Social history of medicine - IGM Projects

Voluntary retirement in the land of the perpetrators: Inpatient care for elderly Jews and racially persecuted non-Jews in western post-war Germany (1945 to approx. 1975)

Editor: Dr Nina Grabe)

After the end of the Second World War, only a small number of German Jews decided to remain in Germany permanently. There were a comparatively large proportion of elderly people among them, which is why Jewish old people's homes were set up in the first post-war years, for example in Essen-Werden, Hanover and Neustadt in the Palatinate, Germany. 

In addition to the survivors of the concentration camps and the Jews living in what were known as "mixed marriages", the so-called "repatriates" returning from foreign exile were increasingly taken in there. Remigrants also made up the majority of residents in the Protestant old people's home for former "racially persecuted non-Jews" in Bad Vilbel, which was also included in this study. 

The focus of this study is the situation of the homes and the elderly people living there. What was everyday life like at the home and what were the admission procedures like? In what way did their history of persecution affect their physical and mental health, as well as their cohabitation and relationships with fellow residents and staff? Did the home managers attach importance to the observance of religious customs and dietary rules? How could nursing and medical care for home residents be guaranteed against the background of the omnipresent shortage of nursing staff? 

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Men in nursing in the 20th century

(Editor: Dr. Christoph Schwamm)

As sparsely researched as the topic still is, one thing remains as clear as it is surprising: From a historical perspective, there can be no question of nursing as a female profession. In all relevant pre-modern texts, men appear as caregivers, and this is by no means a curious exception. It was only much later, with the emergence of professional nursing since the mid-19th century, that the profession became a "women's issue", but only at the level of discourse.
In fact, male nurses never disappeared from hospitals and nursing homes. What is largely unexplored is how this minority has fared over the past 150 years. How many men were caring professionally during this time? In which areas were they used? What background did they come from? Did they experience discrimination and stigmatisation because of their gender? Or did their gender rather give them an advantage over their female colleagues? What was their relationship to colleagues, patients, relatives and doctors?
Sources include occupational statistics, publications of professional organisations and trade unions such as their association journals, reports, and textbooks and non-fiction books by individual actors. From these, information can be drawn on the number of male caregivers and their deployment priorities. Furthermore, they serve to reconstruct general developments and conflicts in relation to men within the organisations. Other sources help to open up the everyday life of nurses. For this purpose, archives of clinics and health offices are to be evaluated. In addition to personnel files, it contains programmes and lists of participants in training events, applications for the granting of "pocket money", salary lists as well as documents that can provide information on the type of accommodation and catering.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Medical care for forced labourers during the Second World War

(Editor: Dr Anja Waller)

In the mostly regional-historical or institutional-historical research projects on forced labour during the Second World War, the medical care of forced labourers often plays only a subordinate role. Little is known so far about medical care for forced labourers who were deployed in agriculture or in private households, small firms and institutions. The situation is similar with the doctors, nurses and other professionals from the ranks of the forced labourers themselves who were deployed to provide medical care. How was recruitment, distribution and deployment organised? What were the possibilities and limits of their work? In addition to reconstructing the medical care of forced labourers in the Württemberg area, especially outside the large camps, the study will also address the question of whether and how the medical care of forced labourers differed due to various factors (place of residence, age, origin, gender) and where the reasons for this lay.

Health and illness of working women in Germany in the 20th century

(Editor: Bianca Morlock, M. A.)

The aim of this PhD project is to contribute to the understanding of the health conditions of working women in Germany over the course of the 20th century. Due to the profound social structural changes that accompanied industrialisation from the end of the 19th century, women's employment in Germany changed fundamentally. The female employment rate, for example, was already around 30 per cent in 1907 – a proportion that, with the exception of wartime, remained well into the second half of the 20th century. Among other things, the health-preserving activities of working women are to be examined, but also the flanking measures on the part of employers and the state. The question "What makes/made women sick?" as well as the continuing question of how this was dealt with in contemporary times. The focus is on female workers in the industrial sector and female employees working in offices. Since these groups of women were confronted with unequal physical and psychological stresses, which had different effects on their health, a separation according to types of employment is sought in order to increase the significance of the analysis in the course of the study with the help of comparisons. Research into the necessary source genres, for example in company archives, has yielded initial indications, but still needs to be expanded. In addition, there are printed sources, such as journals from different disciplines (example occupational medicine) and institutions (e.g. health insurance companies, employee newspapers).

Parents, children and adolescents as addressees of gender-specific health education and prevention from approx. 1900 to 2000

(Editor: Dr Kristina Matron)

This project, which started in August 2017, focuses on the evaluation of advice literature aimed at parents, children and adolescents and targeting their health behaviour. First, more than 250 guidebooks were entered into a database in order to be able to classify them according to authorship, target group and subject areas. Some of these guides will now be analysed in more detail; the focus here is on guidebooks and books that have been published and more widely received in the Federal Republic of Germany. The project will take a closer look at health and prevention in the areas of sexuality and development, drugs, nutrition and exercise, behaviour and family life.
Initial results show that there was a gender component in both addressing and content. Mothers or girls were approached more often than fathers or boys. In some thematic areas, such as drugs, however, gender-specific targeting has only taken place in the very recent past. Differences were claimed between girls and boys in childhood and adolescence. Influenced by the women's emancipation movement, these findings of difference initially declined in the 1970s, but have increased again in the recent past and are partly based on justifications from brain research. In 2018, the results of the project will be presented in an essay.

"Your health, our state": Patient experiences in the health care system of the German Democratic Republic

(Habilitation, editor: Markus Wahl)

In the title of the 1969 anthology "Deine Gesundheit, unser Staat" (Your health, our state), the editor Kurt Winter, a respected social physician in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), described one of the most important maxims of the socialist health system: The right to free health care, but also the duty of every single GDR citizen to keep healthy. Based on these facts, the habilitation project explores the question as to how the social and medical transformation processes in the GDR affected the patient experience in the consulting or hospital room. This is a micro-study for the city of Dresden and the rural area of the Dresden district. The project examines the medical, but also the social treatment and thus the experience of the patients using the examples of venereal diseases, tuberculosis and alcohol addiction. The focus should be on prevention, treatment and care by, for example, welfare workers, company doctors and nursing staff inside and outside medical and social institutions. The analysis of the three "proletarian diseases" draws on correspondence, reports, first-person documents and exhibition materials from private and public institutions and archives, as well as popular literature, in order to penetrate the microcosm of the various actors in the doctor-nurse-patient relationship and its environment in the GDR.

The Ottoman health service in the reports of Venetian consular physicians (15th–18th centuries)

(Editor: Dr Sabine Herrmann)

In the course of an increased engagement with Islamic history, culture and language, Venetian doctors also went to Egypt and the Orient in the 15th and 16th centuries. In contrast to pilgrims, however, their travelogues were not shaped by a pronounced schematism, which was mostly limited to the description of sacred sites, but the authors were characterised by a pronounced ethnographic sense, a good power of observation and a manifold interest outside medicine. While these physicians had initially concentrated mainly on indexing and annotating Arabic medical texts as sources for improved Latin translations, in the course of the 16th century a preference developed for describing diseases typical of the country as well as for pharmaceutical-botanical and zoological field research. Even if the Galenic authority was ultimately to remain untouched in the West, various therapeutic approaches reached Europe in this way. Doctors such as Andrea Alpago or Prospero Alpino can therefore be regarded as important cultural mediators and actors in cultural transfer processes, who also aroused interest in Semitic languages, oriental antiquities and Arab folklore, which is why their works were valued until the 19th century, the age of Orientalism, and were to serve as important reference works. In this habilitation project, printed works, chronicles and treatises are collected and examined for the first time, which can provide information about the activities of the most famous Venetian consular physicians from the 15th to the 18th century. The historical account focuses on a cultural anthropological perspective, in which the interaction of the Christian and Ottoman cultures is in the foreground. This case study is thus intended to contribute not only to the cultural history of Venice, but also to the intercultural interweavings in the Mediterranean and their significance for the history of knowledge in Europe.

Care objects and care day-to-day (working title): A history of nursing from the early 19th to the early 20th century based on object research in nursing history

(Editor: Isabel Atzl)

The history of nursing activities and tasks in dealing with sick people and people in need of care is something that is needed in the context of research into the history of nursing. There is hardly any literature on the tasks caregivers undertook on a daily basis, i.e. what they did exactly.

The planned dissertation project will deal with the reconstruction of nursing action on the basis of object-related historical nursing research, focusing on the period from the early 19th to the early 20th century. Especially during this time, the focus on the recommended and used objects opens up a unique insight into nursing work. In all activities that carers carried out on, with and for the sick person, apart from spiritual support (and even here objects such as rosaries or hymnals could play a role), objects were used which, even if they came from everyday life and had not been explicitly developed for care, were to be used in a certain way. To this end, nurses had to be trained and so, from the end of the 18th century onwards, extensive material can be found in the emerging nursing textbook literature that provides information on the use and correct application of nursing items.

Based on the research results of the sub-project "Historical care objects" within the framework of the BMBF-funded joint project "The care of objects: The significance of objects in the history and current practice of nursing", nursing fields of activity and their changes are recorded by evaluating normative textbook literature, related to preserved nursing objects and the findings are compared with autobiographical testimonies at selected points. By looking strictly at the objects and how they are handled, not only actions are brought into view, but the horizons of meaning suspended in them are made visible. It should also be possible to provide an insight into the negotiation processes of assigned tasks and fields of activity of nurses, into the hierarchical structure of doctors and nurses, into the nursing self-image as well as into the social ideas and norms in dealing with the sick.

Cooperation and conflicts between doctors and non-physician health professionals (1890–1990)

(Habilitation, editor: Dr. phil. Pierre Pfütsch)

Based on the current discussions about health care for the population, this project will take a closer look at the historical dimension. This is not only, as in the current discussion, about the creation of new medical professions, but also about the cooperation between physicians and the existing non-physician health professions. The study focuses on the doctors as the first and the non-physician health care professions as the second (heterogeneous) large group, two occupational groups that are characterised by different degrees of professionalisation and consequently also by a different self-image. At the same time, there is a clear hierarchy in the standing of the professions: The non-physician health professions are below the physicians. Even the term "auxiliary medical profession" used earlier shows the problem: While doctors only expect "help", nurses, midwives and therapists rather see themselves as "partners" of doctors. The history of both roles is practically inconceivable without the other as "opponent" or "partner".
Here, not only the history of the medical professions will be explored in more detail, but the negotiation processes between different professional groups and the resulting effects on the development of the professions will be described in general.

Patient movement in Germany 1945–1985

(Postdoctoral fellowship, editor: Dr. phil. Ylva Söderfeldt)

Self-help groups and patient associations have become a widespread and influential social movement that influences individual disease management, clinical decision-making processes and health policy. The first groups emerged as early as the 19th century, but the movement only experienced an upswing in the post-war period. Over the following decades, self-help initiatives and groups developed for almost all health issues and diseases, which often – similar to other social movements – wanted to achieve socio-political changes. In the course of this development, professionalisation also set in, establishing self-help and patient participation as an integral part of the medical care system. However, this process has hardly been investigated historically.
This project deals with the history of German patient associations using the example of selected organisations in 1945–1985. A systematic analysis of mainly printed sources from the associations themselves and from the medical community will be the basis for an examination of their structure and activity. The background of the analysis is the social structure of the patient groups, the cultural position of the diagnoses addressed, and the status and development of their medical care and expertise.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Doctor – a sickening profession? Mission statements – self-images – images of others: From the mid-19th century to around the end of the 20th century

(PhD project, editor: Sebastian Wenger)

With the introduction of health insurance in 1883, the demands on doctors increased because the number of patients to be cared for in the branches and the hospitals grew enormously. In addition, the differentiation of medicine and the associated specialisation of the medical profession in the late 19th century increased competition within the profession.
It will be investigated to what extent the working and general conditions of medical professionals have affected their health within the period under study, how they have dealt with it, what assistance services were available to them and which they used. A German-German comparison for the period after 1945 is sought.
The sources used are announcements of the medical professional representatives for the German Reich, the FRG and the GDR (including the medical support funds and the medical pension funds), administrative reports of the Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege (Professional Association for Health Services and Welfare Care) and the municipal health insurance funds. In addition, there are medical journals such as the "Medicinische Correspondenzblatt des Württembergisch-Ärztlichen Vereins" (Medical Correspondence Gazette of the Württemberg Medical Association), the "Deutsche Ärzteblatt" (German Medical Journal) and the "Zeitschrift für das gesamte Krankenhauswesen" (Magazine for the Whole Hospital System"). Statistics on mortality, longevity and illnesses from doctors ("Medizinalstatistische Nachrichten" (Medical Statistical News), "Reichsgesundheitsblatt" (Reich Health Gazette), etc.) also form an important part of the source corpus. In addition, first-person documents such as autobiographies, letters and diaries are taken into account. In addition, there are documents from the collections of municipal archives, for example from the holdings of the health department of the city of Stuttgart, which provide information about staff density and working conditions in the municipal hospitals.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

The development of geriatric nursing education 1945–1990 in the FRG

The research project (postdoctoral fellowship, editor: Dr. phil. Nina Grabe) is part of a planned book publication on the "History of non-physician professions in the health sector after 1945" (working title). A chapter on the historical development of geriatric nursing education is also planned. The aim of the research project is therefore to trace the beginnings and further development of the occupational profile of the geriatric nurse in the Federal Republic of Germany in the period from 1945 to 1990. A condensed presentation of the results is planned for the book publication and the subchapter contained therein. In addition to the relevant specialist journals founded in the 1960s and 1970s, archive collections of the independent welfare organisations form the source basis.
The subject of the study is, among other things, the question of the political and institutional framework conditions that influenced the emergence of a specific geriatric nursing education. Although there was not only a shortage of qualified nursing staff after 1945, but also a significant increase in the number of nursing home residents in need of care, the first courses for geriatric nursing were not established until around 1960. What spoke against and ultimately for the creation of a new job profile? The question is also asked about the actors, which include both the welfare organisations and home providers as well as the individual employees involved in the practical care work.

The result of the project can be found in an essay in the textbook and study book "Entwicklungen in der Krankenpflege und in anderen Gesundheitsberufen nach 1945" (Developments in nursing care and other health care professions after 1945") published by Mabuse-Verlag 2018.

The bodily experience of Jewish soldiers in the German Empire, the Austrian Empire and Russia approx. 1815–1918

(Editor: Oleksiy Salivon)

The subject of this dissertation project is the physical experiences of soldiers of Jewish origin from 1815 to 1918 in the three great monarchies of Europe. Based on contemporary debates about the "foreign" body of the individual Jew and the entire Jewish population of Eastern and Central Europe, the project asks about the physical experiences of Jews in the respective armies and the reactions of the Jewish and non-Jewish environment to the military service of Jews.
The new social and societal demands on the soldier's body also brought with them new expectations of the physical condition of the individual Jewish man. The need to serve as a soldier, voluntarily or compulsorily, in the army of the new kind brought people of Israelite faith into contact with the new dimension of the military for the first time. Society focused its attention on the Jews so that they had to adapt their bodies and minds to the modern military environment. Based on the official documents of the various state organs (e.g. muster files and medical reports) and the memories of Jewish officers and soldiers (e.g. letters and diaries), the body experiences of Jewish soldiers during this period are reconstructed. Topics such as health and illness and the physical and psychological experiences of Jewish soldiers are covered.
The aim of the work is the complex investigation of the bodily experiences and everyday life of Jews in military service in the 19th and the first decades of the 20th century. The individual tasks of the work are to reconstruct everyday life in the military and during military service in relation to bodily experiences; to trace the development of Jewish soldiers' bodily experiences over the course of the 19th century; and to compare the differences and similarities of these experiences in the three countries. Three theoretical considerations on the concept of the body are particularly important for my work with regard to the bodily experiences of Jewish men as soldiers. I describe the Jewish body as a discursive body, a trained body and an alien body, although the other ideas about the human body, such as the tormented body, may also have a place in my work as the investigation progresses. In 19th century Europe, the Jewish body was often seen as a foreign and unaddressed body that had to adapt to the behavioural norms of the resident Christian society in order to become the body of a good citizen. Military service was the school of discipline and purity in which the young Jewish men underwent a physical and spiritual transformation by working on their bodies for the country and for themselves. From the beginning, the governments of the three great monarchies of Europe aimed both at integrating the Jewish population into their multi-ethnic states and changing Jewish attitudes to become loyal citizens of the new industrialised and enlightened societies. The idea that Jewish bodies were the alien bodies or, in extreme cases, the bodies of another race, was taken up, shared or contested by both Jewish and non-Jewish academia and society. Over the course of the 19th century, racial discourse in Europe emerged in parallel with Jewish emancipation, acculturation and physical adaptations to European bourgeois bodily norms.

The birthing bed as a space of conflict: A patient-oriented case study on the choice of birth attendant in pre-March Tyrol and Vorarlberg

(Post-doctoral fellowship, editor: Dr. phil. Marina Hilber)

Contrary to the common research opinion, which saw obstetrics in the countryside firmly in the hands of midwives, the medical sources of pre-March Tyrol and Vorarlberg frequently contain reports of midwives being displaced by male obstetricians. This study uses such cases of conflict to examine the apparently contested space of the birthing bed with a temporal focus on the 1830s. In the sense of a story from the patient's perspective, the focus is on the protocols with the women concerned recorded in the course of the investigations by the health authorities. The transcribed interviews allow unexpectedly deep insights into the individual and collective scope of action and decision-making motives of pregnant women and women in childbirth regarding the use of obstetric services. The study has the potential to enrich cases, which have so far mostly been interpreted in terms of two-dimensional conflicts of professionalisation, with the perspective of the patients and thus to write a multidimensional history of obstetric care in rural areas.
The project is currently in the phase of intensive source research in the medical collections of the Tyrolean, South Tyrolean and Vorarlberg provincial archives. On the basis of the collected conflict cases, the research questions are subsequently dealt with discourse-analytically and in a regionally comparative manner. The results will eventually be prepared in the form of an article for the journal MedGG.

The project has been completed in the meantime. An essay has been published in the Jahrbuch Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History Annual) (36).

The development of medical technology for medical self-help in diabetes mellitus

(Editor: Aaron Pfaff, M.A.)

The aim of the dissertation project, which began at the end of 2014, is to analyse the development of diagnostic and therapeutic medical technology for self-help in the field of the widespread disease diabetes mellitus for the period 1950 to 1990 in the FRG and the GDR.
Whereas those affected in the early 1950s were only able to influence their therapy to a very limited extent, this changed fundamentally in the four decades of the study period. The focus of interest is the shift of competences and responsibility from the doctor to the patient as well as the accompanying profound changes in the doctor-patient relationship.
The complex negotiation processes between the actors (professional and lay associations, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, state institutions) play a key role here. Thus, from the start of development to the solution of a therapeutic need to the possible introduction of a product or process, a whole series of social, political and economic issues arise that have to be negotiated.
At the end of these processes, there are easier-to-handle devices and increasingly individualised therapy options that allow patients to play a more active, but also more autonomous role in the treatment of their disease.
The history of medical technology for diabetes diagnosis and therapy is thereby conceptualised as a co-evolution of technology and disease. This enables a more differentiated view of the consequences of technological development for patients and illnesses and how they are perceived.
The source corpus consists predominantly of material from the actors involved. This is made up of numerous professional and patient journals, the medical trade and advice literature as well as "grey literature", for example operating instructions, marketing documents and training material.
The documents of the research, development and marketing departments of the participating companies are of particular importance for the case studies. For example, files of the medical technology division of the companies Bayer, Siemens and Merck could be viewed.
In addition, the collections of the German Diabetes Centres in Düsseldorf and Karlsburg as well as documents of the GDR Department of the Federal Archives in Berlin-Lichterfelde are consulted.

Health and illness in the correspondence of Hans Fugger (1531–1598)

The doctoral project (supervisor Anne Phieler) focuses on the person of Hans Fugger from the well-known Fugger trading family. As the second-born son, he did not take over the operational business of the company, but he served it by cultivating contacts. Around 4700 of Hans Fugger's letters from the period 1566 to 1594 are preserved today, mainly in copybooks in the family archive in Dillingen, a rare source corpus for the 16th century. In his thematically extensive letters, there are also traces of his health and illness-related activity. In addition, the so-called 'Fugger newspapers', most of which are stored in the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv Wien (Austrian State Archives in Vienna), will be examined with regard to this aspect. This collection of sources lends itself to tracing Fugger's thoughts and actions over a longer period of his life.
As a member of a merchant family operating throughout Europe, Hans Fugger had both the capital and the infrastructure at his disposal to make use of the entire medical market. This raises the question of what attitudes he, as a medical layman, conveyed in his letters on the subjects of illness and health. For example, he ordered a wide variety of remedies, discussed prescriptions and therapies, exchanged information about his and others' state of health. This exchange was probably not only subject to socially and culturally shaped patterns. The public nature of the letter medium should therefore also be taken into account in the study. Unlike patient letters, Fugger's addressees came from a wide range of social classes and professions, which had an impact on the communication of illness. From the aforementioned sources, we can learn about the view from below, which Roy Porter advocated as early as the 1980s and which has since considerably expanded the history of medicine.

Feasibility study on the history of further training to become a diabetes advisor and diabetes assistant in East and West Germany from approx. 1980 to 2010

In this feasibility study (editor: Anja Waller), source research was conducted to find out to what extent and in what framework a reappraisal of the history of further training as a diabetes advisor and diabetes assistant from about 1980 to 2010 is feasible from the perspective of medical and nursing history. Special attention was paid to the quantitative and qualitative source situation, the research of potential contemporary witnesses as well as the formulation of possible research questions on the topic complex of further education to become a diabetes advisor and diabetes assistant.

The project has been completed in the meantime.

Health and illness of Jewish migrants from eastern Europe in Germany

The doctoral project (researcher: Aline Braun) aims to contribute to an understanding of the realities of life for emigrant Jews from eastern Europe during the era of the Weimar Republic in Berlin. Since the end of the 19th century, the Jewish migration movement from eastern Europe to German-speaking western areas intensified. The reasons for fleeing eastern Europe were not only the often hopeless economic situation, political oppression, exclusion and religious persecution, but also the recurring pogroms. What the living situations and everyday life of these immigrant Jews looked like in detail and what changes they were confronted with will be part of this project, which is dedicated to analysing the practices and perceptions of health and illness of Jewish migrants from eastern Europe, especially Russia, in Berlin during the Weimar Republic. The following further topics will be of interest:

  • Migration experience and health
  • Practices, experience and perception of health and illness
  • Jewish aid measures

Experiences and dealing with the German health care system
In particular, reports of experiences on everyday life, illness, care and use of support measures are to be evaluated. This will be ensured on the basis of research activities in various archives and analysis of written sources of letters, diaries and autobiographies, but also on the basis of institutional sources, as well as articles in newspapers/magazines from the period between 1918 and the 1930s. Important sources for this doctoral project can be found in the archives of the Foundation "Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum" (New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum), in the Landesarchiv Berlin (Berlin State Archive), in the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem, in the archives of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City, in the Rossiskij gosudarstvennyi voenny archiv in Moscow (RGVA), in the Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Amsterdam (IISG) and possibly in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

Health and migration in self-testimonies of German emigrants 1830–1930

The aim of this habilitation project (editor: Dr. phil. Jens Gründler) is to analyse perceptions of health and illness as well as "medical practices" of German emigrants to the USA. Since the 18th century, people from German-speaking countries have emigrated to North America. But it was not until the 19th century that this developed into a mass movement. The reasons for the migrations were manifold, ranging from religious persecution to the quest to improve the economic situation. Regardless of the motives for emigration, migrants had to face a multitude of challenges, especially in the area of health and illness. In many cases, traditionally learned practices had to be adapted to the new circumstances and people were forced to find their way around the US medical system. At the same time, however, the traditional forms of health care and disease prevention were preserved and passed on. These continuities and processes of change in their socio-cultural context in the regions of origin and reception will be given special attention in the research project. Letters and series of letters, autobiographical accounts and diaries serve as sources. With their help, the everyday handling and thematisation of health and illness by those affected as well as their "adaptation processes" are to be reconstructed, and located and analysed in their medical, social and cultural context.

Facial reconstructions during the First World War in central Europe: Spheres of action and life plans of jaw injury victims

This dissertation project examines the scope of action and life plans of soldiers with jaw injuries from the First World War in central Europe (researcher: Melanie Ruff, M.A.). As a result of the fighting, the use of new projectiles led to specific facial injuries for which the military leadership and the medical system were not prepared. It turned out that in addition to the pain, discomfort when chewing and inability to speak, disfigurement to the face had a particularly demoralising and often traumatising effect on soldiers.
The first part of the work focuses on the life plans of the persons concerned. Using a heterogeneous corpus of sources (patient, pension and administrative records, self-testimonies, doctors' estates, medical literature and photographs), these can be reconstructed from very different points of view. The spheres of action of these soldiers wounded in the war comprise the medical knowledge of the time, the intentions of those concerned, discourse about disfigured faces, everyday life in the military hospitals, patients' self-image during treatment, as well as new bodily practices to be learned (speaking, facial expressions, eating and personal hygiene) due to facial injury.
The second section deals with the concrete ways in which those affected deal with the situation and their resulting life plans. It turned out that the people with facial injuries learned in a very individual way how to deal with the injuries inflicted on their bodies and their resulting new life situation. This circumstance gave rise to the key question: Can the facially injured person suffering from disfigurement maintain their self-image or do self-testimonies reveal a different perspective?

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Mental illness of men in the Federal Republic of Germany 1949–1990

The subject of the doctoral project is the history of men and boys with mental illness from the perspective of masculinities research (editor: Christoph Schwamm M. A.). Phenomena such as problematic health and illness behaviour, mental overload at work and in the family, "self-medication" with alcohol, violence or under-diagnosis of depression are some of the topics. In particular, it is about the question of the social contexts and conditions of the emergence and management of diseases. The analysis is done on three levels:

  1. Social structure: How did factors such as age, membership of a social group or living situation of the patients affect the disease?
  2. Male health and illness behaviour: Under what circumstances did men cooperate in treatment, when did they refuse? What coping strategies did they develop to deal with the disease?
  3. Masculine identities: What role did concepts of masculinity play in relation to the disease and in patients' coping strategies?

These questions of health history also reflect the general history of the last decades: War and expulsion, the post-war period and social change form the historical context in which the diseases are embedded. The core of the sources are medical records from psychiatric and psychotherapeutic institutions. On the one hand, these files contain self-testimonies of the patients such as letters, CVs and drawings, and on the other hand, medical documents such as the medical history, nursing reports and psychiatric reports. The context for the analysis of these medical records is provided by other sources such as contemporary accounts of everyday life as well as psychiatric and psychotherapeutic publications.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History) (68).

Prevention and health promotion in the Federal Republic of Germany from a gender perspective (1949–2010)

In this doctoral project (editor: Pierre Pfütsch), both the offers of prevention and health promotion and the demand for these are examined in a gender-specific way. The first step is to clarify the gender-specific orientation of the prevention and health promotion services during the study period. Furthermore, the ideas of masculinity and femininity underlying the offers will be elaborated and examined for their links with health action. Due to the historically determined decentralised structure of the actors in the prevention field in the FRG, the analysis takes place on several levels. At the federal level, mainly the files and end-user publications of the Federal Centre for Health Education are examined. At the state and municipal level, the prevention efforts in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and in Schleswig-Holstein are examined as examples. The source corpus here is formed of lecture registers of an adult education centre and files of the municipal health authorities. The contents of the Apotheken-Umschau (Pharmacist's Review) and a public health journal form the source basis for the individual level.
However, since ultimately it is not only the offers but rather the relationship of the individual to them that is important for the effectiveness of prevention and health promotion, another aim of this project is to take a closer look at the demand behaviour of men and women for these offers, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In this context, the arguments of the citizens for or against the use of prevention services are to be processed in a gender-differentiated manner. Inputs, enquiries and complaints from citizens to various prevention agencies serve as the source basis for this.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Suicides of seafarers, 1890 to approx. 1950

Dr Nicole Schweig

The suicide rate among seafarers on steamships of German shipping companies rose sharply at the beginning of the 1890s. This mainly affected the lower crew grades on board. The Kommission für Dampfschifffahrt (Commission for Steam Navigation) in Berlin then set up a committee of enquiry in 1898 to examine both the living and working conditions on board these ships and the suicides.

The files from the investigative committee are held in the Hamburg State Archives and are being analysed, among other things, as part of this project. The focus here is on the different interests of the respective protagonists: What responsibility did the shipping companies bear in such situations and what financial obligations resulted from them? What options were available to the relatives of the dead seamen to enforce compensation and pension claims? What arguments did the professional associations and insurance companies use to try to prevent such claims from being accepted?

Furthermore, the structures and networks in which the seafarers were involved will be examined. Were suicidal intentions expressed prior to a suicide attempt? And if so, to whom were these remarks directed? Were suicidal seafarers more likely to turn to family at home or to work colleagues on board? To what extent were family networks able to provide support at all over distances that were often great? Were there people on board who could replace missing family networks? In order to answer these questions, the investigation files on suicides of seamen from the Flensburg and Hamburg maritime offices stored in the Schleswig state archives are consulted.

The Landesarchiv Berlin (Berlin State Archive) also houses the collection of a criminal investigator from Berlin, which contains numerous police files on suicides from the early 1920s to 1945. Comparing the suicides of workers and seafarers is intended to make visible any specific characteristics of the suicides carried out on board a ship.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Prevention and health promotion in the GDR (1949–1990): Policy and practice

Dr. phil. Jenny Linek

The main focus of the GDR health system was on preventive health protection and disease prevention. Health protection had constitutional status, and at the same time a "duty to maintain health" was postulated. The doctoral project is dedicated to the question of whether the high priority given to prophylaxis has been noticeably reflected in the everyday lives of citizens. The aim of the work is to find out how health policy propaganda affected people's behaviour and whether the GDR leadership succeeded in getting citizens to act in a health-conscious way. These and other questions will be answered on the basis of submissions and various first-person documents, but also by evaluating medical-sociological studies on the health behaviour of the GDR population as well as reports and analyses by the state health authorities. The extent to which health-conscious behaviour was determined by gender is another important aspect of the work.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Gender-specific drug consumption approx. 1800–1950

Dr Annika Hoffmann

The core question of the project is how the consumption of medicines by men and women developed in the period 1800 to 1950. Information on gender-specific drug consumption can be obtained from prescription ledgers. These are registers in which pharmacists entered daily which prescriptions (i.e. drug preparations) they had made and for whom.

So far, the two longest series of prescription ledgers known for the German-speaking region have been evaluated, both originating from northern Germany. The samples include 14,000 evaluated prescriptions from the royal privileged pharmacy in Kellinghusen from 1848–1918 and 26,000 drug prescriptions from the Suwe'sche pharmacy in Lübeck from 1850–1900.

In addition to central statements on the change in the gender-specific consumption of medicines, we can draw out information from the pharmacy registers on numerous other socio-historical questions of medicine and pharmacy. Another focus of the project is to investigate, for example, whether there were differences in the types of medicines dispensed to women and men. For this purpose, prescriptions entered in the prescription ledgers are evaluated.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Drug consumption and gender: A historical analysis on the 19th and 20th century

From the "bone mill" to the "pension squeeze" – Accident victims in the German Empire and Weimar Republic between prevention, accident experience and coping with consequences

Sebastian Knoll-Jung, M. A.

For the workers of the German Empire and the Weimar Republic, industrialisation was accompanied by heavy health burdens that presented the state with crucial socio-political challenges.

The accident insurance of 1886 was an early response to this. While its legislative process is historically well researched, there is an almost complete lack of a dedicated study from the perspective of the affected persons. The perspective of the accident victims is the subject of this dissertation project, based on the evaluation of first-person documents, especially workers' autobiographies, reports from the factories published in the workers' press, as well as letters and statements from accident insurance files.

The complex subject area is divided into three overarching chapters, prevention, more specifically accident prevention, the accident event, wherein the causes, types of accidents and individual accident experiences are examined, and finally consequence management, which deals with health rehabilitation as well as social issues and, above all, financial compensation. Within this framework, the experiences, perceptions and scope for action of the accident victims as well as the socio-political conflict potential are explored.

Men as patients: Illness behaviour of men in rural areas in the second half of the 19th century using the example of the practice journals of the South Tyrolean country doctor Franz von Ottenthal

Dr. phil. Alois Unterkircher

The subject of the doctoral project funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung is men as patients in a rural doctor's practice in the South Tyrolean Tauferer Ahrntal (district of Bruneck) in the second half of the 19th century. Aspects of male illness behaviour will be examined, primarily the gender-specific use of a general practice in rural areas. The main sources for dealing with the research questions are the almost completely surviving practice journals ("Historiae Morborum") of the physician Franz v. Ottenthal, who was active from 1847 to 1899. The 244 notebooks of this general practitioner, kept as a deposit in the South Tyrolean Provincial Archives, make it possible to approach the "everyday problem of illness" from a micro-historical perspective using gender-specific questions, taking the example of a South Tyrolean mountain valley.

The research interest is guided by the question of the reasons for consultation of male and female patients on the one hand and the gender-specific diagnosis by the doctor on the other hand and is oriented towards the working hypothesis that contemporary ideas of hegemonic or marginalised masculinities have (co-)determined the illness behaviour of the male population in this region. Based on the debates about difference in recent gender studies, we do not speak of "men" as a whole, but rather of several categories that contribute to the social perception of gender.

The special structure of Ottenthal's practice journals as a source basis for the questions dealt with in the dissertation suggests that, in addition to gender, differentiation should be made mainly according to age (in the sense of specific phases of life) and marital status.

The immense amount of data in Ottenthal's records, which were kept over a period of 50 years, also makes it necessary to limit the study to individual periods of time, not least in order to make continuities and breaks in male utilisation behaviour visible in a direct comparison. Two decades were chosen for this comparative perspective, the years from 1860 to 1869 for the "middle phase" and from 1890 to 1899 for the "final phase" of medical practice.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Boys and men as patients of a South Tyrolean country doctor (1860–1900)

The path to the "quantified self": The historical development of preventive practices of physical self-measurement and control

Currently, digital techniques for measuring physical processes via smartphones or "activity trackers" have triggered a push towards the so-called "quantified self", the comprehensive self-measurement of one's own body, whose motivation lies in an intermediate area of health, fitness and aesthetics (editor: Eberhard Wolff).

Individual prevention, understood as the control of one's own behaviour in the sense of a "preventive self", is traditionally closely linked to the close observation of one's own body. Self-observation of bodily states and processes via quantifiable values have become an increasingly large part of health-related behaviour and thus also preventive practices since the late 19th century. Over the course of the 20th century, practices of physical self-measurement, which were also motivated by health and specifically preventive reasons, became increasingly established, from taking a fever to measuring weight, pulse and blood pressure to today's comprehensive measurement systems.

Specifically, the investigation is two-pronged. On the one hand, an analysis of the secondary literature on the history of individual self-measuring practices is planned. On the other hand, a historical-empirical study will target the propagation of self-measurement. Here, the source is medical advice literature, which usually focuses not only on behavioural advice for illness, but also on general health-related lifestyle. Selected examples will be used to clarify which self-measuring practices are mentioned in German-language health advice literature from the late 19th century to the present, and in what way and with what justification they are recommended.

The project has been completed in the meantime. An essay has been published in the Jahrbuch Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History Annual) (36).

Care of over 50-year-old "displaced persons"/"homeless foreigners" after the Second World War in West Germany (1945 to approx. 1975)

Dr. Nina Grabe

Care of over 50-year-old "displaced persons"/"homeless foreigners" after the Second World War in West Germany (1945 to approx. 1975)
The aim of the research project (post-doctoral fellowship) is to describe the inpatient care of "displaced persons" (DPs, referred to as "homeless foreigners" from 1951 onwards) in need of care, who remained in West Germany after the end of the war due to the threat of persecution in the Soviet Union. While the majority of the DPs returned to their home countries or were able to emigrate to third countries, the occupying forces and the German authorities were confronted with numerous sick and elderly people in need of permanent inpatient care. For this reason, special DP old people's homes were established. These were looked after by the International Refugee Organisation (IRO) until 1952 and then – i.e. after the DPs were handed over to German administration – by the Inner Mission and the Caritas Association. Within the framework of the research project, it has already been possible to consult archival sources and contemporary publications. With the help of some sources, it is also possible to shed more light on the fate of individual home residents. Among other things, the archives of the "von Bodelschwinghsche Anstalten Bethel" (Bethal Foundation) contain many files of residents of the old people's home of the "Beckhofsiedlung für heimatlose Ausländer" (Beckhof housing for homeless foreigners). The research interest focuses on the social, nursing and pastoral care of the nursing home residents, mainly from eastern Europe, who had to spend the last years of their lives in a foreign country and mostly far away from their relatives. This raises the following questions, for example: What was everyday life like in the home when different nationalities lived together? Were contacts made within the often hostile German environment? In addition, it will be discussed to what extent the DPs/"homeless foreigners" who remained in Germany were former forced labourers or collaborators and anti-communist refugees.

The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History) (MedGG supplement 73).

History of paediatric nursing after 1945

Dr. Sylvelyn Hähner-Rombach(♱)

History of paediatric nursing after 1945
Since there is very little research available on the history of paediatric nursing overall, with the exception of the so-called paediatric specialist departments during the National Socialist era, and practically no research for the period after the Second World War, the project, which began in autumn 2017, will attempt to make a contribution to closing this gap. To be examined are firstly caesuras, such as the inclusion of mothers or parents from the 1970s onwards or the entry of male nurses into the field; secondly, innovations such as the development of mobile paediatric nursing; and thirdly, specific psychological stresses of paediatric nursing. In addition to archival and printed sources, interviews with former children's nurses and caregivers, but also with mothers or parents, serve as material. These guided interviews will be conducted during 2018. Three events were held in cooperation with the "treffpunkt 50plus" meeting club for the over-50s and the Stuttgart City Archive to recruit contemporary witnesses, which were also attended by an editor from the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" newspaper. The first results of a sub-project were presented at the conference "Marketplace, power, prestige: The healthcare professions' struggle for recognition – Developments, conflicts and areas of tension among healthcare professions in the 20th century".

History of nursing and other non-medical health professions after 1945

Dr Sylvelyn Hähner-Rombach(♱) and Dr Pierre Pfütsch

History of nursing and other non-medical health professions after 1945
The book project discussed in November 2016 with the working group convened for this purpose was completed in the reporting year. In addition to an introduction to the historical framework, the planned publication will comprise a total of 13 contributions by eleven authors in two parts. The first part is dedicated to the history of nursing after 1945 and deals with the topics of men in nursing, psychiatric nursing, everyday life and work of Protestant nurses, trade union politics and nursing, education and training in nursing, the quantitative development of nursing staff and objects as sources in nursing history research. The second part covers the emergence or development of the professional profile of other non-medical professions, such as geriatric nurses, home care for the elderly, midwives, paramedics and diabetes counsellors. The textbook was published by Mabuse in spring 2018.

Men as care workers in Germany approx. 1880–2010

Postdoc, editor: Christoph Schwamm

Men as care workers in Germany approx. 1880–2010
In Krankenpflege, the journal of the German Professional Association for Nursing, two articles appeared as early as 1985 that are also representative of the current interpretation of men in the nursing profession. One author, referring to the overrepresentation of men in key positions, criticised "in what a short time one of the few qualified women's professions has become a 'typical male profession'". In a reply, it was argued that men had always been part of the caring profession, had merely been marginalised until now and now had every right to professional success.
The present research project aims to examine men in nursing history as a group in order to give historical depth to interpretations such as those described above. To this end, the interaction of gender-related power dynamics with those of social origin is investigated. To do this, it will first be necessary to determine the number of male nurses, both in absolute terms and relative to nurses. Furthermore, analysis will be conducted as to which places they were deployed and which activities they carried out there. In a later step, it will be investigated how the nurses interacted with the other relevant groups of actors – nurses, patients and doctors – in everyday life.
Sources include the membership magazines of the major trade union groupings, contemporary monographs and press articles, and official statistics. Various first-person documents and the interviews of contemporary witnesses are planned for the everyday historical investigation.

Open elderly care in Frankfurt am Main 1945–1982/83

Editor: Dr Kristina Matron

Open help for the elderly in Frankfurt am Main 1945–1982/83
The study examines changes in the structure of care services as well as domestic, cultural, sporting, recreational and socio-political services. The planning level, political discourses and concrete implementation at the municipal level are taken into account. In detail, the focus will be on the areas of outpatient care, elderly living, meal services, cultural offers, recreational stays, day care centres for the elderly and day care.
The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History).

Inpatient care for the elderly in post-war Germany (1945–1975) in the Hanover region/southern Lower Saxony

Dr. phil. Nina Grabe

Dissertation project: Inpatient care for the elderly in post-war Germany (1945–1975) in the Hanover region/southern Lower Saxony
The dissertation project involves the situation of inpatient care for the elderly, i.e. nursing, medical and social care for the elderly in southern Lower Saxony in the period from 1945 to approx. 1975. Using various sources, the milieu of the institutions as well as the everyday life in the homes and the working conditions of the predominantly confessional nursing staff are examined. The professionalisation of geriatric care is also taken into account.
The project has been completed in the meantime. The results have been published in the supplement series of Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte (Medicine, Society and History) (MedGG supplement 61).