Preamble

Following the advent of the National Socialist regime in the year 1938, more than 2,700 mostly Jewish affiliates of the University of Vienna were dismissed and subsequently driven away and/or murdered - lecturers, students and administration employees. Furthermore, over 200 people were stripped of their academic titles.
In 2008, 70 years after the so-called "Anschluss" [annexation] and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the "Kristallnacht" [Crystal Night], the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and  ...

person

Alexander Pilcz

  • Born: 08-02-1871
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
  • Category: expelled teacher

Alexander PILCZ (born on August 2nd, 1871 in Graz, died on January 30th, 1954 in Vienna) was an extraordinary professor for Psychologie und Neurologie at the Medical School of the University of Vienna.
He was persecuted in times of Nazism because of his political orientation lost his position and was thrown out of the university on April 22nd, 1938.

Pilcz attended the imperial-royal state secondary school in Vienna’s 9thdistrict (Wasagasse) and began studying medicine[1] at the University of Vienna in 1889. He obtained his medical doctorate in 1895. Following this, he became an assistant at the Medical Clinic under Edmund von Neusser as well as at the neurological institute under Heinrich Obersteiner. From 1896 on he was an assistant at the so-called Niederoesterreichische Landesirrenanstalt Wien (Lower Austrian Lunatic Asylum Vienna) under Adalbert Tilkowsky and became a student and long-standing assistant of Julius Wagner-Jauregg[2] at the 1st Psychiatric Clinic. [3] Here he acted as officiating head beginning in 1902, after his teacher took over as head of the 2nd Psychiatric Clinic. In that same year Pilcz habilitated for psychiatry and neurology[4] at the University of Vienna with the paper "Periodische Geistesstoerungen". [5] In 1907 he received the title of associate professor and then[6] was the chief of medicine at the provincial sanatorium of Lower Austria, "Am Steinhof", in Vienna until 1909.[7]

During the First World War, from 1914 until 1917, he was the chief of medicine of the psychiatric-neurological department of the military hospital in Vienna and also a consultant for the military medicine committee in Vienna. From 1917 until the end of the war he only worked as a consultant for the committee.[8] The next step in Pilcz’s academic career followed in 1921: He was made an unsalaried associate professor.[9] He also worked at the Heilanstalt fuer Kopfverletzte, Nerven- und Gemuetskranke, the former Obersteiner-sanatorium, until 1938.[10]

Politically, Pilcz had an affinity to Catholicism and the authoritarian corporative state. Already on June 16th, 1933 - more than a year before the mandatory membership for civil servants was introduced - he joined the Vaterlaendische Front (Fatherland’s Front) with the membership number 37,472.[11] He was a member of the fraternity "Austria" of the Cartellverband (umbrella organization of Christian student fraternities, CV).[12] According to a political assessment from the Nazi era he also was an honorary member of the CV. He furthermore was a member of the Catholic St.-Lukas-Guild[13] as well as the Leo-Society.[14]

Because of these memberships and the resulting connection to Austro-Fascism, Pilcz was "suspended until further notice" after the "Anschluss", as of April 22nd, 1938.[15] Apart from the political ones, "racial" reasons also were decisive for this and other measures against him: Pilcz was apparently considered a "Mischling 2. Grades" ("quarter-Jew") - in a political report by the Ortsgruppenleitung (local group leadership) from March 1942 he is cited as a "quarter-Jew".[16] Older evaluations name him as a "half-Jew"[17] (Kreisleitung I, district committee, 1938) or as a "Jew" (Gauleitung, Gau head office).[18] At the same time, Pilcz had also gained some renown through racial-psychiatric studies, such as his "Beitraege zur vergleichenden Rassenpsychiatrie" (1906).[19] At the start of the 20th century he had, for example, found a disproportionally high number of Jews among the patients of the 1st Psychiatric Clinic and had determined an especially high rate of occurrence of hysteria for this group.[20]

After his suspension he was sent into forced retirement at the end of March 1940 according to §3 of the career civil servant act, which stood for "racial" reasons.[21] No further scientific activity or employment in general is recorded for the rest of the Nazi era. He is, for example, not cited in the Reich doctors’ registry.[22] Although Pilcz was listed in a "Gegnerkartei" ("Enemy File") at the beginning of the National Socialist rule in Austria and all evaluations were negative,[23] the Ortsgruppenleitung wrote in March 1942 that his attitude "toward the state and the party [was] positive". Pilcz was a member of the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (National Socialist People’s Welfare, NSV).[24]

After the end of the war, Pilcz did not return to the University of Vienna due to his advanced age - at that time he already was 73 years old.

Pilcz above all became well-known for his work on "periodical insanity" as well as on "myxematose insanity". His "Lehrbuch der speziellen Psychiatrie" (1904) was the standard reference in German for many years.[25] Among his most famous works are also "Die periodischen Geistesstoerungen" (1901), "Hygiene des Nervensystems" (1925) and "Die Anfangsstadien der wichtigsten Geisteskrankheiten" (1928).[26]

Among other things, he was an honorary member of the Neurological Association Philadelphia, corresponding member of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain, the Neurologia Tokyo and the Société de Médico-psychologique Paris, a member of the Association of German Psychiatrists and Neurologists as well as the Society of Doctors in Vienna.[27]

 

 


[1] OeStA/AVA, PA, k. k. Min. f. Cultus und Unterricht, Nr. 28237-1902, Curriculum vitae, o. D.

[2] Vgl. Robert Teichl, Oesterreicher der Gegenwart. Lexikon schoepferischer und schaffender Zeitgenossen, Vienna 1951.

[3] Isidor Fischer (ed.), Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte der letzten fuenfzig Jahre. Bd. 2, Berlin - Vienna 1933.

[4] Alma Kreuter, Deutschsprachige Neurologen und Psychiater. Ein biographisch-bibliographisches Lexikon von den Vorlaeufern bis zur Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Munich – New Providence – London – Paris 1996.

[5] Franz Planer (ed.), Das Jahrbuch der Wiener Gesellschaft, Vienna 1929.

[6] Vgl. Teichl, Oesterreicher.

[7] Kreuter, Neurologen.

[8] OeStA/AVA, fol. 80, Curriculum viate, o. D.

[9] Vgl. OeStA/AVA, PA.

[10] Vgl. Michael Hubenstorf, Oesterreichische Schulen der Psychiatrie und Neurologie, in: Eberhard Gebriel/Wolfgang Neugebauer (eds.), Von der Zwangssterilisierung zur Ermordung. Zur Geschichte der NS-Euthanasie in Wien. Teil II, Vienna – Cologne – Weimar 2002, 409.

[11] OeStA/AVA, fol. 16, Vaterlaendische Front/Bezirk Josefstadt an die Landesfuehrung der VF/Informationsdienst, 1. 6. 1937.

[12] OeStA/AdR, GA, fol. 7, Hinweis mit allgemeinen Daten zu Pilcz, o. D.

[13] Ebd., Politische Beurteilung des Personalamtes des Kreises I an die NSDAP-Gauleitung Wien/Gau-Personalamt, o. D. (Anfrage der Gauleitung datiert vom 25. 8. 1938). Im Original heißt es: "Ehrenmitglied der CV Verbindung i. d. Kath. Lukasgilde d. Aerzte VF."

[14] Ebd., fol. 2, Aktenvermerk des Gaupersonalamtes, 21. 1. 1944.

[15] UA, RA GZ 677-1937/38, O.-Nr. 62, Oesterreichisches Unterrichtsministerium an Rektorat, 22. 4. 1938.

[16] OeStA/AVA, PA, fol. 8 (back), Beurteilung der Ortsgruppenleitung, 19. 3. 1942.

[17] OeStA/AdR, GA, Politische Beurteilung des Personalamtes des Kreises I an die NSDAP-Gauleitung Wien/Gau-Personalamt, o. D. (Anfrage der Gauleitung datiert vom 25. 8. 1938).

[18] OeStA/AVA, GA, fol. 12, Gauleitung Wien, Betriebserhebung zu Pilcz, 31. 8. 1938.

[19] Teichl, Oesterreicher.

[20] Klaus Hoedl, Performative Beitraege zum Diskurs ueber den "effeminierten Juden", in: Annette Runte/Eva Werth (eds.), Feminisierung der Kultur? Krisen der Maennlichkeit und weiblichen Avantgarden, Wuerzburg 2007, 137-155, 141.

[21] OeStA/AVA, PA, Min. f. i. u. k. A. GZ 356490-2d/39, Reichskommissar fuer die Wiedervereinigung Oesterreichs mit dem Deutschen Reich an Pilcz, 21. 12. 1939.

[22] Vgl. BArch, Reichsaerzteregister.

[23] OeStA/AVA, PA, fol. 8, NSDAP-Gauleitung Wien/Gaupersonalamt an NSDAP Gau Wien Kreis I/Kreispersonalamtsleiter, 27. 10. 1941.

[24] Ebd., fol. 8 (back), Beurteilung der Ortsgruppenleitung, 19. 3. 1942.

[25] Hans Hoff, Nachruf, in: Die Feierliche Inauguration des Rektors der Wiener Universitaet fuer das Studienjahr 1954/55, Wien 1955, 49.

[26] Wilhelm Kosch, Das katholische Deutschland. Bd. 2. Augsburg 1937.

[27] Planer, Jahrbuch.

 

Lit.: archival records in BArch: Reichsaerzteregister; im OeStA/AVA: PA Pilcz; in OeStA/AdR/BMI: GA Pilcz (Nr. 2.564); im UAW: MED PA 404, RA GZ 677 ex 1937/38;
FISCHER 1932/1933, Bd. 2; Wilhelm Kosch, Das katholische Deutschland. Vol. 2. Augsburg 1937; Alma Kreuter, Deutschsprachige Neurologen und Psychiater. Ein biographisch-bibliographisches Lexikon von den Vorlaeufern bis zur Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Munich et al. 1996; PLANER 1929; TEICHL 1951; Klaus Hoedl, Performative Beitraege zum Diskurs ueber den "effeminierten Juden", in: Annette Runte/Eva Werth (eds.), Feminisierung der Kultur? Krisen der Maennlichkeit und weiblichen Avantgarden, Wuerzburg 2007, 137-155; Hans Hoff, Nachruf, in: Die Feierliche Inauguration des Rektors der Wiener Universitaet fuer das Studienjahr 1954/55, Vienna 1955; Michael Hubenstorf, Oesterreichische Schulen der Psychiatrie und Neurologie, in: Eberhard Gebriel/Wolfgang Neugebauer (eds.), Von der Zwangssterilisierung zur Ermordung. Zur Geschichte der NS-Euthanasie in Wien. Vol. II, Vienna et al. 2002; MERINSKY 1980, 195-196; UB MedUni Wien/van Swieten Blog.

Andreas Huber




zuletzt aktualisiert am 18.03.2018

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