ROME (Jul. 21)
Where Cesare Lombroso, Italy’s famous criminologist and alienist left off, Dr. Jacob Eisenstadt, once a penniless Polish Jew, but now granted Italian citizenship by a special royal decree because of his important scientific contributions, carries on. The struggling young scientist who came to Naples a decade ago friendless, poverty-stricken and with no resources but his exceptional abilities is now being hailed as one of modern Italy’s greatest scientists.
His ten years of study, research, and experimentation in psychiatry and criminology, the fields in which Professor Lombroso earned world-wide fame, have now won for Dr. Eisenstadt an appointment as professor of psychiatry at the University of Naples. In this post he succeeds his late teacher and friend, Prof. Leonardo Bianci, head of the university’s department of psychiatry.
Dr. Eisenstadt, who is only 33, was born in Mezricz, Poland, the son of Orthodox parents. When the Russian army evacuated Poland in 1915 he fled to Russia. There he studied at the Moscow high school and Moscow University. On the outbreak of the Russian Revolution he was obliged to drop his studies. After many hardships he reached Vienna and eventually Naples.
During his student days at the University of Naples, he often knew hunger and privation. His rare talents interested Professor Bianci who rendered him moral and material aid. Later Professor Bianci appointed him as his assistant and he was fully launched on his successful scientific career, which has now been climaxed by his appointment to Professor Bianci’s position and a royal decree granting him Italian citizenship.
Even before these honors came to him, Dr. Eisenstadt was a scientist of repute. His recent book on the influence of rational education on abnormal and criminal types is regarded here and abroad as a work of exceptional importance. His last six years have been devoted almost exclusively to preparations and experiments in connection with this opus. Assisted by a subsidy from the University of Naples he traveled abroad and spent a full year in Leningrad at the clinic of the famous Professor Bektierev with whom he carried on extensive research into the characteristics of the brain cells, on the possibilities of thought transmission and on hypnotism.
Professor Eisenstadt has advanced the theory that the human brain creates electro-magnetic rays which can be transmitted and received by other human beings, and even by animals. His recent experiments in this direction, which have aroused tremendous interest in scientific circles everywhere, are believed to substantiate this theory.
Of particular interest to the Italian scientific world are Dr. Eisenstadt’s experiments on so-called “born criminals.” He has endeavored to demonstrate that even “born criminals” who have inherited criminal traits from their parents can, through a specially-devised system of education, acquire new traits, be freed of their criminal instincts and become useful members of society.
By experimenting with 2,736 criminals and abnormal types in the insane asylums and prisons of Naples, he believes he has proved the correctness of his theory. In 92.2 percent of his cases he has achieved cures and converted these abnormal and degenerate types into useful citizens.
The Italian press has hailed Professor Einsenstadt’s achievements as “conferring glory upon science and humanity.” One paper declared that thanks to his researches Italians “have received a ray of hope and confidence in the future of our race, whose existence has been threatened by an extraordinary growth of nervous and mental diseases.”