A traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. will be making a stop at Central Michigan University this summer.
Beginning May 14, the “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” exhibit will open in the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History in Rowe Hall.
The exhibit, presented by the College of Medicine, will examine the different roles medicine played in the eventual mass genocide of millions of Jews in addition to millions of others during the Holocaust.
Jim Knight, director of marketing and communications for CMED, said it’s important for people to understand the impact medicine had during the Holocaust and the effect it had on practitioners across the globe.
“Even after the war, it took generations for people to really trust doctors again,” Knight said. “Any trust that was established was pretty fragile.”
An important focus of the exhibit is eugenics theory, a key factor in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Those who followed this theory believed it was possible to improve the human race, or for Adolf Hitler, create the perfect or “Master Race.”
Hitler attempted to do this by controlling marriage, as well as reproduction, by using sterilization and other methods to ensure that certain attributes like race and sexuality – specifically Jewish ancestry and homosexuality – could be inhibited and eventually be eliminated altogether.
The exhibit will be featured at CMU from May 14 to to July 1. The exhibit will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with the exception of holidays.
Costs associated with the exhibit amount to approximately $5,000 which covers the exhibit fees as well as shipping costs to send the exhibit back to the museum.
Funding to bring the exhibit to campus was provided by The Lerner Foundation, Eric F. and Lore Ross and the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund.
Admission is free and open to the public, although Knight and CMED urge that the exhibit may be disturbing to children.