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Wilhelm (Willy) Mayer-Gross

Born 1889-01-15
Died 1961

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German psychiatrist, born January 15, 1889, Bingen am Rhein; died 1961.

Biography of Wilhelm (Willy) Mayer-Gross

Wilhelm (Willy) Mayer-Gross studied in Heidelberg, Munich, and Kiel and received his doctorate at Heidelberg in 1913. He entered the psychiatric-neurological clinic in Heidelberg, where he became head physician. He was habilitated for psychiatry in 1924 and became extraordinary professor in 1929.

In 1937 Mayer-Gross wrote a review of Kretische Kunst [Cretan Art] by the Dutch Archaeologist Geerto A. S. Snijder (Berlin, Verlag Gebr. Mann, 1936). This book was recognized in its day by leading scholars of antiquity as the first attempt to analyse the psychological dimension of Minoan art.

Having written numerous monographs on the use of mescaline in experimental psychopathology, Mayer-Gross was eminently qualified to evaluate Snijder's speculation regarding the eidetic abilities of the Minoans. Forced to flee Hitler's Third Reich, Mayer-Gross regarded Snijder's indebtedness to the racially-based psychology of brothers E.R. and W. Jaensch with a great deal of scepticism

In the 1933 Mayer-Gross came to the Bethlem Royal Hospital, London, to work with Edward Mapother, who provided fellowships for German academics who were fleeing Hitler, such as Guttmann and Mayer-Gross. He worked at the hospital from 1933 to 1939, when he became a licentiate of the Royal College pf Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons. He subsequently became senior fellow with the department of experimental psychiatry, Birmingham Medical School 1958; Director of Research, Uffcalme Clinic. He was a fellow of the British Eugenics Society 1946, 1957.

It was Mayer-Gross who first suggested, in about 1955, that tranquilizers converted one psychosis into another.

Wilhelm Mayer-Gross was the winner of the Administrative Psychiatry Award for 1958.

Mayer-Gross was the publisher of Der Nervenarzt 1928-1934.

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