Any physics graduate students have gotten extremely rich

The "Culture Hygiene" of Eduard Reich - A look back at the 100th anniversary of the year he died


Contrary to the increasing importance of developing bacteriology and the knowledge of environmental chemical and physical noxae in the second half of the 19th century, Eduard Reich sees the functions of the "soul" as the main reason for the decision between health and illness. Of these, the following are of importance for normal life: "virtue" (that is common spirit, fulfillment of duty, self-knowledge), reason to recognize the connections, morality as well as charity and "mercy" (social behavior). The aim of hygiene is thus to promote the good and prevent the bad. It thus brings about health, virtue and happiness, on the one hand for the whole person or individual organs, on the other hand also for society. For Reich, however, the ultimate goal of hygiene is not just to increase the efficiency of the population for any economic or military purposes, but also to keep the soul healthy.

According to the tasks and goals of hygiene, Reich divides this into four areas.

With the help of education, instruction and religion, moral hygiene aims to regulate the actions, states of mind and passions guided by the brain for a normal state.

Social hygiene strives for the well-being of the entire population. In Reich's time, this particularly affected questions of work, the cornerstones of which he recognized and worked on morality, hygiene and economy, and then as now also the consequences of migration.

Dietary hygiene, probably the historically oldest task of maintaining health, takes care of the physical needs of humans and the use of their organs. Reason and caution, exercise and moderation, i.e. morality and physical training, are prerequisites for this. The goal is not only to maintain good health, but also to reach a high age in good health.

The police hygiene (health police) has to ensure the health of the people by issuing and ensuring compliance with measures. It must act with compassion and philanthropy and, since misery is its worst enemy, paralyze the wrong views of a callous economy. The tasks of the health police in the individual administrative regions are to be taken over by welfare councils, each with a legislative and an executive part, namely a welfare council for health, for education and for safety.

Reich's view of hygiene as the result of the application of morality and charity in the life of each individual as well as of society as a whole justifies its re-forgotten term "cultural hygiene".


In contrary to the developing significance of the bacteriology and the chemical and physical noxious influences of the environment for Eduard Reich the main cause of decision between health and illness are the functions of the “soul”. Components of this as important for normal life are virtue (i.e. solidarity, performance of duty, self-knowledge), good sense to realize correlations, morality, charity and mercifulness (social behavior). The goal of the hygiene therefore is to promote the good and to hinder the evil, as well for a complete person or only one of his organs as for the whole society. The final aim is not only the improvement of the common efficiency for any economic or military purposes but also the preservation of health of the soul.

In accordance with these duties and aims Reich divides the hygiene into four parts.

The “Moral Hygiene” regulates the activities directed by the brain supported by education, training and religion.

The "Social Hygiene" cares for the wealth of the whole population. In Reich’s time, it applied in particular to the labor, the basis for it are moral, hygiene and economy, but migration too played a great role.

The “Dietetic Hygiene” —the oldest task of the preservation of health — cares for the human somatic necessities and the use of the organs. Prerequisite for this are bodily exercise and moderation, hence moral and physical training. The aim is not only preserving of the health but also gaining high age in health.

The "Policed ​​Hygiene" (Sanitary Police) has to care for the observance of reassurances for the public health. It must be done with charity and kindness and has to paralysis a heartless economy as poverty is the worst enemy of health. The duties of the sanitary police in the various districts should be fulfilled by boards of health, of education and of public safety. Each of these boards consists of a legislative and an executive part.

Reich’s concept of the hygiene as result of the application of moral and charity as well in the lifetime of each individual as of the whole society justifies the already forgotten terminus “Hygiene of Culture”.

Hygiene, as we learn, teach and apply it, deals in principle with the causes of illness that have an impact on people from outside. Eduard Reich, however, described a different point of view in 1870 for the Society of Doctors in Vienna. For him the “Hygieine "[sic! of hygieia] “The totality of those doctrines, the application of which is aimed at the preservation of individual and social health, morality, the destruction of the causes of illness and the ennoblement of man in both physical and moral terms. So the term Hygieine encompasses much more than was previously understood by dietetics and medical police. Hygieine has to do with the whole person as he appears as an individual, in family and society, with his states and circumstances; accordingly it encompasses the whole physical and moral world and communicates with all sciences, the object of which is the consideration of humans and the world around them ”[1]. And “if there is a soul”, “the hygieine of the body must finally agree with the hygieine of the soul, both must condition, penetrate, and presuppose one another, be the same in essence and only different in the form of application” [2].

For this broad term of hygiene, the term "cultural hygiene" was found in the 1920s and was even officially used for cultural hygienic exhibitions [3]. Reich himself was rightly referred to as a “cultural hygienist” in a short commemorative article on his 100th birthday in 1936 [4]. The concept of cultural hygiene was then lost because the Eduard Reich Archive of the German Hygiene Museum, founded in 1931, was destroyed by air raids on Dresden during World War II.

Eduard Maria Anton Johann Reich was born on March 6, 1836 in Sternberg in Moravia [today: Šternberk, ČR] born as a scion of Austrian artisan families. In later years he once wrote that he “belonged only spiritually to the German nation”, that his blood was “that of the Slavic race, with Romance elements” [5]. Reich was baptized according to the rite of the Roman Church, although the families were not particularly Catholic, which apparently should have an impact on the later life of Eduard Reich in his attitude towards the clergy. The following year the family moved to Olomouc [today: Olomouz, ČR]. After attending the trivial and normal school and the k. k. academic high school, Reich entered the staff school of an artillery regiment. In addition to the military lessons that he followed with zeal and diligence, he privately conducted chemical studies and experiments even before he had "heard lectures on this wonderful science". The strict "corporal stocks regiment" caused him to turn his back on "soldiery" and to throw himself on the study of natural sciences, chemistry and all of medicine. In the following ten semesters he studied natural science and medicine, "in *****, ****** and ****". This anonymization is resolved by a handwritten entry in the copy of the autobiography in the Gotha Research Library as Brünn, Olmütz and Jena, which is also supported by the numbers of stars. As early as the third semester, Reich held lectures on "pure and medicinal-pharmaceutical chemistry, as well as on physics in its application to medicine" as an assistant in the university's chemical laboratory. He proudly wrote about this in his autobiography: "The eighteen-year-old youth taught thirty and forty-year-old men the much-loved science of chemistry and physics" [5,6,7,8].

During his studies, Reich devoted himself not only to the internal clinic and the history of medicine, "especially the entire hygiene [sic] with all its medical, scientific and political-moral auxiliary and secondary disciplines ”. Among the auxiliary sciences, the lectures on chemical and mechanical technology that he attended in a private institute were particularly useful. He completed his rigorous exams in 1856 and 1857. Reich remarked very modestly that he had never trusted himself to what his examiners said about him, namely, “that for more than twenty years no candidate had come up with such excellent results passed his exams ”.

In the last semester of his studies in Reich, his previously carefree circumstances had changed for the worse. "During the most strenuous and stressful mental work" as an assistant at the Physiological-Chemical University Institute in **** [Jena] he had to "suffer from hunger and cold". The impairments suffered under these bad conditions had "laid the germ of a psoas abscess", the consequences of which Reich would suffer for years to come.

In addition to the external traumas, there was the fact that he and his parents did not have the money to pay the doctorate tax of almost 150 thalers and that very rich relatives refused to help “in the most shameful way”. In the greatest financial need, however, help came from the bookseller Ferdinand Enke in Erlangen, who took over the manuscript of "Medicinal Chemistry" planned for a dissertation for 300 thalers. In 1857, Eduard Reich was awarded a doctorate in medicine and surgery. In the following year, his two-volume textbook “Medicinal Chemistry with Consideration of the Austrian and Prussian Pharmacopoeia” [9] was published, which he “gave to his esteemed teacher, Hofrat Prof. Dr. C. G. Lehmann, as a minor token of grateful admiration and sincere respect ”. Incidentally, “Medicinal Chemistry” became an international success. So Reich began to publish his “hygienic, etiological and anthropological writings” and in the following years to conduct “serious political, philosophical and historical studies” at several universities. “Always and everywhere active as a consulting doctor and counselor of conscience,” he sought “to research the connection between physics and morality and to gain the pivotal points of a general anthropology and hygiene” [5].

Reich's relations with his social contacts in Jena became increasingly poor. He was attacked, he said, "by slanderous villains in the most shameful manner." And "Professor *******" [Carl Gotthelf Lehmann, 1812–1863], was - "as much as he had done for science" - "but so weak in character that he finally paid full attention to the lies and slander". As the "cause of the vile treatment", it seemed to Reich that he had "injured the vanity of a big donkey" in his innocence.

In the autumn of 1857 Reich left Jena, “the place of his torment”, his “real torment of hell”. Even under the most splendid circumstances he would never have "in such a small nest, which is such a ridiculously small state [Saxe-Weimar] to be able to acclimate ".

After a long vacation trip, Reich settled in the Hessian university town of Marburg for two years. In this “splendidly situated, but half-Tatar” nest, which was a source of horror from Reich's “narrow-mindedness, rawness and pettiness,” and “bigotry”, he also met “very good people” who gave him a break.

In the first year in Marburg, Reich devoted himself to writing his "Textbook on General Etiology and Hygieine" [10]. In it he set himself the task of “teaching the aetiological-hygienic science, a discipline which as such has not yet existed”, which was probably true. His considerations are presented below with later additions.

The “Textbook of General Etiology and Hygieine” was “raised to heaven” on the one hand, and “condemned to the deepest hell” on the other. According to his own assessment, his youthful age and his “endeavor to establish the hygieine, this true basis of all healing art and all human welfare in the countries of the German tongue” and “with the doctrine of the causes of the disease organically” to merge ”the book has a“ peculiar character ”. Years later, in his autobiography [6], Reich described as the cause of the "abuse" of his work at the time, and in particular of its "condemnation and destruction in Bavaria", some of the "rather insignificant and incidental failures" that he wrote as a "youthful fizzy head" which are directed against priests, abuses, etc. ”. He wrote it down as his conviction and heart had told him to. But "all kinds of priests, paid review-writers, pious doctors and big donkeys tried to pull the book and author in the dust". However, the judges of his work, who were "not permeated by passion and prejudice, who only focused on the essentials and left shabby private interests out of the game," that is, were "pure of heart", have with dignity and only with the mind judged. The assessments in many countries testify to this. So again a sweeping blow against the supposedly bad guys of this world.

Reich was convinced that the dedication of the book to Prof. Dr. Carl Vogt (1817–1895) caused the greatest damage, even preventing an expected marriage. Vogt, an avid champion of materialism and a follower of Darwinism, had been active in the revolution of 1848. He was a colonel in the Giessen Civil Guard, was elected to the Frankfurt pre-parliament, the German National Assembly and the rump parliament in Stuttgart, where he was regent for 12 days. Eventually Vogt had to flee to Bern as one of the last fighters for basic people’s rights [11, 12].

In the second year in Marburg, Hesse, Reich began his work on "Food and Beverage Studies" [13]. This work helped him to endure the severe pain and precarious conditions. When Austria's war against Piedmont and France broke out in the spring of 1859, Reich was “on the side of the French and Italians”. He accused Austria, Electorate Hesse and the neighboring countries and "microscopic states" of a stupidity that would have "disgraced rhinos and buffalo themselves". This attitude made Reich experience a lot of unpleasant and hurtful things, and the stay in Marburg appeared to him as well as "almost impossible for anyone politically healthy".

In 1859, Reich decided to leave Marburg and move to Göttingen. There, too, he first had “a very difficult time” and “suffered extraordinarily”. This improved when the publishing house Vandenhœck & Ruprecht granted him an advance payment for the book he had started. He found a healthy apartment. The very friendly reception by the scholars and the generosity of the population gave him "new hopes for life". In the large library, the senior officials met him very nicely. But a "very priestly-minded, very petty, limited and very hostile to his free direction was the reason why the use of the library was so spoiled for him in the end".

Reich had long intended to turn to an academic career. At German universities this has hitherto prevented the lack of necessary funds for the taxis as well as "partly his [Mental] Direction, partly his nationality, partly finally here and there the violation of the vanity of various old and young donkeys ”(Fig. 1).

So Reich left Göttingen in 1860 and came to Bern on a long detour with many recommendations from dear Göttingen friends to do his habilitation. In his request to the High Education Directorate in Bern from 20.April 1860 he expresses his conviction, “that the entire hygiene is not only of the utmost necessity for the doctor and medical officer, but also for the educator, teacher, judge, etc. offers thousands of reference points for life and work, which is why reading them at academies is of great importance ”. At the next faculty meeting, the dean reports that Dr. Reich in his publications “go out about the clergy in a somewhat crude manner at every opportunity and have thereby decredited themselves”. The medical faculty came to the conclusion that the aspirant apparently “must be perfectly competent in the relevant subjects of medical knowledge”, but has to hold a trial lecture to assess his teaching ability. In this, Reich spoke on May 12, 1860 about "coffee in a hygienic relationship". In the final view of the faculty on May 18, it is stated that the trial lecture “left a lot to be desired in certain respects”, but that the rejection of the submitted application could not be motivated. Thereupon the Director of Education of the Canton of Bern Reich issued the Venia docendi for the entire Hygieine on May 21st [14].

As a lecturer (Professeur agrégé), Reich fared like his "colleagues who read Hygieine in French and many other good men who had taught Hygieine before them" that they had almost no audience. The students would have little interest even in subjects that were being examined. Reich also judged the professors, especially those from Germany, very negatively. In addition to his subject, Reich also gave lectures on the history and encyclopedia of medicine and on toxicology.

After completing his habilitation, Reich moved into a better apartment in the house of a former patrician family. The rapidly growing love affair with Filia hospitalis was successfully thwarted by an "old grandmother of the devil". Because of this, Reich changed his accommodation in the autumn of 1860. Perhaps this gave him the time and calm necessary for increased political activity. He gave lectures on health care, but also on history and politics, in the German Educational Association.

Reich as a prevented revolutionary

Induced by his great sympathy for Germany, Reich wanted most of all for the unification of his fatherland Moravia with the German Reich, an opinion which, however, he soon [1864] described it as "ominous deception". But first he laboriously looked for a printer in Switzerland for a circular he had written. In April 1861 he was finally able to write his “Manifesto to the German Nation” [15] in Solothurn! to print. A copy of this one-sided, but dense "pamphlet", as Reich called it three years later [6], has now been [2015] found in the State Archives of the Canton of Bern through the intensive efforts of Mrs. Mag. Wilma Buchinger of the Austrian National Library.

After the salutation "Greetings to all German brothers, everyone raves about the sun of freedom that has risen over the land of the Italian Brothers in Sorrows." His heroic sons had "finally broken the yoke and made the beginning of the liberation of Europe from the clutches of tyrants and priests". "By uniting with them, with the Hungarians, Poles and Southern Slaves, throwing the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, which has been condemned a thousand times over by the world court, from its throne and rendering it harmless", the foundations of a unified and free Germany are created, the planned structure of which is described. The document continues in this key. Out of the duty to fight for freedom in Italy and Germany grew the necessity of the "constitution of the German army in the west". “All German patriotic friends who are capable of armed weapons” are requested to list them. This is followed by detailed information that goes as far as the description of the buttons on the tunic. The date-free manifest is signed with “The General Directory” (Fig. 2).

The brief Bern police report [16] stated that the manifesto was written by a Dr. Eduard Reich from Olomouc and that the alleged connection and the general directorate consist only of him. "Since these small resources seem to be quite harmless compared to the big task," the police limited themselves to threatening expulsion from the country in the event of recurrence or in the event of political activities. In retrospect, Reich describes in his autobiography "this whole Manifesto story as a great folly" [6].

Despite the rejection of the Austrian government's request to the Swiss Confederation to initiate legal inquiries against Reich for high treason, Reich felt compelled to leave Switzerland. Now, after several months of suffering on his leg, his health "almost brought to the edge of the grave", accepted the invitation of the dean of the Strasbourg medical faculty. Without the necessary capital he moved to Strasbourg, which he left in the summer of 1861 because of an "event of a purely private nature", despite his great fondness for France.

In his next station, in Coburg, he only stayed two weeks. Before he could continue to Gotha, however, he had to borrow money to pay for his accommodation.

Arriving in Gotha at the beginning of September 1861, Reich received from Duke Ernst II of Coburg-Gotha the assurance of an obstacle-free residence and permission to use the ducal palace library. There he found a special courtesy among the officials of this public library. But here, too, he could not help but notice negative things in which he criticized the fact that the scholars paid remarkably little attention to the valuable library. He saw the cause in the "excess and mischief of mutual visits" and in the "beer cult that was practiced with true contempt for death". Reich himself, however, adhered to the "principles of the strictest hygiene, because he lived in poverty, chastity and in the service of science." He was a vegetarian, bathed twice a day in cold water and always avoided appearances [17].

Reich gave lectures on “the doctrine of man in general and of health.” “He fought everything that was hostile to human welfare” so fiercely that “grim enemies arose” who wanted to destroy him. In his private sphere he made enemies through political statements who fought him and decried his works as mindless writing and as a poison to the plague. He complained that as “the politically branded one” and also because of his “radical scientific direction” he was prevented from accommodating some of his works, he was not able to get a “steadfast bread” [income] could provide. His financial need was so great that some of his creditors asked the police to confiscate his passport.

From his terrible financial need, Reich might have been able to help by practicing doctor, but this required acquiring Gotha citizenship and an examination by practitioners who, in his opinion, are "30 years behind science". For Reich, however, this was an imposition for his sense of honor, as he considered himself a “scholar of rank and name”, as “at that time already an internationally recognized authority in scientific hygiene”.

In the late summer of 1862, Reich began to work out his "History, Nature and Health Doctrine of Marital Life" [6, 18]. The basics of the "normal reproductive life in the state and society" should be determined in order to transfer the "institute of marriage" from the previous "exclusive general lease" of the "nature-ignorant theologians and legal scholars" into the hands of the " to lay hygienic doctors ”. The reactions to this book have been different. It was praised in specialist journals, including the Wiener Medicinische Wochenschrift, but a “certain class”, especially “Ultramontane and other night owls (in black robes) spew poison and bile against it”.

After Reich was appointed librarian of the ducal library in Coburg, he married Mathilde Loewel, the daughter of a finance councilor, in May 1869, who gave him nine children until her death in 1887 [17]. He held the librarianship until 1873, but was mostly on leave of half the salary. He was able to undertake various large and small trips abroad, in Germany and also to his homeland Moravia, where his political adventure ended in an unexpected way. After the “press amnesty” of July 31, 1865, he felt safe from persecution when visiting his parents in Olomouc in February 1866. However, it was due to an error of the k. k. Authorities imprisoned for high treason for eleven days, an incident that was also commented on several times in the Viennese "Presse" [19].

Still employed as a ducal librarian, Reich moved with his family to Kiel, where he was welcomed very warmly “in the learned circles”. In response to his formal request to the medical faculty for the “Venia legendi for the entire Hygieine”, an inquiry was made in Gotha. After the arrival of an "outrageous defamation", a negative opinion was drawn up about him by "the faculty (who were close friends with one of the private docents and district physicists who handed down the health police of the exhaust channels and slaughterhouses)" (a mild example of his style of expression; [5]). "In very less elastic terms," ​​Reich asked for his input back.

In the first half of 1870 Reich allowed himself to be seduced "by false pretenses of a man who lived in Würzburg and who he considered authoritative" to move to Würzburg with his wife and newborn son Napoleon. However, this guide could not be found there, so that after a few days the family went to Erlangen via Coburg. Reich stated there that "in his whole life and in the whole world he has not seen such big and stiff idiots". He finished his two-volume work “System der Hygieine” in Erlangen and then moved to Banz Castle near Coburg, which belongs to Bavaria. In autumn 1871 Reich wanted to move directly to Coburg, but had to move to Weimar because of an intrigue. In the absence of a suitable apartment in the city, the family spent the winter in the Moravian community of Dietendorf. In the summer of 1872 the family lived in Sonderhausen, from where they moved to Rostock in the autumn. There they lost “earthly goods” through one of the numerous deceivers there. Nevertheless, Reich felt at home in Rostock. He resigned as a ducal librarian the following year.

In the absence of further autobiographies, the following personal fate of Reich can only be traced very superficially, since the "Reich Archive" of the German Hygiene Museum with all documents was destroyed by an air raid on Dresden during World War II.

After the death of his wife Mathilde in 1887, Reich married Helene Stavenow in 1892, the daughter of a Hamburg merchant [17]. Other known places of residence are Blankenese in 1891, Biebrich am Rhein in 1892, Scheveningen (Netherlands) in 1893 and in Belgium from 1902 to 1914 in the cities of Ostend (1902), Nieuport-Bains (1903) and La Panne (1909). At the beginning of September 1914, when a foreigner was forced to leave Belgium, he fled to the Netherlands, leaving behind all his possessions, including his large library, where he died on February 1, 1919 in Muiderberg near Amsterdam [11, 17]. Although Reich is included in the usual medical biographical reference works with long lists of his numerous books and specialist articles, apart from his autobiographical information [5, 6] only two short biographical edits [8, 20] can be found in the medical literature.

Reich had tried three times in vain to continue the academic career he had begun in Bern. On November 18, 1867, he asked the Munich hygienist Max von Pettenkofer (1818–1901) to help him become a professor. He emphasized his knowledge not only of chemistry and physiology, but also of the indispensable "political-moral sciences and anthropology" [21]. On August 3, 1871, Reich turned to the zoologist and natural philosopher Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), referring to his circumstances as “a poor scholar” who “had to cover the amount of rent etc. with college money”. Since the medical faculties in Germany are not ready to give lectures in his sense on hygieine, on physiological, philosophical and social anthropology and these disciplines "fit much more into the philosophical than into the medical faculty", he turned to him [22]. The attempt to resume academic teaching most recently in Kiel was also unsuccessful.

Reich's principles of hygiene

Reich has the principles of his conception of hygiene in 1862 in the book “Volks-Gesundheits-Pflege” [23] and 1870–1873 more extensively in the two-volume textbook “System der Hygieine” [24] and in the “Grundriss der Hygieine for use for academic lectures and for Self-study ”[25] presented in detail. These works were supplemented by an extremely large number of other books and articles, which contain additions and modifications, but also very many repetitions. As far as it seemed necessary to me, I incorporated this literature into the discussion of Reich's basic structure of the “Hygieine” and provided it with references. In the following, however, I have used the term “hygiene” that is customary today and the current spelling in quotations.

In principle, Reich saw the task of hygiene not only to increase the workforce, but rather hygiene wants to "spiritualize, ennoble, beautify and make people healthy". "Wisdom and virtue, happiness and health of all, this is the ultimate goal of hygiene." Hygiene has to do with the whole human being as well as with his individual organs and systems, so whoever wants to "understand hygiene correctly" has to do with anthropology who have a correct understanding of physiology and psychology. Since hygiene teaches not only to maintain health, but also to prevent diseases, knowledge of the etiology of diseases is essential. And "just as the hygiene of the individual is based on the natural doctrine of the individual, so the hygiene of society is based on the natural doctrine of society", that is, on economics, population theory, politics, police science and statistics.

According to Reich's view [10, 26] the life processes are the consequences of the action of the outside world on the organism. If the "biogenetic factors" [Organism, outside world] work together in such a way that the metabolism proceeds without disturbance and with “general well-being, feeling of strength and pleasure”, we speak of wholesomeness. That means the preservation of the "vegetative-irritable, sensitive as well as spiritual-moral well-being of the individual as well as whole nations", the protection from common affects and passions and from all influences that destroy the somatic and psycho-moral ego. "The more nerve and soul power a person has, the less easily illnesses become dangerous to him" and there is "a very specific relationship to the inheritance of properties of the body and mind, to the inherited predispositions for suffering and ailments" [ 27].

“To be healthy, we must be good and wise: to be good and wise, we must be healthy. We become wise through teaching, good through upbringing, healthy through care. ”Upbringing and teaching are the care of the health of moral qualities, care par excellence is the care of the health of the physical qualities, that is, of material existence. "Because the human being is the unity of the physical and the moral and because the moral is only a special appearance of the physical: that is why education, instruction and care are one, they are health care or hygiene."

In terms of the type and intensity of interactions between the organism and the outside world, Reich describes it as ailment. Their cause can exist in the organism itself through "lowering of the forces of the organic household, the nervous system and the soul". But it can also lie in the type and strength of physical or moral environmental influences. But external influences that are normal in themselves can also have a pathogenic effect in the event of changes in the human condition. There would only be a “gradual difference” between health and illness, but no contradiction, since physiological and pathological processes proceed according to the same laws, but only under different conditions.

To understand the "physiological life" of individuals as well as entire nations with the various states and needs as well as to understand their relationships to the outside world [today: environment] According to Reich's conviction, knowledge not only of physiology is required, but also of natural history, physics, meteorology, geology, chemistry, geography, history and statistics. The Ä t i o l o g i e describes all these problems and circumstances of the development of diseases.

The H y g i e n e or G e s u n d h e i t s p f l e g e is “the philosophy, the science and the art of normal life; it teaches to prevent diseases, to preserve the entire physical and moral, personal and social well-being. Reich's vision of the result of the "powerful interlocking" of etiology and hygiene is the "preservation of the well-being of the individual as well as entire nationalities", the protection "from common affects and passions and from all the influences that destroy the somatic and psychological-moral self" ; the “intimate interaction of both doctrines” “alleviates pandemics and sporadic diseases, maintains health, extends life and thus contributes to the development of healthy offspring”. Based on the knowledge of the causes of illness and the nature of man, the social conditions and moral needs, hygiene seeks everywhere to promote the good and to prevent the evil, leads to virtue as well as to happiness. "Thus," diseases should be impossible, the Medicine superfluous ”. The ultimate goal of hygiene is not just to increase the productivity of the population for any economic or military purposes, but rather it wants to “spiritualize, ennoble, beautify, make people healthy” in order to achieve “virtue, happiness and health of all”.

With his ideal conception, Reich already described health 88 years before the definition of health by the World Health Organization [28] as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of illness and weakness".

In order to fulfill all of these tasks, the hygienist must recognize the etiology of the individual and social diseases. For Reich, this means that the hygienist not only has to correctly understand the natural theory of the individual, i.e. physiology, psychology and anthropology, but also natural history, physics, meteorology, geology, chemistry, geography, history and statistics, and also the natural theory of society, that is Know economics, population theory, statistics, politics and police science.

According to Reich's idea, the "aetiological-hygienic science" must be made common to all people. In addition to teaching, he found sermons on aetiology and Christian morality as well as laws and "state salvific institutions" to be suitable means for this. The politicians are not allowed to interfere in the process of “people education”, but must encourage it. From such a large number of students it would be easy to “find many free-thinking individuals out of the crowd, because it is important to place science and the state in the hands of thinking people”. However, limited minds "have to enjoy their lessons consistently in Sunday schools and similar institutions, and these institutes must be under the direction of a central medical authority, under the special and personal direction of a competent doctor". The “hygienic education of the whole person” that can be achieved in this way is the prerequisite for the benefit of the healing arts. However, Reich also deplores the doctors' lack of knowledge of etiology and hygiene, which he attributes to the failure of the universities. In many cases, relevant lectures are not offered at all and where this is the case, these are not held due to a lack of listeners. On the other hand, a princely ordinance on the compulsory attendance and examination of these subjects would provide a remedy. In addition, it would be desirable that every applicant for government or clerical employment, as well as every nurse and midwife, should undergo an examination of the most important teachings of popular physiology, etiology and health care.

In anticipation of future hospital hygiene, Reich recognized that therapy also requires hygiene everywhere, because "what use are all operations without ventilation, disinfection, etc. of the sick rooms? ”“ Where medicine is supposed to be effective, it can only do so provided that hygiene is active. ”Hygiene demands that the therapeutically working physician go beyond curing illnesses and seriously prevent suffering to take.

Reich divides hygiene according to its tasks into moral, social, dietetic and police hygiene. He also mentions the therapeutic hygiene given by Ribes [29], which is the use of health care to heal diseases.

The moral hygiene

Moral hygiene has the task of achieving and long-term moral health for the individual and for the community. To this end, it must regulate the spiritual and moral life, i.e. the processes of spirit, actions, mind and passions controlled by the human brain, so that the normal state results for the individual and the community. For these tasks the moral hygiene makes use of education, instruction and religion.

"The moral actions take place according to unchangeable laws of nature". They are an expression of the instinct for self-preservation and reproduction. In relation to them, “the so-called free will has no meaning; he can only influence the form of execution, not the act itself ”.

Moral life is threatened by misery and poverty, but also by injustices and certain traditions. Misery destroys physical and moral forces, in particular it hinders the development of good behavior, charity and community spirit.

In order to influence moral actions, not only must people's will be appealed to, but their natural needs must also be satisfied. These include improvements in social institutions, manners and customs and the enlightenment [Education, teaching, professional training] in favor of the individual and the whole.

The passions

Among the individual aspects of moral hygiene, Reich places passions in a prominent place. He describes these as intense ideas that contradict the ego, generate more or less strong tensions, which trigger the desire for balance. The normal, healthy passions harmonize with the health of the soul, the evil, pathological ones destroy it. "With all passions, a certain something dominates the powers of the soul and affects the purely physical functions." In the end, the passion has a debilitating effect, spoils the temperament and degenerates the character. In this way, the passions can become "destroyers of the health of the individual and the civil society as a whole, the cause of bloody deeds in private life and in world history" [2].

Reich makes long considerations, supported by copious literature citations, on the manifestations of passions in the individual temperaments, in men and women of different ages and habits, also depending on class, occupation, celibacy, diet [health status], Climate, Religion, Heredity, and Politics. He describes love, selfishness, hate, anger, envy, boredom, play, drinking and eating, homesickness and excessive drive to mental activity and other emotions as passions.

To regulate good passions and prevent bad passions, all means of physical hygiene, intellectual and moral education, religion and politics must work towards a strengthening of the will [2]. An important requirement is the security of livelihood. This also requires good political conditions, because "the more the parties rely on mutual persecution, ritualism, phraseology, righteousness, etc. are considered, the more unfavorably the moral conditions are influenced, the worse the passions are excited ”.

The general satisfaction of people with their situation in life is the essential basis of moral well-being and thus the regulation of passions and thus also a hygiene of the mind and the heart.

The spiritual life

In the second section of Moral Hygiene, Reich deals with the spiritual life. By this he means the “health care of the brain”, that is, the “cultivation of the spirit in accordance with nature”. Together with this “education in the broadest sense of the word”, health care must always go, otherwise “the spiritual life will soon deviate from the norm and become more or less pathological”. Its intensity and extent depend on the respective individuality, i.e. in particular on age, gender, constitution and temperament. In the course of life the circle of ideas expands, the mind develops and at a certain age the imagination predominates. Because of the possible harmfulness of intellectual work, everyone should only do as much mental work as he can do without harm. "Even the early exertion of the mind [in childhood] has a very detrimental effect on physical and moral forces ”.

Misery and neglect destroy mental activity and make people an idiot. Good social conditions, on the other hand, are the prerequisite for a lively intellectual life, since one has to think less about the satisfaction of life's necessities. However, “natural phenomena” such as mountains, water, thunderstorms and the climate, ie the environment, also have an influence on spiritual life. Also of great importance are work and employment, which “give the worker the means to protect himself and his descendants from being swamped”.

Reich describes the prevention of mental disorders as the primary task of the hygiene of intellectual life, whereby he discusses the views of psychiatry at the time.


Reich sees education as the third cornerstone of moral hygiene, on which health and welfare depend more than on other external influences. The "perfectly healthy, vigorous person who is reasonably well managed and not through education, school, etc. has been corrupted ”[27], has no tendencies towards violence, vindictiveness, vice or crime. Without education, however, these evil passions and urges can develop.

“But an excess of sterile knowledge and the accumulation of facts without the power of intellectual exploitation and practical application” have a harmful effect by reducing the scope for thinking and paralyzing action. “Peoples and individuals alike, to whom the school has impressed an excess of knowledge, are weak in thinking, awkward and clumsy in action”, they are indifferent to community life and cling to impractical norms.

The children are to be brought up with determination and severity under humane courtesy and loving treatment and must not be coerced by chastisement or other physical acts. In order to achieve moral health, the will of the children is to be educated, where it is lacking it is to be awakened and where it roars too stormily it is to be dampened. Of the greatest importance for the success of the lesson always remains its freedom. The more the school is influenced by the unqualified, the less able the teacher is to individualize and teach in a spirit of truth and real practice. "The freedom of teaching is the best guarantee that true morality will flourish."

It is very important to show the parents that they are interested in the education of their children and to provide them with the means to do so. "The slightest tax relief increases the number of literate and literate people in the state more than a legion of schoolmasters."

Religion and morality

The discussion of religion and morality closes the chapter on moral hygiene. In the detailed text, Reich can accommodate his attacks on clergy and religious practices, which are also often expressed, but which are not discussed further here.

However, he recognizes the purpose of religion to maintain social equilibrium and to support the individual in the vicissitudes of life. Depending on the size of the intellectual formation and moral strength, it is more morality for one person, more faith for the other, only morality for the philosopher, and only faith for the “servant”; therefore something different for everyone. “The individual has to shape the religion in detail according to his own needs; it may only be offered to him in general outlines and not with compulsion and must be so elastic that it easily corresponds to the particularity of the person. "

The foundations of religion are mind and conscience. The mind as a collective term for moral qualities relates to sensations of pleasure and displeasure and the drives, desires and actions that depend on them.

“A true religion that ennobles the mind and banishes passions, in happiness the arrogance, in misfortune not despair awakening, which contributes significantly to the temper [balanced] to make and to fill it with love and virtue is the best way to ensure hygiene, the real happiness of people. "

When it comes to conscience, a distinction is made between personal and moral conscience. The former gives us an idea of ​​ourselves, of our person and of the activity of our mind. The moral conscience is that inner voice that indicates what is inherently good or bad. It imparts the duty to do what is good and to refrain from doing what is evil. The moral feeling as a cornerstone of morality is only innate in its developable disposition. It is influenced in its development by the living conditions, by upbringing, political and social influences and by the environment. It must be developed through an education based on true morality.

Reich closes the chapter on moral hygiene by recognizing that ignorance and materialism (excessive selfishness and the rule of money) produce disease and misery; Reason and love, however, are the best remedies, the best health care measures.

Social hygiene

Social hygiene perceives the well-being of the entire population. With the help of statistics, she overlooks the community in its various states and follows the phenomena of social life. This can be the cause of illness for the individual through z. B. bad laws and institutions, wrong educational principles, bad morals, bad examples, arrogance of individuals, misery, wars, wrong economic facts, wrong jurisdiction, inadequate health care, inadequate public safety [30]. The physical and social well-being of a population is also very much promoted by adequate nutrition, because the easier a person can make a living, the less it is necessary for him to improve his situation through unethical or criminal acts. Everywhere where "bondage [Addiction] and mass poverty within a community ”, its existence is endangered by the resulting brute force and blind anger. Bad social conditions can also promote epidemic diseases, which in turn can worsen social conditions.

So if you want to keep a population happy and healthy, many measures are necessary at the same time, in particular an orderly state administration, good laws and norms, justice in the judge's office, reduction of taxes and duties, prevention of ignorance of the population through good teaching and promotion of science and Art, favoring charitable enterprises, abolition of professional privileges and "parasitism" [corruption], Honesty in public money affairs and generally a good example for those in public. Countries where this is absent and whose rule and struggle of the parties question property, poison morality and show the image of social illness such as mental disorders, crimes, suicide and vice.

A major cause of social health is work, which is based on the three pillars of morality, hygiene and economy. That is why entrepreneurs must be "merciful" [act socially] and [in guilds] "To meet in order to ensure the material and moral well-being of the workers without any real self-harm". "Where the work is not enough, there is mercy [social welfare] in addition, where work allows excess, reason comes in to regulate ”. For this it is essential that work and working people are respected and not just serve as means and tools for the benefit of others. The workers themselves “have to associate, to drop resentments and bitterness against their employers”. So "Morality and economy make an indissoluble bond between workers and employers for the purpose of enforcing the principle of 'each his own' on both sides, in order to enable and promote virtue and happiness on both sides." The community can through free Associations of all employees, aid associations, advance funds and savings banks contribute to this. And it "comes the hygiene and tells the employers, build houses for those whose hard work gives you wealth, education, health and honor", enables them a tidy life, "brightens their minds, ennobles their hearts", makes them "independent, strengthens their association, keeps them healthy ”.

Everyone must always be able to make a living from their work and the wages for their work must at least be sufficient to secure their livelihoods for themselves and their families. The amount of the wage depends on the training of the worker, but also on external circumstances. The work should also bring joy to the worker, which also contributes to the opportunity to cultivate his mind in his free time. "The more society develops, the more perfect the work becomes, the more it is spiritualized, the more finally it ensures people."

Poverty, however, can not only be the result of inadequate wages, but is also often enough the end result of inappropriate application of an overly high wage with the “result of lushness and debauchery, of overculture and overstimulation”. In general, the way in which material goods are used is of outstanding importance for social health, because a very large part of the national wealth is used by all classes of society, partly unproductive, partly to destroy productive forces.

Sociological movements, i.e. the number of births and deaths, and marriages and divorces, also have an impact on social health. These are i.a. influenced by morality, the state of the Enlightenment, prosperity, employment, constitution, age ratio of both sexes and also by the climate. So the natural loss of members must be covered by healthy and strong offspring who are raised to be healthy, reasonable and decent people. It is therefore the task of social hygiene to take care of the health of the conceived by influencing the procreative, thus to maintain the fertility of the people normally, that is, neither to multiply it excessively nor to artificially limit it. For this, marriage serves as the "basis of the family and thus that institution [Institution, establishment], on which the tradition of all human customs and culture is based. It is the basis of states because the family receives moral impressions, habituation to discipline and order, and reverence for authority, without which no state can exist. "This should marriages" between individuals with similar family dispositions, People with real cretinism, epilepsy and similar conditions ”and among relatives. However, he should ensure that “connections between completely foreign people, even people of different nationalities, are established” [10, 31]. Another purpose of marriage is for the spouses to stand up for one another. By promoting legitimate marriages in the working class, infant and child mortality will be reduced. As a result, one of the most important social and hygienic measures arises, the obligation of children and minors to attend school. The school must impart the necessary knowledge and civic virtues, but it must not be misused for the interests of political and church parties.

Sociological movements also arise through migration and affect countries of emigration and immigration. The consequences of emigration can be a gain for some countries and a loss for others. The emigrated people from unskilled or poorly educated classes will soon be replaced in their homeland. On the other hand, the emigration of professionally and mentally capable people has a greater aftereffect, since the society that remains behind usually does not have the means to replace it quickly. On the other hand, social health can also be influenced in the country of immigration. If, in fact, sufficient numbers of healthy people immigrate to a country "whose inhabitants are in the process of degeneration" [31], healthy offspring and a longer life for the entire population can be expected.

Dietary hygiene

Dietary hygiene or dietetics takes care of the physical well-being of the individual, of the normal maintenance of all activities that lie outside the conscious brain activities. A person's well-being is determined by how he satisfies bodily needs and how he makes use of his organs. For the maintenance of health, the correct use of food and luxury goods, clothing, physical exercises and personal hygiene, moderation in sleeping and wakefulness and in reproductive activities are important. Some of the circumstances that cannot be influenced or can only be influenced with difficulty by a large part of the population, such as living conditions in particular, but also the influences of atmosphere, light, soil, climate and changes due to changes in residence, can also have a major influence. In order to maintain health, dietary hygiene strives to find and apply measures that have a positive influence on these determining factors.

Its further goal is not only to maintain health, but also to extend it to the greatest possible age. The source of a long life is the good constitution of the person, which on the one hand depends on his physical disposition, which is a result of the condition of his creators. On the other hand, moderation and uniformity in moral and bodily relation are necessary, both with regard to food, cohabitation and every other thing. Reich believes that with such good behavior, long life becomes hereditary and that all peoples with long lifespans owe this to the strict observance of dietary regulations.

In Reich's view, dietary hygiene is based on the use of reason and caution, exercise and moderation, so true dietetics is based on morality and physical strength. It can only progress in small steps because it only works through advice and instruction, not through coercion. Above all, it must ally itself with upbringing, because only this secures the entrance, validity and dominance of dietetics. Certainly the educator is always the best herald and advocate of dietetics because, more than others, he influences people and especially young people.

The doctor should achieve recovery in the sick through dietary healing methods and provide the healthy person with well-being and life friends by recommending appropriate measures of dietary hygiene.

In the individual measures for good dietary hygiene, nutrition comes first for Reich, because "everything revolves around the feed". The diet must replace all the substances lost in the metabolism and also bring in the substances that are lacking in the organism, but also reduce those that are in excess. The more natural the food, the more certain it will help to maintain health and prevent disease. The choice of food is determined by individual and external circumstances, by age, morals, customs, prejudices and supposed needs, by external influences such as climate and employment. Reich discusses the various foods and beverages and their use in different ages.

In the dietetics of the body, the care of the skin is of great importance, because it serves to protect the body from the outside under the appropriate clothing. The bathroom plays an essential role in cleaning them. Not only does it take the dirt off the skin, it also has a positive effect on the muscles, blood vessels and skin nerves underneath. The skin is also more or less affected by cosmetics. The "hygienic cosmetics" should recommend that you clean yourself from the dirt of business, doing and idleness with clear, fresh water and not use any fragrant water, pomades, ointments or oils. The "worldly cosmetics" ensure social acceptance through well-groomed appearance and clothing and jewelry that are adapted to the respective situation.

An essential prerequisite for a healthy development of the body is gymnastics. Their neglect often results in infirmity and suffering. Systematic physical exercise must be the subject of education. Reich discusses the advantages and disadvantages of gymnastics, riding, dancing, running, marching, swimming and also of physical games.

He values ​​the "harmony of the sensory tools" as a prerequisite for full health. These require care from an early age, because the more correct the sensory perceptions, the greater the possibility of correct conclusions and a normal view of life. Various measures are given for the development and care of the senses.

As hygienic rules for essential sleep, Reich says: one should sleep in spacious, cool or moderately warm, well-ventilated, dry rooms without glaring light, do not eat too much before going to bed, empty urine and stool and avoid getting through passions and To excite feelings strongly. However, "whoever is fully grown, has the necessary excess of strength and without having to be artificially stimulated, feels the real urge to mate, do the business of procreation."

In line with the housing situation of the 19th century, Reich sees healthy housing for the poor and workers as the first step out of the misery and the renovation of entire city districts as the best way to improve general health. Densely populated places of residence have high disease and mortality rates and, as a result, higher crime rates. “Unhealthy populations living under the harmful influences of darkness, foul air, humidity, cold and hunger persist in unregulated instincts and passions. The power of education remains a power unknown to them, a power ineffective against them. ”The apartment will help to extend life and improve health if it is in a good area, on good land, offers the necessary space, is dry, and has light Lets in air through large, well-closing windows and is free of bad smelling outflows [due to the lack of sewerage].

Man is a product of the climate on which he depends. He has to adapt to it and also resist it in order to preserve health. But "morality is also determined by the climate."

Everyone lives within their climatic conditions, which they are more or less exposed to due to changing weather. In the local climate, the healthier, more elastic and hardened he is, the less it affects him. In general, mild climates are most conducive to humans. If he lives in unfamiliar climates, his health and well-being depend on how much he has the ability and will to acclimate. He "has to live strictly according to the hygiene and control himself with iron force, has to be careful and wise". Thus the devastating dangers of the tropical climate, the "alternating fever arising from the miasm of the swamps" [malaria], overcome after "having started to be hygienic and practiced". “But it is not enough to resist the climate by means of hygiene and education; it is also necessary to change the climate more often by traveling ”.

Police hygiene

The police hygiene or health police (state hygiene) strives for the well-being of the entire population and has the health authority as the executive body. Their task is "to locate and destroy or eliminate the causes of the disease and to arrange the rules and regulations, observance of which ensures the immediate physical health of the people". [Today we must supplement this with emotional and social well-being, WHO, 1946.] The health police have to take care of the prevention of adulteration of food and beverages and to take care of those institutes which serve the purposes of the sanitary conditions of the residences, schools, barracks, prisons, factories, camps and cleaning establishments as well as the prevention and control of endemics and serve epidemic diseases.

Police hygiene must “not preach, ask, suggest, submit, believe irrelevantly: it will command it on the basis of scientific conviction”. Because despite respect for the civil liberty of the individual and his refusal to intervene by the state in private affairs, one must “compel everyone to submit to the law of health, to take health care measures and to respect the office of health”. Police hygiene therefore demands “obedience for the general good, for general happiness; it rebukes the sluggish, it punishes those who violate their rules ”because“ they endanger the health of his and his fellow citizens ”. So it is not a contradiction in terms when the state “in the pot, in the bed, in the toilet [Abortion] the citizen sticks his nose ”. The state does not ask about their beliefs and convictions, it just wants to regulate the behavior of every citizen in terms of health.

Hygiene does not recognize a utopian absolute freedom, but only that relative freedom through which “the individual is enabled to accomplish the good, to recognize and eliminate the evil and the harmful”. This "self-help" alone is just as insufficient as an exclusive "state aid" to achieve the goals of the health police. This is intended to provide guidance and guidance, because when she is alone, “a bureaucratic spirit easily gets into the machine and the red thread is no longer the salvation of people, but the prejudice, conceit and narrow-mindedness of the clerk it."

The practicing, especially the police, hygiene, since its worst opponent is misery, must go hand in hand with compassion and philanthropy and "always and everywhere paralyze the wrong conclusions of one-sided and uncomfortable economists". It is therefore "urgently necessary to work vigorously against the false and immoral economy, to inspire mercy and humanity and by promoting the association [Aid associations, pension funds, savings banks] and other institutions aimed at general welfare to prevent the sinking of individuals, to restore those who have already sunk to normal life. "

The Council of Welfare

In the area of ​​police hygiene, Reich concentrates his “views and wishes” on that “everything that falls within the breadth of health, education, public charity and safety belongs before the forum of a council of welfare”. This welfare council is divided into a “Council of Health”, a “Council of Education” and a “Council of Security (Police and Public Aid)”. All three councils consist of a “legislative part” and an “executive part”. The members of the legislative part should be elected by the people and one-third should belong to the council permanently and two-thirds should alternate. They should be "hygienists, educators, moralists, naturalists, doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians, cameramen, police officers, technicians and highly educated people without a specific subject". The self-elected chairmen should change annually. Such welfare councils should exercise their activities as departmental councils, as provincial councils and, for the whole state, as general councils. You must be free from the influence of parties, politics, government and church, because "the council of welfare cannot tolerate an authority over itself".

"Only the council of welfare should, after hearing public opinion, pass and implement laws of health." Affect people. "Not regulations of behavior, but regulations of a hygienic, or specifically designated: nosophoric [nosos=Disease, phthora=destruction], Regiments are the laws of health. ”They“ must be appropriate to the state of the state as well as to the spirit of the people for whom they are given ”. The health laws should use clear language that rules out any misunderstanding. If these laws correspond to all of this, "one is entitled to punish the transgressor, the violator of the same".

But “the strictest law of health and its most exact implementation only remove symptoms and this only for the moment; Without an economy harmoniously united with morality, without the elimination of misery and the redemption of excessive selfishness, without a natural formation of the mind and refinement of the heart, the law of health has no basis ”.

Reich describes the hygienist named first among the members of the welfare councils as “a man who, on the basis of a philological, mathematical, philosophical, historical and literary education, studied the natural sciences, medicine and the political and moral sciences and, on this basis, all of them Made hygiene its own. Hygiene can be studied and understood in its full scope and as the philosophy, science and art of healthy living, the preservation of health and the prevention and destruction of the causes of disease, only on the basis indicated, and welfare and health will be found in all relevant general questions, not the doctor as such, the moralist as such, the technician as such, but only the hygienist as such should be competent. "

In order to remedy the lack of university training for hygienists, who previously had to acquire their own knowledge, Reich calls for the establishment of chairs for moral, social and dietary hygiene and those for police hygiene at universities. In addition, the subjects of medicine, pedagogy and political and moral sciences offered by universities, i.e. morality, social science, politics and the police, are necessary for the study of welfare. “For a successful study of medicine and for a precise understanding of the whole of hygiene”, a purified philosophy that is separate from all systems is of particular importance. Both can not stop at the found facts, neither in teaching nor in practice, for they have to untangle “this tangle of deceptive and imagined connections of cause and effect” and “separate them from those who are really in accordance with the physical and moral laws of nature ". For this, medicine in general and hygiene do not require the school philosophy, "but that pure and, because systemless, natural philosophy that springs from the unbiased study of indisputable facts".

The universities should be "independent of the state, of the church and the ruling parties, rotten, sects" as well as of "foolishness and prejudices of society" and also "free of caste and guild spirit". It seems expedient that in addition to the state universities, free universities supported by individual citizens should also be founded, but none of them are divided into faculties. There was only one kind of professors to be appointed with a salary sufficient for a decent living, from the university itself and not from the state. For “every branch of human knowledge and ability” one professor is generally sufficient, along with an unlimited number of lecturers. College fees and exams would be omitted for students. The “doctor's dignity” is to be retained, but due to the required abolition of the faculties, it is only granted by the university itself and only for academic merits. But one should never be able to acquire a doctorate out of one's own efforts in a course of study, so that “no practitioner is forced to do a doctorate”. The Venia legendi can easily be given to anyone who has made himself known through scientific work.

After this discussion of his demands for the training of hygienists and for the universities in general, Reich turned to the tasks of political hygiene, to the deployment of the health police in their sub-areas.

The health police for food and beverages must prevent consumers from getting sick or dying from spoiled or poisoned food. In society, out of “gainfulness, meanness, hard heartedness of the one and hardship of the other”, their health is endangered by poor or inadequate food. "As long as there are poor people and cowardice and worthlessness towards them among the better-off, the bourgeois community must hold its protective hand over the unfortunate". Reich takes all citizens into the duty to “collect supplies of unadulterated, good food and to distribute it to all needy in times of need”. Especially in times of need, “doors and gates are open to unfortunately not sporadic, unscrupulous fraud; It is precisely in these times that the needs of the body, and especially that of the poor, are most falsified. The poor do not have the means to get good and unadulterated food; it must therefore be offered to him in abundance by the public authority. ”However, so that some of their organs do not also make forgeries out of profit-seeking,“ an authority composed of impartial but largely experts should watch over the quality of the supplies, and especially before every public distribution of Check foods carefully for authenticity ”.

Plant-based foods in particular are suitable for abuse through “meanness and profitability”. “It can be said that the manufacturers, because they are more or less heavily pregnant with knowledge of chemistry, use this knowledge and their natural skills not for the good, but for the ruin of people”. Reich uses an example to illustrate the difference between fraud and health hazards for the population. If anyone were to sell good white wine instead of real champagne, it would be a fraud, but without any harm to health; but if vitriol of copper or mercury oxide are added to bread, this is a serious attack on the life and health of the population.

Reich discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the different groups of food, beverages and tableware.

Health Police of Institutes and Residences

Reich's heart contracts convulsively when he is supposed to “give instructions on how to make people brimming with health so that they have more strength”, as soldiers butcher each other or as workers “in the interests of the factory owner's desire to grind himself off the machine and to leave behind women and children in hunger and misery ”.