Max Meier Glatt

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1399

A doctor who survived Dachau to become a pioneer in alcoholism treatment

Max Glatt established the medical treatment of alcoholism in Britain, destigmatising the condition and changing the official perception of it from moral failing to treatable medical condition. His alcoholism unit at St Bernard's Hospital, Ealing, in the 1960s was imitated widely—though perhaps not widely enough—and the respect he engendered changed perceptions of the hospital from bin to centre of excellence that attracted ambitious and high calibre trainees.

He was born in Berlin into a middle class Orthodox Jewish family and qualified in neurological medicine at Leipzig in 1937. Antisemitic legislation barred him obtaining a university appointment, and he attempted to escape to Holland with three other people. He succeeded; the other three were caught and arrested; he felt morally unable to leave them behind and gave himself up; the other three were then released. From …

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