Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $25.50
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 49%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (12) from $25.50   
  • New (8) from $33.42   
  • Used (4) from $25.50   


From 1933 to 1945, Hitler's Nazi regime attempted to realize its vision of a biologically healthy and ethnically homogeneous population through "racial hygiene" programs designed to cleanse German society of those perceived to threaten its biological health. Deadly Medicine examines the critical role German physicians, scientists, public health officials, and academic experts played in supporting and implementing the Nazis' program of racial eugenics, which culminated in the Holocaust.

Illustrated with many never-before-published photographs, images from rare Nazi publications, and historical artifacts, Deadly Medicine presents essays by internationally recognized authorities that provide the wider contextual framework for a compelling visual and documentary exploration of the origins of the Holocaust. This publication is an accompaniment to the exhibition at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum running from April 22, 2004, through October 16, 2005.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The accompanying publication to a current exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, this glossy, oversized book reveals in stark words and chilling images the pseudoscientific atrocities of the Nazi eugenics program. Seven separately authored essays document the origins and rise of the movement, the means by which its principles were put into practice, and, in a final, reflective essay by a German scientist, the lessons that were learned and their relevance today. The illustrations-many of which are billed as never before published-depict a medical chamber of horrors disguised by a slick campaign of political propaganda. The impact of this book's visual material is powerful. The written text is useful within that context but offers little that is new. Robert J. Lifton's aging but still important The Nazi Doctors remains a key historical resource in this field. For any collection on Holocaust studies or medical ethics.-Gregg Sapp, Science Lib., SUNY at Albany Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807829165
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 6/14/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 12.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dieter Kuntz is museum historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Susan Bachrach is exhibition curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Deadly Medicine

Creating the Master Race

The University of North Carolina Press

Copyright © 2004 University of North Carolina Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8078-2916-5

Chapter One

The "Science of Race" by Benoit Massin, pp. 97-103

"Gypsy Research" (Eugenic and Anthropological Views of Crime)

Accused of being beggars and thieves, "Gypsies" (Sinti and Roma), from the beginning of the twentieth century, had been subjected to discriminatory police measures in several European countries, including Germany. Bavarian police kept a central register of Gypsies that, from 1911 on, contained their fingerprints and all police information on their deviant behavior. During the Weimar Republic, Gypsies could be sent to a compulsory workhouse if they could not prove regular paid employment in the prior two years. What was new in Nazi policy was both its "scientific" aspect and its radicality in solving the "Gypsy problem."

Since the turn of the century, German psychiatrists had developed theories that criminal behavior was the result of "antisocial personality" and "feeblemindedness," and that both characteristics were inherited. Eugenicists collected family pedigrees showing how "degenerate" lineage produced criminals, alcoholics, lunatics, retarded individuals, beggars, hobos, and other antisocials. Because prisons and asylums had to be maintained to house these individuals, they were regarded as a tremendous expense-a direct social cost of their antisocial behavior. Eugenics provided a solution to this social problem: Prevent them from reproducing, through sterilization, castration, lifelong isolation, or systematic "euthanasia." In Germany, this combination of psychiatric theories of crime and eugenic treatment was called "criminal biology." In the Weimar Republic, research foundations and institutions, such as the KWI for Psychiatry, in Munich, financially supported research in criminal biology.

In 1933, Nazi interest in criminal biology led to the establishment of new research institutes, including the Research Institute for Racial Hygiene and Population Biology of the Reich Health Office, headed by Dr. Robert Ritter, a specialist in medical genetics and psychiatry. For his second doctorate, he had conducted a genetic study on ten generations of descendents of "vagrants, swindlers, and thieves." Ritter was also appointed a member of a Hereditary Health Court and was an active member of the Society for the Biology of Crime. A member of the SS, Ritter, in 1942, also became director of the newly created Criminal Biological Institute of the Reich Criminal Police Office. The German police, too, wanted to be "modern" and "scientific."

The first group studied by Ritter's research center was the Gypsies, estimated to be some 30,000 people in Germany and Austria. Helped by a team of medical doctors, sociologists, psychologists, human geneticists, and anthropologists, Ritter's aim was to register all Gypsies and Gypsy hybrids (Mischlinge) living in Germany, reconstruct their genealogies, and collect information on their social and medical condition. Genealogical registers were necessary to locate all Gypsies and their Mischlinge offspring, because a number of them were well integrated in German society, lived in apartments, had regular jobs, and were sometimes highly decorated soldiers. Gypsy research also included taking anthropometric measurements and photographs, analyzing such racial and family characteristics as nostril and ear shapes, collecting blood samples and fingerprints, and making plaster casts of Gypsy heads.

Ritter's research was intended to have direct application for the racial hygienic policy in the Nazi state. His numerous studies concluded that the antisocial and criminal behavior of Gypsies was the result of their genetic endowment and "primitive racial" character. To eradicate this "unwanted" behavior, the regime aimed to stop reproduction, through sterilization or the isolation of men from women in special camps, and to prevent miscegenation by forbidding contact with the German population. Ritter and his assistants produced thousands of certificates for sterilization of "antisocial Gypsy hybrids." Other scientists, such as the blood-group specialist Werner Fischer, received permission from the SS to conduct studies in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Analysis of Gypsy blood was carried out at the prestigious Robert Koch Institute, in Berlin, in an attempt to find a serological diagnosis to identify Gypsies and Gypsy Mischlinge. Captive Gypsies were also used in other scientific research, including twin studies, and were subjected to deadly experimentation. The vast majority of the scientists involved in Gypsy research were never punished.


Excerpted from Deadly Medicine Copyright © 2004 by University of North Carolina Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
German eugenics, 1890-1933 15
International eugenics 41
Nazi sterilization and reproductive policies 61
The "science of race" 89
Nazi "euthanasia" programs 127
From "euthanasia" to the "final solution" 155
Reflections of a German scientist 185
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)