Disfranchisement, expulsion and persecution of pathologists in the Third Reich - A sociodemographic study.Pathol Res Pract. 2019 Sep; 215(9):152514.PR
This sociodemographic study focuses on the disenfranchisement, expulsion and persecution of pathologists in the Third Reich - a group that has, until now, received little systematic attention in scholarly research. The paper attempts to determine the number of pathologists who suffered persecution, the characteristics they shared, and the effects the repression had on their lives - both in the period from 1933 to 1945 and in the post-war period. The study is based on primary sources from numerous archives as well as on a systematic re-analysis of published secondary literature on the history of Nazi medicine. A total of 89 disenfranchised pathologists were identified and have been included. The vast majority of these pathologists (90%) were persecuted due to their Jewish ancestry or their relation to Jews. A good two-thirds of these pathologists were employed at a university until their disenfranchisement. For two-thirds of these pathologists (n = 62; 70%), documentation of emigration was found. Twenty-four pathologists remained in their home country; of these, five died in concentration camps and two others committed suicide. The preferred country for direct immigration was the United States (n = 19), followed by Great Britain (n = 13). Most of these pathologists were able to establish themselves professionally in their destination country, and little inclination to return to Germany after 1945 was shown. The reasons for this were a lack of career options in their home country, the lack of a welcoming culture among colleagues and universities, and the stigmatizing experiences of individual pathologists had during academic appointments and reparations proceedings in Germany. However, especially in recent decades and in part posthumously, these pathologists are being granted honorary, intangible recognition in Germany and Austria. Even though this recognition can no longer provide tangible reparations, it is nevertheless a sign of a gradual change in consciousness.