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[Pandora's box of anatomy].

  • Academic Journal
  • Weinberg U; Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Haifa, Israel.
    Reis S
  • Harefuah [Harefuah] 2008 May; Vol. 147 (5), pp. 455-8, 476.
  • Hebrew
  • Physicians in Nazi Germany were among the first to join the Nazi party and the SS, and were considered passionate and active supporters of the regime. Their actions included development and implementation of the racial theory thus legitimizing the development of the Nazi genocide plan, leadership and execution of the sterilization and euthanasia programs as well as atrocious human experimentation. Nazi law allowed the use of humans and their remains in research institutions. One of the physicians whose involvement in the Nazi regime was particularly significant was Eduard Pernkopf. He was the head of the Anatomy Institute at the University of Vienna, and later became the president of the university. Pernkopf was a member of the Nazi party, promoted the idea of "racial hygiene", and in 1938, "purified" the university from all Jews. In Pernkopfs atlas of anatomy, the illustrators expressed their sympathy to Nazism by adding Nazi symbols to their illustrations. In light of the demand stated by the "Yad Vashem" Institute, the sources of the atlas were investigated. The report, which was published in 1998, determined that Pernkopfs Anatomy Institute received almost 1400 corpses from the Gestapo's execution chambers. Copies of Pernkopfs atlas, accidentally exposed at the Rappaport School of Medicine in the Technion, led to dilemmas concerning similar works with a common background. The books initiated a wide debate in Israel and abroad, regarding ethical aspects of using information originated in Nazi crimes. Moreover, these findings are evidence of the evil to which science and medicine can give rise, when they are captured as an unshakable authority.
Additional Information
Publisher: Israel Medical Association Country of Publication: Israel NLM ID: 0034351 Publication Model: Print Cited Medium: Print ISSN: 0017-7768 (Print) Linking ISSN: 00177768 NLM ISO Abbreviation: Harefuah Subsets: MEDLINE
Original Publication: Tel Aviv : Israel Medical Association
Date Created: 20080906 Date Completed: 20080925 Latest Revision: 20080905

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