About

Welcome to my website!

My name is Markus Wahl and I am a historian of Modern Central European and Medical History.
Since 2017, I work as a Research Fellow at the Institute for the History of Medicine in Stuttgart (Germany) and was recently appointed as a Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Kent (United Kingdom).
My current research project is titled:

“Your Health, Our State”: Experiences of Patients with Alcohol Addiction and Diabetes in Socialist East Germany

In the competition for international reputation and legitimacy, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) always emphasised the importance of its healthcare system. Especially the state-run character of the medical provision was described as superior to the West German private healthcare system. The former Healthcare Minister Ludwig Mecklinger even proclaimed at a conference in 1981 that “[i]n the encounter with the healthcare and social welfare system, Socialism [had] for the citizen name, face, and address”. Based on these claims, the research project aims to develop a social and patient history in the microcosms of the former East German districts of Dresden and Rostock, investigating the impact of political and societal ideals on the reality and thus on the experiences of patients who have alcohol addiction and diabetes inside and outside East Germany’s medical institutions. The research draws not only on correspondence, reports, ego documents, and exhibition material from private and public institutions and archives, but also from literature to investigate the microcosm and the surroundings of the doctor-nurse-patient relationship in the GDR.

In 2017, I completed my PhD at the University of Kent (United Kingdom) under the supervision of Professor Ulf Schmidt and Dr Stefan Goebel.

The title of my dissertation is ‘Treatments of the Past: Medical Memories and Experiences in Postwar East Germany’ and was published as a book by Routledge in 2019.

Therefore, my research interests include Modern German History, Social History of Medicine, Socialist History, Memory and Addiction Studies as well as broader studies of sexual health in the past and around the world.

I always enjoy a good coffee and a philosophical discussion.

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