Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2014

In Osteuropa 11-12/2014

Insanity and the System
Mental Hospitals in the late Soviet Union

Christian Werkmeister

Deutsche Fassung


After the Second World War, but especially in the 1970s, the Soviet government systematically transformed psychiatry into an instrument of repression. This abuse was not limited to political dissidents, but embraced a much larger group of people. Completely healthy people were forcibly treated in closed facilities on the basis of questionable diagnoses such as “creeping schizophrenia” and the dubious verdicts of courts or other authorities. The goal was not to heal patients but to isolate unpopular citizens from society permanently.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2014, pp. 133–152)