Hans Asperger

I have just discovered this fascinating article – Was Dr. Asperger A Nazi?

On reading the article, I am reminded of the story of Schindler’s List, about a factory owner who saved many Jewish lives by having them work for him in humane conditions. It is significant that the article notes that Asperger was never a member of the Nazi Party and that his intention was to save as many autistic children from euthanasia as possible.

The work of this Austrian psychiatrist has only been available in English since the 1990’s, and alone has established the existence of a spectrum of autism causing various difficulties in children and adults. His discoveries with the “little professors” made it possible for high-functioning patients to receive support services instead of simply being shunned by society. Asperger’s daughter still practices as a psychiatrist in Vienna.

I don’t believe for a moment that Asperger consented to the Nazi barbarity and ideology, and only did what was necessary to keep out of a concentration camp or hanging from a meat hook on piano wire or something even more ghastly.

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8 Responses to Hans Asperger

  1. I can think of few people more non-Nazi. Happy new year.

    • I think that if Asperger had been a Nazi (and not someone going along with the system unwillingly and resisting it as much as he dared), he would not have come up with these distinctions and would have sent all the kids packing to their gas chambers, lethal injection tables or whatever. The article I referred to is very interesting. Do you have any idea why modern psychiatry wants to be rid of the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” and just call it “high-functioning autism”? Do you know any websites on the subject? Is there a regression in the world of psychiatry and neurology?

      • I don’t know why Asperger’s lost its separate DSM listing to be lumped together with autism.

      • From what I have been reading, Asperger called the condition “autistic psychopathy” (Autistischen Psychopathen in the substantive). Obviously the latter word is given its etymological meaning, illness of the soul – rather than the serial killer without conscience or emotion as characterised by Dr Robert Hare in his work on sociopaths. Asperger’s 1944 papers have been translated into English (apparently poorly), and I will see if I can find a copy. They will be scientific and technical, but I think I will make some sense of them. You might find this interesting. Ideas began to come through about a spectrum in autism from very disabled children to the “little professors”. I do remember reading my father’s veterinary textbooks on anatomy and pathology as a little boy and finding it fascinating. There is an extreme male brain theory, which I don’t buy. I’m not a very macho type and have a lot of sympathy with some feminine things.

        If we are real aspies, we might just stop short of reading the 1944 papers in German! Here is a summary in English. I have no difficulty with the idea of Aspergers Syndrome being re-named high-functioning autism if the scientific justification is credible. However, I have heard that the DSM listing can be very arbitrary and perhaps with the purpose of giving business to Big Pharma. There is the possibility that some thought that Asperger was not sufficiently anti-Nazi, subject of something I have written on the basis of an interesting article. However, many psychiatrists still talk of Asperger’s Syndrome and so do parents, teachers and social workers.

  2. Patrick Sheridan says:

    I am not sure I fully understand your recent fixation on Asperger syndrome, father. I have no doubt in my mind that Asperger himself was a conscientious man who cared for the children in his practice but the profession to which he devoted his life was then and is now permeated by frauds and Jewish intellectuals; that is, the same degenerates who pioneered sex-change operations and some of the other more lamentable developments in 20th century science. You won’t find any of life’s answers in the pseudo-science of modern psychology, which is every bit as subject to lobbyists and pressure groups as mainstream churches, politicians and media. The only reason I went ahead with a formal diagnosis, now almost ten years ago, was because of my parents’ (particularly my mother’s) refusal to disclose why I was taken out of school and sent to a child guidance clinic every week. If I thought about it to-day, I wouldn’t bother.

    These days I attribute any oddity about my person to my authentic Christian faith, one aspect of which is my absolute refusal to celebrate Janus Day and bewilderment (and staggerment) that most nominal Christians celebrate new year in the bleak midwinter with their secular contemporaries. There are still weeks and weeks to go before the New Year arrives, which comes with the Spring and the message of the Angel Gabriel, not on days of pagan significance.

    • The “fixation” is not recent. I am also skeptical about labels, but it does help to be “given a break” by most people who otherwise assume the worst in moral and human terms.

      Psychology and some aspects of medicine have interested me for a long time. It is part of being human and concerned about oneself and others. My eyes were opened in my university days when dipping into works by C.G. Jung, which were a great improvement over Freud in terms of the spiritual nature of man.

      There are many things to be said about modern psychiatry. Only yesterday, I watched a documentary about children in a psychiatric hospital in the USA in the 1980’s, a sort of cross between Bedlam and a Gestapo torture chamber! Most modern psychiatry is totally materialist and based on a very weak scientific foundation. There are loads of documentaries on You Tube about modern psychiatry, and it is very frightening. Follow the money and the filthy profits being made by “Big Pharma”. We have to think twice for our own good and that of our loved ones, especially children.

      You seem to be heavily into Jewish conspiracy theories. I don’t see much of a problem with Israel. They have nukes and the Middle East situation is a powder keg, especially with the Americans under the Bush and Obama regimes. Conspiracies involving Zionists, Illuminati, the Pope, you name it – are a red herring, and very unhealthy.

      I also had problems as a child and they are still reflected in a way known only to me in my adult life, in seminary and elsewhere. The Asperger theory is the most credible to me and my family in explaining things and answering old questions. You too have to deal with your own skeletons in the closet and come to an understanding with yourself. Otherwise, you are going to get old in your bitterness and die hating the world – and perhaps God too.

      You have a lot of progress to make in your spiritual life. What makes me say that is that your discourse would be more loving and open as divine grace melts the ice. We don’t have to like parties. I don’t, and I saw in the New Year (Gregorian) working on a translation I have to deliver tomorrow. I do hope you find a wise spiritual father somewhere. If you do find one, you will be a very lucky man because they are rarer than hens’ teeth.

      I think Oscar Wilde said something in prison about the effect of hatred. It does more harm to your own soul than others, the object of your animosity. I’m sorry, Patrick, to talk to you like this, and in public (I’m not betraying any secrets), but things have to be said. You will find you way, if you let God show you the way.

      • Patrick Sheridan says:

        I have little to add to this thread on the subject of Asperger syndrome but a word on conspiracy theories and Jews.

        I am not actually all that heavily into conspiracy theories, even if I recognize that conspiracies do exist at times and the trajectory of Western developments since the Enlightenment and the emancipation of Jews, which has been one of simultaneous progression and regression. I think it highly unlikely that Jews practised human sacrifices on Passover with Christian children and that much of the hysteria and violence committed against Jews throughout history has been the result of envy of Jewish wealth and scapegoating. Having said that, Jews have always been contemptuous of the Christian faith and by claiming (falsely) to be God’s chosen people, in an exclusive covenant with God, do they not invite hatred and suspicion? And all this is exacerbated by their irredentist claim to Palestine. Having obstinately refused to recognize the True Messiah, Our Lord Jesus Christ, they imagine that they can bring about their own false messiah in a restored temple in Jerusalem. I have every confidence that they will achieve this objective. Antichrist, when he comes, will be a Jew. He will live in Jerusalem. He will probably be a humanitarian, with a Nobel Peace Prize (well if Henry Kissinger, another Jew, can win one…), favouring a two-state solution, and championing every progressive cause. He will be the glory of the world. I’m sure he’ll be very friendly with the Papacy!

        All that aside, there are a number of Jews whom I admire on a personal level: Moses Mendelssohn, historically, and in our own time Melanie Phillips. I’m not prejudiced!

  3. J.D. says:

    Indeed spiritual fathers are hard to find. I suppose these days I have pretty much given up looking for one. I pray the Horologion hours and what I can of the feasts,and I read scripture and commentaries on it but don’t do much else.

    I’m wary of anyone who styles themselves as “spiritual directors” I figure that if I try to remain humble and circumspect about things God won’t lead me astray.

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