Board Transition at Klinik Arlesheim AG

The current Chairman of the Board, Philipp Schneider, is retiring. Alexander Schwedeler and Kalle Zeller will jointly chair the Board of Directors of Klinik Arlesheim AG.

 … >>

Presentation of the book ‘Anthroposophy and National Socialism. The Anthroposophical Medical Profession’

In the unique atmosphere of the preserved lecture theatre ruins of the Charité Medical History Museum in Berlin, a book presentation followed by a panel discussion shed light on a hitherto little-known chapter in the history of medicine.

 … >>

Science Congress on Integrative Medicine in Basel - latest research news

A conference took place in Basel on 9 September to review the latest research in integrative medicine.

 … >>

Presentation of the book ‘Anthroposophy and National Socialism. The Anthroposophical Medical Profession’

From left to right: S. Seitz, A. Ley, F. Bruns, T. Beddies, P. Selg. Picture: DAMiD e.V.

Recently, the renowned publishing house Schwabe Verlag published a work that provides a well-founded insight into the history of the anthroposophical medical profession during the National Socialist era. The book, entitled ‘Anthroposophy and National Socialism. The Anthroposophical Medical Profession’ sheds light on the complex dynamics with which the medical profession was confronted within the health system of the National Socialist regime. This book is the first in a series of three. The other volumes will be published by the end of 2025, concluding the project.

This work was written after eight years of intensive research by Professor Dr Peter Selg, historian Susanne H. Gross and historian Matthias Mochner. It provides detailed and source-based analysis, not only of previously published material, but also of hundreds of files from dozens of archives. The research was carried out with the advice of two medical historians from the Charité, Prof Dr Thomas Beddies and Prof Dr Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach. They discussed both the implementation of the extensive research and the sometimes surprising results.

The book describes the history of anthroposophic medicine from 1920 and the reactions of the anthroposophic movement to the Nazi takeover. It looks at the behaviour of the Nazi regime towards the Anthroposophical Society, individual professional groups and institutions. In particular, the behaviour of the anthroposophical medical profession in Germany is examined, including its integration into the 'Reichsarbeitsgemeinschaft für eine Neue Deutsche Heilkunde'. The percentage of anthroposophic doctors who were members of Nazi organisations was far below the average for German doctors. For the NSDAP, for example, it was 10 per cent, whereas in the general German medical profession over 40 per cent were NSDAP members. But even in this small group there were serious offences, which are described in detail.

The differentiated examination of the years 1933 to 1945 shows all the shades between collaboration and resistance. The study concludes with the dramatic escape routes of anthroposophical doctors of Jewish origin. 'Anthroposophy and National Socialism. The Anthroposophical Medical Profession' offers an insightful analysis that captures the complexity of historical reality. It is an important work for historians, physicians and those interested in the history of medicine and ethics.

The presentation

The presentation of the book took place on 23 May 2024 during an event at the Museum of Medical History of the Charité. The work was presented in the presence of media representatives from the specialist and general press, as well as guests. Peter Selg began with a presentation of the methodology and key findings of the study, followed by a panel discussion. Peter Selg was joined on the panel by Thomas Beddies, Dr Astrid Ley (Deputy Director of the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum) and Prof Florian Bruns (Director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at the Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Dresden) to discuss the results of the study and its contribution to research into Nazi medicine.  Prof Schmiedebach had to cancel due to illness. After the experts had answered the audience's lively questions, the event came to an end. The well-known medical journalist Sybille Seitz hosted the entire event.

Foundations helped fund the research

The research project was made possible by the support of a number of sponsors. The Mahle Foundation, the Software AG Foundation, the Christophorus Foundation, the Hauschka Foundation, the Rudolf Steiner Fund for Scientific Research and a private individual all contributed to the financing of the study and the publication of the work, thus opening up another chapter in the history of Nazi medicine.


The book

Peter Selg, Susanne H. Gross, Matthias Mochner / Anthroposophie und Nationalsozialismus. Die anthroposophische Ärzteschaft / Schwabe Verlag Basel Berlin 2024 / ISBN 978-3-7965-5028-7 / Also available as e-book

Peter Selg, Prof. Dr med., teaches medical anthropology and ethics (Alfter, Witten/Herdecke). He heads the Ita Wegman Institute and is a member of the Goetheanum Executive Board (Switzerland).

Susanne H. Gross, historian, researches Jewish victims of National Socialism. She also works at the Ita Wegman Archive.

Matthias Mochner is an historian and freelance journalist. He has published on the life and work of Paul Schatz, biodynamic farming and organic architecture.


Press contact

Michael Kyriakopoulos
Dachverband Anthroposophische Medizin in Deutschland e.V. (DAMiD)
T: +49-30-28 87 70 96
F: +49-30-97 89 38 69

DAMiD represents anthroposophic medicine in all areas of the German healthcare system. As an umbrella organisation, the association represents the overarching concerns and interests of its members. Between the member there  are professional associations, hospital associations, non-profit organisations for the elderly and the disabled and the pharmaceutical companies producing anthroposophic medicines.

Go back