152. Asperger

152. Asperger

By Helen Zaltzman

The Allusionist

Sunday, 3 April

Hans Asperger would have been merely "a footnote in the history of autism", so why did he get to be the eponym in Asperger's syndrome? Because along with the usual problems medical eponyms pose, and his work not really earning him the honour, he collaborated with Nazis and sent children to a hospital where they would be experimented on and even killed.

Activist, writer and academic Morénike Giwa Onaiwu discusses the stigma around terms like Asperger’s syndrome and autism, and historian Edith Sheffer talks about Hans Asperger and child psychiatry in Nazi Vienna.

Content notes: Nazis, eugenics, ableism, child abuse, murder. 

There are two versions of this episode. The content is the same, but this version contains background music; if you would prefer one with no music, you can get it right next to where you obtained this one.

Find out more information about the topics in this episode at theallusionist.org/asperger, plus a transcript and the full dictionary entry for the randomly selected word.

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