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Enjeux scientifiques et politiques d’un congrès

The twofold politics of psychiatry: Ernst Rüdin and the German delegation at the International Congress of Child Psychiatry in Paris, 1937

Le double agenda politique de la psychiatrie : Ernst Rüdin et la délégation allemande au Congrès international de psychiatrie de l’enfant de Paris en 1937
Volker Roelcke
p. 147-129

Résumés

Au congrès international de Psychiatrie de l’enfant tenu à Paris en 1937, la délégation allemande était conduite par Ernst Rüdin, un eugéniste fervent et le président de l’Association des neurologues et psychiatres allemands (GDPN). Rüdin avait un double objectif politique : d’une part placer l’action de sa communauté médicale dans le cadre plus global de la politique étrangère de son pays en contribuant à la consolidation de la réputation de l’Allemagne à l’étranger. D’autre part, il cherchait à répondre aux principales attentes de la GDPN en tant qu’instance professionnelle. Il avait pour objectif d’intégrer la psychiatrie de l’enfant, une spécialité émergente, dans le champ plus général de la psychiatrie et de la neurologie. Cet article reconstruit les ramifications politiques et le contexte légal que les médecins allemands devaient prendre en compte quand ils participaient à des conférences internationales se tenant à l’étranger et plus particulièrement lors de ce congrès de 1937 à Paris. En outre, l’article décrit l’impact de ces contextes sur les interventions des délégués allemands.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 Crawford Elisabeth, Nationalism and Internationalism in Science, 1880-1939, Cambridge, Cambr (...)
  • 2 Gross Solomon Susan, Doing Medicine Together. Germany and Russia between the Wars, Toronto, (...)

1Since the late 19th century, international conferences have been of great concern to physicians and biomedical scientists. Certainly, adhering to the self-image of science and medicine as an international and indeed universal undertaking has been one central motivation for this interest.1 Another, more pragmatic factor that fueled the interest was the possibility of meeting colleagues from abroad and getting news about recent developments in scientific, clinical, or institutional matters. A third aspect for the interest and investment in international meetings was their political function. As for example Susan Solomon or Nikolai Krementsov have pointed out for Russia and Germany in the interwar period, international scientific conferences were an important instrument of foreign policy, as well as a platform for pursuing the politics of the related professions.2

  • 3 On this congress, see Castell Rolf; Nedoschill Jan; Rupps Madelaine; Bussiek Dagmar, Geschich (...)
  • 4 On the inherent political dimension in scientific activities, see Roelcke Volker, “Auf der (...)

2The International Congress of Child Psychiatry held in Paris in 1937 is an exemplary case to illustrate this political dimension.3 In this article, the case of the German delegation is used to reconstruct the activities and contexts of the German actors at the Congress. Beyond that, this case is used as an opportunity to illustrate more general aspects. This example enables us to differentiate two levels of politics inherent in the activities of psychiatrists at such a meeting, and also to shed some light on the intrinsic relationship between the psychiatric contents of the presentations at the congress, and the political dimension.4

  • 5 On Rüdin’s biography, see Roelcke Volker, “Ernst Rüdin: Renommierter Wissenschaftler—radikale (...)
  • 6 For the international impact of Rüdin and his Munich department, see Roelcke Volker, “Eugenic (...)

3The intrinsic relationship between psychiatry and politics is, in a way, already embodied in the person of the leader of the German delegation to the Congress, the psychiatrist Ernst Rüdin.5 Rüdin was the president of the Society of German Neurologists and Psychiatrists (Gesellschaft Deutscher Neurologen und Psychiater; GDNP) between 1935 and 1945. Born in Switzerland, and holding both a Swiss and a German citizenship, Rüdin was active early on in the international arena in both the field of psychiatry and in eugenics. In 1905, he had been a co-founder of the German Society for Racial Hygiene, and ever since he had been a prominent member of its Board. He had trained in psychiatry under Auguste Forel in Zürich, as well as Emil Kraepelin in Heidelberg and Munich, and had been appointed to be head of the Department of Genealogy and Epidemiology at the German Research Institute for Psychiatry (Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Psychiatrie; DFA) in Munich at its foundation in 1917. In the mid-1920s, the DFA served as a model for the establishment of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, which later in turn inspired the planning for the National Institutes of Mental Health in the United States.6 From 1925 to 1928, Rüdin had been professor of psychiatry and director of the psychiatric hospital at Basel University in Switzerland. For his return to Munich, he had negotiated a threefold increase for the budget of his department, and one of the highest salaries of any director in the prestigious Kaiser-Wilhelm-Society for the Advancement of Sciences to which the DFA belonged since 1924. In 1931, Rüdin had become director of the entire DFA. In 1930, he was elected to be president of the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations, an office he held until 1934. From 1933 onwards, Rüdin was also chairman of a committee in the Nazi regime’s Expert Board for Population and Race Policy, and last but not least, he was co-author of the official commentary on the sterilization law enacted already in the first months after the Nazi takeover.

  • 7 Lang Jean-Louis, Georges Heuyer fondateur de la pédopsychiatrie. Un humaniste du xxe siècle, (...)
  • 8 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht über die Pariser Kongresse 1937”, Historisches Archiv des Max-Planck-I (...)

4The International Congress of Child Psychiatry took place from the 24th of July until the 1st of August 1937. The organization team, headed by Georges Heuyer, director of the Paris Clinic of Infantile Neuropsychiatry,7 had timed the Congress to coincide with two other major scientific meetings in Paris: the International Congress of Mental Hygiene (19th until 25th of July) and the International Congress of Population Science (29th of July until 1st of August). The broader context, attractive also from a touristic perspective, was the Paris World Exhibition. All three conferences were held in the House of Chemistry, the idea being that some of the participants could speak at two or even three of the meetings. Rüdin was the leader not only of the delegation to the child psychiatry congress, but also of the German delegations to the two other conferences.8

  • 9 For the emerging field of child and youth psychiatry in Germany, and the negotiations o (...)

5For the Congress of Child Psychiatry, Rüdin had a twofold political agenda: on the one hand, he acted beyond the medical and scientific community in the broader framework of German foreign policy which aimed at the recognition and expansion of Germany’s international reputation—after a period of isolation and loss of international impact following World War I. On the other hand, he sought to secure the core claims of the GDNP as a professional body. It was his aim to integrate the newly emerging field of child and youth psychiatry firmly into the broader field of psychiatry and neurology, counteracting tendencies of the new discipline’s relevant actors to establish an independent professional association, or to affiliate themselves to the already existing associations of pediatricians, or medical pedagogues (Heilpädagogen).9 Interestingly, although Rüdin was a high profile representative of psychiatric genetics and eugenics, and at other occasions vehemently acted in favor of imbuing psychiatry with the spirit of an eugenically inspired genetic approach, this aspect appears to have been clearly of lower priority compared to his political activities in the context of the Paris congress; this will be documented below.

6The following is divided into three parts. First, the external politico-legal ramifications within which German physicians and scientists acted when attending professional conferences abroad are sketched. For the second part, the focus is on the three international congresses in Paris in general, since for Rüdin, this was the context in which he acted. The third part narrows the focus further on the Congress of Child Psychiatry. For the second and third part, Rüdin’s report as leader of the German delegation to the state instances is analyzed, together with published accounts by himself and other participants of the conferences. Here, the view is directed to the following question: What are the entrenched political agendas on the level of foreign policy, as well as the politics of the professional bodies involved, and what is their weight in relation to Rüdin’s more ‘scientific’ concerns to document the usefulness and importance of genetics in psychiatry?

Political and legal ramifications

  • 10 The ensuing passages closely follow Weiss Sheila, The Nazi Symbiosis: Human Genetics and P (...)

7In the years before 1939, there were initially three state organs involved in the operations of coordinating German scientists’ participation at professional conferences abroad.10 The Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt; AA), the Reich’s Ministry for Science and Education (Reichs­ministerium für Wissenschaft, Erziehung und Volksbildung; RMWE), and the Reich’s Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (Reichsministerium fürVolks-aufklärung und Propaganda; RMVP) headed by Joseph Goebbels. Then there were secondary Nazi Party players such as the NS-Dozentenbund and the Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP, but these served—at least in the pre-war years—primarily to exclude so-called ‘politically unreliable’ scientists from representing Germany’s interests abroad. There were, of course, conflicts of interest among the various state and party organs that viewed international conferences as falling under their administrative responsibility. In the area of concern here, there does not seem to have been any appreciable difference in the attitude of the major state organs toward international scientific conferences, although Goebbels’ ministry seems to have been most vocal in its demands on the scientists. The German Congress Center (Deutsche Kongress-Zentrale; DKZ) was established as a division of the Ministry for Propaganda in 1934. Beginning in 1936, all those seeking to attend an international conference needed the approval of the DKZ. From that time on, it was also responsible for questions of hard currency. Thus, all applications made by individual scientists, or institutions in the name of their researchers, like the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft, were dependent on this office to get the needed hard currency to attend an international conference.

8From the earliest days of the Third Reich, for Germans attending such meetings the following rules were obligatory: first, they had to be organized as delegations with a “delegation leader” to speak for them; second, they were expected to meet with official German representatives in the foreign country where the conference was being held; and third, they were required to submit a report on their return home.

9The DKZ made no secret about its view of the cultural-political importance of international conferences and its demands on delegation leaders at such meetings. As the DKZ’s “Guidelines for Delegation Leaders” pointed out, a delegation leader had to understand that his task was not merely a professional one relevant to his special area of concern. Rather, he had to be able to view it as “political or cultural-propagandistic pioneer work in the sense of German world prestige […]”. 

  • 11 Richtlinien für die Leiter Deutscher Abordnungen zu Kongressen im Ausland [Guidelines for (...)
  • 12 Richtlinien… , op. cit., p. 2.

10“Our present view of international congresses”, the Guidelines continued, “differs decidedly from earlier, more traditional views”.11 Moreover, as the DKZ emphasized, “congresses are one of the most effective weapons in the struggle against poisoning the minds of people; in this manner we can, through efforts and personal impressions, eliminate prejudices and hateful lies without recourse to direct political propaganda”.12

  • 13 Ibid.
  • 14 Richtlinien…, op. cit., p. 6, English translation by V.R.

11Complaining that about 75% of all international conferences were held in Paris or Brussels, the “Guidelines” argued that Germany should take its cue from France in recognizing the importance of such meetings as a conscious form of cultural propaganda that in “the hand of the statesman can be used as an unrivalled political weapon”.13 Declaring as one of its goals that Germany should play “a leading role, if not the leading role” at these international meetings, the delegation leader and the scientists under his leadership were urged to do all they could to bring this about. Among other things, this would include the delegation leader’s skill to bring those under him as a “unified group with one will”. Moreover, the “Guidelines” stated, special attention must also be given to questions at conferences touching such politically sensitive issues as “racial hygiene, sterilization, [and the] Jewish problem […]”. Delegation leaders were instructed to answer these questions in an objective manner and directly rebuke any attempt at a critique of Nazi racial policies. And finally, the delegation leaders had to recognize that the decision about who was to speak at such conferences was not up to the congress organizers, but was a matter of the involved German institutions: “we decide who may represent Germany abroad”.14

12Under a section of the Guidelines entitled “It must not happen that …”, the DKZ clearly articulated several taboos for international conferences: first, a German scientist should never contradict another in matters of Nazi ideology; second, if a German speaker was attacked, some members of the delegation should not leave the room while others do not; third, no German speaker should be made to look ridiculous by other members of the delegation; fourth, no member of the delegation should feel insulted that he was not selected as delegation leader; the decision is not a professional value judgment but is based on several criteria, including his personal relationships to foreign scholars. Members of the German delegation, who are found to be a political liability at a conference, despite having passed the political litmus test for attending such conferences, will be sent home immediately.

  • 15 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5.

13The reports submitted for example by Ernst Rüdin, or the geneticists Eugen Fischer and Otmar von Verschuer to the relevant state agencies suggest that these and similar guidelines were closely observed—indeed, they were followed well before 1938, the year the DKZ issued the above-quoted Guidelines. It may be assumed that the content of the reports were fairly accurate as important members of the Nazi Party, such as Walter Gross of the Rassenpolitisches Amt, frequently attended international conferences to keep a watchful eye over the behavior of German biomedical scientists abroad. In the case of the Paris Congress of Child Psychiatry, Alfred (Fred) Dubitscher, head of the Department for Hereditarian and Racial Hygiene (Abteilung für Erb- und Rassenpflege) of the Reich’s Health Office (Reichsgesundheitsamt) was member of the German delegation.15

Eugenics, race, and psychiatry at three international congresses in Paris 1937

  • 16 Rüdin to Roemer, 9 December 1935, HA MPIP, GDA 129, quoted according to Schmuhl, Die Gesel (...)

14Of all three international conferences in Paris held in 1937, the German delegation with Rüdin at its top expected a conflict with foreign physicians and medical geneticists on issues of eugenics and race. Rüdin tried to anticipate the developments and prepare counter-strategies. To his close colleague Hans Roemer, member of the Board of the GDNP, he had already at an earlier stage of the preparations written that everybody [of the delegates] should take care that “we do not only represent the interests of pure science, but also the interests of the Reich, and do propaganda with the aim to prevent distorted views and judgments abroad on the Reich and the Party”.16

  • 17 Rüdin Ernst, “Bedingungen und Rolle der Eugenik in der Prophylaxe der Geistesstörungen (Vo (...)
  • 18 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., [as in note 5], p. 203.
  • 19 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 1.

15The conflicts developed indeed: at the Mental Hygiene conference, Rüdin’s presentation about the German sterilization law17 was countered by a critical presentation of the French psychiatrist of Polish-Jewish origin, Françoise Minkowska-Brokman. Their controversy caused a lively debate in which also the Swiss psychiatrist Hans W. Maier, from Zurich, criticized the German law due to basic problems of the diagnosis for those conditions listed in it.18 In his report to the RMWE, Rüdin wrote that his presentation had, as expected, caused “strong contradiction in a lively, but polite discussion”.19

  • 20 See e.g. Boas Franz, “Heredity and Environment”, Congrès International de la Population, Paris (...)

16The critique was formulated most explicitly at the Congress of population science, despite the attempt by the French president of the conference, Adolphe Landry, to prevent it. Landry had called for a preview of the invited speeches which, however, was directed primarily against those who were criticizing the German version of “hereditary health policies”. Nevertheless, the open critique during the meeting could not be blocked. A group of French scientists around Henri Laugier and Paul Rivet, as well as the famous American anthropologist of German-Jewish origin Franz Boas, and Ignaz Zollschan from Prague questioned the importance of genetics as the determining factor in such traits as intelligence, and denied that a country’s intellectual development was dependent upon the race of its inhabitants. Moreover, Boas and his likeminded colleagues argued that the individual’s or group’s environment largely shaped so-called racial traits.20

  • 21 For this and the following quotes, see Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 1; as well as (...)
  • 22 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 1.

17In their reports of this conference, both Rüdin and the geneticist Verschuer emphasized how Rüdin as the delegation leader had stressed the scientific contributions of his own Institute’s members in combating the “‘Jewish’ point of view”.21 Rüdin further stated that at the conference, “the German position was defended in a worthy manner and undoubtedly won an intellectual and moral victory”. Commenting on the three conferences in general, he claimed that the tenor had been rather sympathetic towards the German views, in contrast to previous international congresses, as for example that of the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations in Scheveningen, 1936. Now, in Paris, it had been possible to correct some “erroneous ideas about Germany’s eugenic health policy”.22 Rüdin finally argued that it was necessary to go to such international meetings, although such unpleasant instances might occur, in order to know what the other side was thinking about Germany’s science and politics and to immediately report any incidents that might happen.

The German delegates at the International Congress for Child Psychiatry

  • 23 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5.; see also the official speech in this fun (...)

18For the Congress of Child Psychiatry in particular, Rüdin gave a detailed account in the report to the DKZ. According to him, the conference had been attended by 350 participants from 49 countries. Rüdin reported that during the opening session, he had been asked to act as the speaker of all foreign delegations.23

19Amongst the participants, there had been 12 official German delegates. Two of them had been pediatricians: Albrecht Peiper (Wuppertal) and Jussuf Ibrahim (Jena), the remaining ten had been psychiatrists, including the already mentioned psychiatrist Alfred (Fred) Dubitscher who represented the Reich Health Office (Reichsgesundheitsamt). The delegates had been chosen after suggestions by the psychiatric as well as the pediatric association, approval by Rüdin, and a political evaluation by the DKZ, as well as a final approval of the RMWE.

  • 24 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 6.
  • 25 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5; see also the table of content of the cong (...)

20The official languages of the Congress were French, English, and German, with simultaneous translation—a technical modality which Rüdin commented on very positively.24 The first day of the Congress was devoted to the importance of conditioned reflexes (described by Pavlov) for child and youth psychiatry; the second day focused on educational methods for disorders of character and intelligence; the third day focused on youth criminality.25

  • 26 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5; for a biography of Villinger, see Holtkam (...)
  • 27 Ibrahim Jussuf, “Die Bedeutung der Bedingungsreflexe für die kindliche Psychiatrie”, Premie (...)
  • 28 Többen Heinrich, “Das präkriminelle Leben und das Bewahrungsproblem”, Premier Congrès (...)
  • 29 It is probably no accident that in 1936, the year before the congress, a close coll (...)

21Four of the German delegates had also been invited as speakers. A fifth one, Werner Villinger, in the post-World War II period to become the first president of the German Society of Child and Youth psychiatry, was also listed on the program, however, due to illness, he did not attend the conference.26 The two pediatricians gave presentations on the second day on the importance of conditional reflexes for psychiatry and for functional somatic disorders (that is, for disorders without a morphological correlate)27. It is interesting to note that both accepted the reflex-concept of the Soviet neurophysiologist Pavlov without qualifications, and on the other hand did in no way refer to hereditary aspects regarding the conditions they talked about. Heinrich Többen addressed “The Pre-criminal life [of delinquent youths] and the problem of custody”.28 He postulated that research in “pre-criminal life” was more or less identical with that in moral neglect, and—without reference to any empirical research—that regarding the causation of such neglect, heredity was a stronger factor than environment. He argued that custody was an adequate measure to prevent neglected children and youths to drift into criminality.29

  • 30 Schröder Paul, « Les méthodes éducatives selon les troubles de l’intelligence et d (...)

22Paul Schröder, professor of psychiatry at Leipzig University and one of the leading personalities in the field of child and youth psychiatry, gave a talk on “Educative methods applied to problems of intelligence and character”.30 According to him, disorders of intelligence were those which might be differentiated by quantity, whereas within the group of disorders of character, there were qualitative differences. Those individuals with abnormalities of the character, however, were differing from normal individuals only by degree, not in a qualitative manner. He recommended to look both at adverse environmental conditions and at somatic disorders as explanatory factors, and suggested intensive educational measures and individualized pedagogical treatment schemes. Schröder’s lecture, too, is quite remarkable because of the absence of any reference to genetic factors in the causation, and to eugenic measures for the prevention of such conditions.

  • 31 See Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., p. 276-277.
  • 32 Schepker Renate, Schmeck Klaus, Schepker Klaus, “Eine frühe Gen-Umwelt-Theorie der Störung (...)
  • 33 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , ibid., p. 23-132.
  • 34 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , ibid., p. 133-178, and passim.

23In the emerging institutionalization of child and youth psychiatry, Paul Schröder, although a prominent psychiatrist represented in the Board of the GDNP, was an independent actor who played out various options for a professional organization of the new field.31 To understand the situation in 1937, a few remarks about the broader field may be in place. Already in the immediate aftermath of the Nazi takeover in 1933, the previously existing Society for Curative Pedagogics (Gesellschaft für Heilpädagogik) ceased, and another professional grouping, the German Association for the Care of Juvenile Psychopaths (Deutscher Verein für jugendliche Psychopathen) was closed down—with Rüdin’s active involvement.32 Already at that time, Rüdin and his closest colleagues had intended to reduce the number and activities of organizations working in the broad field of psychiatry and mental health care, as he and his immediate surroundings understood it, and to unite all the related activities under the umbrella of one overarching professional association.33 However, in pursuing this goal, a problem emerged in the discussions of the Board of the GDNP which was relevant in particular for the field of child and youth psychiatry, as well as for that of psychotherapy: What to do with members of the previously existing, or rival organizations who were no physicians, but psychologists, pedagogues, or teachers in schools for mentally handicapped children—and who had thus affiliations to other professional groups?34

24Schröder used this situation to ask for special rules for a section within the GDNP—as Rüdin wanted to see it—or another kind of grouping for child and youth psychiatry within the overarching organization, or associated with it. Rüdin, in turn, courted him and attempted to integrate Schröder’s activities under the umbrella of the GDNP. This resulted for Schröder in a considerable scope of action and talk, in a way deviating from Rüdin’s strong and otherwise insisting focus on eugenics and the genetics of psychiatric and behavioral disorders.

  • 35 Tramer Moritz, “Communication/Mitteilung”, Zeitschrift für Kinderpsychiatrie/Journal de Psychiatri (...)

25This historical configuration, and the strong conflicts Rüdin had to deal with at the two parallel Paris conferences may explain the fact that in the presentations of the four German delegates at the Congress of Child Psychiatry, the otherwise to be expected clear and positive references to eugenics and the importance of the German sterilization law were absent. Schröder even stressed the impact of environmental factors on juvenile deviant behavior, and the need for intensifying educational measures. Further research is needed to reconstruct the negotiations within the German delegation, and between it and the international community of the emerging professional field which led to the appointment of Schröder to the office of president of the International Committee for Child Psychiatry during the Congress. This office was linked to the function of main organizer of the envisaged Second International Congress for Child Psychiatry which—as the delegates unanimously decided—was to be held in 1941 in Leipzig.35

Epilogue

26Rüdin’s “appeasement” policy towards Schröder and the emerging network of child and youth psychiatrists had some preliminary, but not lasting success. At the next board meeting of the GDNP in September 1938, it was agreed that there should be a congress of child psychiatry in Leipzig in 1940, with Rüdin as president and Schröder as managing director. Thus, for the time being, Schröder did not follow up on his previous option of an independent organization, but rather pursued the establishment of a semi-independent association under the umbrella of the GDNP. In March 1939, at the next meeting of the International Committee for Child Psychiatry, held during the annual conference of the GDNP in Wiesbaden, Schröder took the next step and launched the German Working Association of Child Psychiatry (Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kinderpsychiatrie), with himself as chair. The aim of this association was to prepare the establishment of a professional organization of child psychiatrists in coordination with the GDNP.

  • 36 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , op. cit., p. 276-277, 344-350.
  • 37 Ibid. see also Schröder Paul, “Gründung und Erste Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für (...)

27However, with the beginning of the war in September 1939, changes occurred on two levels: within the board of the GDNP, a new hierarchy of priorities emerged on the agenda, with the organizational response to challenges of war (high numbers of brain injuries; need for hospital capacities) and the related program of patient killings (euthanasia) to re-allocate the limited resources. The close attention to attendance and monitoring of Schröder’s activities moved to the background. On the level of political institutions, the Reich Health Office took the initiative to unite all medical and related professional activities concerning children and youths, with a first major event termed Child Studies Week (Kinderkundliche Woche) held in in Vienna in September 1940.36 This included interlinked conferences of the German Association of Pediatrics (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinderheilkunde), the German General Association of Psychotherapy (Deutsche Allgemeine Gesellschaft für Psychotherapie), and the Working Association of Child Psychiatry. In the preparations for this event, Schröder explored the leeway which he realized he had gained from the momentum of the newly emerging field. Without any co-ordination with Rüdin, he prepared the official foundation of the new German Association of Child Psychiatry and Curative Pedagogy (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kinderpsychiatrie und Heilpädagogik) on this occasion. During a business meeting of the Working Association, but in absence of Rüdin or any other board member of the GDNP, Schröder proclaimed the establishment of the new professional organization. The audience of the conference was declared to be the founding assembly of the association, with Schröder as its president. No mention was made of the specific relation to the GDNP.37

  • 38 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., p. 344-350, 395-416; Fangerau He (...)

28Thus, in effect, in view of the emerging field of child psychiatry and its protagonists during the Paris congress, Rüdin’s tactical maneuvering had only limited success, and in the longer term, the leeway gained in Paris was used by Schröder to realize his plans of an independent association. However, his success was also not a lasting one: due to the increasing international isolation of the German scientific community and other war related dynamics, the second international congress for child psychiatry, originally (at the Paris conference) planned to take place in Leipzig in 1941, did not materialize. Schröder himself died suddenly from an infection in June 1941. This discontinuity on the level of top management, combined with the conditions of war prevented further meetings and a firm establishment of the new association. In fact, the broader arena of institutionalized psychiatry in general underwent a major crisis during the later years of the war and the immediate post-war period, not unrelated to the systematic killings of psychiatric patients and handicapped children in which protagonists of both the GDNP and the emerging field of child and youth psychiatry were involved. The association of child psychiatry ceased to exist by date, and a new foundation of an organization in this field only occurred in 1950.38

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Notes

1 Crawford Elisabeth, Nationalism and Internationalism in Science, 1880-1939, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.

2 Gross Solomon Susan, Doing Medicine Together. Germany and Russia between the Wars, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2006; Krementsov, Nikolai, "Eugenics, Rassenhygiene, and Human Genetics in the Late 1930s: The Case of the Seventh International Genetics Congress", Gross Solomon Susan, Doing Medicine Together. Germany and Russia between the Wars, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2006, p. 305-369.

3 On this congress, see Castell Rolf; Nedoschill Jan; Rupps Madelaine; Bussiek Dagmar, Geschichte der Kinder—und Jugendpsychiatrie in Deutschland in den Jahren 1937 bis 1961, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003, p. 34-51.

4 On the inherent political dimension in scientific activities, see Roelcke Volker, “Auf der Suche nach der Politik in der Wissensproduktion: Plädoyer für eine historisch-politische Epistemologie”, Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 33, 2010, p. 176-192.

5 On Rüdin’s biography, see Roelcke Volker, “Ernst Rüdin: Renommierter Wissenschaftler—radikaler Rassenhygieniker”, Der Nervenarzt, 83, 2012, p. 303-310; and Roelcke Volker, “Funding the scientific foundations of race policies: Ernst Rüdin and the impact of career resources on psychiatric genetics, ca. 1910-1945”, in Eckart Wolfgang U. (dir.) Man, Medicine, and the State: The Human Body as an Object of Government Sponsored Medical Research in the 20th Century, Stuttgart, Franz Steiner, 2006, p. 73-87; on Rüdin’s position within German psychiatry between 1933 and 1935, see Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft Deutscher Neurologen und Psychiater im Nationalsozialismus, Heidelberg, Berlin, J. Springer, 2016.

6 For the international impact of Rüdin and his Munich department, see Roelcke Volker, “Eugenic concerns scientific practices: International relations and national adaptations in the establishment of psychiatric genetics in Germany, Britain, the US and Scandinavia, 1910-1960”, Felder Björn, Weindling Paul J. (dir.) Baltic Eugenics: Bio-Politics, Race and Nation in Interwar Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 1918-1940, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2013, p. 301-333; and Ritter Hans Jakob, Roelcke Volker, “Psychiatric Genetics in Munich and Basel between 1925-1945: Programs – Practices – Co-operative Arrangements”, Osiris, 20, 2005, p. 263-288.

7 Lang Jean-Louis, Georges Heuyer fondateur de la pédopsychiatrie. Un humaniste du xxe siècle, Paris, Expansion Scientifique Publications, 1997; see also Boussion Samuel, Guey Emmanuelle, « Le fonds Georges Heuyer (1884-1977): un xxe siècle scientifique, à l’orée de la psychiatrie infantile et de ses ramifications », Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière », 2, nov. 2010, p. 215-232.

8 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht über die Pariser Kongresse 1937”, Historisches Archiv des Max-Planck-Instituts für Psychiatrie (HA MPIP), München, Deposit Genealogisch Demographische Abteilung/GDA [Department of Genealogy and Demography] 41; see also Schmuhl, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., [as in note 5, p. 204.

9 For the emerging field of child and youth psychiatry in Germany, and the negotiations of its protagonists with the Board of the Society of German Neurologists and Psychiatrists, see Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., p. 276-277 and 344-350.

10 The ensuing passages closely follow Weiss Sheila, The Nazi Symbiosis: Human Genetics and Politics in the Third Reich, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2010, p. 200-209; Weiss Sheila, “The Sword of our Science’ as a Foreign Policy Weapon: The Political Function of German Geneticists in the International Arena During the Third Reich”, Ergebnisse 22, Research Program History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the National Socialist Era, Berlin 2005, p. 7-9, 12-14; Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , op. cit., p. 203-207.

11 Richtlinien für die Leiter Deutscher Abordnungen zu Kongressen im Ausland [Guidelines for the leaders of German delegations to congresses abroad], Deutsche Kongress-Zentrale, Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes, Berlin, Deposit Budapest 178, Kult 11, Nr. 1, p. 1; English translation according to Weiss Sheila, Symbiosis, p. 201.

12 Richtlinien… , op. cit., p. 2.

13 Ibid.

14 Richtlinien…, op. cit., p. 6, English translation by V.R.

15 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5.

16 Rüdin to Roemer, 9 December 1935, HA MPIP, GDA 129, quoted according to Schmuhl, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., p. 202.

17 Rüdin Ernst, “Bedingungen und Rolle der Eugenik in der Prophylaxe der Geistesstörungen (Vortrag, 2. Internationaler Kongress für psychische Hygiene, Paris 19.7.1937)”, in Zeitschrift für psychische Hygiene 10, 1937, p. 99-108.

18 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., [as in note 5], p. 203.

19 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 1.

20 See e.g. Boas Franz, “Heredity and Environment”, Congrès International de la Population, Paris 1937, vol. VIII: Problèmes Qualitatifs de la Population, Paris, Hermann et Cie, 1938, p. 83-92; Zollschan Ignaz, “Die Bedeutung des Rassenfaktors für die Kulturgenese”, Congrès International de la Population, p. 93-105. On the broader context of Boas’ critique of race-related research in Germany, see Kaufmann Doris, “Rasse und Kultur’. Die amerikanische Kulturanthropologie um Franz Boas (1858-1942) in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts—ein Gegenentwurf zur Rassenforschung in Deutschland”, in Schmuhl Hans-Walter (dir.), Rassenforschung an Kaiser-Wilhelm-Instituten vor und nach 1933, Göttingen, Wallstein, 2003, p. 309-327.

21 For this and the following quotes, see Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 1; as well as Verschuer, Otmar von, “Report on the trip to Paris for the Purpose of Participating in the International Congress for Population Science [1937]”, Universitätsarchiv Frankfurt, Deposit Rektor, Abt. 1, Nr. 47 (Verschuer), p. 20.

22 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 1.

23 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5.; see also the official speech in this function: Rüdin Ernst, « Allocution de Monsieur Professeur Rüdin au Nom des Délégués étrangers », Premier Congrès International de Psychiatrie Infantile, Paris, 24 juillet au 1er Aout 1937, Comptes Rendus, Lille, SILIC,1937, p. 39.

24 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 6.

25 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5; see also the table of content of the congress publication: Premier Congrès International de Psychiatrie Infantile…

26 Rüdin Ernst, “Bericht…”, op. cit., p. 5; for a biography of Villinger, see Holtkamp Martin, Werner Villinger (1887-1961): Die Kontinuität des Minderwertigkeitsgedankens in der Jugend- und Sozialpsychiatrie, Husum, Matthiesen, 2002.

27 Ibrahim Jussuf, “Die Bedeutung der Bedingungsreflexe für die kindliche Psychiatrie”, Premier Congrès International de Psychiatrie Infantile…, p. 189-193; Peiper Albrecht, “Die bedingten Reflexe in der Kinderpsychiatrie”, Premier Congrès International…, I. Rapport introductif et Rapports de Psychiatrie Générale, Lille, SILIC,1937, p. 87-103.

28 Többen Heinrich, “Das präkriminelle Leben und das Bewahrungsproblem”, Premier Congrès International de Psychiatrie Infantile, p. 217-219.

29 It is probably no accident that in 1936, the year before the congress, a close colleague of Rüdin, Hermann Hoffmann of Giessen University, had started a research project to investigate the genetics of asocial behavior and neglect in children and youths to give the assumption of such a link an empirical basis: Hoffmann Hermann, “Erbbiologische Forschungen an Giessener Fürsorgezöglingen”, Münchener Medizinische Wochenschrift 1936, p. 121, as well as first results in Stutte Hermann, “Die soziale Prognose der Jugendlichenverwahrlosung”, Münchener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 1939, p. 1685; on this project and its continuation into German child and youth psychiatry in the post- World War II period, see Roelcke Volker, “Erbbiologie und Kriegserfahrung in der Kinder–und Jugendpsychiatrie der frühen Nachkriegszeit: Kontinuitäten und Kontexte bei Hermann Stutte und Werner Villinger”, in Fangerau Heiner, Topp Sascha, Schepker Klaus (dir), Kinder–und Jugendpsychiatrie im Nationalsozialismus und in der Nachkriegszeit, Berlin, Springer, 2016 (in press).

30 Schröder Paul, « Les méthodes éducatives selon les troubles de l’intelligence et du caractère chez l’enfant », Premier Congrès International…, II. Rapports de Psychiatrie Scholaire, Lille, SILIC,1937, p. 51-61.

31 See Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., p. 276-277.

32 Schepker Renate, Schmeck Klaus, Schepker Klaus, “Eine frühe Gen-Umwelt-Theorie der Störungen des Sozialverhaltens vs. ‚Anethischer’ Psychopathie”, Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie, 64, 2015, p. 290-307.

33 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , ibid., p. 23-132.

34 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , ibid., p. 133-178, and passim.

35 Tramer Moritz, “Communication/Mitteilung”, Zeitschrift für Kinderpsychiatrie/Journal de Psychiatrie Infantile, 4, 1937, p. 126-128.

36 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft… , op. cit., p. 276-277, 344-350.

37 Ibid. see also Schröder Paul, “Gründung und Erste Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Kinder-Psychiatrie und Heilpädagogik in Wien”, Zeitschrift für psychische Hygiene, 13, 1940, p. 67-71.

38 Schmuhl Hans-Walter, Die Gesellschaft…, op. cit., p. 344-350, 395-416; Fangerau Heiner, Topp Sascha, Schepker Klaus (dir), Kinder–und Jugendpsychiatrie im Nationalsozialismus und in der Nachkriegszeit, Berlin, Springer, 2016 (in press).

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Volker Roelcke, « The twofold politics of psychiatry: Ernst Rüdin and the German delegation at the International Congress of Child Psychiatry in Paris, 1937 »Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière », 18 | 2016, 147-129.

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Volker Roelcke, « The twofold politics of psychiatry: Ernst Rüdin and the German delegation at the International Congress of Child Psychiatry in Paris, 1937 »Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière » [En ligne], 18 | 2016, mis en ligne le 30 novembre 2018, consulté le 24 septembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/rhei/3908 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/rhei.3908

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Volker Roelcke

Professeur d’histoire de la médecine, Institut für Geschichte der Medizin, Universität Giessen

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