Berlin – Dahlem

In 1927, Kaiser Wilhelm institute for anthropology, human heritage and eugenics was founded in Berlin-Dahlem. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the institution became an instrument for the Nazis where they could conduct racial-biological pseudoscience. The head of the institute was first Eugen Fischer and from 1942 Josef Mengele’s mentor Otto von Verschuer. Another leading racial theorist at the department was Fritz Lenz. Both Fischer and Verschuer were convinced of the validity of Nazi racial science and had virtually unlimited resources to confirm the Nazi racial theories. Another task was to carry out sterilizations of racially inferior people. Among other things, sterilizations were carried out on ca 400 offsprings from mixed marriages/relationships between German women and French colonial soldiers from Africa. These African soldiers had been stationed in the demilitarized Rehn country after the First World War. The institution also had an extensive collection of skeletons, skulls and human organs from inferior races. Josef Mengele sent human material to the department from Auschwitz. At the end of the war, documents and physical collections that could have been used as evidence were lost/destroyed.

Current status: Preserved with memorial tablet (2010).

Address: Ihnestrasse 24, 14195 Berlin.

Get there: Metro to Thielplatz Station.

My comment:

In 2010, the building was part of the Otto Suhr department, which is part of Berlin’s free university. Although Verschuer worked closely with Mengele and received both human material and analysis from Mengele’s ”research” at Auschwitz. Verschuer was never brought to justice after the war and continued genetic research in respected circles. When he died in a car accident in 1969, nothing was mentioned about his Nazi past.

Follow up in books: Proctor, Robert: Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (1998).