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Anatomy textbook has Nazi origins

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1422

Cadavers in an anatomy textbook, the Pernkopf Anatomy, may have been the victims of political terror, allege two American doctors.

In a letter to JAMA Dr Howard Israel, an oral surgeon at Columbia University, New York, and Dr William Seidelman, the director of an AIDS clinic at the University of Toronto, also state that the author of the textbook was an ardent Nazi (JAMA 1996;276:1633-4).

The two doctors say that Dr Eduard Pernkopf became dean of the University of Vienna Faculty of Medicine after the Anschluss in 1938. A photograph in the New York Times of 26 November 1938 shows him in Nazi uniform standing under a portrait of Hitler while addressing the uniformed faculty from which he purged its Jewish members. Dr Pernkopf's illustrators incorporated small …

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