Health Education Germany

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					             Health Education in Germany *
                              BRUNO GEBHARD, M.D.
                      Deutsches Hygiene Museum, Dresden, Germany
IT is a great honor for me to speak to               and people from the Rhine, have dif-
    you about Health Education in                    ferent hereditary backgrounds. The
Germany. If there is anything in                     greatest difference is in regard to the
which you are specially interested, I                population. The area of the States is
hope that I may have an opportunity                  18 times greater than that of Germany.
to answer questions afterwards.                      It is better to say that the State of Texas
   I have no special personal philosophy             is a little larger than all of Germany,
regarding health; a man is healthy who               but in Germany there are 66 million
can perform all the duties required by               people, as compared with 2 million in
his nation, his profession, and his                  Texas.
family. It is not enough only to be
healthy. Those persons living only for               WHAT IS THE AIM OF HEALTH EDUCA-
their health, as they say (I call them                       TION IN GERMANY?
health-hypochondriacs) have not a great                 I think there is a new idea of health
interest for the health educator. Such               education since the Great War in those
persons have "eine falsche Gesund-                   countries which have suffered much
heit" . . . they do not eat to be                    through the war and due to its conse-
satisfied, but rather to obtain the proper           quences. Millions of people have
amount of calories and vitamins.                     learned, and have been led to appreciate
   One question for a health worker, who             the value of life, and the value of
does his work on a scientific basis is the           health.
following: What can be done by                          Health Education in Germany seeks
education? What health factors are                   to teach the individual to value life, not
determined by heredity, and what in-                 to throw it away-to regard it as a trust.
fluence can social conditions have? If               To us the aim of education for health
health workers would obtain success                  is: the healthy man, the man physically
they must, of course, give considera-                and mentally well balanced, who knows
tion to such factors, which I will not               and perceives what is beneficial for him,
take time to discuss here.                           who recognizes health as a most precious
   About Germany-There is one great                  gift of life, always worthy to be striven
difference between this country and my               for.
home. Germany is an old country,                        If there is any right of health for
nearly 2,000 years old in its history.               every citizen there is also a duty for
There are many different native racial               each to strive for vigorous health. We
tribes-Prussian and Bavarian, Silesian,              say in Germany, " Der einselne ist
                                                     nichts; die Volkgemeinschaft ist alles."
   * Red before the Health
                           Officers Section of the   To be healthy is nothing-to maintain
Americ Public Health Association at the Sixty-       yourself to work for the national wel-
third IAua Meeting in Pasadena, Calif., September
3, 1934.                                             fare, that is everything.
                      HEALTH EDUCATION IN GERMANY                                1 149
   The persons in Germany doing the          family special instructions about the
work of health education are, first, the     sickness, how to cure it, and so forth.
health officers. There are health officers   Our new state laws provide a great op-
of the State called " Kreisarzt," and        portunity for personal work in health
health officers of great towns, "Stadt-      education, especially in eugenics-not
artz." Some rural districts have also        to forget the Health Insurance Insti-
county health officers for preventive        tutions and many private organiza-
medicine and health work. The Reich          tions dealing with alcoholism, tuber-
recently adoted a new law " bringing all     culosis, and venereal diseases. There
health work under one sole direction."       are also special institutions in Germany,
Now there must be in each town and           " Die Berufs Schule." These are of
county a state health officer; formerlv      great importance in our health educa-
it could be, but it did not have to be.      tion work. Boys and girls from 14 to
In the Reichministerium of Interior          17 have to learn many things about
there is a special department for health     health; for example, the instruction
service, including health education.         given to girls, how to nurse the babies.
   The second chief-worker in health         The German Arbeidtsdienst, similar to
education is the teacher. I think in         your CWA, is one of the best oppor-
many cases the teachers are better           tunities for adult education between 18
trained for health education than the        and 25. They are given gymnasium
doctors. In Germany the work in              each morning, swimming, hiking, and
health education in the school is done       so forth, with instruction in first aid.
by the teachers. There is another            In Germany we have such organizations
method in England by which the health        for girls also, but they are voluntary.
officer lectures in the school. I do            The methods of Health Education
not know how it is in this country.          are, I think, quite the same in Ger-
   We should not forget the parents.         many as in your country. More and
More important than knowledge about          more we prefer intensive work between
health and hygiene is the education for      individual and individual. We have also
healthy habits, and that must be done        extensive health campaigns-but we do
by the parents in the first 5 years of       not believe much in their success. You
childhood. We have a German proverb,         can give great figures of how many mil-
which is, " Was Hanschen nicht lernt,        lions of pamphlets you distributed and
lernt Hans nimmermehr." " What little        make a good impression on laymen, and
Jackie does not learn-adult Jack would       from time to time it is valuable to have
never learn." We have so-called              big exhibits. I must tell you a little
" Mutterschulen " and there are special      story. We had a great hygiene exhibit in
evening classes where the fathers come       Dresden, 1930-1931. Several days we
also. Home nursing not only requires         looked around with the well known Mr.
a kind heart, but also a clever hand and     and Mrs. Routzahn. One day he
a clear head. People are seldom born         asked: " Would it not be better to
with these qualities, but with proper        have a smaller exhibition than a big
instruction they can easily be acquired      one? " " Yes," I said, " but we had
by most men and women.                       10 small ones and no Mr. Routzahn
   We have in Germany a law which            came from America to see them, but
requires the registration of tuberculosis    now we have the big one and Mr.
and venereal diseases. If any person         Routzahn has come to Germany."
is ill of one of these, the doctor must         The means of Health Education are
give the patient's name to the health        so many that it is not possible to speak
officer who gives the sufferer and his       now about them. The best is the
 1150              AMERICAN JOURNAL              OF PUBLIC HEALTH
spoken word-from individual to indi-               brain, and so on are lighted up auto-
vidual. Our medical practitioners have             matically one after the other. The
almost forgotten it. An old medical                twenty museum-halls housed in two
sage says: " You can cure a man by                 different floors, cover nearly 6,000 sq.
remedy and by word." I think there                 m., or 7,500 sq. yds. The collections
must be more educational work by the               of the Museum deal with biological-
medical practitioners. You cannot help            hygienic instruction, the anatomical and
a man alone by giving him a prescrip-             physiological foundations of physical
tion, or doing an operation.                      exercise, the care of mother and child.
   The printed word, pamphlets, books--           There is a special division for eugenics
We need them but they have not so                 and for the problem of right nourish-
great an influence. Better are pictures,          ment. Industrial hygiene and the pro-
lantern slides, films. We prefer lantern          tection of workers have their places.
slides for instruction, and films for             Quite modern is the room Health and
health propaganda.                                Sickness. The problem of modern
                                                  biological science, as constitution, dis-
THE WORK OF THE DEUTSCHES HYGIENE                 position, and the influence of surround-
                  MUSEUM                          ings upon health are here demonstrated
   Our Museum was founded in 1912.                in a most instructive manner.
The year before the first International              This is followed by the department of
Hygiene Exhibition was opened at                  such infectious and contagious diseases
Dresden. This exhibition was the                  as tuberculosis and venereal diseases.
pioneer in giving hygienic instructions           A special room deals with the problem
to the masses of the people. In 4                 of cancer. Two combined historical and
months more than 5½2 million visitors            ethnographical groups show the hygienic
saw the exhibition. The greatest suc-            and non-hygienic life in classical times
cess was the department, Der Mensch              and in the middle ages, and also those
(Man). Since then the Museum has                 things which are interesting as hygienic
steadily developed into a central insti-         usages in the life of natives such as the
tution for public health. The new                negroes in Africa, the Indians, the
home of the Deutsches Hygiene Museum             Chinese people and so on. A special
was opened in the year 1930. Its                 room is reserved for temporary exhibits,
fundamental aim is laid down in a                which are changed every month.
memorial pamphlet by the founder, Dr.                There are not only these exhibition
Lingner, who said:                               rooms; there is also a school for ex-
  The Deutsches Hygiene Museum is to be          pectant mothers, a cookery school
a place of instruction for all, where everyone   especially for special diets; there are
may acquire instruction necessary for healthy    rooms for classes in first aid, and for
life. The exhibits are to be arranged in such    evening classes; there is a gymnastic
manner that laypeople may understand them        room, and also a library with a large
with the help of simple explanations. The
construction of those models is a highly         collection of 3,000 illustrated posters
scientific work and a specalty of the scien-     from all parts of the world.
tific department.                                    There is one unique characteristic of
                                                 the work of the Deutsches Hygiene
   The focus of the Museum is the col-           Museum. All the exhibits are made in
lection, Der Mensch, with a separate             our own special workshops, whether pic-
room for the so-called " Transparent             tures, placards, lantern-slides, models,
Man." It is really a wonderful model,            anatomical preparations (after Prof.
made of a kind of celluloid, and the             Spalteholz') wax models. There are
inner organs such as the heart, lungs,           new models of celluloid, unbreakable,
                      HEALTH EDUCATION IN GERMANY                               1151
  not affected by heat or cold, much        such requests were granted as in the
  lighter than wax, and cheaper by one-     case of the museum at Klausenburg
  third.                                     (Roumania). Also the Egyptian
     Another aspect of the Museum's         Government commissioned the Museum
  work is of great interest for public      to organize a museum in Cairo. It is
  health workers. After the war the         the same with the Yugoslavian Govern-
  Museum sent out several itinerant ex-     ment: we organized two museums there
  hibitions. In 1919-1920 people were       at Belgrade, and one at Agram. The
  badly undernourished, and in conse-       Hygiene-Section of the League of Na-
  quence many died of tuberculosis. The     tions requested the Museum to arrange
  Museum started a special exhibition to    material for medical education at War-
  teach people how to avoid tuberculosis,   saw, Moscow, and Charkow. It may be
  and advised them to consult a doctor in   known to you that there are many
  good time. It was also necessary to       models of the Deutsches Hygiene
  have an exhibition enlightening people    Museum in the scientific halls of the
  on venereal diseases. Since then there    Centur.y of Progress Exposition in
 have been shown many traveling exhi-       Chicago.
 bitions in most towns and villages of        Nearly 700,000 lantern slides, 350,-
 the Reich. They are called: " Fight        000 illustrated posters, and many
 C a n c e r," "Right Nourishment,"          thousand casts and models from the
 "Healthy Women-Healthy Nation,"             Museum are used throughout the world.
 and so on.                                  The Lantern Slide Service alone has
    There is also an automobile exhibit      more than 100 series, and each has from
 with a special tent, serving as an ex-      50 to 60 slides concerning all branches
 hibition hall wherever the car stops.       of public health. They are employed in
 Dr. W. W. Peter calls this automobile       schools and for special lectures. One
 the " Healthmobile."         It travels     can hire or buy them, and they can be
 through the rural districts of Germany,    used in any country no matter what its
 staying 2 to 3 days in each place to       language.
 show the people of the district how to.       These are some of the services which
 live healthily. Twenty million visitors    it has been the privilege of the
have seen our exhibits in Germany.          Deutsches Hygiene Museum to perform
The traveling exhibits are also taken       in its homeland and abroad. The insti-
abroad. The Museum has shown its            tution is a tangible evidence of the
exhibits in many towns of Switzerland,      vision and faith of its founder in the
Austria, Czechoslovakia, in Sweden,         efficacy of visual methods in health
Norway, Hungary.                            teaching. The fight against sickness
    The appreciation which the Museum's     and unhygienic conditions knows no
work has met, is further proved by          territorial boundaries. In this work the
several requests to organize new mu-        Deutsches Hygiene Museum is glad to
seums or to lend certain important ex-      be associated with health educators in
hibits to different countries. Many         America and in other parts of the world.