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Henry Krystal papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2016.245.1

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    Case files of Dr. Henry Krystal, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor based in Southfield, Michigan, who treated other Holocaust survivors who lived in the Detroit region, circa 1960s to 1990s. The files, arranged alphabetically by patient name, contain evaluations, descriptions of patients' ailments, and the descriptions of their experiences during the Holocaust. Includes reports filed by Krystal in support of patients' restitution claims with the West German government.
    inclusive:  1959-2001
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Esther Rose Krystal
    Collection Creator
    Henry Krystal
    Henry Krystal, M.D. (1925-2015) was a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, best known for his pioneering research in the area of post-traumatic stress among Holocaust survivors. He was born in Sosnowiec, Poland, the son of Herman and Devorah (nee Grossman) Krystal. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, his father, an accountant, and his older brother, a physician, fled eastward, and were never heard from again. His mother was deported to Treblinka in 1942, where she was murdered, and Krystal was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau as a forced laborer, and was subsequently interned in camps at Starachowice, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen, prior to his liberation by the Allies during a death march from the latter camp in 1945. After living as a displaced person in the British and American occupation zones in Germany, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Detroit, since he had relatives living there. He studied at Wayne State University, obtaining a bachelor's degree, and then a medical degree in 1953, following which he obtained further training as a psychiatrist and established a private practice in Southfield, Michigan, while also serving as a professor of psychiatry at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 1965, he published, with William Niederland, a pioneering study of 150 Holocaust survivors, in which he first identified the concept of "survivor's guilt," and this work paved the way for the study of what eventually became identified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Krystal published numerous works about such trauma, and he continued research in this field, as well as the development of therapeutic techniques for use with survivors of such trauma. In addition, he interviewed and treated hundreds of Holocaust survivors living in the Detroit area, and for many of them, documented their conditions for their applications for restitution or pensions from the German government. Dr. Krystal died at his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on 8 October 2015.

    Physical Details

    English German
    Case files.
    7 boxes
    System of Arrangement
    Files are arranged in a single series, in alphabetical order by last name of patient.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing station. There are no additional access restrictions to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection are protected by copyright and/or related rights, or contain sensitive personal information. Users may not share with a third party material that contains identifiable information of an individual (e.g., names, dates of birth, social security numbers, bank account information from the last 50 years, etc…) until 50 years after the last date in the file. The user is solely responsible for their use of this material.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Gift of Esther R. Krystal, 2016.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:28:30
    This page:

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