An assessment of what Hans Asperger knew about child euthanasia in Vienna during the Nazi occupation

The following abstract appeared online ahead of the article’s full publication. The same adds additional information to some of the previous blogs posted in corticalchauvinism. For those interested in following the publication, its citation is as follows: Acta Paediatr. 2022 Oct 14. doi: 10.1111/apa.16571. Online ahead of print. The authors and their affiliations are as follows: Ernst Tatzer  1 Werner Maleczek  2 Franz Waldhauser  3


  • 1 NÖ Heilpädagogisches Zentrum Hinterbrühl.
  • 2 Institut für österreichische Geschichtsforschung, University of Vienna.
  • 3 Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Medical University of Vienna.


Aim: Hans Asperger is probably best known for Asperger syndrome. However, he has been accused of knowingly and willingly participating in the National Socialist Child Euthanasia programme by referring patients to the Am Spiegelgrund children’s home in Vienna. This later became notorious for euthanising disabled children. We investigated those allegations.

Methods: Clinicians and historians examined original documents and transcripts related to Asperger’s referrals from the Viennese Therapeutic Pedagogy Unit, and corresponding Am Spiegelgrund admissions, up to 25 March 1943, when he was drafted.

Results: Asperger referred 13 children to Am Spiegelgrund. Eleven survived and apparently received adequate care that allowed them to achieve positive developments, but two girls died. Asperger referred these two girls during June and October 1941, before most of the deaths at Am Spiegelgrund occurred and before its euthanasia programme became public knowledge. Our detailed investigation of the medical records, Unit referral practices and Am Spiegelgrund provided no evidence that Asperger knew about the euthanasia programme at the time of the referrals. One death was probably due to euthanasia, but the other was less clear.

Conclusion: There was no evidence that Asperger knew about the euthanasia programme when he referred two patients who died at Am Spiegelgrund.

4 responses to “An assessment of what Hans Asperger knew about child euthanasia in Vienna during the Nazi occupation

  1. Asperger’s 1944 “paper” was longer than many “books”. In the context that he was writing in Hitler’s Germany one would expect to find some telling phrases somewhere in that lot if he really was an invalid-despising thug or even a willing avoider of boat-rocking. And somehow I guess someone would have pointed it out to us already…. Cheers, Robin P Clarke

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks for doing the research on this, it is certainly a controversial political topic today. I greatly appreciate the links to the papers as part of your research (not only on this article)


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