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Joachim-Ernst Meyer

Born  1917
Died  1998

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German psychiatrist, born July 2, 1917, Königsberg; died June 7, 1998.

Biography of Joachim-Ernst Meyer

Joachim-Ernst Meyer was the son of Ernst Meyer, professor of psychiatry in Königsberg. His grandfather, Ludwig Meyer in 1866 became the first professor og psychiatry at the University of Göttingen.

Meyer studied medicine in Berlin where he obtained his doctorate with a work on organic brain damage and the decline of moral attitude. From September 1945 to spring 1949 he was an assistant in the neuropathological department headed by Willibald Scholz at the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für
Psychiatrie in Munich.

His important scientific publications from that period could have been an excellenet launcing point for a successful career in neuropathology. But, like his elder brother Hans Hermann, Joachim-Ernst Meyer wanted to become a clinician. He began his specialist training with Kurt Beringer at the Freiburger Nervenklinik but following the early death of Beringer less than a year later, he changed to Richard Hung in the department of neurophysiology at the same university. In 1953 he was habilitated for psichiatry and neurology.

In October 1st, 1954, Meyer came to Kurt Kolle at the neurological clinic in Munich as head physician in psychiatry. On April 1, 1963, he was appointed ordentlicher Professor at the medical faculty at Univesity of Göttingen whee he headed the psychiatric clinic until he was emerited in 1985.

Meyer observed, principally among Protestant clients, an increased fear of death, and a fear that the self will be annihilated in death. This he traces to a deficit in theological doctrine, and to the impression that deat ereases everything that has been experienced.

We thank André Trombeta for information submitted.

  • Hans Lauter (born 1928):
    Joachim-Ernst Meyer 2.7.1917–7.6.1998.
    Der Nervenarzt, Berlin / Heidelberg, November 5, 1999, 70 (11): 1034-1035.


  • Studien zur Depersonalisation. I. Über die Abgrenzung der Depersonalisation und Derealisation von schizophrenen Ichstörungen.
    Monatsschrift für Psychiatrie und Neurologie, Berlin, 1956, 132 (4): 221-232.
  • Depersonalisation. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1968.
    Volume 122 in the series Wege der Forschung. 401 pages.
  • Die Gesellschaft und ihere psychisch-Kranken.
    Rektoratsrede 10. Mai 1968. Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 18 pages.
  • Tod und Neurose. Göttingen : Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1973.
  • Death and Neurosis. New York, International Universities, 1975.
    Translated by Margarete Nunberg.
  • “Gnadentod” für behinderte Kinder, für demente und chronisch Geisteskranke. Die neuesten Zielvorstellungen der Euthanasie.
    Der Nervenarzt, volume 48, 1977.
  • Todeangst und das Todesbewusstein der Gegenwart.
    Berlin : Springer-Verlag, 1979.
  • Euthanasie gestern und heute. Diakonie. Impulse-Erfahrungen-Theorien. Zeitschrift des Diakoniscben Werkes der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland. Nr. 1/1979: 52.
  • Psychotherapeutische Fragen an die Theologie.
    Evangelische Theologie, 41, 1981.
  • Mercy killing without consent. Historical comments on a controversial issue.
    Hans Lauter and Joachim-Ernst Meyer.
    Acta psychiatrica scandinavica, Copenhagen, volume 65, 1982.
  • The fate of the mentally ill in Germany during the Third Reich.
    Psychological Medicine, August 1988, 18 (3): 575-581.
  • Psychiatrie im Nationalsozialismus - von der Zwangssterilisation zur Vernichtung "lebenswerten Lebens".
    Psychoanalyse im Widerspruch. Heft 1, 1989.

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