Fwd: From Diane: Honor and Remember Nazi-Era Victims with Disabilities
I wish I were able to be there! If anyone makes it, I would LOVE to have you tell me all about it.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nancy Valko
Honor and Remember Nazi-Era Victims with Disabilities
At the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The Museum is open to the general public from 10:00 - 5:30. Specialized programs will be offered throughout the day. All programs are free. No reservations are necessary for the lectures and films. Reservations are needed for Guided Highlights Tours (see below). Seating for programs is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters and CART will be provided for the speakers. For more information about the visiting the Museum go to www.ushmm.org/visit.
subject to change
11:00 – 11:45
Nazi Persecution of People with Disabilities
Museum senior historian Dr. Patricia Heberer addresses the issues of sterilization and euthanasia policy in Nazi Germany.** Compulsory sterilization of the "hereditarily ill" was enforced through the German legal system and involved physicians in the role of enforcers of sterilization policy. Four hundred thousand Germans were legally sterilized under this measure from 1934-1945. Dr. Heberer will discuss the acceleration of discriminatory policies, enforced by physicians and public health officials, against individuals living in institutional settings, to serve as a bridge to National Socialist euthanasia (T4) policy. This Nazi program served as a model and staff training ground for the genocide of Europe's Jews.
11:00 – 3:00
The Museum's Survivors Registry will be open to register the names of Nazi persecuted victims with disabilities. The Museum's artifact collection staff will also be on hand to accept donations of Nazi-era artifacts and/or answer questions about the Museum's collecting process.
11:00 – 3:00
Oral History Testimonies
Interview excerpts from individuals who were deemed "inferior" and became targets of the Nazi eugenics program including victims of sterilization and medical experimentation.
Repeats every 15 minutes.
11:30-1:30; 1:30 – 3:00; 3:30 – 5:00
Guided Highlights Tours (*Reservations needed)
The Guided Highlights Tour (GHT) is a tour option for people who have low vision, are blind, or deaf-blind. This tour takes place in the Museum's Permanent Exhibition "The Holocaust." The two- to three-hour tour features visually descriptive language, touchable reproductions of several key artifacts, and a model of the Museum. The tour also provides visitors with a variety of visual aids, including a monocular, flashlights, and high-contrast black and white photographs. The experienced tour guides are knowledgeable about Holocaust history and low vision and blindness.
Reservations are needed >> Guided Highlights Tours
Spaces are limited for Guided Highlights tours on October 19, so please reserve your space soon. To make a reservation, please contact the Museum's Education Division at the following:
12:00 – 1:00
This film follows Perla, from a family of "dwarfs" who survived Dr. Mengele's cruel experiments in Auschwitz, and Hannelore, a German Christian born after the war. In this film Hannelore attempts to fulfill Perla's dream by obtaining a lost Nazi film in which Perla's entire family is displayed naked by Doctor Mengele at a gathering of the SS hierarchy.
1:00 – 2:00
Legitimizing the Unthinkable: A Disability Rights Perspective on Nazi Medicine with Harriet McBryde Johnson
Nazi science and medicine focused on eliminating both physical and mental disabilities, real and perceived, as part of the path to "racial purity." While the racial theories underpinning the "eugenics" movement were discredited in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the view of people with disabilities as objects of pity is generally accepted in our own time as is the prejudice that the lives of people with disabililities are inherently "inferior." Renowned activist, author, and attorney Harriet McBryde Johnson brings a disability rights perspective to bear on issues raised by the Museum's "Deadly Medicine" exhibition, in a discussion with Joan Ringelheim, Director of Oral History – USHMM. Recorded on March 9, 2006 and broadcast on C-SPAN BookTV.
"Deadly Medicine, Creating the Master Race"
Dr. Susan Bachrach, Museum curator, will address the history of Nazi eugenics and discuss the Museum's special exhibition "Deadly Medicine, Creating the Master Race." This topic provokes reflection on the continuing attraction of biological utopias that promote the possibility of human perfection. From the early twentieth-century international eugenics movements to present-day dreams of eliminating inherited disabilities through genetic manipulation, the issues remain timely.
Christine Brown, Senior Program Manager
**Nazi Persecution of People with Disabilities: Murder of "the Unfit"
The Holocaust was the systematic state-sponsored murder of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators before and during World War II. From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany carried out a campaign to "cleanse" German society of threats to the nation's "health." People with disabilities regarded as "unproductive" and "life unworthy of life" and poor people classified as "feebleminded" and "anti-social" were systematically sterilized. Later, during the war, 200,000 institutionalized Germans were killed by gassing in "euthanasia" facilities and by lethal injection and starvation. Only in Nazi Germany was forced sterilization implemented on a mass scale and only there did it lay the groundwork for mass murder. The coercive practice occurred elsewhere, however, including the United States, where California and Virginia took the lead among states enacting and enforcing sterilization laws.