Recently, an employee of the Ministry of the Interior of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania made headlines by commenting in a pejorative manner on a citizen’s inquiry. The article “The Sick Guy.” Messages of Hate from Caffier’s Interior Ministry”published in the Nordkurier newspaper on February 11, 2017 tells of Jens-Uwe Kasowski, who heads a self-help group for depression patients in Wolgast. Because of the high interest in his offer and the extensive work it required, Kasowski asked the Ministry of the Interior for support for his group called Anxiety and Depression. The answer Kasowski received from Caffier’s office worker, Raphael W., was apparently not intended for him: “On weekends I go to Wolgast and treat those sick guys in my own way… Greetings to the office.”Given the degrading content of the news and the great indignation it has provoked, attempts at justification by the Ministry of the Interior are likely to be in vain.
To what extent the statements of Raphael W. represent the attitude of the Ministry of the Interior towards mentally ill people and their affairs in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and whether this attitude also represents other sections of the state government cannot yet be conclusively answered. Nevertheless, such e-mail traffic could explain why numerous attempts to persuade political decision-makers to clarify human rights violations in the psychiatric wards in Neubrandenburg and Ueckermünde have failed.
It should therefore be pointed out that the Mecklenburg Medical Association has thus far shown indifference towards alleged human rights violations in psychiatric hospitals, that the continued employment of physicians and nursing staff with an infamous past in the GDR is the order of the day. This is why the medication tester Gold was able to hold a position as chief physician, the historically controversial psychiatrist Kraepelin received a commemorative plaque, although his writings are marked by National Socialist ideology, and the public has not been informed to this day about the whereabouts and fate of the people from Ernst Klee’s report in “The Hell of Ueckermünde – Psychiatry in the East.” We can only hope that the Kasowski incident has roused those responsible in politics and that the topics of mental illness and suitable therapy offers as well as the clarification of past grievances will be dealt with more carefully in the near future in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.