Max Mikorey (psychiatrist)

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Maximilian "Max" Franz Mikorey (born March 20, 1899 in Munich , † November 10, 1977 in Furth (Oberhaching) ) was a German psychiatrist specializing in forensic psychiatry , most recently as an adjunct professor at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich .


Max Mikorey was born as the first of four children to the general music director Franz Mikorey (1873–1947) and Josefine Mikorey (1875–?, Née Rath). His brother was the sculptor Franz Mikorey (1907–1986). His paternal grandfather was the Bavarian chamber singer Max Mikorey (1850–1907), his maternal grandfather was the royal Bavarian court jeweler Peter Rath (1846–1922).

Training and First World War

Mikorey spent most of his childhood and youth in Dessau , where his father worked full-time at the court theater as court conductor and general music director from 1902 to 1918. From 1908 he attended the former Herzogliche Friedrichs-Gymnasium in Dessau, where he graduated from high school in March 1917. He then volunteered as a war volunteer and was called up in June 1917. As a member of the Royal Bavarian 4th Foot Artillery Regiment , he fought on the Western Front. In April 1919 he was discharged from the army and enrolled for the winter semester at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg , where he studied philosophy and medicine until 1923. Having passed the Physikum , he enrolled in the winter semester in Munich at the medical faculty of the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU), where he completed his clinical studies until 1926.

Clinic years and teaching until 1945

After passing his medical examination, he worked from August 1926 to July 1927 as a medical assistant at the Munich-Schwabing Municipal Hospital . In July 1928 he did his doctorate under Hermann Kerschensteiner “on an atypical case of metastatic vertebral carcinosis with a syringomyelia-like complex of symptoms and a sarcoma of the extra dural space”.

On September 1, 1928, Mikorey began as an unpaid volunteer assistant at the LMU Psychiatric and Mental Clinic , which was headed by Oswald Bumke . From December 1929 he was a medical assistant, from 1930 extraordinary and from August 1932 then a regular assistant. From November 1933 he lectured on an honorary basis at the State Medical Academy in Munich . He was appointed senior physician in October 1934. As the first clinical senior physician, he was also deputy director of the clinic and professor for psychiatry without habilitation . As senior physician Bumkes he was no longer employed in the ward service, but in the polyclinic until the beginning of 1938. In February 1937 he received a teaching position for forensic psychiatry at the law faculty of the LMU from the Reich Ministry of Science, Education and Public Education . In October 1939 he was recognized as a specialist in nervous and mental diseases .

“Max Mikorey used the time as senior physician at the Psychiatric Polyclinic from October 1934 to February 1938 to make a name for himself through national contributions on legal philosophical topics in medicine and in the border areas of psychiatry. At the same time, in mostly metaphysical compositions , he dealt with the psychophysiological phenomenology of schizophrenia with the consecutive derivation of therapy options. "

- Andreas Michael Weidmann (s. & Literature)

In the year of the seizure of power in 1933, he joined the NSDAP on May 1 and the Academy for German Law (ADR) on July 21 , where he co-founded the Committee for Legal Philosophy . Also in 1933 he was a sponsoring member of the SS (FM-SS) for a few months , as was his clinic director Oswald Bumke. He was never a member of the National Socialist German Medical Association (NSDÄB). From 1936 at the latest he was an honorary advisor for the German Labor Front (DAF).

In September 1939, Mikorey was drafted into the Wehrmacht . There he was one of around 60 consulting psychiatrists; in November 1940 he was promoted from junior doctor to assistant doctor with seniority from March 1, 1934. In September 1941 he received the rank of senior physician . On October 1, 1942, Mikorey was promoted to medical officer and in December 1944 to chief medical officer. Also at the end of 1944 he was appointed civil servant for life at the Schwabing Clinic. On September 15, 1944, Max Mikorey had given a lecture in the Generalgouvernement "The meaning of panic for war", which Hans Frank also heard.

On March 27, 1941, Mikorey was appointed “Dr. med. habil. ”and thus received the official teaching qualification . In addition to several lectures, he attached his “Contribution to the Development of Convulsion Therapy ” as a “habilitation thesis” and asked for consideration that in 1933 he worked out the basics for convulsion therapy at the same time as the Budapest psychiatrist Ladislas J. Meduna , but independently of him and in 1933 I gave a public presentation at the State Medical Academy in Munich. His contribution is from L. v. Meduna in his essay “The Convulsion Therapy of Schizophrenia. Review and Outlook “was recognized in the Psychiatric-Neurological Weekly. In his application he was supported by Bumke and Ernst Rüdin . Bumke emphasized that Mikorey "was one of the first" to "stimulate" the treatment of seizures for schizophrenia. He pointed out that the war had not yet been able to produce a “larger script” and suggested that the submitted work be accepted instead of a habilitation thesis.

In his dissertation on Mikorey, Andreas Michael Weidmann states that he must have been convinced of the concepts of the so-called racial hygienists and eugenicists of his time in the mid-1930s , even if after the end of the war he expressed his criticism on the basis of a negative memorandum allegedly written in July 1933 Bavarian Justice Minister and Reich Justice Commissioner Hans Frank on the law for the prevention of genetically ill offspring (GzVeN) emphasized. On October 5, 1946, eleven days before his death, Hans Frank, who had been sentenced to death, affirmed that he had received and forwarded the 1933 memorandum on the GzVeN. There is evidence of a thirteen year personal connection between Mikorey and Frank.

Post-war and rehabilitation

According to his own information, Mikorey fled from Soviet captivity; the captivity of war is not proven. At the beginning of July 1946 he appeared in Salzburg and in August registered in Munich with a residence.

In 1943/44 parts of the mental hospital to Haar (near Munich) were evacuated , in 1944 the rest to the railway hotel in Tegernsee . In 1946 the company was brought back from Haar and in 1947 from Tegernsee. In May Georg Stertz (1878–1959) took over the management of the clinic, from September 1947 also the chair of Bumke, who had retired at his own request. Immediately after his return, Mikorey reported to Stertz to start work. This, himself a Nazi opponent and forcibly retired during the Nazi era , refused to reinstate Mikorey. The clinic made reinstatement dependent on the submission of a decision chamber and the approval of the LMU rectorate. During this time, Mikorey lectured at the Evangelical Academy in Tutzing and at the Jesuit College and Provincialate ("Berchmans College") in Pullach .

Mikorey probably never submitted the questionnaire as part of the denazification , but the military tribunal still classified him as a “ fellow traveler ” and only imposed a fine. The atonement was issued on April 12th. Mikorney turned to the Bavarian Ministry of Culture in July 1948 with the decision and an extensive justification and wrote

“As long as I was the senior physician at the Munich mental hospital from 1934 to 1940, I did everything in my power to suppress any activist self-importance in the clinic and to enable all doctors and employees to lead a life free from pressure by the compulsion of the party doctrines. I successfully resisted all attempts to turn the clinic into a National Socialist model business ... "

As a result, there was an exchange of letters between the ministry and the LMU rectorate. The ministry criticized that the rector had failed in August 1946 to collect the questionnaire on behalf of the military government; since Mikorey was now classified as a follower, his employment relationship would continue. The rectorate rejected the charge. During the in-house inspection carried out in 1945, it was not possible to question Mikorey, who at that time was a prisoner of war. The fact that he had not taken care of submitting the questionnaire was his own misconduct . Measures to dismiss the civil servant Mikorey were not initiated; the employment relationship was ultimately continued through redeployment of personnel positions. On October 1, 1948, Mikorey was sworn in, and from April 23, 1949 he received approval to represent Stertz as clinic director.

Time of the German "economic miracle"

At the request of Stertz, he was appointed adjunct professor of psychiatry at the LMU in 1952. In addition to Stertz, Ernst Kretschmer and Kurt Schneider supported the appointment. Heinrich Mitteis , also a former member of the ADR, who had already submitted an affidavit for Mikorey's letter of justification in 1947, had Schneider urgently asked for support for his' dear friend Dr. Max Mikorey ”asked.

"As in the context of the habilitation, the reviewers had to make an effort to downplay Max Mikorey's scientific and journalistic deficit"

- Andreas Michael Weidmann (s. & Literature)

His book Phantoms und Doppelganger , published in 1952, deals with the phenomenon of phantom pain and considers phantom phenomena as the basis of a philosophical anthropology . In May 1953, Mikorey was elected to represent the non-ordinaries of the LMU in the German University Association, and on April 23, 1956, he was given a real post at the Psychiatric University Clinic. As a former consulting psychiatrist for the Wehrmacht, he lectured several times at the Army Medical School and the Bundeswehr Medical School (today the Bundeswehr Medical Academy ), in front of the Chief of Staff of the II Corps in Ulm, at the Bundeswehr School for Internal Leadership in Cologne the then management staff of the German Armed Forces in Bonn, at the Clausewitz Society in Munich, and before the Society for Military Studies there (GfW). In 1958 he worked as a psychiatric expert for the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg). He was also a member of the Disaster Protection Commission in the Federal Ministry of the Interior . From March 23, 1957, he was a member of the ADAC medical college and lectured in the field of traffic psychology . In 1958 the Portuguese Ministério da Justiça (MJ) renewed an invitation from Edmund Mezger (whom Mikorney referred to as his teacher in 1936) to the opening of the Escola Prática de Ciências Criminais in Lisbon in the spring of 1959, which was not accepted because of the 1944 World War , and Mikorey gave a lecture at the Universidade de Lisboa , the Universidade do Porto and the Universidade de Coimbra . Until the winter semester 1967/68 he held propaedeutic psychiatric lectures at the LMU. In numerous non-university lectures and essays in the 1950s and 1960s, he focused on psychiatric fringe areas. The confrontation with aging appears to be worth mentioning. In 1962, for example, he published a book entitled “The old man as a patient” in the specialist journal Der Internist .

From around the mid-1930s until his retirement in April 1964, Max Mikorey claimed to have been the pioneer or the real inventor of the convulsive therapy for schizophrenia.


Mikorey married the neurologist Elisabeth Sidonie Roder, born in 1922, when she was just under 64. The marriage remained childless.



  • Andreas Michael Weidmann: Professor Dr. med. Max Mikorey (1899-1977): Life and work of a psychiatrist at the Psychiatric and Mental Clinic of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (dissertation); Faculty of Medicine at the Technical University of Munich, 2007


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Frank's "Diary", 1.8.-17.12.1944, 15.9.1944, p. 6; quoted from: Piotrowski, S .: Hans Frank's diary . Warsaw: Polish Science Publishing House. 1963, p. 249 f.