July 6, 2022

The ugly legacy of Nazi doctors resurfaces

A research institute in Germany has been forced to dispose of 100 brain specimens after discovering they were sourced from illicit medical research.

A prestigious research institute in Germany has been forced to dispose of 100 human brain specimens after discovering they were sourced from illicit medical research conducted during and after WWII.

The Max Planck Psychiatric Institute in Munich, Germany, found the specimens in their collection during a renovation last year. They had arrived at the Institute in 2001, and had belonged to the estate of Julius Hallervorden, a German psychiatrist and member of the Nazi party. Following the Second World War, Hallervorden admitted to having performed experiments on executed prisoners and the disabled; it is likely that some of the specimens were taken from the bodies of executed prisoners and involuntarily euthanized patients.

In the wake of the controversy, the Max Planck Society has announced that it will be conducting a comprehensive review of all human specimens stored at it Institutes.

The directors of the Planck Institute said that they were “shocked” and “ashamed” by the recent discovery. 

The Ugly Legacy of the Nazi Doctors Resurfaces
Xavier Symons
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Creative commons
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consent
germany
Nazi doctors
research ethics