Hallervorden was born in Allenburg, East Prussia (Druzhba, Znamensk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) to psychiatrist Eugen Hallervorden. He studied medicine at the Albertina in Königsberg. He worked in Berlin in 1909/10 and from 1913 on in Landsberg/Warthe (Gorzów Wielkopolski). In 1921 and 1925/26 he worked at the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Psychatrie in Munich, he left Landsberg in 1929 to organize a centralized psychiatric healthcare in the Province of Brandenburg.
In 1938, he became the head of the Neuropathology Department of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research. He was a member of the Nazi Party, and admitted to knowingly performing much of his research on the brains of executed prisoners and participated in the action T4 euthanasia program.
In a conversation with Leo Alexander, a Jewish Austrian neurologist and Holocaust refugee who was forced to emigrate to the United States during World War II, Hallervorden said the following of his participation in the T4 program:
Hallervorden: "Look here now, boys. If you are going to kill all those people, at least take the brains out so that the material can be utilized.” They asked me, “ How many can you examine?” and so I told them ... the more the better".
Along with Hugo Spatz, Hallervorden is credited with the discovery of Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome (now referred to as Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration). After World War II, Hallervorden became President of the German Neuropathological Society and continued his research at the Max Planck Institute in Giessen, Germany.
- Castell, Rolf (2003). Geschichte der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie in Deutschland in den Jahren 1937 bis 1961 (in German). p. 513. ISBN 3-525-46174-7.
- Kondziella, D (2009). "Thirty neurological eponyms associated with the nazi era". European Neurology (Review). 62 (1): 56–64. doi:10.1159/000215880. PMID 19407456.
- Strous, Rael D.; Morris C. Edelman (March 2007). "Eponyms and the Nazi Era: Time to Remember and Time For Change" (PDF). Israel Medical Association Journal. 9 (3): 207–214. PMID 17402342. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- Shevell, Michael; Jüergen Peiffer (August 2001). "Julius Hallervorden's wartime activities: implications for science under dictatorship". Pediatr Neurol. 25 (2): 162–165. doi:10.1016/s0887-8994(00)00243-5. PMID 11551747.
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