Title: Provincial treatment of the mentally ill in Silesia in 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century


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Subject of dissertation is the treatment of the mentally ill in Silesia, which was carried out by institutions identified with the supreme legisative body of council, which was provincial Landtag. Thus described subject matter influenced the time frame: the elementary thread starts in twenties of the 19th century, at the moment of establishment of provincial landtag, whereas the year 1933 should be formal end of thesis, the year of Machtergreifung – NSDAP took over power. This event was equivalent to liquidation of local government. This assumption could not be held in practice, because it was hard to cut the threads in 1933 knowing that institutions described in this publication still worked until 1945 – the year of Trümmerfeld - predicted by Führer. Thus in order to preserve the continuity of speech, the fall of third Reich became the final time limits. The work tries to show the whole system of provincial treatment of the mentally ill, against the background of the law’s system which was in force in Prussia and since 1871 in united Germany. Until first reforms in Europe in the field of treatment of mentally ill, carried out on such a large scale, system of this treatment was quite universal. Degree of benefit from medical institutions depended on sick person‘s financial situation, the higher position he had, the easier it was to receive help. However the state was thinking how to ensure medical treatment, although in the time sick people were seperated from society, and only institution in Lubiąż was directed to treatment of mentally ill. Though in the first half of the 19th century the independence of lunatic asylums was rather impossible. All the expenses were covered by the state, whereas the authorities, gave arbitrarily the financial assets for this purposes to the provincial landtag. Thus the rich, sick people and their families had their own assets, whereas the poor could be supported by small amount of assets, coming from the state, or from lower units of government. The state wasn’t able to ensure the proper treatment to the sick, that’s why the state took advantage of the public charity (cf. the role of socially conscious people, charity etc.). The most important threads od thesis are meant to show the evolution in the field of the treatment of lunatics, starting with filantropic actions of Frederick II, made by him after the conquest of silesian province in Austria in 18th century, through 19th century reforms of mentally ill people’s treatment, ending with State Office for social treatment in the time of the Weimar Republic and Third Reich.

Date issued:







(Prace Naukowe Wydziału Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego) ; (E-Monografie ; nr 68)


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Copyright by Tomasz Kruszewski

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