"The State of The World" Number 38
Complete Index Of All Issues
Hitler's Doctors: The Shocking Origin Of Autism
The cause of the condition known as "autism" has become one of the most controversial health topics of today. Numerous theories have been presented to suggest one reason or another.
Some also suggest that autism is much more, and ever increasingly so, prevalent today.
Others are of the opinion that it has existed for centuries, or millennia. Many famous people of history were quite possibly autistic - including Albert Einstein who described his own "lone traveler" experience:
"My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude."
But what does the word "autism" itself supposedly mean? Where and when did the word originate? The answer is shocking.
In 1910, a German-speaking psychiatrist in Switzerland, Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), used the Greek word, pronounced autismus (which was translated into English as autism) in his opinion of one of the visible symptoms of schizophrenia. His use of the term was the basis for what is commonly known as autism today (even though autism is not schizophrenia).
Many find it appalling that Bleuler was also a proponent of forced sterilization of those judged, by him, and others like him, to be "abnormal." It was a view that the heinous war criminal Adolf Hitler adopted a few years later as part of the murderous Nazi supposed "purification" of his Germanic race.
A (translated) quote from Bleuler's Textbook of Psychiatry (1924).
"The more severely burdened should not propagate themselves. If we do nothing but make mental and physical cripples capable of propagating themselves, and the healthy stocks have to limit the number of their children because so much has to be done for the maintenance of others, if natural selection is generally suppressed, then unless we will get new measures our race must rapidly deteriorate."
Bleuler would apparently have "euthanized" actual autistic people too (others of his like mind actually did, as we will get to in a moment) for what he obviously regarded as a genetic-caused condition - no environmental or vaccine-damage causes of autism in Bleuler's "pure race" theories!
But then the historic reality gets more shocking.
Another bizarre chapter in the history of autism followed along in the same era. The Bleuler influence and connection continued on to one of the most famous names in the world of autism study and care.
The present-day use of the word originated in the late 1930s from Johann ("Hans") Asperger (1906-1980), a pediatrician at the Vienna University Hospital, who used Bleuler's word in describing children that he said were "autistic psychopaths" (ironic, because it was the Nazis who were the actual psychopaths; see also The Origin Of 'Might Makes Right'). The now-famous Asperger Syndrome, also known simply as Asperger's, was named after him.
As with Bleuler, Asperger had a lurid, direct connection to Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime "race purity" movement. Most people find that documented historic reality to be absolutely appalling about him, considering his now respected and "saintly" place in the world of medical and social professions.
European historian Edith Sheffer, the author of Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna (2018), wrote that Asperger was an actual operative within Hitler's Nazi dictatorial government in which he was directly responsible for sending hundreds of children to be "euthanized" at the Am Spiegelgrund children's clinic in Vienna, Austria. That Nazi child-killing program had the official "public health" title of Aktion T4.
In 2018, Herwig Czech, a historian with the Medical University of Vienna, also described Asperger's Nazi connections in an article in the journal Molecular Autism (published April 2018):
"Asperger managed to accommodate himself to the Nazi regime and was rewarded for his affirmations of loyalty with career opportunities. He joined several organizations affiliated with the NSDAP (although not the Nazi party itself), publicly legitimized race hygiene policies including forced sterilizations and, on several occasions, actively cooperated with the child 'euthanasia' program."
In the years after the Second World War (1939-1945), Asperger became more publicly humane in his view of autistic people and is generally regarded as a respectable medical practitioner. He claimed to not really have been a Nazi (as many others did, such as Hitler's leading rocket scientist Wernher von Braun who was given a respected place at NASA; see The Rockets' Red Glare).
Honest-minded thinking people might wonder however if Asperger, and the others who also got away with it, would have accommodated himself to his supposedly changed mind if Hitler had not lost the war.