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National WWII Museum Explores Hitler’s Twisted Medical Theories

"Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race" Opens July 25. A thought-provoking exhibition examining the complicity of physicians and scientists in Nazi racial health policies.

NEW ORLEANS (July 17, 2012) — The Nazi perversion of medicine and science are the subjects of a sobering and thought-provoking new exhibition, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, opening July 25 at The National WWII Museum.

Locally sponsored by the Tulane University School of Medicine and produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, Deadly Medicine documents the Nazis’ efforts to “cleanse” German society of persons seen as biological threats to the nation’s identity and health. The result included the mass sterilization of “hereditarily diseased” persons and a fierce campaign to annihilate European Jewry.

“The Nazis used false science to support both their ideology and the Holocaust,” explained Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, president and chief executive officer of The National WWII Museum. “If people could be labeled sub-human, they could then be exterminated or experimented upon without guilt. This corruption of medical practices should horrify everyone. But it must be recalled and remembered. This exhibition ensures such abuses will never be forgotten.”

Deadly Medicine traces the misuse of medicine from the early 20th-century international eugenics movement to the Nazi regime’s “science of race.” It also challenges viewers to reflect on present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the idea of human perfection as well as the practice of warping science for political gain.

“These issues and how they influenced fields like bioethics are topics of import,” says Dr. Benjamin P. Sachs, dean of the Tulane University School of Medicine. “We hope both our medical community and the general public will walk away from Deadly Medicine with a better understanding that respect for all human beings has to be the essence of the medical profession.”

Several lectures and events on the subject are also planned, including an Aug. 1 book-signing with exhibition curator Dr. Susan Bachrach of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and a Sept. 6 talk by Eva Kor, a survivor of the notorious Nazi Dr. Mengele’s medical experiments. Other programs include a screening of the film Sophie’s Choice and a discussion of the book; lectures on bio-ethics (then and now) at the Tulane University School of Medicine and Tulane’s Uptown Campus; and an educators’ afternoon where local teachers are invited to explore the exhibit and gather classroom resources. For a full list of events and programs, please visit http://nationalww2museum.org/visit/exhibits/deadly-medicine.html.

“The National WWII Museum is committed to reaching young audiences,” said Mueller. “By showing how the Nazis manipulated medicine to support racial prejudice, they can understand the dangers of manipulating science to achieve political ends.”

View Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race in the Joe W. and D.D. Brown Foundation Special Exhibit Gallery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from July 25, 2012 through Oct. 15, 2012.

Tulane University School of Medicine
One of the nation's most recognized centers for medical education, Tulane University School of Medicine is a vibrant center for education, research and public service. Celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2009, Tulane School of Medicine is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States.

Tulane School of Medicine recruits top faculty, researchers and students from around the world, and pushes the boundaries of medicine with groundbreaking medical research and surgical advances. From invention of the binocular microscope to robotic surgeries, Tulane School of Medicine remains at the forefront of modern medical innovation. Tulane School of Medicine is equipping the next generation of medical professionals with the tools to succeed in a rapidly changing world and shape the future of health care. On a daily basis, we strive to meet our mission of "Education, Research and Patient Care: We Heal Communities."

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.

 

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