NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 107-141

First online:

„Entkrüppelung der Krüppel“

Der Siemens-Schuckert-Arbeitsarm und die Kriegsinvalidenfürsorge in Deutschland während des Ersten Weltkrieges
  • Simon BihrAffiliated withInstitut für Geschichte, Technische Universität Darmstadt Email author 


The massive industrialization of World War I resulted in a previously unimaginable number of casualties. The military and civil agencies in Germany that managed the welfare systems for veterans collaborated with companies, engineers and physicians to produce prosthetic arms, hands and legs that would allow disabled former soldiers to re-enter the factory as productive workers. This article focuses on the one of the best known arm prosthesis, the Siemens-Schuckert-Arm. While other historians have argued that the military command “recycled” disabled soldiers effectively, this article argues instead that this “recycling” was incomplete due to three factors: not all offices and individuals worked together effectively; the price of the arm was too high; and employers thought the disabled would be less productive then female or elderly workers. In other words, while military and civil welfare agencies attempted to re-purpose disabled soldiers using advanced prosthetic technology, their efforts fell far short of fully reintegrating these soldiers into the war effort.


Erster Weltkrieg Prothesen Kriegskrüppel Siemens-Schuckert Verein Deutscher Ingenieure

“De-mutilating the Cripples”. The Siemens-Schuckert-Prosthesis and Welfare for Disabled Soldiers in Germany during the First World War


First World War prostheses war cripples Siemens-Schuckert Association of German Engineers