Monday, 18 April 2016


CE's 71st birthday (so it says here)

Currently being reposted on the Russian-language medical Internet is a short item by Mikhail Shifrin –
'Conductologues versus c.p. It began on 15 April 1945'

('Conductologue' is a grand-sounding and misleading Russian word used occasionally to refer to conductors)

Most of these repostings have omitted the author's name. This is given in one of these as Mikhail Shifrin, quite a common name, though other repostings omit it.

Others have added some photos, not all directly relevant, A couple of the relevant ones are unfamiliar to me.

New facts or heroic old creation myths?

This article begins –
In war-torn Budapest on 15 April 1945 a Hungarian physician András Pető organized the Department for Experimental Treatment of Disabled Children...

It is a fascinating and confusing tale told here. Maybe I shall get round to translating it into English if I get time but in the meantime you can catch the flavour through entering the URL or the text into for example Google Translate.

This is not a scholarly article. It is story-telling, even hagiography, rather than a serious attempt at historiography. There is no reference to where these anecdotes and quotations have been drawn from. Some are contrary to what is knowable, some look a little suspect – while others perhaps offer possible further lines of fruitful enquiry.

As it stands, however, there is no way of telling which is which, so this account has to be considered myth rather than history.

One should not of course assume how people in the past might have thought about what we much later think and say about them. That said, I do wonder whether the prospect of an account such as this might have prompted a wry smile in someone who in life so liked to pull the wool over everybody's eyes...

Russian stuff

It is probably no more than coincidence that two 'Russian' items (actually, one relating to the Ukraine) have appeared on Conductive World within a couple of days of each other.

Friday's posting here raised the rather optimistic thought that future awareness of Conductive Education in the former Soviet Union might move a little more into the hands of parents and conductors. Well, maybe – time alone will tell. Today's offering, however, suggests that whatever happens in those countries will include the long task of cutting through some of the mist that still obscures the early history of Conductive Education..


Shifrin, M. (2016) Кондуктологи против ДЦП: начало 15 апреля 1945 года, Meditsinskii portal', April 15

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