Sheffield man with Asperger's accused of being Nazi after Third Reich links of doctor who named condition exposed

A Sheffield entrepreneur says he has faced a torrent of online abuse calling him a Nazi after the past of Hans Asperger, the doctor who discovered the condition, was exposed.

Monday, 23rd April 2018, 10:46 am
Updated Monday, 23rd April 2018, 10:51 am
Adam Bradford

Autistic Adam Bradford, 25, says he has been bullied online following revelations last week which found the doctor who named the condition collaborated with the Third Reich.

The pioneering paediatrician reportedly sent hundreds of disabled children to their deaths under Nazi rule at Spiegelgrund, a clinic in Vienna that was part of a euthanasia programme.

Mr Bradford says the revelation regarding Mr Asperger has 'cast a dark spell' over the autism community.

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Mr Bradford, from Waterthorpe, says several people have told him the condition is false and suggested Asperger invented it as part of a cover-up because of his links to Nazism.

He said: 'People have been suggesting on social media the whole condition could be false and it was a cover-up for his Nazi background.

'It's not made up, he {Mr Asperger} did credible research around autism and it has been accepted for many decades.

'I have engaged in conversation with people who have been saying the condition is not even real and those diagnosed are making it up to get attention.

'I have a psychological diagnosis from a psychologist. People have been saying to me 'maybe you are a Nazi if you are sticking up for him'.

'I certainly can justify on behalf of myself that it's real.

'I don't think there is any association with people who have Asperger's and this one professor who was linked to Nazism.

'The autism community is up in arms about it, having this right-wing argument thrown at you is really quite nasty.'

He now thinks the name of the condition should be changed to protect people from abuse.

'We need to change the name because we have to suffer the abuse on his behalf,' he added.

'It's a shame because it has cast such a dark spell over the autism community.'

He was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, aged 11 and came after he was bullied at school by other pupils.

'It was really difficult at the time, I didn't fit in and a lot of people started saying 'he is weird and different',' he added.

He received a Queen's Young Leader award for his work to inspire young people in 2016.