Das Buch von Edith Sheffer kommt für mich gerade im richtigen Moment: Ich mache gerade – mit fast sechzig Jahren – eine Therapie, in der es nicht um die übliche Behandlung des Autismus geht, sondern in der es erlaubt ist, zu betrachten, inwieweit es mein Asperger – Syndrom beeinflusst hat, als Kind von Eltern und Großeltern aufgewachsen zu sein,die selber in einem ganz erheblichen Maße durch das NS – Regime und durch die DDR – Diktatur traumatisiert worden sind.

Mir selber hätte es extrem geholfen und es hätte mein Leben mit Asperger ungemein erleichtert, wenn ich schon viel früher eine Therapie gehabt hätte, in der es erlaubt gewesen wäre, offen und ehrlich über die Euthanasie, über Vernichtungsängste von Eltern und Großeltern, über deren Erfahrungen mit Misshandlungen und sexualisierter Gewalt im Krieg und über die Erfahrung von Folter bei einigen unserer Freunden und Freundinnen zu reden.

Es war eine völlige, therapeutische, historische und politische Fehlannahme, zu glauben, Kriegstraumatisierungen von Großeltern und Eltern würden nichts in mir auslösen, nur weil ich Autismus hatte.Sie haben etwas in mir ausgelöst und sie haben meinen Autismus stark verstärkt.

Obwohl es in der deutschen Autismustherapie und in der Autismusszene lange Jahre fast völlig tabu war, überhaupt über den Einfluss von Euthanasie, dem drittem Reich und den kriegstraumatisierten Eltern und Großeltern zu reden, habe ich immer dazu gelesen und recherchiert.

Viele Denkverbote, die es in der deutschen Autismusszene gegeben hat, haben mich dazu gebracht, sie schon vor Jahren zu verlassen.

Um so dankbarer bin ich den Forschungen von Herweg Czech und von Edith Sheffer.

Beide Forscher haben mich auf mehreren Ebenen dazu gebracht, mein Gehirn so zu mögen, wie es ist, und ihm und seinem Denken zu vertrauen. Alle Fragen, die sich Edith Sheffer gestellt hat, habe ich mir auch als Asperger – Autistin gestellt. Ihr Denken als Historikerin und Mutter eines Kindes mit Autismus waren nicht verschieden von meinen.

Zu Edith Sheffers Buch habe ich ihr eine Antwort geschrieben. Diese füge ich Ihnen an diesen deutschen Text hier an:

Dear Edith Sheffer,

as a German Asperger Autist, born in Cologne in 1960, I was not surprised at your book about Hans Asperger and Nazi – Vienna.Much of what you wrote I imagined pretty much the way you described it. I was not a historian, but I studied art. That gave me access to the Cologne University Library. Therefore I was able to get information about euthanasia in the Rhineland, the Gleichschaltung ( force of the line ) of psychiatry; hospitals and psychoanalysis, about the Gleichschaltung ( force of the line ) of Oriental Studies and Egyptology, etc. I knew very early,what happened in the killing centers and how quickly T4 ( the euthanasia programm) could be established. As a lesbian Asperger Autist, I was interested in the question of whether there were lesbian offenders and not just lesbian victims. The NS biologist Karin Magnussen is one of the most cruel Examples with lesbian identity. It was very clear to me very early on that the whole euthanasia would never have worked without women.What I did not know were your specific documents about Hans Asperger. But what I knew very well was how euthanasia in principle functioned in the Third Reich.

In a book by Ernst Klee on euthanasia, there is a picture of a nurse with a still-living child. In the next picture she holds the little brain of the child in her with a rubber glove hand. My mother, born in Cologne in 1933, was evacuated during the war in Austria during the last two years because the bombing in Cologne was so strong. She told us that in Austria the structures were just as inhumane as in Nazi Germany. They were sometimes even harder. That is why we are the fairy tale about Hans Asperger, that he was exclusively a rescuer of disabled children, never really believed. That ’s why he was never really such a strong identity figure for us as for the new German Asperger scene from the end of the eighties.

Because of my very intensive, personal examination of euthanasia, I also imagined many things in relation to Hans Asperger as you described them in your book. With the knowledge that I had, I would hardly have imagined anything else because why should the killing centers in Vienna have been different from those in the Rhineland? And why should the entanglements of the doctors in the Rhineland have been different,as the entanglements of the doctors in Vienna? My grandparents and parents were still deeply dreaded by the diagnosis regime themselves. All that was talked about for decades after the war. All those who are still eyewitnesses of parents or grandparents from Nazi Germany can only see the Nazi regime as a diagnostic regime. Parents and grandparents never felt it was anything else. It was a diagnosis regime for victims, for perpetrators, for defiance fighters, and also for those who tried to live their familiy lifes in face of the horror.This diagnostic regime could seize people every single day every minute and therefore it was omnipresent in all people. In every minute, by every doings.

Although I am not a historian, but an artist, so a normal university library was without your special knowledge and without your special documents about Asperger enough so that I could disguise myself very well and with the family narratives, such as euthanasia had to have been in Vienna. In other words:Anyone who had access to a normal university library could have guessed that Asperger could not have been a „good Nazi.“ With the knowledge of euthanasia in the Rhineland, it was extremely difficult for me to imagine that he was actually the “Oskar Schindler” of medicine. And of course he would not have rescued me, if I had lived then, but sent into extermination – probably because of my sexual orientation as a lesbian autistic woman. When I went to therapy with a classical analyst in 1968, she treated very quickly
my homosexuality and not my asperger syndrome. I appeared with a soccer jersey and with the first leather sneakers for girls for child analysis. At that time there where still in Germany no female football teams. So this analyst made it clear to me that this was the totally wrong outfit for a girl. From then on she always wanted me to play dolls for girls and women when playing with the Punch and Judy Show. And because the sexual orientation was not going away, even though I did not even understand what she meant at the age of eight, she declared the autism therapy failed.
Treating a lesbian, sexual orientation away is not exactly conducive to improving autism. This has led to even greater, social retreats. Today, German and American female footballers win the World Cup. How else would my therapy have gone if Meghan Rapinoe had raised her finger against discrimination even then. What I want is a completely new evaluation of autism diagnosis. I hope that there will be scientific research into how the influence of euthanasia has not only affected the development of the diagnosis, but that there is also research into how the knowledge of euthanasia affects German autistic people, especially which affected Asperger Autists. This book has not really come yet, but I could say a lot about it.

In this sence,

A.E.

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