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Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race

An Exhibition developed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden

October 12, 2006, to June 24, 2007




President of the Federal Republic of Germany






The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in 1993 in Washington, D.C. and is today one of the world’s most important institutions for research and documentation of the Holocaust. This fall, the Washington museum is for the first time presenting one of its exhibitions outside North America. The exhibition “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” (German title: Tödliche Medizin—Rassenwahn im Nationalsozialismus) presents the genocide of European Jews within the context of the Nazis’ “euthanasia” crimes. The history of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum as an institution that actively supported and propagated the "racial hygiene" programs during the Nazi period was the initial motivation for the Dresden museum to present this exhibition.


Although superficially it may seem “merely” historical, the issues raised by this exhibition are timely of current relevance in two respects: first, the continuing extreme-right-wing currents in the Federal Republic of Germany add urgency to the necessity of confronting the history of the Nazi period. Secondly, the exhibition documents an important historic point of reference for a discussion of fundamental issues in ethics, such as the implications of applied genetic research; the social status of disabled persons; and the definition of life and death as it pertains to the issue of (medically-)assisted suicide.





The exhibition and outreach program have been generously supported by the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media and the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany with funds from the European Recovery Program (ERP), administered by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).


Exhibition Curator: Susan Bachrach,U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

Exhibition Design: LaymanDesign, Glenview, Illinois; Archegraph, Crete, Illinois



Main Partners for the Outreach Program



  • Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung

  • Stiftung Topographie des Terrors

  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • Theater "Junge Generation" Dresden

  • Stiftung Sächsische Gedenkstätten, Gedenkstätte Pirna-Sonnenstein

  • Sächsische Landesärztekammer

  • Sächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung

  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

  • Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

  • Bildungswerk "Weiterdenken" e.V.

  • Städtische Bibliotheken Dresden

  • Brücke/Most-Stiftung






Gedenkstätte Pirna-Sonnenstein

Projekt Denkzeichen

Gedenkstätte Hadamar

Gedenkstätte Schloss Hartheim

Gedenkstätte Bernburg

Gedenkstätte Grafeneck