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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.


  • Selbstschilderungen der Verwirrtheit; die oneirode Erlebnisform.
    Monographien aus dem Gesamtgebiete der Neurologie und Psychiatrie, Berlin, H. 42. Berlin, 1924.
  • Psychotherapie. Lecture, 1925.
  • Psychologie des primitiven Menschen. Lecture, 1925.
  • Pathologie der Wahrnehmung. With J. Stein.
  • Über einige Abänderungen der Sinnestätigkeit im Meskalinrausch. Written with H. Stein.
    Zentralblatt für die gesamte neurologie und Psychiatrie, Berlin, 1926, 101, 354-86.
  • Über Störungen des Raumsinns und Zeitsinns unter Meskalinwirkung. With H. Stein.
    Zentralblatt für die gesamte neurologie und Psychiatrie,, Bd. XLV, 7/8.
  • Psychopathologie und Klinik der Trugwahrnehmungen.
    In: Handbuch der Geisteskrankheiten, published by Oswald Bumke. Volume 1; Berlin, Springer, 1928.
  • [Schizophrenie] Häufigkeit, Geschlecht, Rasse, Klima, Jahreszeit.
  • Die Auslösung durch seelische und körperliche Schädigungen.
  • Die Klinik.
  • Erkennung und Differentialdiagnose.
  • Therapie. In: Handbuch der Geisteskrankheiten. Volume 9; Berlin, 1932.
  • [Article on Snijder's Kretische Kunst].
    Journal of Hellenic Studies, LVII, 1937 [Part II], 254-256.
  • Emil Kraepelin zum 70. Geburtstag.
    Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, Stuttgart, 1926, 52: 330.
  • Emil Kraepelin.
    Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, Stuttgart, 1926: 52: 1955-1956.
  • Clinical Psychiatry. Written with Eliot Slater and Martin Roth.
    580 pages. London: Cassell & Co, Ltd, 1954. (annen kilde: 1955)
    3rd edition, London: Baillière, Tindall & Cassell, 1969.
    Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1969.
  • The Clinical Examination of Patients with Organic Cerebral Disease. 1957
  • H.. W. Gruhle, R. Jung, W. Mayer-Groß, M. Müller, publishers:
    Psychiatrie der Gegenwart. Springer, Berlin 1960.
  • J.E. Meyer:
    Wilhelm Mayer-Gross.
    Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift, 1961, 1149-1150.

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