The new findings reveal that Asperger was far from a courageous defender of his patients against "euthanasia" by the Nazis, as many people thought. Rather, he benefited from his cooperation with the regime and "publicly legitimized race hygiene policies, including forced sterilizations," according to a study published online yesterday (April 19) in the journal Molecular Autism.
Asperger also used "remarkably harsh" language to describe his young patients, even compared with professionals at the same facility who had patients with more severe disabilities, study researcher Herwig Czech, a medical historian at the Medical University of Vienna, wrote in the study. [Beyond Vaccines: 5 Things That Might Really Cause Autism]
Hans Asperger (1906-1980) wrote about autism in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but it was Leo Kanner's famous 1943 paper that laid the groundwork for describing the disorder, which is now defined as a neurodevelopmental condition that affects a person's ability to communicate, interact and behave typically with others in social situations.