The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany (Cambridge Studies in the History of Psychology)
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It has been widely believed that psychology in Germany, faced with political antipathy and mass emigration of its leading minds, withered under National Socialism. Yet in The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany, Ulfried Geuter tells a radically different story of how German psychology, rather than disappearing, rapidly grew into a fully developed profession under the Third Reich. Author Geuter makes it clear that the rising demands of a modern industrial nation preparing for war afforded the field with a unique opportunity: to transform itself from a marginal academic discipline into a state sanctioned profession. This opportunity was mainly presented by Wehrmacht (the German army), whose demand for psychological expertise led to increasing support for academic departments. The relevance of this book goes beyond the history of German psychology. Its conclusion--that psychology in Germany grew through its alliance with the interests of the army, the industry, and the ruling regime--points toward the larger issue behind the particulars: the tangled relations among science, professional expertise, and state power in modern society. Based on previously restricted archival material and extensive interviews with participating psychologists of the era, The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany was universally hailed as a benchmark work in the history of psychology upon its publication in Germany. Now, ably translated by Richard Holmes, it is finally available to an English-speaking audience.
hands of physicians, so that they had no professional contact with the business of killing, at least as far as we know. It remains an open question whether individual psychologists already worked in psychiatric clinics and were involved in the selection of people for euthanasia. 4 With the killing of undesired members of the population, eugenics and racial hygiene came into their own. As Weingart (1985) notes, these were not moused by the Nazis, but their ideas were applied with murderous
expressed more explicitly, and they were given more weight. This was ensured by a new appointment procedure, which created a number of opportunities for the Reich government and the party to influence the results. The appointment procedure Before the Third Reich, the procedure for appointments was that the faculty recommended a successor when posts become vacant. Usually a "short list" of three was drawn up, but occasionally a single person was named, as when Krueger was appointed to succeed
SCHULTZE (subst.) I SCHOLE (subst.) ACH Vacant PFAHLER T Vacant BOLLNOW (Psy. Ped.) PFAHLER (subst.) T PETERMANN (Psy. Ped.) Vacant _L von Allesch 1 Schole (Phil. Ped.) Metzger (subst.) i VON ALLESCH (Psy.) Vacant VON ALLESCH (Psy. Phil.) 4 _L HEISS (Phil. Psy.) WILDE (Ass. Prof. Psy.) _L ANSCHUTZ (Ass. Prof. Psy.) WELLEK WILDE HEISS BOLLNOW VON ALLESCH Schole WILDE ANSCHUTZ The professionalization of psychology 78 Table 5. (cont.) Heidelberg**' Jenafl Kiel"
Betriebsfuhrung (Office for Vocational Training and Works Management) Berufsverband deutscher Psychologen (Professional Association of German Psychologists) Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Psychologie (German Society for Psychology) German Institute for (Nazi) Technical Training Diplom-Priifungsordnung (Diploma Examination Regulations) Deutsche Wissenschaft Erziehung und Volksbildung Industrielle Psychotechnik Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences National Socialist Lecturers' League
Experimental Psychology at Miinster's Philosophical Seminar under Professor Richard Hellmuth Goldschmidt, was prohibited. Nevertheless, the Inspectorate for Weapons and Equipment undertook the evaluation of psychotechnics during the war. The work was assigned to Johann Baptist Rieffert, an instructor in Berlin, who began in 1920 and was to head Army Psychology until 1931. Since the Army High Command felt the results were positive, regular and medical officers were to recommence testing