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Dr. Emanuel Tanay papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2017.246.1

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    Papers of Dr. Emanuel Tanay, consisting of photographs, documents, correspondence, and patient case files, among other materials. Includes material related to the history of Dr. Tanay's family in pre-Holocaust Europe, as well as his own experiences as a Holocaust survivor in displaced persons camps following World War II. A substantial portion of his collection consists of files of patients, chiefly Holocaust survivors, whom he examined in support of their Holocaust-era restitution claims, and in relation to his own research as a psychiatrist on the effects of post-traumatic stress on Holocaust survivors.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Dr. Emanuel Tanay
    Collection Creator
    Emanuel Tanay
    Dr. Emanuel Tanay (1928-2014), a forensic psychiatrist who became one of the leading researchers in the area of post-traumatic stress syndrome, was born in Wilno, Poland (later Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1928, to a Jewish family. During the invasion and occupation of Poland by the Germans in World War II, Tanay survived using false identification papers that described him as being Roman Catholic, and by taking shelter in a monastery, but other members of his family, including his father, perished. Following the Holocaust, he was determined to study psychiatry as a means of better understanding the minds of its perpetrators, and his subsequent work in forensic psychiatry also led him to testify as an expert witness in thousands of court cases in the United States. However, his work on post-traumatic stress syndrome also led him to urge the American Psychiatric Association to recognize PTSD as a diagnosable medical condition, and to work with hundreds of Holocaust survivors, in order to diagnose and describe their psychiatric trauma for compensation cases that survivors filed with the West German government. Tanay taught psychiatry and law at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan, and lectured widely on the topics of forensic psychiatry, post-traumatic stress, and the Holocaust. His own account of his experiences during the Holocaust, "Passport to Life: Autobiographical Reflections on the Holocaust," was published in 2004. Tanay died in Ann Arbor, Michigan on 5 August 2014.

    Physical Details

    18 boxes
    1 oversize box
    1 folder
    1 book enclosure

    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

    Personal Name
    Tanay, Emanuel.

    Administrative Notes

    Donated to the USHMM in 2017 by Sandra Tanay.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:31:04
    This page:

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