Talk:Hans Berger

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Is there any information on why Hans became interested in medical work, specifically within the brain? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Albright (talkcontribs) 05:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I have added information about the impulse that drove his lifelong interest in the field. Hu 12:15, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

There is a picture of Hans Berger on wikicommons: , unfortunately I don't have the permission to change the article. --Taolon (talk) 10:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


I have some doubts about the following sentence: "Hans Berger was a member of the SS.[2] When in 1941 the SS racial hygienist Karl Astel asked him to again work for the EGOG (Court for Genetic Health), Berger replied on the 4th of March: "I'm gladly willing to work as an assessor at the Court for Genetic Health in Jena, for which I thank you"." Can someone check the source to be sure? The doubts came from some strange things in what is written: a) apparently the "Court for Genetic Health" has nothing to do with the SS (you can check both on Wikipedia EN and DE). So I don't understand why Berger should be an SS if he was working in that Court. b) "Karl Astel asked him to again work" why AGAIN?. c) Astel asked Berger in 1941, but if you check on Astel's page and on the Court one, Astel was in charge only until 1937. How could he ask him to work in a place he's not anymore in charge? d) where the acronym EGOG came from? In German, it's Erbgesundheitsgericht, so no O in the word, moreover, the acronym is never cited anywhere, neither in the German page of the Erbgesundheitsgericht. A final consideration: Berger replied to Astel on the 4th of March and he committed suicide on the 1st of June. It is claimed (but without any source) that he committed suicide because of the consequences of the war (that was not really going to finish in 1941), so it seems that he had some concerns. Can we really state that he was an SS or a Nazi because he joined after his retirement the Court for 3 months? I mean, we have no doubts here that what it was happening was terribly wrong, but to me it doesn't look like Berger was playing really an active role in Nazism. Tsu451 (talk) 17:38, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Hello. I readded the info with the sources. The archive of the University of Jena contains (according to the Böhlau book) the primary source for Berger's SS-membership. (I didn't fly to Jena, though - the Böhlau book is a serious publication. It is an investigation into the involvement of scientists with the Nazi regime.) (talk) 13:50, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Apropos Berger as Nazi[edit]

Hans Berger was a member of the SS. One can read his willingness to work together with the SS hygienist Karl Astel by looking at the quotation from his letter. Karl Astel by the way enforced strictly racial guidelines (he also played an important role in the so-called Aryan certificate). So, in which way is the mentioned source a "verifiable ... source" – based on what facts from primary sources was the SS member Berger "opposed to the state"?
How can you think that this is not dubious?
Sincerely, (talk) 22:26, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
PS If you judge the sentence a conjecture which I added and which – as I traced back – has been there for a long time (next to adjacent statements inserted by German Wikipedia authors who provided sources (goodwill ... right?), well, then you can erase a high percentage of the whole English article, naming it a conjecture.
And why call it innuendo? Berger retired at the regular age – there was absolutely no reason "to force him into retirement". It just doesn't make sense, does it? The German Wikipedia says, that he was made head of a clinic again in 1939 – i.e. working again after regular retirement - this was the year, when the SS doctor Karl Astel became rector of the University of Jena. It's not innuendo. It's a straight argument, sounding much more plausible to me.
Do you think it's impossible, that the *.gov-sources err? What are their primary sources? Is it possible to find out how they came to this conclusion?

Thanks for your message. Let me reply by making two essential points 1) The problem here is straightforward: you're relying far too much on your own original research and personal interpretation. To be an ethical Wikipedia editor means reading the Guidelines through and adhering to them. You write: "you can erase a high percentage of the whole English article, naming it a conjecture." Sure, if what's written is OR (original research) but not when texts are based on bonafide sources - which means any published source with authority that can be readily checked. It doesn't matter what I think or what you think "makes sense" or what "sounds more plausible" at Wikipedia: what matters is a neutral point of view backed up by sources. A basic Wikipedia guideline: please read - or re-read. 2) To comply with Wikipedia's Guidelines concerning controversial claims based on verifiable sources, I would ask you to please provide further details other than simple page numbers in a German-language volume that the majority of English-speaking editors working here will find impossible to verify. Given the gravity of the claim that Berger was an SS member etc., it's imperative to include on this Talk Page the German text of said claim in the Böhlau Verlag volume as well the German text at the University of Jena. While it is absolutely out of the question to white-wash Berger's reputation if the facts clearly state that he was an SS member in sympathy with the regime, it is another matter to besmirch his reputation at Wikipedia without basing it on published documents (not that I'm accusing you of doing so as that is not my intention). What is necessary is to double-check the sources you've provided, especially in view of the arguments put forward by Tsu451 which I endorse. Given that the Böhlau volume is a fairly recent German publication (2005), it's more than likely that official English-language updates of Berger's career are still-in-progress as you suggest. It's also imperative to check rapidly your University of Jena Archive source so as to have it on file for any legal action that may be brought against Wikipedia for asserting claims it cannot defend. If these two requests to double-check your sources cannot be provided within a reasonable delay, I will challenge your statements by removing them as per Wikipedia Guidelines until a consensus on the matter can be reached. --Jumbolino (talk) 23:03, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Herewith a verifiable online source for the Böhlau volume together with the exact German citation as follows: "Als ihn 1941 Karl Astel bat, erneut am EGOG Jena tätig zu werden, teilte Berger mit: Ich bin sehr gerne bereit, wieder als Beisitzer beim Erbgesundheitsobergericht in Jena mitzuwirken und danke Ihnen dafür". Ein Einsatz Bergers erfolgte nicht mehr, da er sich am 1. Juni 1941 im „Zustand tiefster Depressionen“ das Leben nahm." In "Kämpferische Wissenschaft" - Studien zur Universität Jena im Nationalsozialismus, Hoßfeld, John, Lemuth, Stutz (2003), p. 414. Google Books As for the statement, "The official archives of the University of Jena also show that he was a member of the SS" and its source, "Universitätsarchiv Jena (Archive of the University of Jena), Bestand D (Inventory D), Nr. 1019, Nr. 1089, Nr. 1691, Nr. 2708, Nr. 176", I cannot verify it and would be grateful for an online source or equivalent. --Jumbolino (talk) 02:14, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Dr. Susanne Zimmermann is a medical historian at the University of Jena with access to historical archives. An English-language account of her documentation on Hans Berger's Nazi collaborations was published in R. Douglas Fields (2009), The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, 150-151. The online source can be found here: Google Books --Jumbolino (talk) 21:45, 24 December 2010 (UTC)