Józef Bednarz (1879–1939) – psychiatrist, forensic expert and manager of psychiatric treatment in the interwar period
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Wojewódzki Szpital dla Nerwowo i Psychicznie Chorych w Świeciu
Submission date: 2018-04-29
Final revision date: 2018-07-11
Acceptance date: 2018-07-16
Online publication date: 2019-12-31
Publication date: 2019-12-31
Corresponding author
Ryszard Kujawski   

Woewódzki Szpital dla Nerwowo i Psychicznie Chorych Swiecie, Sądowa 18, 86-105 Świecie, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2019;53(6):1379-1395
The article presents the figure of the Polish psychiatrist, Dr. Józef Bednarz (1879–1939). Bednarz, the last interwar director of the Pomeranian National Mental Hospital in Swiecie, is seen mainly in the elegiac context of the tragic death, inflicted at the hands of the Nazi occupiers in October 1939. The aim of the work is to approximate – keeping the memory of the tragic death – the scientific, adjudication, organizational, and therapeutic activity of "Pomeranian Korczak". His scientific works, although not very numerous, were characterized by an in-depth analysis of the studied problems, and some of them entered the canon of Polish psychiatric literature of the interwar period. He was active in various structures of the Polish Psychiatric Association and in the editorial committee of the Rocznik Psychiatryczny (Psychiatric Yearbook). He became known as a great forensic psychiatrist, directing a forensic ward in the hospital in Tworki (1921–1927) and in the prison in Grudziadz (1931–1932). During ten years, as the director of two large psychiatric hospitals in Kulparkow (1927–1929) and in Swiecie (1933–1939), Bednarz developed extensive organizational activity. His activity as the director of the Pomeranian National Mental Hospital in Swiecie is discussed in greater detail. Dr. Bednarz will remain in the memory of posterity as the first director of a psychiatric hospital murdered by the Nazis and one of the first victims of Nazi terror among Polish psychiatrists.
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