Skip to Main Content

Holocaust Studies: Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race

This guide includes resources for the study of the Holocaust at USD University Libraries and beyond.

Schedule of Events

Deadly Medicine

October 25, 2012-January 6, 2013.  
USD University Libraries, 2nd Floor West. Library hours


Carol A. Leibiger,Of Foxes and Poisonous Mushrooms: Julius Streicher and German Children’s Literature in Support of National Socialist Racialist Politics

November 6, 7-8 p.m.  USD University Libraries, 2nd Floor. 
November 8, 3-4 p.m.  USD University Libraries, 2nd Floor. 

David I. Burrow, "Eugenics and the Nazi Conscience"

November 13, 3-4 p.m.  USD University Libraries, 2nd Floor.  
November 15, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. & 7-8 p.m. USD University Libraries, 2nd Floor.


Note: This program is funded by a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Dr. Leibiger has a lifetime immersion in German language and culture as a bilingual German American, extensive study of German language and culture (BA and MA in German from the University of Connecticut and Ph.D. in German from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), plus almost 35 years’ active teaching and scholarship in German language, literature, and culture.  Leibiger taught German at UConn, UIUC, in Minneapolis Adult Education courses, and at USD.  She is an associate editor of the top American journal in German-language pedagogy, _Die Unterrichtspraxis_, and is an officer of the South Dakota chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German.

Dr. Leibiger’s lecture will discuss two important aspects of the Holocaust and Germans:  using Julius Streicher as a case study, she will discuss how individual lives coalesced with the Nazi movement to produce support for Anti-Semitist policies and the Final Solution, and how this support was expressed and nurtured pedagogically using children’s books published by Streicher’s press as examples.  Additionally, Leibiger will discuss the reaction of both Germans on the street and Nazis to Streicher’s publications.

Trau keinem Fuchs  Der Giftpilz


Dr. Burrow is the modern European historian at USD.  Burrow received his PhD in Imperial Russian history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005, and has been at USD since fall 2006.  His specialization is Imperial Russian history, but be also teaches courses on modern German history and the Holocaust.  

Dr. Burrow has participated in two faculty seminars at the USHMM; the 2009 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar on "The Holocaust and Other Genocides," and the 2012 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for University Faculty, "Teaching the Gendered Experience of the Holocaust."

Dr. Burrow's lecture will use Claudia Koontz's concept of the "Nazi Conscience" to help illustrate how the Nazi regime worked to convince Germans that the regime's ideas on eugenics were ethical, and to reshape morality in the Nazi mold.

"Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race" - USHMM

Image: Calipers. Deutsches Historisches, Museum, Berlin

“I, for one, am alarmed at the conceit and sureness of the advocates of this new dream. I shudder at their ruthlessness in meddling with life. I resent their egoistic and stern righteousness. I shrink from their judgment of their fellows.”
— Clarence Darrow, “The Eugenics Cult,” The American Mercury, 1926 

The study of Holocaust history invariably raises fundamental issues about human nature, social responsibility, and the obligation of individuals and institutions to act with conscience in the face of unspeakable crimes. Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, a traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, uses photographs, graphic reproductions of objects and documents, and film footage—the evidence, the “real stuff” of history—to tell stories. The exhibition presents history in such a way that allows visitors to examine themselves, their decisions, and their actions in both personal and professional contexts. 

The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours.  For more information about the exhibit, or to request a docent for group tours, please contact Danielle Loftus at 605-677-5123 or by email:

Dates: October 25, 2012-January 6, 2013.


Mon.-Thurs. 7:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Fri.  7:30 a.m. - 11 p.m 
Sat. 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Sun.  10 a.m. - 2 a.m.  


USD University Libraries
414 E Clark St.
Vermillion, SD  57069
Directions and campus map

Images from the Exhibition

Credit: Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem

Dr. Otmar von Verschuer examines twins at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. As the head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s Department for Human Heredity, Verschuer, a physician and geneticist, examined hundreds of pairs of twins to study whether criminality, feeble-mindedness, tuberculosis, and cancer were inheritable. In 1927, he recommended the forced sterilization of the “mentally and morally subnormal.” Verschuer typified those academics whose interest in Germany’s “national regeneration” provided motivation for their research.

Credit: Verein Scholoss Hartheim, Alkoven, Austria; photo by Wolfgang Schuhmann; Diakonie-Kork Epilepsiezentrum, Kehl-Kork, Germany.

A clandestine photograph taken by a farmer who lived in the vicinity of Hartheim, showing smoke rising from the chimney of the crematorium. Operation T-4 targeted mostly adult patients in private, state, and church-run institutions. From January 1940 to August 1941, more than 70,000 people were killed by gassing in one of six specially staffed and equipped facilities in Germany and Austria. By the end of World War II, an estimated 200,000 adults were murdered in various “euthanasia” programs.

Credit: USHMM Collection, Gift of Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden

 “Don’t Go Blindly into Marriage!” Eugenics had the support of many scientists worldwide, including the U.S. This drawing illustrated a 1924 pamphlet that urged couples to be informed about the health, including genetic health, of prospective spouses. This image was first published by Louisiana’s Department of Health.

Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Head shots showing various racial types. Most western anthropologists classified people into “races” based on physical traits such as head size and eye, hair and skin color. This classification was developed by Eugen Fischer and published in the 1921 and 1923 editions of “Foundations of Human Genetics and Racial Hygiene.”

Dr. Ernst Wentzler treats a child with rickets. Dr. Wentzler’s Berlin pediatric clinic served many wealthy families and high-ranking Nazi officials. Although Wentzler developed methods to treat premature infants or children with severe birth defects, he supported ending the lives of the “incurably ill” and served as a primary coordinator of the pediatric “euthanasia” program, evaluating patient forms and ordering the killing of several thousand children.

Credit: National Library of Medical Science, Bethesda, MD

Heads of racial types, created by anthropologists from plaster molds of the faces of living subjects, were mass-produced in Nazi Germany for use in exhibitions and racial hygiene classes. These heads portray "Negro" racial type and the “Dinaric” (Balkan) racial type.

Credit: Blinden-Museum an der Johann-Agust-Zeune-Schule fur Blinde, Berlin

Footer for USD LibGuide v2.0