Kellerske Institutions

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Current status Closed
Detainees.gif Capacity 600-900
Checked February 17, 2012
Open.gif Opened 1898
Close.gif Closed 1962

The Kellerske Institutions (In Danish: De kellerske anstalter) was the name of 3 different residential treatment facilities in Denmark.

The main facility in the small town Bregning was a new thing in Denmark. The goal was to create a residential treatment facility which could function almost entirely on its own independent of the surrounding community [1][2].

For the most rebelious patients the management created two treatment facilities on the isolated islands Livoe (male) and Sprogoe (female).

The island facility for males was founded in 1911. It closed in 1961 [3].

The female only facility on Sprogoe existed from 1923 to 1959 (Some sources state 1961) [4]. Most of the women were deemed pathologically promiscuous and the main concern was to avoid pregnancies. A number of the women were "rescued" by local fishermen but often the condition was that the women had to marry their rescuer.

The treatment facilities were founded by Johan Keller. His son Christian Keller did later become the manager.

Program structure

Life on the isolated island was not prisonlike. They were free to walk around the island but forced to participate in farming activities and repair work on facilities. However if they acted up they could be injected with medication or being forced to undergo electroconvulsive therapy. Mechanical restraints were also utilized.

The goal of the facility was to collect people from the entire country that were mentally challenged and remove them from the ordinary society in order to prevent them from having children. Inspired by American eugenics legislation Denmark passed a law allowing the authorities to sterilize people who were judged as mentally disabled in 1929 as the first country in Europe [5]. Before WWII reducing the ability of reproducing among the mentally challenged patients were accepted by the general society, however due to little interest from the newspapers this approach continued to be widespread up to the 1970s.

Many were sterilized before they were released into the care of their family or less strict group homes. Many were in general trained as cheap labor for wealthier part of the population.

Se also

External Links

Info pages

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  1. De Kellerske Anstalter, Dansk Forsorgshistorisk museum Dk8.gif
  2. The former facility on Google maps Part of the area is now a hotel
  3. The Livoe facility on Google maps
  4. The Sprogoe facility on Google maps
  5. Sprogoe, Dansk Forsorgshistorisk museum Dk8.gif