Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna

International Day of Holocaust Remembrance

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Location: Zoom

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Dr. Edith Sheffer shares her research on the true story of Dr. Hans Asperger, whose groundbreaking work on children prompted a new era for People with Disabilities. Dr. Sheffer exposes the connection between Dr. Asperger's diagnosis and his complicity in Nazi racism and atrocities, including the murder of children. Join us as we remember these children and examine the role of medical collaborators during the Holocaust.

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Edith Sheffer is a historian of twentieth-century German Europe and a prize-winning author. Her current book, Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna was published in May 2018 with W. W. Norton. It investigates Hans Asperger’s creation of the autism diagnosis in the Third Reich, examining Nazi psychiatry's emphasis on social spirit and Asperger's involvement in the euthanasia program that killed children considered to be disabled. Her first book, Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain (Oxford University Press, 2011), challenges the moral myth of the Berlin Wall, the Cold War’s central symbol -- revealing how the Iron Curtain was not simply imposed by Communism, but emerged from the everyday actions of ordinary people. Sheffer's next book, Hidden Front: Switzerland and World War Two, tells an in-depth history of a nation whose pivotal role remains unexposed yet was decisive in the course of the Second World War.

Chhange educates, inspires, and empowers individuals to stand up to injustice.