“First, Do No Harm: Medical Science, Ethics and the Holocaust” Conference Schedule
Free and Open to the Public.
You are welcome to attend any of the lectures, please join us!
Opening Remarks – Acting President Belton
7:00 p.m. - Video: “Caring Corrupted: The Killing Nurses of the Third Reich” (Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center)
``Lessons From Nazi Germany for Today’s Healthcare Providers``
Video produced by University of Texas Health School of Nursing
For the title for my presentation- Lessons From Nazi Germany for Today’s Healthcare Providers. The relevance of the role of healthcare providers in the events in Nazi Germany to today’s healthcare providers will be discussed. The journey of a school of nursing in making a film about nurses in Nazi Germany as well of the use of the film in nursing education is explored.
Commentator and Presenter:
8:30 p.m. Refreshments in the Lobby of the AUC
9:00 a.m. – Registration (Regency Room Lobby, Anderson University Center)
10:00 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. – (Regency Room, AUC)
“The torturous killing of Anna Maria Buller – the role of nurses in the killing of sick persons under the Nazi regime” – Thomas Foth
During the Nazi regime (1931-1945) more than 300,000 psychiatric patients were killed. The well-calculated killing of chronically mentally ‘ill’ patients was part of a huge biopolitical program of well-established scientific, eugenic standards of the time. Among the medical personnel implicated in these assassinations were nurses, who carried out this program through their everyday practice. Using a case study approach, the activities of nurses at the Hamburg psychiatric asylum Langenhorn will be detailed in an attempt to understand how they were involved in killing their patients.
“Memories of Gusen: U.S Army Nurses’ Reflections on Witnessing the Liberation of a Concentration Camp” – Ms. Carli Snyder
This paper focuses on the testimonies of nine retired U.S. Army nurses who served during the liberation of Gusen concentration camp, a satellite camp of Mauthausen, near Linz, Austria. These interviews were conducted in 1995 by a radio journalist, Neenah Ellis, for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Oral History Department. Through the testimonies, we learn about a group of American women’s experiences of witnessing the Holocaust’s aftermath, the perceived lessons of the Holocaust in the 1990s, and the process of collecting Holocaust oral history.
“Physical Perpetrators in the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp, 1938-45: An Overview of Biographies and Medical Crimes Committed” – Jessica Tannenbaum
This presentation will present an overview of the different physician perpetrators stationed in Flossenbürg between 1938 and 1945. It will point out the different medical crimes committed and how the biography of one physician especially influenced the post-war reception of the camp.
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Mayer Summer Research Fellow Presentations (Room 133, AUC)
Mayer Summer Research Fellows will offer brief overviews of their summer research projects as the conference participants enjoy box lunches.
Kurt Mayer Summer Research Fellows:
- Natalie Mayer
12:40 a.m. - 1:35 p.m. – (Regency Room, AUC)
Lisa Marcus and guest speaker TBD: Literature and pedagogy
- Lisa Marcus, Professor of English, PLU
1:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. – (Regency Room, AUC)
“Routine Pharmacological Procedures Against Women in Auschwitz: An Unspoken Narrative” – Peggy Kleinplatz
The history of routine pharmacological interventions affecting women’s fertility during the Shoah and thereafter has been hidden in plain sight. It is past time to assemble the fragments of this unrecognized phenomenon and begin to give expression to a cohesive narrative. Kleinplatz is working with Dr. Paul Weindling to give voice to these women’s histories.
“Manipulating Birth to Implement Genocide” – Beverley Chalmers
Holocaust literature gives exhaustive attention to ‘direct’ means of exterminating Jews, by using gas chambers, torture, starvation, disease, and intolerable conditions in ghettos and camps, and by the Einsatzgruppen. Manipulating reproduction and sexuality –as a less ‘direct,’ method of genocide of Jews – has not yet received the same attention. The Nazis prevented Jewish women from having sex or bearing children through legal, social, psychological and biological means, as well as by murder. In contrast, they promoted reproductive life and sexuality among so-called ‘Aryans’. Implementing measures to prevent birth is a core feature of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Doctors were integrally involved in the manipulation of birth. This presentation reveals a specter of brutality that is not often recognized, and is contrary to the traditional image of the ‘helping profession’ of medicine, and particularly, reproductive medicine. It is based on the multiple-award winning book: Birth Sex and Abuse: Women’s Voices under Nazi Rule (2015).
“Mengele at Auschwitz: Reconstructing the Twins” – Paul Weindling
3:45 p.m. - 5 p.m. – (Regency Room, AUC)
“Doctors Ensnared between Hitler and Stalin: German Medical Scientists in the USSR” – David Zimmerman
Beginning in April 1933, university faculty were among the first victims of Nazi persecution. They were dismissed from their post for racial and political reasons. Compared to other academics, medical researchers had a great difficult time trying to escape from Germany in 1930s. In this talk I will examine the particular issues faced by medical doctors in finding refuge in the western world, and explore why a few decided to make the perilous decision to migrate to the Soviet Union. The talk will focus on the stories of two of these doctors, Siegfried Gilde, and Kurt Zinneman, both of whom were arrested by the Soviet secret police during Stalin’s Great Purge. Their stories illustrate the desperate and, often futile efforts German Jews made to try to save themselves and their families.
“’Russian’ Victims of Nazi Medicine – Moving from Lists to Biographies” – Nicola Farron
This presentation will provide an overview of the use of Soviet prisoners in Nazi human experiments and coerced research, and will provide details of experiments in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps where ‘Russian’ prisoners were exposed to the ambition of German scientists engaged in unethical research practices. Drawing on the archival material, the details and motives of these experiments will be outlined, along with the potential and importance of naming Soviet victims. Used in a range of high-profile and infamous experiments at the camps, including high-altitude and freezing testing, ‘Russian’ prisoners nonetheless remain one of the most under-researched groups of victims: this presentation will explore some of the historical problems around this research-gap whilst highlighting the potential to move forward and understand this important history.
5:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. – Dinner Break (Scandinavian Center, AUC)
For those that have pre-registered, a reception with light fare will be in the Scandinavian Cultural Center
7 p.m. – Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sabine Hildebrandt, M.D. (Regency Room, AUC)
“Anatomy in National Socialist (Nazi) Germany – Politics, Science, Ethics and Legacies”
In this talk, the history of the interaction between anatomists and politics in Nazi Germany will be presented, as well as the changes in the traditional anatomical body procurement during that time, which included rising numbers of victims of the Nazi regime. The use of these victims’ bodies in anatomical education and research can be interpreted as stages of an ethical transgression. The legacies from this history for today’s medicine will be discussed.
- Sabine Hildebrandt, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine
Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School,
Div. General Pediatrics, Dep. Medicine
8:15 p.m. – Dessert Reception (Regency Room Lobby, AUC)
8:30 a.m. – Registration (Regency Room Lobby, Anderson University Center)
9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. – (Regency Room, AUC)
“Coercion is not Collaboration: Jewish Doctors and Coercion” – Naomi Baumschlag
Jewish doctors worked under conditions of extreme personal danger and cruelty during the Holocaust. There is evidence that despite orders for the calculated, callous extermination of lives in the name of science, ethical physicians such as Ludvik Fleck, Moses Brauns and Adina Szwajger improvised to work around their constraints in order to save lives.
“Prisoner-Doctors at Auschwitz” – Claude Romney
10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – (Regency Room, AUC)
“Jewish Prisoner-Doctors” – Sari Siegel
“Legacy of the Nuremberg Code: 70th Anniversary” – Susan Miller
The goals of this presentation are to review the origins of the Nuremberg Code and to explore the historical and current day relevance of the Code for medical science, investigators, institutions and research subjects.
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. – (Room TBD, AUC)
Clarice Wilsey, Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity
Ms. Wilsey’s father was an American physician who witnessed the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp