- 1973 – The American Psychiatric Association votes 13-0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II.
- 1911 – Nicholas P. Dallis, American psychiatrist and illustrator (d. 1991).
- 2005 – Heinrich Gross, Austrian physician and psychiatrist (b. 1914).
- 2010 – Eugene Victor Wolfenstein, American psychoanalyst and theorist (b. 1940).
Nicholas P. Dallis
Nicholas Peter Dallis (15 December 1911 to 06 July 1991), known as Nick Dallis, was an American psychiatrist turned comic strip writer, creator of the soap opera-style strips Rex Morgan MD, Judge Parker and Apartment 3-G. Separating his comics career from his medical practice, he wrote under pseudonyms, Dal Curtis for Rex Morgan MD, and Paul Nichols for Judge Parker.
Born in New York City, Nick Dallis grew up on Long Island. He graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in 1933 and from Temple University’s medical school in 1938 and married a nurse, Sarah Luddy. He decided to specialize in psychiatry, and after World War II, started a practice in Toledo, Ohio. Allen Saunders was chair at the time of the local mental hygiene centre that invited him there, and in his autobiography, he recalled that Dallis approached him, as a well-known comics writer (Steve Roper and Mike Nomad, Mary Worth), about “his desire to write a comic strip, one tracing the history of medicine. I told him that, commendable as his idea was, such a feature would not succeed. Readers want entertainment, not enlightenment. But a story about a handsome young doctor’s involvement with his patients might be a winner.”
Heinrich Gross (14 November 1915 to 15 December 2005) was an Austrian psychiatrist, medical doctor and neurologist, a reputed expert as a leading court-appointed psychiatrist, ill-famed for his proven involvement in the killing of at least nine children with physical, mental and/or emotional/behavioural characteristics considered “unclean” by the Nazi regime, under its Euthanasia Programme. His role in hundreds of other cases of infanticide is unclear. Gross was head of the Spiegelgrund children’s psychiatric clinic for two years during World War II.
A significant element of the controversy surrounding Gross’ activities is that after the children had been murdered, parts of their bodies, particularly their brains, were preserved and retained for future study for decades after the murders. It was only on 28 April 2002 that the preserved remains of these murdered children were finally buried.
Heinrich Gross was born in Vienna on 14 November 1915. His parents, Karl and Petronella Gross, were in the wool and knitwear business. His father died before Heinrich was born and his mother placed him in a Catholic boarding school for his early education. He graduated from a public high school in 1934 and received a medical degree in 1939 from the University of Vienna.
In 1932 Gross became a member of the Hitler Youth and joined the Sturmabteilung in 1934. He remained a member throughout the period 1934 to 1938 when these organisations were outlawed in Austria. After Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Gross joined the Nazi Party.
Euthanasia was commonly practiced long before the infamous Nazi concentration camps. The euthanasia programme was introduced to the German people as an efficient manner to obtain a Master Race for the Nazi people and an economic relief to families. As Nazi popularity grew and the economy still struggling these options were widely accepted by the German people. Am Spiegelgrund was a youth care facility on the grounds of a mental institution. From the years of 1940 to 1945 it was used for mentally handicapped adults or children. During their stay they suffered numerous forms of torture and up to 800 people were murdered there. Gross began in pavilion 15 in November 1940. By 1942 he had killed more children than any other doctor in the hospital. He became the leading psychiatrist and began studying the neurology of mentally handicapped children. With the passing of Aktion T4 the killings increased and Gross began to harvest the brains of his victims for further study. In 1943 Gross was called for military service returning pretty regularly for research until his capture in 1945.
In the same year of his overturned manslaughter case, Gross was allowed to resume his research at Rose Hill. In 1955, he completed his training as a specialist in nervous and mental diseases and became the head prison doctor or physician in the former Hospital and nursing home Am Steinhof. In 1957 he became the Chief court psychiatrist for men’s mental institutions. There he worked with the justice system in insanity cases and was the main decision maker in all sterilisation cases as well. He got promoted to the management of the “Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the study of the abnormalities of the nervous system” created specially for him in 1968. Gross worked as a reviewer and for years was considered the most busy court expert in Austria. In 1975 the Republic of Austria awarded him the medal für Wissenschaft und Kunst 1, of which he was stripped of in 2003. In 1975 it was realised that he had been involved in illegal killings during the Nazi occupation of Austria. Gross was stripped of many awards but continued serving as a court expert until he came under investigation in 1997 for nine counts of murder.
Eugene Victor Wolfenstein
Eugene Victor Wolfenstein (09 July 1940 to 15 December 2010) was an American social theorist, practicing psychoanalyst, and a professor of political science at University of California, Los Angeles.
Wolfenstein graduated with his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Columbia College in 1962. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Wolfenstein received his Master of Arts in political science in 1964 and his PhD in political science in 1965 from Princeton University. Wolfenstein became a professor of political science at UCLA.
He also completed a PhD in psychoanalysis from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute in 1984. He was the member of the faculty of the institute from 1988 to 2004. Moreover, he was in private practice from the time he received his degree up to the time of his death.
Wolfenstein worked in the critical theory tradition, with a focus on African American culture and social movements. In his book The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution, he used a theory of the interaction between social classes and psychological groups to analyse white racism and the black liberation struggle. He developed a more general version of this theory in Psychoanalytic-Marxism: Groundwork (1993) and refined it further through engagement with Nietzsche’s philosophy in Inside/Outside Nietzsche: Psychoanalytic Explorations (2000). These later works add a concern with gender identity to the earlier agenda. His research is in the area of African-American narrative. A Gift of the Spirit: Reading THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK (2007) offered a sustained reconstruction of W.E.B. Du Bois’s canonical text. A further study entitled “Talking Books: Toni Morrison Among the Ancestors” was published right before his death.
He was a professor at UCLA. At the undergraduate level, he taught the lower division Introduction to Political Theory, along with Ancient Political Theory, African-American Freedom Narratives, Malcolm X and Black Liberation, Marxist Political Theory, and an occasional seminar on Platonic Dialectic and Spiritual Liberation. At the graduate level, he focused on major works of Du Bois, Foucault, Freud, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche, along with the related critical literatures.
His main interests were History of Political Theory, Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory and Feminist Theory.