Martin, M., Karenberg, A. and Fangerau, H. (2016). German neurology and neurologists during the Third Reich: Preconditions and general framework before and after 1933. Nervenarzt, 87. S. S5 - 13. NEW YORK: SPRINGER. ISSN 1433-0407

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This article focuses on the institutional development of neurology in Germany up to the rise to power of the National Socialists and the radical sociopolitical changes after 1933. A wide range of scattered secondary literature was assessed and evaluated. Additionally, some original sources are literally quoted and interpreted according to the context. Since the end of the nineteenth century a complicated process of separation from internal medicine and psychiatry led to the formation of a self-conscious discipline of neurology. The first generation of German neurologists succeeded in founding the German Journal for Neurology (Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Nervenheilkunde) in 1890 and their own neurological association, the Society of German Neurologists (Gesellschaft Deutscher Nervenarzte, GDN) in 1907. On an international scale, however, the institutional implementation of neurology with only a small number of chairs and few neurology departments remained more than modest. The ambitions for autonomy ended 2 years after the change of power in 1933. Regulatory interventions by the government and psychiatric interests led to the fusion of the GDN with the psychiatric specialist society, the new association being called the Society of German Neurologists and Psychiatrists (Gesellschaft Deutscher Neurologen und Psychiater, GDNP) in 1935. In this group psychiatrists dominated the discourse. The expulsion, imprisonment and murder of physicians declared as non-Aryan or Jewish along with the forced consolidation (Gleichschaltung) at the universities prompted profound changes in medical and academic life. It remains an ongoing challenge of neurological historical research to measure the impact of this upheaval on the few neurology departments in hospitals and private practices.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-269073
DOI: 10.1007/s00115-016-0140-y
Journal or Publication Title: Nervenarzt
Volume: 87
Page Range: S. S5 - 13
Date: 2016
Publisher: SPRINGER
Place of Publication: NEW YORK
ISSN: 1433-0407
Language: German
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Clinical Neurology; PsychiatryMultiple languages
Refereed: Yes


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