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College of Arts & Sciences
Jewish Studies Program

Patricia Heberer Lecture

Thursday, November 5, 2009 - 3:30pm


"Deadly Medicine: The German Medical Profession and Nazi Medical Crimes"

Patricia Heberer
Historian, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Physicians played an important role as planners and implementers of Nazi racial hygiene policy. This presentation discusses how medical professionals worked to apply two significant aspects of Nazi policy: compulsory sterilization and the clandestine "Euthanasia" program, the Nazis’ first program of mass murder. Compulsory sterilization, through which 400,000 Germans were legally sterilized, was enforced through the German legal system and involved physicians in the roles of denouncers, jurists, and enforcers of sterilization policy. Likewise medical professionals instigated and carried out the so-called Nazi "euthanasia" program, which claimed the lives of 200,000 mentally and physically disabled patients and set an important precedent for the Holocaust. 

3:30-4:30 p.m.    Lecture 
4:30-5:00 p.m.    Tour of exhibition
5:00-6:00 p.m.    Reception


[Sponsored by Health Sciences South Carolina, USC Center for Bioethics, USC School of Medicine, USC School of Pharmacy, USC Arnold School of Public Health, USC College of Social Work, USC Jewish Studies Program, and the South Carolina State Museum] 

PDF icon Patricia Heberer CV