Erich Stern

Restitution von alten Büchern des Dr. Erich Stern
Restitution von alten Büchern des Dr. Erich Stern

In 2023, 34 books from the library of Dr. Erich Stern could be returned. The books were handed over to the Groupe Toulousain de la Société Psychanalytique de Paris on 29.09.2023 in a ceremonial act. This restitution was carried out together with the library of the Freie Universität Berlin, which also had been able to identify books by Erich Stern in its holdings, and in close cooperation with the CIVS (Commission pour l'indemnisation des victimes de spoliations intervenues du fait des législations antisémites en vigueur pendant l'Occupation).

Erich Stern was born in Berlin on 30 October 1889. He studied natural sciences and medicine in Berlin, Lausanne, Karlsruhe and Strasbourg. Stern became a psychiatrist, psychologist and pedagogue, known in particular for his publications on topics of psychosomatics, and as a clinical psychologist he also made contributions to medical psychology.

In 1933, Erich Stern was forced into retirement and dismissed because of his Jewish heritage in accordance with § 4 of the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service". He emigrated with his family to Switzerland in the same year and began working at the Institute for High Mountain Physiology and Tuberculosis Research in Davos. At the end of 1933, the family moved to Paris and Erich Stern worked there, initially underpaid, and from 1934 to 1940 as an assistant (Assistant étranger) at the Sorbonne's Clinique de neuro-psychiatrie infantile, a children's psychiatric university hospital, where he also held consultation hours for children with intelligence and behavioral disorders. During this time, Stern was also involved in the care of Jewish emigrants at a Jewish dispensary, a subject he first published about in 1937.

In 1938, the Sterns received French citizenship. After German troops crossed the French border in 1940 and the south of France was occupied by the Germans, Erich Stern and his wife moved to Clairvivre, a settlement for chronic lung patients in the south of France, in 1941. As formerly naturalized French citizens, the Sterns had their French citizenship revoked again in 1943 at the instigation of the Nazis, which made them stateless Jews. Fearing arrest, Stern had himself admitted to the Clairvivre sanatorium, which had been spared by German troops. The arrival of the Allies in France in 1944 stopped this threat. In Clairvire, Stern worked as a sanatorium doctor in 1946. By 1948, Stern returned to Paris and became an attaché at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). From 1950 to 1955, he worked at the Sorbonne in Paris at his former place of employment, the university's pediatric neuropsychiatric clinic, and from 1950 to 1956 he was Chargé de Recherches at the CNRS. In 1957, he and his wife moved to Kilchberg near Zurich, partly for health reasons. Erich Stern died there in 1959.

The restituted books are from a depot of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) at Eisenacher Str. 11-13 in Berlin Schöneberg. The RSHA had collected looted books from all over Europe there. Parts of these books were distributed to Berlin libraries after the end of the war in 1945. According to a report by Dr. Ernst Grumach dated July 17, 1945, Erich Stern's library was still arranged as a whole in the RSHA.

Additional information

The restituted objects at