Journal Article


The problematic legacy of victim specimens from the Nazi era: Identifying the persons behind the specimens at the Max Planck Institutes for Brain Research and of Psychiatry

Abstract

Although 75 years have passed since the end of World War II, the Max Planck Society (Max-Planck Gesellschaft, MPG), successor to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft, KWG), still must grapple with how two of its foremost institutes—the KWI of Psychiatry in Munich and the KWI for Brain Research in Berlin-Buch—amassed collections of brains from victims of Nazi crimes, and how these human remains were retained for postwar research. Initial efforts to deal with victim specimens during the 1980s met with denial and, subsequently, rapid disposal in 1989/1990. Despite the decision of the MPG’s president to retain documentation for historical purposes, there are gaps in the available sources. This article provides preliminary results of a research program initiated in 2017 (to be completed by October 2023) to provide victim identifications and the circumstances of deaths.

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Authors

Weindling, Paul
Hohendorf, Gerrit
Hüntelmann, Axel C.
Kindel, Jasmin
Kinzelbach, Annemarie
Loewenau, Aleksandra
Neuner, Stephanie
Palacz, MichaƂ Adam
Zingler, Marion
Czech, Herwig

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of History, Philosophy and Culture

Dates

Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-05-30


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


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