Holocaust Museum program shows ‘How Healers Became Killers’

The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus will on January 27 host “How Healers Became Killers, Nazi Medical Professionals,” to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The program also marks the opening of “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race”, which is slated to run until July 11.

“We are proud to host this thought-provoking exhibit and opening program which scrutinizes the role medical professionals had in the Holocaust,” said Holocaust Memorial Center CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld. “The most important lesson we teach is that history is made through a series of choices and that every choice has a consequence. By teaching the lessons of the Holocaust, our fervent hope is that each of us will be upstanders, not bystanders, when we witness wrongful actions.”

During the 7 p.m. online program, Dr. Patricia Heberer-Rice, senior historian from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), will discuss how medical professionals enforced policies of compulsory sterilization, as well as the “Euthanasia” program. Through these legalized programs, the Nazis murdered 650,000 people and set an important precedent for the Holocaust.

Register at holocaustcenter.org/events/upcoming-events/.

Produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the traveling exhibit Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to help legitimize persecution, murder, and ultimately, genocide.

According to exhibition curator Susan Bachrach, “Deadly Medicine explores the Holocaust’s roots in then-contemporary scientific and pseudo-scientific thought. At the same time, it touches on complex ethical issues we face today, such as how societies acquire and use scientific knowledge and how they balance the rights of the individual with the needs of the larger community.”

Eugenics theory sprang from turn-of-the-20th-century scientific beliefs asserting that Charles Darwin’s theories of “survival of the fittest” could be applied to humans. Supporters, spanning the globe and political spectrum, believed that through careful controls on marriage and reproduction, a nation’s genetic health could be improved.

The exhibit is open Sunday through Friday and free with museum admission or membership. To learn more, visit holocaustcenter.org or call 248-553-2400.

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