A new issue of Medizinhistorisches Journal has been published. It presents, among other things, a piece by Stefan Wulf und Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach entitled Dis/arranged medical histories à la Friedrichsberg. Explorations of foreign patients by multilingual fellow patients in a German asylum about 1900. The abstract reads:
This paper deals with two examples of a particular patient’s activity at the Friedrichsberg Asylum in Hamburg in the beginning of the 20th century. Two multilingual patients assumed the function of interpreters in each case for a foreign fellow patient. They were involved to a great extent in the documentation of the medical histories. Conversations and interrogations carried out by them and recorded by their own hand are passed down in the medical files of their foreign-language fellow patients. After some preliminary remarks about the Friedrichsberg Asylum and its patients, the various activities of patients in the psychiatric institution and the importance of the patients’ manner of speaking for the psychiatric diagnosis, the two cases are described in detail. The patient-interpreters were perceived as border-crossers, as “Figures of the Third”.