[Persecution, expulsion, annihilation. Neurologists in the NS era-For active remembrance].Nervenarzt. 2022 Oct; 93(Suppl 1):3-8.N
The German Neurological Society (DGN) has commissioned historical research related to the expulsion and murder of German-speaking neurologists during the National Socialism era (NS). Intended as an introduction to the following background essays and biographies in this special issue of Der Nervenarzt, this article summarizes the results and perspectives of medical historical research addressing the persecution of German physicians. Additionally, it shows how the current project of the DGN fits into the context of an interdisciplinary culture of commemoration by a confrontation with National Socialism. Of particular importance for the DGN is that it was founded as the successor to the Society of German Neurologists (GDN), which was dissolved in 1935. In the early stages of the NS era, the GDN was the professional home of numerous Jewish specialists and those labeled "Jewish" by NS law, who were expelled from Germany and (after the "Anschluss" of 1938) from Austria, deported to concentration camps or driven to suicide. With this in mind, "persecution", "expulsion", and "extermination" raise not only questions of collegiality, decency, and morality. Investigating and remembering this era also affects today's public image of the neurological specialist society and constitutes an important part of its culture of remembrance and its history politics.