Hans Asperger

New research reveals that the physician behind Asperger’s syndrome was an active participant in Nazi eugenics

On 1 July 1941, a young Austrian physician named Hans Asperger signed a document transferring a toddler named Herta Schreiber to Spiegelgrund, an asylum for mentally ill children on the outskirts of Vienna. Two-year-old Herta had suffered diphtheria and meningitis, leaving her severely disabled. She “must present an unbearable burden to her mother,” Asperger, then […]

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History News Network : An Interview with Edith Sheffer

Interview with Edith Sheffer by Robin Lindley, a Seattle-based writer and attorney, and the features editor of the History News Network.  Professor Sheffer generously spoke by telephone on the evolution of her new book about Asperger and her original research. Robin Lindley: What inspired you to investigate and write about the life of Dr. Hans Asperger and […]

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History News Network Review: Edith Sheffer’s Amazing Book, “Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna”

History News Network Edith Sheffer Asperger's Children Book Review

  The appalling story behind the man Asperger’s is named for. Outside of a few endnotes, this book never mentions Steve Silberman’s NeuroTribes. That’s remarkable, because for all practical purposes, Asperger’s Children is a through point-by-point demolition of Silberman’s saintly portrait of Hans Asperger, based on honest research by a real historian. Edith Sheffer is a Senior Fellow […]

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The Guardian: Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna – review

  What’s in a name? Ever since 1981, when the writing of Austrian paediatrician Hans Asperger was introduced to an English-language audience, autism professionals have embraced Asperger syndrome (AS) as a condition. It excludes the most debilitating intellectual, communication and physical difficulties associated with classic autism. Between 1994 and 2013, AS was an official diagnosis […]

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The Sunday Times Review: Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna by Edith Sheffer — a venerated doctor’s dark secrets

Across the medical world, Dr Hans Asperger has been been regarded with a kind of reverance. Not only is his name immortalised as a medical term for those on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, he spent many years looking after such people within the Austrian mental care system. But as Edith Sheffer, an […]

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Open Letters Review: A fascinating examination of the unnerving history behind a common diagnosis.

Open Letters Review: Asperger's Children Book

Diagnoses of autism in the US in the last quarter-century have dramatically increased in both number and subtlety, as both psychiatrists and the general public have grown more knowledgeable and sensitive to detecting and understanding what autism is and how it manifests itself. Although the term autism was first introduced in 1911 by Swiss psychiatrist […]

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