Emanuel Tanay

Obituary
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Emanuel "Emek" Tanay, M.D., 86, a Holocaust survivor and renowned forensic psychiatrist died on August 5, 2014 among family following a long and valiant battle with advanced prostate cancer. Dr. Tanay testified as an expert witness in thousands of court cases-including those of notorious defendants such as Jack Ruby; Theodore "Ted" Bundy; and Dr. Sam Sheppard. His legendary career is described in his book, American Legal Injustice.

Dr. Tanay was a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He was also awarded the Golden Apple, the highest award given by the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He taught widely in the United States and Europe and published numerous articles about forensic psychiatry, post-traumatic stress, and the Holocaust. He was a consultant to the German government regarding compensation to survivors of concentration camps. Dr. Tanay was a Resident Scholar at the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton College of New Jersey. He is also a past president of the Michigan Psychiatric Society, The Michigan Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and taught Psychiatry and the Law at Wayne State University, Michigan.

He was a champion of those suffering from psychic trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); he successfully lobbied the American Psychiatric Association to recognize PTSD as a diagnosable and treatable medical condition. His career took him all over the world, from Alaska to Viet Nam to examine perpetrators of homicide and lend his expertise in trial for both prosecution and defense cases as well as government inquiries.

Dr. Tanay's expertise in the area of psychic trauma was a direct result of his own personal experiences. As a Jewish child, he survived the Holocaust in Poland and Hungary by hiding in a monastery and living on false papers. He wrote his account of his survival in a memoir, Passport to Life. It also appears in the documentary, "Courage to Care," and is part of The U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum and Shoah Foundation interview project.

He had promised should he survive, he would pursue psychiatry in order to understand the murderous mind of those who perform acts like that which killed his father, the greatest tragedy of his life. Donations may be made to The U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC in his honor.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Sandra, their son David Tanay; Dr. Tanay's daughters, Elaine Tanay and Anita Hersh from an earlier marriage to Dr. Antoinette Tanay, their spouses, Stacey, Mel and Steve, and grandchildren, Aaron, Sarah and Jeremy Hersh; Rachel, James and Catherine Tanay; niece, Danita Needleman of Sydney, Australia is the daughter of his late sister, Ruth.

Visitation will be 11 a.m. Saturday, September 13, at Nie Funeral Home, Liberty Road Chapel, 3767 West Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan. A memorial service will follow at noon.
Published on NYTimes.com from Sept. 3 to Sept. 4, 2014
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