Sechs Wachsmodelle von verschiedenen Augenkrankheiten.

Knowledge of the Human Body

Selection of special collections / bundles

Ein braun-monochromes Bild. Ein Mann in Bademantel sitzt in einem Sessel, das linke Bein hat er auf der Armlehne und in der linken Hand hält er ein Kondom. Hinter ihm sitzt eine Frau mit langen offenen Haaren. Beide schauen einen direkt an.

Man and woman with condom, poster by Rob Scholtes, 1993

The International Collection of AIDS Posters

In 2001 the Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum acquired an international collection of AIDS posters. Subsequent purchases have already swelled it to more than 7,000 posters from more than 100 countries.

The importance of enlightening the public about AIDS is indisputable in the struggle against the disease. With posters playing a key role in disseminating the relevant knowledge, this collection shows that the same topics are under discussion throughout the world: insisting on safer sex, ensuring safer use of contraceptives and making common cause against the disease. The messages and visual strategies differ from one country to the next, indicating the national and cultural dimensions of AIDS. Posters from the second half of the 1990s document the emergence of new topics in educating the public about AIDS and reflect the effort to reach out to specific groups, such as women in Africa.

The object data bank facilitates research on approximately 1,000 posters, primarily from Germany, Switzerland, France, and African countries


Suche >> Konvolut >> Internationale Aidsplakatsammlung


In 2018 the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum was able to acquire a further 250 international AIDS posters thanks to funding from the Sächsische Landesstelle für Museumswesen. The acquisition was co-financed from public funds based on the budget drawn up by the members of the Saxon State Parliament.

Ein Wachsmodell eines Schwertschluckers mit offengelegtem Torso.

The sword swallower, anatomical waxwork by Rudolph Pohl, c. 1900

Anatomical Panopticon Collection

In 2009, thanks to sponsorship from the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States and the Friends of the Museum, the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum acquired a representative part of a historical fairground attraction featuring human anatomy models – including a model of the Transparent Man from 1935 – as well as moulages, wall charts and specimens. More than 200 wax models of the human body make up the core of the Panopticon. Since the late 19th century they have been instrumental in satisfying not only the need to communicate medical and scientific findings, but also the desire for entertainment, with ingenious stagings of and spectacular insights into the human body.The Museum became aware of this very rare inventory of objects following the publication of an article by journalist Heidrun Hannusch in the Dresdner Neuesten Nachrichten on 22 June 2007, reporting on the Dresden origins of this Panopticon and the intentions of its then owners to sell the collection. The collection as a whole also comprises complementary objects on the history of the Panopticon, including photographs, posters, catalogues, books and letters.This complete package made up the bulk of the object inventory that went on show in 2014/15 as part of the special exhibition ‘Roll up! Roll up!’

Special exhibition

Roll up! Roll up! An anatomical waxwork cabinet meets art

Roll up! Roll up! An anatomical waxwork cabinet meets art

Online research

Suche >> Konvolut >> Sammlung Anatomisches Panoptikum

Collection of health films

This special collection comprises educational films and health ‘infomercials’ produced mainly between 1915 and 1990 and commissioned for the most part by the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum. Most of the films are from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and were made at the DEFA Studios. They include classics such as Krebs [Cancer] from 1930 or Mann und Frau intim from 1984 as well as health ‘infomercials’ from the commercial broadcast Tausend Tele-Tips, a programme on GDR television.The films represent arguably the most comprehensive albeit incomplete collection of institutional health films in the GDR. Following the completion of the 2007/2008 project on ‘DEFA health films as an important source of German history. Securing and indexing the film inventory of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden’ (in collaboration with the Berlin Film Archives of the Federal Archives with support from the DEFA Foundation and the Sächsische Landesstelle für Museumswesen), extensive filmographies, references to participants, contracting parties and descriptions of origins have been documented and posted online. The scientific indexing and film descriptions were done by Uta Schwarz (Cologne). The films are now available in digital form for users to access from both the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum and the Film Archives of the Federal Archives.

Kamera! Licht! Aktion! Filme über Körper und Gesundheit 1915 bis 1990

Online research

Suche >> Objektbezeichnung >> type in: film

Translation by Stephen Grynwasser