Reviews Exhibition

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 26 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:517
  1. Dan Engber, freelance journalist (
  1. San Francisco, United States

    An exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, S W Washington, DC, 20024-2126, USA, until 16 October 2005

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    Between 1939 and 1945 more than 200 000 “incurable” patients in Germany were murdered under strict medical supervision. Among these were at least 5000 children—disabled boys and girls who had been singled out for euthanasia in state hospitals by a panel of expert physicians. How did scientists and doctors come to join ideologues and politicians in such a heinous crime? This major exhibition tells the story.

    The show begins with something right out of Gunther von Hagens' “Körperwelten” or “Body Worlds” (see BMJ 2001;323: 698)—a full size anatomical model of a transparent man, his arms outstretched and head tilted back in rapture. A central element in Nazi public health campaigns, the Glass …

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