Thirty neurological eponyms associated with the nazi era

Eur Neurol. 2009;62(1):56-64. doi: 10.1159/000215880. Epub 2009 Apr 30.


In the 1920s, the neurosciences in Germany were world-class. Then came Hitler's regime, and with it 2 distinct changes happened to the research milieus in Berlin and elsewhere. First, the persecution of Jews and others deprived Germany of many of its most outstanding scientists. Second, numerous German and Austrian physicians became active in National Socialist (NS)-euthanasia programs. In recent years, the medical community has become more aware of the ethical burden associated with eponyms derived from scientists of the Third Reich. Yet a list of these eponyms with emphasis on clinical neurology is still missing. This paper therefore reviews 30 neurological eponyms derived from 29 physicians who lived in the Nazi era. Among them are victims who were forced out of the country or murdered in concentration camps, protestors who risked their academic careers and often their lives, beneficiaries who published on brains from 'euthanized' children, and collaborators who were directly involved in the planning and execution of NS-euthanasia programs.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Eponyms*
  • Germany
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • National Socialism / history*
  • Neurology / history*