The blood from Auschwitz and the silence of the scholars
by
Müller-Hill B.
Institut für Genetik der Universität zu Köln Weyertal 121,
D-50931 Köln, Germany
Hist Philos Life Sci. 1999;21(3):331-65.


ABSTRACT

T The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics and Eugenics in Berlin-Dahlem was the centre of scientific racism in Nazi Germany. Its bad history culminated in a research project to analyse the molecular basis of racial differences in the susceptibility to various infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Josef Mengele, a former postdoc of the director of the institute, Otmar von Verschuer, collected blood samples and other material in Auschwitz from families and twins of Jews and Gypsies. The blood samples were analysed by Günther Hillmann in the Berlin laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Adolf Butenandt. Butenandt had just moved to Tübingen. The project was paid for by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Butenandt, Hillmann and von Verschuer made scientific careers in the Federal Republic. To the present day this past has not been acknowledged by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft as part of its history.
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