Presentation By The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Deadly Medicine: Creating The Master Race, Insights from the Exhibition

This event was held on March 9, 2012 at Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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Join us for an informative presentation by The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in conjunction with their traveling exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race (now on display at the UM Taubman Health Sciences Library through April 13).

Dr. Dieter Kuntz, historian at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, DC, will discuss the theme of the exhibit, which illustrates how Nazi leadership enlisted people in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good to legitimize persecution, murder, and ultimately genocide. This event is co-sponsored by The Taubman Health Sciences Library and the UM Center for the History of Medicine.

From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany carried out a campaign to "cleanse" German society of individuals 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 began with the mass sterilization of "genetically diseased" persons and ended with the near annihilation of European Jewry.

To relate this history, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum assembled objects, photographs, documents, and historic film footage from European and American collections and presents them in settings evoking medical and scientific environments. Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race inspires reflection on the continuing attraction of biological utopias that promote the possibility of human perfection. From the early twentieth-century international eugenics movements to present-day dreams of eliminating inherited disabilities through genetic manipulation, the issues remain timely.

Dr. Dieter Kuntz, the speaker for this evening's event, received a Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Kansas, and has taught courses in European history and on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust at both the University of Kansas and the University of Iowa. His numerous publications include chapters in anthologies such as "The Holocaust Chronicle" (2000), "The Routledge History of the Holocaust" (2011), and the forthcoming "Jewish Resistance to the Nazis." At the Holocaust Museum since 1999, he has worked on a number of Museum exhibits and was instrumental in the development of the exhibit Deadly Medicine, and is editor of the resulting publication Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race (2004). He is currently in charge of the Museum's seminars for university faculty on Teaching about the Holocaust, and also directs the Campus Outreach Lecture Program.

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