Werner Villinger

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Werner Villinger (9 October 1887 in Besigheim – 8 August 1961 near Innsbruck) was a Nazi German psychiatrist, neurologist, eugenicist and the leading physician at the Bethel Institution ("Anstalt Bethel"). Villinger's specialities included juvenile delinquency, child guidance and group therapy. He was a Professor of Psychiatry at the Philipps University of Marburg and a leading member of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH).

Under the Germany's Nazi regime of the 1930s and '40s, Villinger acted as an expert in the government's T-4 Euthanasia Program.

On Social Welfare Education Day 1934, Villinger gave a speech on sterilization and described the reaction, fears and resistance of the boys involved.

He was involved in medical experiments on human beings and ordered thousands to their deaths during the Third Reich but supported Rev. Friedrich von Bodelschwingh's attempt to resist extermination of the mentally ill.[citation needed]

After World War II, Villinger continued his career in the Federal Republic of Germany and co-founded the Federal Ministry of Family, Youth and Health. He was honored by the German government.[citation needed]

Villinger attended the U.S. White House Conference on Children and Youth. In 1951, he became co-chairman of the WFMH Health and Human Relations Conference at Hiddesen-near-Detmold. In 1952, he was a member of a WFMH group on Educating the Public whose Annual Conference met in Brussels. In 1952, he was elected president of the German Association for Child and Youth Psychiatry, and in 1954 became the head of the medical department of Philipps University of Marburg.

In 1961, the German Federal Authorities announced their intent to try Villinger for his actions under the Nazi regime, but before he was brought to trial Villinger threw himself to his death off a mountain top near Innsbruck.

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