Klaus Dörner

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Klaus Dörner (born November 22, 1933 in Duisburg ) is a German psychiatrist and psychiatry historian .


Dörner studied medicine, did the Physikum in 1956 with Hans Schaefer at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and was awarded a Dr. med. PhD. He then studied sociology and history. With work citizens and madmen. On the social history and sociology of knowledge in psychiatry. he became a Dr. phil. PhD. He completed his habilitation at the Psychiatric University Clinic Hamburg . From 1980 to 1996 he was the medical director of the Westphalian Clinic in Gütersloh for psychiatry , psychosomatics and neurology . He taught psychiatry at the University of Witten / Herdecke . In collaboration with Achim Thom, Dörner was involved in reforming and modernizing psychiatry in the former GDR.

From the beginning of the 1990s, Dörner was committed to the publication of the complete documentation, verbatim transcripts as well as indictment and defense materials of the Nuremberg medical trial . After the failure of direct funding for this project by the German Medical Association , Dörner decided to go through the medical profession. With the support of the German Medical Association and the State Medical Associations, all doctors in Germany were personally written to between 1994 and 1998 and asked for financial support; More than 7,900 doctors donated a total of around 1.4 million DM . Dörner's commitment finally led to the publication of the microfiche edition Der Nürnberger Ärzteprozess 1946/47 in 1999 on behalf of the Foundation for the Social History of the 20th Century . In 2001, together with Angelika Ebbinghaus , he published the collective work Destruction and Healing , in which the editors, together with thirteen other authors, analyze the German medical crimes during the Nazi dictatorship.

Since 2003 he has been a member of the Presidium of the German Evangelical Church Congress .

Dörner was married in his first marriage to a historian and lecturer, and since 1974 in his second marriage to a nurse.

Klaus Dörner engaged in a lively exchange with nurses for care in Germany, for example with the Frankfurt specialist nurse for psychiatric care, Hilde Schädle-Deininger or the Austrian nursing scientist Erwin Böhm .


Fonts (selection)

  • The delusions of phasic psychoses (with FJM Winzenried). Enke, Stuttgart 1964.
  • University psychiatry. Social psychiatric contributions to university research. Stand and criticism . Enke, Stuttgart 1967.
  • Citizens and madmen. On the social history and sociology of science in psychiatry. European Publishing House, Frankfurt am Main 1969; 2nd edition ibid 1984, 3rd edition 1995, ISBN 3-434-46227-9 .
  • Diagnoses of psychiatry. About the avoidances of psychiatry and medicine . Campus, Frankfurt am Main 1975, ISBN 3-593-32513-6 .
  • To err is human. Textbook for psychiatry and psychotherapy (with Ursula Plog ). Psychiatrie Verlag, Wunstorf 1978; New edition 2017 with Thomas Bock , Peter Brieger, Andreas Heinz , Frank Wendt (eds.), ISBN 978-3-88414-610-1 ( Review by Annemarie Jost. In: socialnet reviews from December 6, 2016)
  • The war against the mentally ill. After the “Holocaust”, recognition, mourning, encounter . Psychiatrie-Verlag, Rehburg-Loccum 1980; 2. A. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-88414-018-3 .
  • On the image of man in encounter and partnership. Contributions to the dynamic psychopathology of W. Th. Winkler . Enke, Stuttgart 1987, ISBN 3-432-96821-3 .
  • Deadly pity. On the question of the unbearable life. Or: the social question: origin, medication, NS final solution, today, tomorrow. Jakob van Hoddis, Gütersloh 1988; Paranus, Neumünster 2002, ISBN 3-926200-86-3 .
  • Psychiatry and Social Issue. A plea for an expanded psychiatry historiography. In: Norbert Frei (Hrsg.): Medicine and health policy in the Nazi era. R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich 1991 (= writings of the quarterly books for contemporary history. Special issue), ISBN 3-486-64534-X , pp. 287–294.
  • Pebbles. Selected writings . Jakob van Hoddis, Gütersloh 1996, ISBN 3-926278-31-5 or ISBN 3-926200-72-3 (Paranus).
  • Beginnings of social psychiatry. Report on a trip through the pioneering social psychiatric institutions of the Federal Republic in 1968 (with Ursula Plog). Das Narrenschiff, Bonn 1999, ISBN 3-88414-289-5 .
  • Klaus Dörner, Ulrich Spielmann (ed.): Intellectual disability, human genetics and ethics: the Würzburg-Eisinger case , Eisingen: St.-Josefs-Stift 2001, ISBN 978-3-00-007432-5 .
  • The good doctor. Textbook of the basic medical attitude . Schattauer, Stuttgart 2001; 2. revised A. 2003, ISBN 3-7945-2250-8 .
  • Destroy and Heal. The Nuremberg Medical Trial and its Consequences (with Angelika Ebbinghaus ). Structure, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-7466-8095-6 .
  • The health trap. What our medicine suffers from. Twelve theses on their healing . Econ, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-430-12241-4 ; Paperback edition as The Health Dilemma . Ullstein, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-548-36705-4 .
  • Live and die where I belong. Third social space and new help system . Paranus, Neumünster 2007, ISBN 978-3-926200-91-4 . (About friends and neighbors as elective relatives who are to be named today with the caring relatives if the care culture is to continue friendship and family relationships . They increase the reliability of care within one's own four walls to an increasing extent. Review by Kurt Witterstätter, in: socialnet from June 27, 2007.)
  • Helping professions in market doping. How community and professional helpers can only get out of the health trap together . Paranus, Neumünster 2008, ISBN 978-3-926200-98-3 . ( Review by Barbara Hellige, in: socialnet from June 24, 2008.)
  • Need help. Home-free into the service century . Paranus, Neumünster 2012, ISBN 978-3-940636-18-8 .


  • Social psychiatry. Psychological suffering between integration and emancipation (with Ursula Plog). Luchterhand, Neuwied 1972; 2. corr. Edition 1973, ISBN 3-472-61066-2 .
  • Community psychiatry. Community health between psychiatry and environmental protection . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1979, ISBN 3-17-005097-4 .
  • Family acquittal. How relatives of psychiatric patients free themselves from hardship and loneliness, from guilt and burden in groups Psychiatrie-Verlag, Wunstorf 1982; New edition 1995, reprint Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-86739-141-2 .


  • Dietrich Geyer : gloom and frenzy. The beginnings of psychiatry in Germany. CH Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-66790-9 , on Klaus Dörner and social psychiatry pp. 307–309.
  • Peter Hahn : memories and experiences. In: Wolfgang Eich (Ed.): Bipersonality Psychophysiology and Anthropological Medicine, Paul Christian on his 100th birthday. Edited with the participation of Rainer-ME Jacobi on behalf of the Viktor von Weizsäcker Society. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8260-4971-2 , on the “East-West District” of Heidelberg University together with Klaus Dörner, pp. 51–52.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Gotthard Schettler (ed.): The Heidelberg University Hospital and its institutes , with a foreword by Gisbert Frhr. zu Putlitz , Springer Berlin, Heidelberg et al., 1986, to Hans Schäfer Physiological Institute, picture section p. 225 ff.
  2. Helmut Siefert: Dörner, Klaus. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 319.
  3. Thomas Gerst : Edition on the Nuremberg Medical Process: A project from the medical profession itself . In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt , Volume 98, Issue 15, April 13, 2001, pp. A-956-957 (PDF).
  4. Klaus Dörner's commitment to the sister school at Heidelberg University Inge Vollstedt
  5. Helen Kohl (care-giving. Faculty Vallendar University): Hilde Steppe commemorate. 10th anniversary of death on April 23, 2009 Ffm. With lecture by Klaus Dörner , In: Pflege & Gesellschaft, Zeitschrift für Pflegewwissenschaft, Juventa Weinheim 3, 2009, p. 288; Responsible for the magazine: Ulrike Höhmann .