the man behind Becker muscular dystrophy and Becker myotonia
Peter Becker was a German neurologist who helped classify the muscular dystrophies, and described Becker muscular dystrophy and Becker myotonia. His involvement in National Socialism began in 1933, when he was compelled by his peers to join the SA (brown shirts). He later joined the Nazi party, the Nazi Doctors Association, and the Nazi Lecturers' Association. He renewed his SA membership to maintain his position at a genetics institute. Colleagues stated postwar that he was not an active Nazi, and he was de-Nazified in 1947, able to continue his career. Later, Becker admitted to most, but not all, of his Nazi memberships in his autobiography, and wrote 2 books exploring the origins of Nazism and racial hygiene. The "neurologic court of opinion" must weigh in on how we should best remember Becker, and at the very least, we as neurologists must learn the dangers of career opportunism at any cost.
Journal of Child Neurology, 2014, Vol 29, Issue 4, p. 514-9
Biography; Historical Article; Journal Article; Portraits; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Germany; History, 20th Century; Humans; Male; Medical Illustration; Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne; Myotonia; National Socialism; Physicians