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

W.W. Norton & Company
May 2018

Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna (W. W. Norton, forthcoming 2018) is the first book to investigate Hans Asperger’s creation of the autism diagnosis in the nightmarish context of Nazi Vienna and his involvement in the euthanasia program that killed children considered to be disabled. In telling the story of all children who faced diagnoses in the Third Reich -- and how Nazi psychiatry judged their minds and their fates -- the book illuminates and re-frames our understanding of the Third Reich as a diagnosis regime obsessed with sorting and categorizing the population.

A related project through Stanford's Spatial History Lab, "Forming Selves: The Creation of Child Psychiatry from Red Vienna to the Third Reich and Abroad," maps the transnational development of child psychiatry as a discipline, tracing linkages among its pioneers in Vienna in the 1930s through their emigration from the Third Reich and establishment of different practices in the 1940s in England and the United States.