Rehabilitation nation
Re-membering the disabled in war-time Germany
in Recycling the disabled
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Chapter three begins with the organization of German military medicine and traces the path of the wounded soldier from the battlefield to the homefront. It then outlines how military authorities enlisted orthopaedists into the re-organization of Army medical care for the severely injured. This re-organization included establishing orthopaedic clinics and workshops within the military’s medical hierarchy. In addition to radically re-organizing the war-time medical service of the German Army, orthopaedists also re-structured social welfare services for disabled civilians. Eventually, treating the disabled soldier included more than the physical rehabilitation of his body, but also the social management of the serviceman which could include career counseling, vocational training, secondary education, geographical relocation, and finally job placement. As this chapter demonstrates, plans for re-inserting the soldier into German society were ultimately guided with as much attention to the re-establishment of crumbling social boundaries as they were to the individual needs of the permanently injured. Eventually programs for securing the economic future of the disabled soldier became virtually indistinguishable with those for ensuring national renewal—and in all of these orthopaedists were keen to lead the way.

Recycling the disabled

Army, Medicine, and Modernity in WWI Germany

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