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May 1965

Persecution and Compensation: Theoretical and Practical Implications of the "Persecution Syndrome"

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(5):464-474. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720350032005

ELEVEN YEARS after the liberation of the last concentration camp prisoners the German Federal Government, in June of 1956, issued a law to compensate victims of the Nazi regime. Not the sufferings, but any loss in earning power due to impairment of body or health was to be compensable. Thereafter, and particularly during the last few years, a great many claimants of such compensation were medically examined, but while physical damage was generally easy to determine, the evaluation of psychological and psychosomatic sequelae gave rise to heated discord among the examiners. Old diagnostic terms proved inadequate and misleading, and new ones were proposed. Basic psychiatric and human issues had to be raised, and this, together with the continuing stream of claimants in need of evaluation, makes the matter one of both current and general interest.

Some years after the war there appeared a number of books