Press Release: March 10, 2010
National Archives at Kansas City
National Archives and Midwest Center for Holocaust Education to host Dr. Patricia Heberer from U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
For More Information Contact:
National Archives, Kimberlee Ried 816-268-8000
Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, Jean Zeldin,
Kansas City, (MO)…On March 24, 2010, the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and the National Archives at Kansas City, in cooperation with the Center for Practical Bioethics, will host Dr. Patricia Heberer who will speak at 7:00 p.m. on “Medical Professionals and Nazi Policy” at Union Station, Stillwell Room. Dr. Heberer’s lecture is in conjunction with Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race - a traveling exhibition on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The exhibition will be open for viewing and a reception will be held from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m. at the National Archives prior to her talk. Following the program at Union Station, Dr. Heberer will be available to sign copies of her book Atrocities on Trial.
Physicians played key roles as planners and implementers of Nazi racial hygiene policy. This presentation discusses how medical professionals worked to apply two significant aspects of government 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 professional instigated and carried out the T-4 program, which claimed the lives of 200,000 mentally and physically disabled patients and set an important precedent for the Holocaust.
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race examines how Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to help legitimize persecution, murder and, ultimately, genocide. From 1933–1945, Germany enlisted the help of physicians, scientists, public health officials and academic experts to develop racial policies aimed at “cleansing” German society of individuals viewed as biological threats to the nation’s “health”. What began with the mass sterilization of “genetically diseased” persons resulted in the near annihilation of European Jewry. This exhibition features original artifacts, photographs, documents and historic film footage illustrating how Hitler’s Nazi regime implemented its vision of an ethnically homogeneous community through a program of racial eugenics that culminated in the Holocaust.
Dr. Patricia Heberer has served as an historian with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington since 1994 and serves as the Museum’s in-house specialist on medical crimes and eugenics policies in Nazi Germany. A contributor and consultant historian for two United States Holocaust Memorial Museum publications, 1945: The Year of Liberation and In Pursuit of Justice: Examining Evidence of the Holocaust, she is currently producing a source edition, Children and the Holocaust for the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies’ series Documenting Life and Destruction.
Copies of Atrocities on Trial will be available for purchase at The Kansas City Store at the National Archives. For more information or to make a reservation call 816-268-8010 or register by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race is organized and circulated by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Deadly Medicine is sponsored in part by The Samberg Family Foundation, the Dorot Foundation, the Viterbi Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, and the Rosenbluth Family—Al, Sylvia, Bill, and Jerry. Additional support was provided by the Takiff Family Foundation and the David Berg Foundation. The Kansas City presentation of Deadly Medicine is made possible by the generous support of Saint Luke’s Health System, The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Kansas Humanities Council, Sprint Foundation and Oppenstein Brothers Foundation. Bus subsidies have been provided by the Earl J. and Leona K. Tranin Special Fund and the Flo Harris Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Admission, hours, and additional information
Deadly Medicineis a free exhibition and will be open through June 10, 2010. Viewer discretion advised as this exhibition contains material that may be disturbing to some viewers. The National Archives at Kansas City is open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for exhibits viewing and Tuesday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for research. Free parking is available for National Archives visitors, with additional free parking available in the Union Station Parking Garage on the west side of Union Station.
The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. The National Archives at Kansas City is open Tuesday–Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. for exhibits viewing and Tuesday–Saturday from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. for research.
The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE) was founded in 1993 by Holocaust survivors. Our mission is to teach the history and lessons of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide. Located at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park, KS, MCHE serves people of all faiths and cultures in Kansas, western Missouri and elsewhere in the Midwest. We serve teachers, students (primarily grades 7 through college) as well as civic and community groups through exhibits, speakers, films, an annual essay contest, teacher education, and a resource library. We honor local survivors and their experiences by recording and communicating their stories to every generation. To find out more, go to www.mchekc.org.
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