About " Leon Goldensohn "

  • Leon Goldensohn

    Leon Goldensohn was an American psychiatrist who monitored the mental health of the twenty one Nazi defendants awaiting trial at Nuremberg in 1946.Born on October 19, 1911, in New York City, Goldensohn was the son of Jews who had emigrated from Lithuania He joined the United States Army in 1943 and was posted to France and Germany, where he served as a psychiatrist for the 63rd Division He replaced another psychiatrist in January 1946, about six weeks into the trials, and spent than six months visiting the prisoners nearly every day He interviewed most of the defendants, including Hermann G ring, Commander in Chief of the Luftwaffe, Rudolf H ss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945 Goldensohn conducted most his interviews in English with the aid of a translator to have the defendants and witnesses express themselves fully in their own language Some of his subjects, notably foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, were partially or fully fluent in English, and conducted their interviews in that language.Goldensohn served as prison psychiatrist until July 26, 1946 He had resolved to write a book about the experience but later contracted tuberculosis and died from a coronary heart attack in 1961 The detailed notes he took were later researched and collated by his brother Eli, a retired neurologist Robert Gellately, a World War II scholar, edited and annotated the interviews in the book The Nuremberg Interviews An American Psychiatrist s Conversations with the Defendants and Witnesses.


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