Zugersee Psychiatric Clinic
A Charitable Institution of the Brothers of Mercy of Maria-Hilf
In the nineteenth century, there was no cantonal mental asylum in Central Switzerland. Overcrowding at St Urban asylum often stood in the way of the intercantonal concordat. Thus, a further institution was needed in Central Switzerland. In 1909, the enterprising Capuchin friar Rufim Steimer (1866–1928) opened the “Sanatorium Franziskusheim” in Zug, providing sixty beds for “insane or emotionally disturbed” patients. Patients were cared for by members of the Forest Brotherhood. In the first few years, occupancy was low and the asylum faced public criticism owing to strong doubts about the psychiatric and professional qualifications of the-then director and his fellow brothers. Steimer was dismissed from office in 1916. In 1923, the “Congregation of the Brothers of Mercy of Maria-Hilf” took over the home, which soon expanded and in 1931 housed 190 mentally ill male patients. In 1927, Meisenberg Clinic, an (also Catholic) clinic for female patients, was opened in the Canton of Zug. In 1931, the psychiatrist Baptist Manser (1898–1985) was appointed director of both clinics, which he served as until 1961 and 1965 respectively. It was not until 1980 that female patients were admitted to “Oberwil Psychiatric Clinic,” as the Franciscan home was now called. Several conversions and extensions followed. Since 2007, the clinic has been known as “Zugersee Psychiatric Clinic.”
According to a statement received from the clinic, no drawings are held in the historical case files from the period 1909–1930. No archival research was conducted.
Höck, Paul, Die Entwicklung der institutionellen Psychiatrie im Kanton Zug, Zug 1994