Freud was born on 6 May 1856, to Jewish Galician parents in the Moravian town of Příbor, Austrian Empire, now the Czech Republic. Freud was born with a caul, which the family accepted as a positive omen.
His father, Jacob, was 41, a wool merchant, and had two children by a previous marriage. His mother, Amalié (née Nathansohn), the second wife of Jakob, was 21. He was the first of their eight children and, in accordance with tradition, his parents favored him over his siblings from the early stages of his childhood. Despite their poverty, they sacrificed everything to give him a proper education. Due to the economic crisis of 1857, Freud's father lost his business, and the family moved to Leipzig before settling in Vienna.