Seminar title The Lasting Effects of the Nazi Regime on Medical Research

The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. To commemorate that milestone, we are exploring the lasting impact of the Nazi regime on medical research. This series features experts in medical research, medical ethics, Nazi history, and anatomical sciences who will discuss critical topics such as the ethical violations that occurred during the Nazi persecution of the Jewish people, the use of Nazi produced anatomical knowledge, and the prospect of medical ethical violations, such as those experienced by the prisoners of Auschwitz, occurring again.




photo of amber comerAmber Comer; IU School of Health and Human Sciences; Department of Health Sciences;




 photo of Jason OrganJason Organ; Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; IUPUI;








Anatomy of Antisemitism & Antisemitism in Anatomy

Dr. Jeffrey Laitman; Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology, ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York


Tuesday February 4th 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Domont Auditorium, Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis. 6705 Hoover Rd, Door #1, Indianapolis, IN 46260

Laitman will share his experiences as a Jewish researcher in the fields of anatomy and human paleontology. As an award winning anatomist and teacher, Dr. Laitman has travelled the word collecting data on our closest fossil relatives and he has trained thousands of physicians in the anatomical sciences. This unique perch atop two different fields has given Laitman considerable insight into the ethics of anatomy (in particular Nazi-derived anatomical knowledge) as well as personal antisemitic experiences. Dr. Laitman will tell the story of his road in academe, as a poor Jewish kid from Brooklyn wandering the gentile (and sometimes antisemitic) hallways of Yale and museums throughout the world, and ascending to the top of his fields—fields with dark histories in racism, antisemitism, and genocide.



Nazi Anatomy: Restoration of the Victims' Biographies

Sabine Hildebrandt, M.D.; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


January 26th at 10:00 AM

Laikin Auditorium, Jewish Community Center

6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN


January 27th 7:00 PM

IUPUI Campus Center Theater (CE 002)


Anatomists used the bodies of Nazi victims in education and research, committing many serious ethical transgressions. Anatomists - who normally perform research on tissues of the dead - even experimented on living prisoners of the Nazi regime, and two anatomists contributed to the murder of these prisoners. Victims were buried in unmarked graves or "lost" in collections, without names and thus hidden from history. This presentation will describe how historians and anatomists have brought this ethical transgression in medicine and complicity of anatomists in Nazi Germany to light and, equally importantly, have started to systematically restore the biographies of the victims, so that they are once again known to the world by name.



The Vienna Protocol: History and Legacies of the Pernkopf Atlas

Sabine Hildebrandt, M.D.; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


January 28th 1:00 PM

IUPUI Campus, Walther Hall (R3), C203

Professor Hildebrant, M.D. will be giving a guest lecture in ANAT-D 501 course.