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

Martin Fischer

  • Born: 05-22-1913
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
  • Category: expelled student

Martin FISCHER, born on May 22nd, 1913 in Kamionka Strumiłowa, Galicia/Austro-Hungarian Empire [later Poland, then USSR, today: Kamjanka-Buska | Кам'янка-Бузька/Ukraine] (entitled residency ('heimatberechtigt') for Vienna/Austria, Citizenship: Austria), son of Ephraim Fischer (plumber assistant), lived in Vienna's 2nd district, Radingerstrasse 13/27. After he had graduated from high school (Bundesgymnasium in Viennas 2nd district, Zirkusgsse 48) in 1933 he began to study at the Medical School of the University of Vienna in fall term 1933/34. He was enrolled finally in the spring term 1938 at the Medical School in the 4th year of his studies. He could continue his studies in the context of the numerus clausus of Jewish students until the end of the spring term 1938 (spring term 1938 was validated on October 5th, 1938), but he was not allowed to finish his studies in Vienna.

Martin Fischer tried to flee from Vienna but was arrested in attempting to get a visa and was interned in the Rossauer Laende police prison, later transferred to Salzburg, where he was forced to work in a road-building gang. He was finally released in April 1939 - presumably with the support of the "Central British Fund for Jewish Refugees" - and was able to obtain a visa for Great Britain and to emigrate there. Immediately after his arrival, however, he was interned as in "Richborough Refugee Camp" in Kent, then transformed to "Kitchener Camp  Palmerston, Kent" to house male Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. After the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, public opinion turned against German-speaking refugees, who some suspected of being spies or saboteurs and people were interned or deported to Australia and Canada. So Martin Fischer was interned for a few weeks in Hutchinson Internment Camp in Douglas on the Isle of Man before being taken by ship to Canada. Eleven internment camps had been set up by the Canadian military in different provinces. Martin Fischer was transferred to the Fort Lennox Camp in Îsle Aux Noix, Quebec in July 1940, near to the Canadian-American border. After 18 months in the Fort Lennox camp, a doctor from Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, was found, which enabled him to leave the camp to study medicine at the University of Toronto, where he received his doctorate in 1943. Subsequently he began his psychiatric training.

Based on Sigmund Freud‘s theories on the unconscious Martin Fischer recognized art – like dreams – as a way to uncover the unconscious. He became a pioneer in the field of art therapy in Canada and began offering this form of therapy to his psychiatric patients at Ontario Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in Toronto in 1947. After opening a private psychiatric practice in 1949 in Toronto, he opened it up also to his private patients. As a consultant for the Ontario Children’s Aid Society, he introduced art therapy for children. In order to gain wider acceptance for this this form of therapy, he established the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI ) in 1968 as the first art therapy training program in Canada. In 1977 he founded the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and became its first president. In 1982 he was also instrumental in the founding of the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI).

He practised for 46 years as a psychiatrist in Toronto, was internationally recognized for his work in the fields of residential treatment for severely disturbed children and adolescents, group therapy and the development of art therapy as a profession. In 1989 he received the Glen Sawyer-award of the Ontario Medical Association for his contribution to the community.

He died in 1992 in Toronto, Canada.


Lit.: Archive of the University of Vienna/enrollment forms ("Nationale") MED 1933-1938; POSCH/INGRISCH/DRESSEL 2008, 383; information of his children Steven Fischer, Toronto 11/2010, Dr. Erica Fischer, 08/2011 and Philip Fischer, Toronto 09/2020; Toronto Art Therapy Institute; Vancouver Art Therapy Institute; Arts in Health & Care.


Katharina Kniefacz and Herbert Posch


Dokumente

Nationale of Martin Fischer, spring termn 1938 (1st form front), Photo: H. Posch (c) Universitätsarchiv WienNationale of Martin Fischer, spring...
Nationale of Martin Fischer, spring termn 1938 (1st form front), Photo: H. Posch (c) Universitätsarchiv WienNationale of Martin Fischer, spring...
Nationale of Martin Fischer, fall term 1937/38 (1st form front), Photo: H. Posch (c) Universitätsarchiv WienNationale of Martin Fischer, fall t...
Nationale of Martin Fischer, fall term 1937/38 (1st form front), Photo: H. Posch (c) Universitätsarchiv WienNationale of Martin Fischer, fall t...
Martin Fischer, passport 1938, © Philip Fischer, TorontoMartin Fischer, passport 1938, © P...
Martin Fischer, passport 1938 with UK-visa 1939, © Philip Fischer, TorontoMartin Fischer, passport 1938 with ...
Martin Fischer, © Toronto Art Therapy InstituteMartin Fischer, © Toronto Art Ther...



zuletzt aktualisiert am 28.09.2020

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