Tag Archives: Nazi

Fascist Italy: The Battle for Births

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Babies in a basket. Photo by Harris & Ewing, May 1923. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “It’s up to you to create a generation of soldiers and pioneers for the defense of the empire.” – Benito Mussolini, to the women of Italy1 “Women are a charming pastime…but […]

Movie review: Pressure Point – treating the hateful patient

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “You sing ‘My country ’tis of thee’ while they walk all over you.” — The patient, Pressure Point   German American Bund rally (1938 or 1939). From “Battle of the United States”, produced by Army Information Branch, Army Pictorial Service, Air Forces, and Navy Department in cooperation with all united […]

Professor Bernhardi, a play by Arthur Schnitzler, M.D.

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden Tug-of-war. Photo by KamPraProductions for Foreign Affairs’s production of Professor Bernhardi. Used with permission.   “A spiteful something has been fabricated out of an innocent nothing.” — Dr. Löwenstein in Professor Bernhardi       Professor Bernhardi: A Comedy in Five Acts (1912) is one of seventeen plays written by Arthur […]

A drawing created during World War I

Tilman Sauerbruch Bonn, Germany   Fig 1. Portrait-drawing of the of the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch by Max Beckmann 1915 at the frontline during World War I (private collection). A photograph of a drawing by Max Beckmann (1884-1950) of the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) has been hanging in my room since my student days (Fig. 1). […]

“Modern psychiatry begins with Kraepelin”

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Emil Kraepelin, 1921 at the Department of Psychiatry, Munich. Source “Modern psychiatry begins with Kraepelin”1   The pages of history seen through the retrospectroscope often provide dull facts rather than insights into the personalities and driving forces of its famous subjects. Such is the case of Emil Wilhelm […]

Creating a race of orphans: Lebensborn, the “spring of life”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Lebensborn birth house, nurse in Lebensborn home. 1943. German Federal Archives. Via Wikimedia Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1973-010-11 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 Nazi Germany was a racial state. People of “pure” Aryan or Nordic heritage were believed to have superior physical, intellectual, and moral qualities. People from other ethnic or racial groups were […]

Risking it all to save strangers—remembering Gisella Perl

Jacquline Musgrave Peoria, Arizona, United States   Dr. Gisella Perl after World War II. Source. Her hands were cracked and covered in mud and dirt as she delivered the baby, broke its little neck, closed its eyes, and buried it in a hole outside. No one would know about this baby, or the others who […]

Viktor Frankl: the meaning of a life

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Viktor Frankl, 1965. Creative Commons. Not long before the Dachau concentration camp was liberated in April 1945, Viktor Emil Frankl was seriously ill with typhus and writing feverishly on stolen scraps of paper, determined to keep himself and his ideas alive. Faced with the prospect […]

Knock, or The Triumph of Medicine

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Louis Jouvet and André Dalibert in Knock, by Guy Lefranc (1951) “The man who feels well is actually sick and doesn’t know it.” —Dr. Knock   Jules Romains (1885-1972), author of the play Knock, or the Triumph of Medicine, was a novelist, poet, essayist, playwright, and short story writer. He […]

Nazi doctors and medical eponyms

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Special Children’s Ward” Vienna Am Spiegelgrund. Source. The tradition in medicine has been to name a pathological condition after the person who first described it in the medical literature. Thus we have Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and several hundred others. The tendency now is to eliminate the possessive,1 giving Addison […]