The Holocaust Memorial Center is hosting an online event and opening a new exhibit to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27. Pictured, Liz Pingtella, event associate for the Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills, stands in front of the entrance to the “Deadly Medicine” exhibit.

The Holocaust Memorial Center is hosting an online event and opening a new exhibit to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27. Pictured, Liz Pingtella, event associate for the Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills, stands in front of the entrance to the “Deadly Medicine” exhibit.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Holocaust Memorial Center to host new exhibit: ‘Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race’

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published January 28, 2021

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FARMINGTON HILLS — The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus will host an online program and will open a featured exhibit to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day Jan. 27.

The online program, “How Healers Became Killers, Nazi Medical Professionals,” will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 and will feature Patricia Heberer-Rice, a senior historian from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, who will discuss how medical professionals enforced policies of compulsory sterilization, as well as a euthanasia program.

“The Jan. 27 date commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz,” Holocaust Memorial Center CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld said. “It is a way to sort of rally remembrance across the globe around the losses that occurred around the Holocaust. There’s millions of victims of Nazi persecution, and having a day like this helps people come together and to really state with some insistence that this kind of thing is not allowed to happen again.”

According to a press release, the “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” exhibit examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to help legitimize persecution, murder, and ultimately, genocide.

Through reproductions of photographs and documents, films and survivor testimony, the exhibit traces how the persecution of groups deemed biologically inferior led to the near annihilation of European Jewry. It also challenges viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection.

Mayerfeld said the new exhibit and entire memorial center allow people to get an understanding of what happened during this time. He also noted that people often need time to process what they’ve seen and ask themselves questions about how something like this could happen and how to ensure it will never happen again.

According to exhibition curator Susan Bachrach, “‘Deadly Medicine’ explores the Holocaust’s roots in then-contemporary scientific and pseudoscientific thought. At the same time, it touches on complex ethical issues we face today, such as how societies acquire and use scientific knowledge and how they balance the rights of the individual with the needs of the larger community.”

The Holocaust Memorial Center has enforced strict COVID-19 guidelines to ensure visitors’ safety. Masks and social distancing are required.

Those who want to register for the online program can visit holocaustcenter.org/events/upcoming-events.

The exhibit is open Sundays-Fridays and is free with museum admission or membership. For additional information, visit www.holocaustcenter.org or call (248) 553-2400.

“Each one of us has the capacity for evil, and it’s up to us to make good choices every day to do the right thing that leads to better outcomes,” Mayerfeld said. “Each one of us can make a difference. That’s really the lesson of the Holocaust Memorial Center. That’s what we want people to be thinking about when they see a program like this or when they come and see the exhibit. We each have a responsibility to stand up when we see injustice. We each can take action.”

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