Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race


Deadly Medicine-Creating the Master Race

November 17, 2011 - January 15, 2012

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.


“Deadly Medicine” provokes reflection on the continuing attraction of biological utopias that promote the possibility of human perfection. From the early 20th century international eugenics movements to present-day dreams of eliminating inherited disabilities through genetic manipulation, the issues remain timely.


“’Deadly Medicine’ explores the Holocaust’s roots in then-contemporary scientific and pseudoscientific thought,” explained Exhibition Curator Susan Bachrach. “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.”


This version of “Deadly Medicine” is based on the acclaimed exhibition of the same name that originally opened at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., in April 2004. Two other successful traveling versions have been on display in Canada and Germany. An online version of the exhibition is available at




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