University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Autism under the Nazis

Autism under the Nazis

Tuesday, April 19, 4:00PM
1210 Heller Hall
EDITH SHEFFER, Stanford University
'No Soul': Hans Asperger and the Nazi Origins of Autism

Sponsored by the Center for Austrian Studies, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Center for German and European Studies.

This talk examines Hans Asperger's development of the autism diagnosis Nazi Vienna, uncovering his intellectual and professional networks in Nazi psychiatry and his involvement in the Nazi euthanasia program that murdered disabled children.

Edith Sheffer is an Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Stanford University. She was an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Stanford before joining the faculty, and received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Sheffer's first book, Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain (Oxford University Press, 2011) examined how the physical barrier between East and West Germany was not simply imposed by communism but was created by both east and west, as well as by the actions of ordinary people who lived along it. Burned Bridge is the recipient of three prizes, including the American Historical Association's Paul Birdsal Prize. Sheffer's has two current book projects: on the history of Hans Asperger's research on autism in Nazi Vienna and the role of Switzerland during World War Two.