Public Statement

From the 6th to the 11th of August this year the World Psychiatric Association will hold the 11th WPA congress in Hamburg, Germany.

We, the 'Israeli Association Against Psychiatric Assault' together with the 'Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener' (Germany), demand that this congress be cancelled:

  • Psychiatry degrades us as alleged 'mentally ill' to an object of ´therapy´ by attributing to us a biologistical illness based on an undignifying image of the human being. This is used to stigmatize us and exclude us from society and for media-orientated demonizing. This same ideology and practice was taken to its ultimate inhumanity by german psychiatry.
  • It was not only during the Nazi era that the German psychiatric system committed systematic mass murder of "at least 275,000" incarcerated persons inside the psychiatric institutions for ideological reasons (according to the Nuremberg Trial). German psychiatry continued these murders for 3 years after the end of World War II by starving people to death in institutions.
  • The international psychiatric system continuously ignores these facts and thus helps to conceal the truth that the nazi killing in the extermination camps were based on the psychiatric ideology. These crimes were first committed by the German psychiatrists in the 'Euthanasia' murders which served as the model for the mass murder of Jews, gypsies, gays and other "undesirable elements in society".

  • The German historian Ernst Klee summed up the issue: "It was not the Nazis who needed the doctors, rather it was the doctors who needed the Nazis".

  • Up until now post-war German psychiatry was discredited in the WPA and was not fully accepted as a regular member in its ranks. However, the WPA is now guilty of taking a historically revisionist course by ignoring the abovementioned crimes and publicly endorsing German psychiatry. In so doing it whitewashes the systematic mass murder of the alleged `mentally ill´.

  • These crimes have never been acknowledged, let alone apologized for, by the international psychiatric system and there has never even been a gesture similar to chancellor Willy Brandt's kneeling down at the Getto Warsaw rebellion Memorial.

  • We demand that the WPA relocate the 11th congress to outside of Germany as well as bring the issue before the public for discussion.