The visual neuroscience of Golgi and Cajal

Eugen GOAGA and Cornelia MUNTEANU
Timosoara, Romania
egoaga AT yahoo.com

Egon Weigl arrived in Romania in the thirties as refugee from the Nazi persecution after a successful career as textile engineer, individual psychologist and last but not least experimentally neuropsychologist. He left Romania only in 1961 for German Democratic Republic. This "episode" is almost forgotten, even if it was as dramatic as the political history of Europe at that time. Not only because the technical background for neuroscientific was not appropriate but especially because of the political storms crushing of the Romania. From the sparse literature available results that Egon Weigl was involved at the beginning at the fascist movement and after the "soviet liberation" of the country participated in the ideological reorientation of the psychological professions. Later on, instead of his "good past" he lost his high positions, probably as a Romanian echo of the doctorsí trial going in Soviet Union in the last years of Stalinís life. Also his well situated head, the neurologist Arthur Kreindler was forced to publish a sort of self-critique in a culture/cultural journal of the time. After some years, he was accepted back in the scientific and medical nomenklatura. One source is stating that the re-captatio benevolentiae was the result of the intervention of A.R. Luria when he visited Peopleís Republic of Romania in 1957, as a former student of Weigl in Berlin. It is also possible that an intervention of his cousin Helene Weigel the wife of Bertold Brecht. Anyhow, after leaving Romania, the good collaboration persisted as results from his last book, which can be considered a memorial book because was edited after some years of his death. Another issue, more general, not yet discussed is the condition of the neuroscientist, i.e. neuropsychologist under the yoke of logocratic regimes.


Session IIa
Thursday, 22 June 2006, 2.00 - 2.30 pm

11th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences (ISHN)

Pavia, Italy, 2006