924 births]] [[Category:American people]] [[Category:People from Vienna]] [[Category:Austrian people]] [[Category:Authors]] [[Category:Pages with unreviewed machine translation]]