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Ruthless Science: The mind-set of Nazi medical researchers

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Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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Nazi medical experiments and coerced research were long viewed as “pseudo-science” or indeed as medicine “going mad”. More recent approaches have stressed the uninhibited rationality of the medical research in clinics and concentration camps. Reconstructing the hitherto overlooked victim narratives allows one to see how research subjects experienced the brutal but at the same time calculated conduct of the researchers. Moreover, the full scale reconstruction of the totality of Nazi medical research allows one to draw conclusions about the timing and circumstances of the coerced experiments and the taking of anthropological measurements. Based on collective biographical analysis, as well as perpetrator statements made during interrogations and post-war trials, it is now possible to gain greater insight into the mentalities of perpetrators

About the Speaker

Paul Weindling is Wellcome Trust Research Professor in the History of Medicine in the Department of History, Oxford Brookes University. His research interests include international health organisations in the twentieth century, the medical emigration to Britain in the 1930s and 40s, and Nazi medical war crimes. His publications include Health, Race and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe 1890-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2000), Nazi Medicine and the Nuremberg Trials: From Medical War Crimes to Informed Consent 1945-55 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), and Victims and Survivors of Nazi Human Experiments: Science and Suffering in the Holocaust (Bloomsbury, 2015). Most recently, he edited the volume From Clinic to Concentration Camp: Reassessing Medical and Racial Research, 1933-1945 (Routledge, 2017).

The lecture will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

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Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

29 Russell Square

London

WC1B 5DP

United Kingdom

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