May 17th, 2018 – July 28th, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, May 17, 2018, 5:30 – 8:00pm. Free and open to the public. Register Here.
“The national state . . . must set race in the center of all life. It must take care to keep it pure. It must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. It must see to it that only the healthy beget children. . . . The state must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and the selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing. . . . It must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge.”— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925)
From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany carried out a campaign to “cleanse” German society of people viewed as biological threats to the nation’s “health.” Enlisting the help of physicians and medically trained geneticists, psychiatrists, and anthropologists, the Nazis developed racial health policies that started with the mass sterilization of “hereditarily diseased” persons and ended with the near annihilation of European Jewry.
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race traces this history from the early 20th-century international eugenics movement to the Nazi regime’s “science of race.” It also challenges viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection.
Exhibition Produced by:
This exhibition is made possible through the support of The David Berg Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, The Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Temporary Exhibitions Fund established in 1990, and The Dorot Foundation.
Image: Dr. Otmar von Verschuer examines twins at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. As the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s Department for Human Heredity, Verschuer, a physician and geneticist, examined hundreds of pairs of twins to study whether criminality, feeble-mindedness, tuberculosis, and cancer were inheritable. In 1927, he recommended the forced sterilization of the “mentally and morally subnormal.” Verschuer typified those academics whose interest in Germany’s “national regeneration” provided motivation for their research.–Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem