From Deutsche Zeitschrift to International Journal of Legal Medicine-100 years of legal medicine through the lens of journal articles : Part 1: Deutsche Zeitschrift für die gesamte gerichtliche Medizin from 1922 to 1944

Int J Legal Med. 2022 Nov;136(6):1897-1912. doi: 10.1007/s00414-022-02888-w. Epub 2022 Sep 30.


From its launc h in 1922 to the end of the Second World War, the Deutsche Zeitschrift für die gesamte gerichtliche Medizin spanned 38 volumes. The 1762 papers contained in those volumes reflect contemporary interests and include many papers from peripheral fields and non-medico-legal disciplines. Publications concerned with issues outside core legal medicine fields in particular allow two distinct tendencies in the development of German institutes of legal medicine to be discerned. Firstly, there is a focus on the psychological and psychiatric aspects of the discipline. Secondly, there is tendency towards a scientific-criminalistic outlook. The fatal consequences of the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 did not spare the sciences. For legal medicine, a discipline with close links to the state, it is unsurprising that fundamental changes to the political system had a significant impact on subject matter. Leaving aside articles notable principally for their ideological content, our analysis of the 38 volumes shows that the papers examined contain new insights into many subjects, some of which are still valid today.

Keywords: Academic articles; History of legal medicine; Official publications.

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes*
  • Forensic Medicine*
  • Germany
  • Humans