The Nazi Anatomists

On “the long-buried history of Nazi-era anatomy” which used corpses of political dissidents and euthanasia victims, and how the work haunts modern science:

Unlike the research of Nazi scientists who became obsessed with racial typing and Aryan superiority, Stieve’s work didn’t end up in the dustbin of history. The tainted origins of this research—along with other studies and education that capitalized on the Nazi supply of human body parts—continue to haunt German and Austrian science, which is only now fully grappling with the implications. Some of the facts, amazingly, are still coming to light. And some German, Austrian, and Polish universities have yet to face up to the likely presence of the remains of Hitler’s victims—their cell and bone and tissue—in university collections that still exist today.

This history matters for its own sake. It also matters for debates that remain unresolved—about how anatomists get bodies and what to do with research that is scientifically valuable but morally disturbing.

Source: Slate
Published: Nov 6, 2013
Length: 33 minutes (8,426 words)
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