A number of events during the DGPPN Congress 2010 were dedicated to the victims of violations of human rights in the area of psychiatry: the Jewish and 'socialist' psychiatrists that were forced to emigrate, as well as the mentally and bodily ill that had to endure unspeakable suffering during the national socialist regime. Central was a commemorative event on 26th November 2011 for remembering all the people that hat to suffer from the national socialist rule unter participation of psychiatric institutions.
The German Association for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy asks the victims and relatives of the victims, for forgiveness for the pain and injustice you suffered in the name of German psychiatry and at the hands of German psychiatrists under National Socialism, and for the silence, trivialisation and denial that for far too long characterised psychiatry in post-war Germany.
The familiy history of Sigrid Falkenstein is fatally linked to the history of German psychiatry in the last century. Her aunt Änne was a victim of the Nazis’ “euthanasia” programme. As in many of the victims’ families, her family repressed their memories of events and never spoke about the forced sterilisation and “euthanasia” that took place. That mirrors the collective process of denial in German society.
In the period of National Socialism many Jewish and 'socialist' psychiatrists were forced to emigrate. The neuropsychiatrist Doctor Kurt Blumenthal was one of them. His son tells his story.