Psychiatry in the time of National Socialism

Travelling exhibition „Registered, persecuted, annihilated”

Sunday to Thursday I Hall B

The period of National Socialism is the darkest chapter in the history of psychiatry in Germany and thus also in the history of the DGPPN predecessor organisations. People with physical and mental impairments were systematically persecuted and exterminated – in the midst of German society – and psychiatrists were partly responsible.

In 2009 the DGPPN acknowledged its special responsibility resulting from the involvement of its predecessor organizations in the crimes of National Socialism, the killing of huge numbers of ill people and forced sterilizations. It initiated a research project that culminated in 2014 in the German- and English-language travelling exhibition „Registered, persecuted, annihilated: the sick and the disabled under National Socialism”. Meanwhile, more than 300,000 visitors have seen the exhibition nationally and internationally. The exhibition will be on display during the World Congress 2017.

The exhibition is specifically aimed at a wide audience. Using the question of the value of life as a guiding principle, it considers the intellectual and institutional preconditions of the killings, summarizes the events from exclusion and forced sterilizations up to the Holocaust, presents examples of victims, perpetrators, accomplices and opponents and finally looks into how the events of that period have been dealt with from 1945 until the present day.

As part of the Scientific Visits, you will have the opportunity to visit sites in Berlin relevant for the history of psychiatry.

Documentary and exhibition about Dorothea Buck

Born in 1917, Dorothea Buck was overcome by a severe mental crisis at the age of nineteen. During the Third Reich, she was classified as a minor human being because of her diagnosis of schizophrenia. In accordance with the Nazi race policies she was forcibly sterilized in 1936. A few years later she barely escaped „euthanasia”. Contrary to all prognoses – related to her incurable mental illness – Dorothea Buck tried to understand what drove her into psychosis and developed her own theory of her illness. Through this process she found the key to her own sanity. This development is inseparably linked with her evolution to an expressive and highly distinguished sculptress.

Dorothea Buck’s artistic work has gained a particular significance. Her accentuated lines give rise to impressive sculptures that appear to evoke what she was denied in the so-called sanatoriums: human attention and warmth. The film “The Sky and Beyond” depicts the life and work of this extraordinary woman, who is now 100 years old.

Dorothea Buck exhibition Sunday to Thursday I Hall B and Documentary „The Sky and Beyond”, Monday, 09.10.2017, 15:15–18:15 I London 1

Exhibition „Artists as Victims and Survivors of Nazi Psychiatry”

The life and work of artists with mental illness represent a special challenge and opportunity in the discussion of the National Socialist and post-war periods: through their art, we encounter people with an evocative destiny. The pictures move us by creating a personal and active dialogue.

The exhibition focusses on two artists, the architect and painter Paul Goesch, born in 1885, and the locksmith Julius Klingebiel (1904–1965). Their paintings stand for the numerous patients who became victims of Nazi psychiatry. Paul Goesch created important expressionist paintings while still in a mental asylum. He was killed in Brandenburg in 1940. Julius Klingebiel was forcibly sterilised, avoided the killing campaigns and survived the war. In the post-war period he created a solitary art environment („Raumkunstwerk”) in his cell.

Exhibition: Artists as victims and survivors of NS psychiatry 
Sunday to Thursday I Hall B

Accompanying symposium: „Artists as victims and survivors of National Socialism – commemoration in Germany and the challenges today”
Tuesday, 10.10.2017 I 11:45– 13:15 I London 1

Documentary: „Outbreak in the art – Julius Klingebiel's Cell“ 
Thursday, 12.10.2017 | 11:45–13:15 | London 1 

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Congress Venue

Messe Berlin
Main Entrance: Messe Süd
Jafféstraße I 14055 Berlin, Germany

Your way to Messe Berlin