Dr. Eugen Fischer reading Heredity Journal. Dr. Eugen Fischer, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Eugenics, and Human Heredity from 1927 to 1942, authored a 1913 study of the racially mixed children of Dutch men and Hottentot women in German southwest Africa. Fischer opposed “racial mixing,” arguing that “Negro blood” was of “lesser value” and that mixing it with “white blood” would bring about the demise of European culture. After 1933, Fischer adapted his institute’s activities to serve Nazi antisemitic policies. He taught courses for SS doctors, served as a judge on Berlin’s Hereditary Health Court, and provided hundreds of opinions on the paternity and “racial purity” of individuals, including the Mischlinge offspring of Jewish and non-Jewish German couples. Courtesy of Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem.
The Harvard Medical School and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum present:
The Ackerman Symposium on Medicine and Culture,
Genetic Determinism Then and Now: Confronting the Legacy of Eugenics
4 PM – 6:30 PM
Carl Walters Amphitheater,
260 Longwood Avenue,
Tosteson Medical Education Center,
Harvard Medical School
Daniel Kevles, Ph.D., Stanley Woodward Professor of History and Professor (Adjunct) of Law, Yale University
Paul Lombardo, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law
Diane B. Paul, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts/Boston
Martin Pernick, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Michigan
Daniel Wikler, Ph.D., Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Population Ethics and Professor of Ethics and Population Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
Prior to the symposium, you are welcome to tour Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, a traveling exhibition from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Center for the History of Medicine’s companion exhibit, Galton’s Children: the Rise and Fall of the Eugenics Movement, both at the Countway Library on the Harvard Medical School campus.
Maps and directions are available here.
The Ackerman Program seeks to enhance research and teaching across a wide spectrum of fields devoted to the study of the culture of medicine. For more information about the Ackerman Program and the Symposium, contact:
Harvard Medical School
641 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115