Hans Asperger, the pioneering autism research doctor, was a Nazi collaborator who helped the Germans screen mentally disabled children for death, according to medical journal.
The doctor, whose namesake syndrome is characterized by social awkwardness and a laser-focus on specific topics, gained a postwar reputation as a staunch opponent of the Nazis. He lived in Vienna during World War II.
In 1942, Asperger was a member of a city commission that screened 200 mentally disabled children living in a group home outside the city, according to the Journal of Molecular Autism.
Thirty-five children who the commission determined to be “uneducable” were shipped off to be killed, according to the report.
“While Asperger was not directly responsible for their deaths, this episode nevertheless shows to what extent he cooperated with the regime’s murderous policies,” study author Herwig Czech reported.
Asperger died at 74 in 1980 in Vienna.