Anatomische Gesellschaft

Statement by the Anatomische Gesellschaft on the History of Anatomy in National Socialism

The Anatomische Gesellschaft admits the historical fact that numerous members of the Anatomische Gesellschaft willingly used the bodies of victims of National Socialism for educational and research purposes. In this manner they cooperated de facto with the iniquitous National Socialist regime. Two members, August Hirt and Johann Paul Kremer, thereby became murderers.

We are appalled by these actions and remember with deepest sorrow the many, frequently nameless victims of National Socialism whose bodies were delivered to anatomical institutes and treated in an inhumane manner. Our sympathy is with all their relatives, especially those who, to this day, have no certain knowledge about the fate of their loved ones bodies.

In memory of this past history the Anatomische Gesellschaft and its members strongly support the exclusive use of voluntarily donated bodies for anatomical purposes. The Anatomische Gesellschaft and its members promote the ethically appropriate handling of bodies through willed body donation programmes on the national and the international level.

We also commemorate the members of the Anatomische Gesellschaft whose lives and careers were disrupted or destroyed by the National Socialist regime for "racial" or political reasons.

The Anatomische Gesellschaft commits to the support of systematic research on its history during the time of National Socialism and to the publication of the results of these investigations.

Erlangen (Germany), 9 November 2013