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Exhibition in the Josephinum: The Medical Faculty of Vienna 1938 to 1945

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(Vienna, 2 March 2018) To mark the 80th anniversary of the end of Austria's sovereignty (Annexation) and the assumption of power by the Nazis, with all the associated consequences, the Josephinum, Medical University of Vienna Collections, is, for the first time, staging a comprehensive exhibition showing the impacts upon the Vienna Medical Faculty. The exhibition will be opened during the international symposium "Annexation in March 1938: consequences for medicine and society".

The exhibition deals with the previous history of anti-Semitism and racism prior to the Nazi period, the direct consequences of March 1938 and the expulsion of a large number of faculty members, which paved the way for the careers of members of the Nazi party. Other topics that are addressed include how the Faculty was infiltrated by the Nazi ideology of "race hygiene", forcible sterilisations and illegal human experiments, as well as the increasing militarisation of academia and research following the war. The exhibition also covers the year 1945 as an ambivalent watershed, past struggles with the Nazi past and, last but not least, the role of the Josephinum as the centre of the history of medicine in Austria.

The Nazi period marks the historical low point in the development of Austrian medicine. Christiane Druml, Director of the Josephinum says, "We are dedicating this exhibition to all members of the medical faculty who suffered injustice, violence and tyranny at the hands of the National Socialists. We must never allow anything like that to happen again – that must be our guiding principle for the future."

Herwig Czech and Niko Wahl are the curators responsible for the design and medical history content of the exhibition.

Exhibitions on the history of medicine with contemporary art
Since 2013, the Josephinum – MedUni Vienna Collections – has set itself the task of presenting exhibitions on the history of medicine with special emphasis on the history of medicine in Austria, its own significant exhibits as well as high-tech medicine in Vienna General Hospital and – last but not least – the integration of contemporary art. As in all the museum's previous activities, the exhibition is complemented by contemporary art, curated by Moritz Stipsicz. This time, the works of artists Anna Artaker and Tatiana Lecomte will not be displayed at the same time as the historical exhibition but on another significant date, namely the 8th of May, the day on which Nazi Germany capitulated and the Second World War ended.        

The Medical Faculty of Vienna 1938 to 1945 – Exhibition in the Josephinum
Josephinum, Währinger Straße 25, 1090 Vienna
14 March 2018 to 6 October 2018
Wed. 16 – 20:00 hrs, Fri. & Sat. 10 – 18:00 hrs
Guided tours: Wed. 18:00 hrs; Fri. 11:00 hrs; Sat. 11:00 hrs (English) & 13:00 hrs


Symposium: Annexation in March 1938: consequences for medicine and society

Image: Günter Brus

At the instigation of MedUni Vienna's Alumni Club, the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna are organising an international scientific conference to mark the 80th anniversary and this will take place on Monday, 12 March 2018 (16:30 – 20:30 hrs) and on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 (9:00 – 17:45 hrs). The symposium will be held in the Van Swieten Hall of MedUni Vienna (Van-Swieten-Gasse 1a, 1090 Vienna). Experts from the fields of medicine, politics, contemporary history, journalism, social sciences and research, such as former Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, Markus Müller (Rector of MedUni Vienna), Wolfgang Schütz (former Director of MedUni Vienna), Oliver Rathkolb (Institute of Contemporary History, University of Vienna) and Paul Weindling from the School of History, Philosophy and Culture, Oxford Brookes University, will give talks and chair discussions. The detailed programme.