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This deskbook covers many aspects of military justice, including procedure Volume I and substantive criminal law Volume II. Military justice practitioners and military justice managers are free to reproduce as many paper copies as needed. About This Site Search Function. This Site. This thesis had been accepted by the Imperial Insurance Office in and German workers were entitled to compensation if they developed neurotic symptoms after an accident. Yet some medical professionals suspected "pension neurosis" amongst the feckless working class and preferred instead to diagnose "hysteria", a label implying both predisposition and weakness of will.
Conflict continued until the War Neurology Congress in Munich when Oppenheim was isolated and roundly defeated. This medical debate had significant political implications. Military psychiatrists were firmly of the belief that war neurotics were malingerers, degenerates or frauds and that awarding them a pension would only encourage their symptoms. War psychiatrists became targets for fierce anger, especially from working-class veterans and their families.
The problem of shell shock did not end with the armistice. Some men succumbed to nervous collapse after hostilities had ceased; some appeared to get better and then suffered from relapses. Moreover, the war wounded and their families, in both victor and combatant nations, wanted some kind of recompense.
Notions of citizenship varied across Europe but the men who had fought in the Great War believed that they had a right to state support: the "thanks of the fatherland" meant little without money and access to health care. Impoverished war neurotics remained a standard feature of daily life throughout inter-war Europe.
In addition to this underlying discontent, the treatment of war neurotics continued to provoke high-profile political scandals in the post-war years. In Britain concerns about shell shock were dominated by two issues: lunatic asylums and courts-martial. Soldiers suffering from shell shock should not have been labelled as insane and should not have been sent to lunatic asylums, nevertheless many of them were and they were often placed some distance from their homes, making family support difficult, if not impossible.
In addition, lunatic asylums were popularly known as pauper lunatic asylums because they were traditionally populated by those unable to afford a private clinic. That the government later agreed to pay for service patients to be treated as private patients was largely irrelevant: ex-servicemen and their families deeply resented the twin stigmas of insanity and poverty.
The ESWS provoked government ire by insisting that veterans languished in asylums but also attracted popular support by providing dignified, non-institutional care for mentally wounded men. Concerns about courts-martial were based on the fear that "through inadvertence and want of knowledge, dreadful things may have happened to unfortunate men who had in fact become irresponsible for their actions".
The committee did not re-open any courts-martial cases, rather it focused on identifying the causes of shell shock and on highlighting appropriate responses.
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The outcome, after two years of enquiry, was ambiguous. While acknowledging that men could suffer mental collapse as a result of the strains of war it also insisted upon the importance of predisposition; while recognising that shell-shocked men should be properly treated, contributors concluded that treatment should be based on military experience and common sense rather than medical knowledge, as the following comments attest:.
Wartime mental-health specialists had clearly not made themselves appear indispensable in the British army. Moreover, the belief that war could regenerate weak men endured.
Emanuel Miller described a previously "timid" man who had become a respected soldier on the western front and noted that "several instances have come under observation of decorations for bravery that have been won under the occurrence of 'shell shock'". In consequence, British post-war images of shell-shocked men could successfully present them as both hard-working and respectable.
The Southborough committee did not manage to allay concerns about the mental health of servicemen who had been executed and the issue resurfaced at the end of the 20 th century when their families demanded an official pardon. Central to their argument was that the medical profession should have recognised the symptoms of shell shock and that men had been unjustly punished for the failures of wartime psychiatry. Moreover, it was a characterisation that provoked widespread sympathy even amongst conservative political elites, with Winston Churchill describing Penrose as a "gallant soldier" who had been "caught in the teeth of the military machine".
Post-war anger also motivated a committee of investigation into shell-shock treatment in Austria, in this case, the specific use of electrotherapy. In the autumn of Julius Wagner-Jauregg , Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vienna, was accused of treating soldier patients brutally with electric currents. Individual patients had resisted treatment during the war and there were even patient revolts in some hospitals.
Interviews took 45 minutes to an hour and a half and were conducted in English and French. Details shall be regulated by rules of procedure adopted by the Bundestag and requiring the consent of the Bundesrat. The difference between the two provides an indication of over- or under-representation of naturalized citizenship in the ACS. Because of this codification approach, a single named statute like the Taft—Hartley Act or the Embargo Act may or may not appear in a single place in the Code. Additional editorial assistance was provided by Yasmin Yonis, refugee program associate; Courtney Weatherby, refugee program intern; and Carolyn Kenney, operations intern. The same set of procedures were followed for each of the countries or areas.
As a result, Wagner-Jauregg and six others had to justify their use of electrotherapy in court. Here there are clear parallels with the case of Vincent and Deschamps in France but there are also important racial differences. The German-speaking medical elite was often suspicious of the "foreign-speaking" soldier patients in the multi-ethnic Austro-Hungarian armies. Unlike hypnosis or suggestion therapy, electric treatment was a way of exposing malingerers with only limited recourse to language: it could be a virtually "speechless therapy".
The British authorities insisted that troops from southern Ireland were especially prone to mental weakness; the German authorities had similar attitudes towards Jews in the German army; French specialists perceived black troops, especially those from Senegal, as especially prone to psychiatric disorders.
High-profile anxieties about patient treatment existed alongside a growing suspicion of shell-shocked men in the post-war period. This was most obvious in the new Weimar Republic which was scarred by the defeat of war and continually marred by political violence. The fledgling welfare state, initially established by the Social Democratic Party SPD , should have ensured adequate health care and pensions for psychologically damaged veterans. In the early s the SPD saw war neurosis as a universal experience that was shared by all German citizens and so could unite the post-war Volksstaat.
Yet this unity was far from realised. Men who had fought resented being categorised alongside women and civilians whose wartime stresses had been limited to the home front; the welfare system was administered by cost-cutting officials in the Labour Ministry; the whole process relied upon the advice of psychiatrists, most of whom were highly conservative nationalists who blamed weak or degenerate men for losing their nerve in and bringing Germany to defeat and revolution. As a result men did not find it easy to access support and the situation grew worse as pensions were cut throughout the s.
The SPD failed the psychologically damaged veterans they sought to protect and state welfare was inadequate. Their opponents further to the left — the German Communists KPD — had never believed that the bourgeois state could serve the needs of the working-class soldier and was most vocal in attacking the highly conservative psychiatric establishment. As far as the KPD was concerned, the state-hired psychiatrist was no more than "a businessman disguised as a doctor" and, like all members of the ruling class, it was in his interest to deny the trauma of the last war so as to prepare the proletariat for yet another one.
KPD activists were opposed to state-sponsored welfare measures which they saw as turning men into helpless dependants, and they argued that neurotic men needed to "find healing in active class struggle and revolution", not handouts from the bourgeois state. Conservative doctors castigated the Weimar welfare state for "coddling" neurotics with pensions, and Nazis were similarly hostile because the very existence of war neurotics challenged the Nazi glorification of the war experience.
In consequence, the National Pension Law of cut off all pensions for mentally disabled veterans. The history of wartime and post-war shell shock is both ambiguous and paradoxical. During the war medical officers, soldiers and civilians displayed sympathy and understanding to shell-shock victims in all combatant armies.
At the same time the military code prevailed, as did the medical belief in predisposition and the importance of will; some military medics were hostile to the very idea of war neurosis. As a result wartime medicine was often found wanting and could be described as more disciplinary than therapeutic. After the war many shell-shocked men were forgotten or discredited, or — in Britain — became idealised hero-victims. The political issues provoked by shell shock varied across Europe but all of the issues which made shell shock politically important — courts-martial, lunatic asylums, electrotherapy, pension disputes — indicate the extent to which shell-shock treatment was constantly entwined with discipline.
Yet shell-shocked men were not simply victims of total war , mental collapse and punitive treatment regimes. Both during the war and afterwards, formally and informally, patients and their families consistently demanded proper treatment and adequate pensions. They did not always succeed but men refused to be stigmatised by a mental war wound: the history of shell shock is a history of trauma and psychiatry but it is also history of patient protest. Reid, Fiona: War Psychiatry , in: online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed.
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