Visit the Museum

Exhibitions

Learn

Teach

Collections

Academic Research

Remember Survivors and Victims

Genocide Prevention

Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial

Outreach Programs

Other Museum Websites

About This Event

Time: August 25, 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. EDT

Ticket: Free, Registration Required

Location: Virtual Event

Co-presented with:

Central Logo
  • As the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s Department for Human Heredity, Dr. Otmar von Verschuer, a physician and geneticist, examined hundreds of pairs of twins to study whether criminality, feeble-mindedness, tuberculosis, and cancer were inheritable. Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin Dahlem
  • As the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s Department for Human Heredity, Dr. Otmar von Verschuer, a physician and geneticist, examined hundreds of pairs of twins to study whether criminality, feeble-mindedness, tuberculosis, and cancer were inheritable. Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin Dahlem

Physicians played an important role as planners and implementers of Nazi racial hygiene policy. Museum Senior Historian Patricia Heberer Rice will discuss how medical professionals worked to apply two significant aspects of Nazi policy: compulsory sterilization and the clandestine "euthanasia" program, the Nazis’ first program of mass murder. 

Compulsory sterilization, through which 400,000 Germans were legally sterilized, was enforced through the German legal system and involved physicians in the roles of denouncers, jurists, and enforcers of sterilization policy. Likewise, medical professionals instigated and carried out the so-called Nazi "euthanasia" program, murdering 200,000 mentally and physically disabled patients and seting an important precedent for the Holocaust.

Speaker
Patricia Heberer Rice, Director, Division of the Senior Historian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

To learn more, explore the Museum’s exhibition Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race online at ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/deadly-medicine-creating-the-master-race. It examines the history of the early 20th-century international eugenics movement and the complicity of physicians and scientists in Nazi racial policies. Deadly Medicine challenges us to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection.

This program is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

For more information, please contact the Midwest Regional Office at midwest@ushmm.org.