Why the Silence?

After the end of World War 2, as the Nuremberg trials began, a large number of psychiatrists were due to stand trial. The American Psychiatric Association feared that because of the actions of these psychiatrists the profession would carry a permanent black mark, so pressure was applied to minimize the number of psychiatric defendants.

The involvement of Ernst Rüdin was thoroughly whitewashed. Three types of accounts have been identified:

  • Those who write about German psychiatric genetics in the Nazi period, but either fail to mention Rüdin at all, or cast him in a favorable light
  • Those who acknowledge that Rüdin helped promote eugenic sterilization and/or may have worked with the Nazis, but generally paint a positive picture of Rüdin’s research and fail to mention his participation in the “euthanasia” killing program
  • Those who have written that Rüdin committed and supported unspeakable atrocities.”

After the war, the German Medical Association blamed Nazi atrocities on a small group of 350 criminal doctors.[1] It was not until the 21st century that the truth started to appear.

And let us never forget how massive these events were and it is easy to miss details, even significant details.

Some Quotes

From the website of the German psychiatric association.

Without the initiative and support of psychiatrists and other doctors, the national socialist „euthanasia“ programme could not have been implemented.”

 *German Association for Psychiatry,Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

  -DGPPN Website

In 2010, Schneider, then president of the DGPPN*, formally asked the victims of the Nazi era and their families for “forgiveness for the pain and injustice [they] suffered in the name of German psychiatry and at the hands of German psychiatrists under National Socialism, and for the silence, trivialization, and denial that for far too long characterized psychiatry in post-war Germany.

Investigative journalist Victor H. Bernstein stated: “I am sure that Prof. Rüdin never so much as killed a fly in his 74 years. I am also sure he is one of the most evil men in Germany.”