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Anat Rec B New Anat. 2005 Jul;285(1):6-10.

Origin of corpses received by the anatomical institute at the University of Jena during the Nazi regime.

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  • 1Institute of Anatomy I, Friedrich Schiller University, Teichgraben 7, Jena, Germany.


During the Nazi regime (1933-1945), the anatomical institute at the University of Jena received 2,224 corpses, of which approximately 200 originated from executions. The available data clearly suggest that a large portion of these 200 executed persons must be considered victims of Nazi crimes. Approximately an equal number of bodies were delivered from state nursing homes and mental institutions in the state of Thuringia during the same time period. The available data suggest that it is highly likely that many of them were victims of decentralized "euthanasia" programs. The remains of many prisoners of nearby labor camps, mostly from Eastern Europe, are listed in the body register at the institute as well. A group of anatomists and historians has investigated the institute's association with Nazi crimes. Apart from documenting the association, the aim of the investigation is to clarify the whereabouts of the corpses. In particular, it must be ascertained that none of the specimens publicly displayed in the anatomical collection of the Friedrich Schiller University originated in the context of Nazi crimes.

Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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