Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race


September 25, 2007 – January 20, 2008


From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany’s government led by Adolf Hitler promoted a nationalism that combined territorial expansion with claims of biological superiority, promoting an “Aryan master race”. Enlisting physicians, geneticists, psychiatrists and anthropologists who believed that the control of heredity could enhance the human race, they implemented public health and population policies aimed at “cleansing” German society of biological threats. Victims included not only Jews, deemed “racially foreign”, but also mentally ill and disabled persons, homosexuals, and others seen as sources of “biological degeneration.”


‘Science as salvation’ in the years leading up to and during the Holocaust is explored in this traveling exhibition that features fascinating objects, photographs, film footage and eyewitness and survivor testimonies to tell a chilling story.


Where Would You Draw the Line?


Eugenics didn’t begin and end in Germany; it was an international phenomenon, supported by scientists in many places, including America. Disagreements on eugenics echo today in heated debates on stem cell research, cloning, designer babies, assisted suicide and other subjects.


Accompanying Deadly Medicine, the Maltz Museum created a look at today’s pressing medical issues, in which visitors ponder various aspects of current medical ethics issues and then cast their own votes. More than 5,000 votes were cast in the gallery and online. A range of educational programs and panels further explores correlations between the past and the present.


Loaned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Where Would You Draw the Line? created by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Sponsored locally by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Forest City Enterprises, The Lerner Foundation, The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, Medical Mutual, The Murphy Foundation, Saint Luke’s Foundation and University Hospitals.