"A Racial study of Jewish families in Tarnow, 1942"

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 Margit Berner (Natural History Museum, Vienna)

"A Racial study of Jewish families in Tarnow, 1942"

(Introduced by: Sabine Hildebrandt, Harvard University, Massachusetts)

[27min36; 16 slides]


This paper was presented to the international symposium:

"Reassessing Nazi Human Experiments and Coerced Research, 1933-1945: New Findings, Interpretations and Problems"

4 - 7 July 2013, Wadham College, Oxford


Convened by Paul Weindling (Oxford Brookes University), Marius Turda (Oxford Brookes University), and Volker Roelcke (University of Giessen).

Kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and the University of Giessen


Abstract: In 1942 the Austrian anthropologists Dora Maria Kahlich from the University of Vienna, and Elfriede Fliehtmann from the "Institut für Deutsche Ostarbeit" in Krakow (IDO), carried out anthropological studies of Jews in Tarnow, Poland. After the war a collection of photographs, fingerprints and measurement sheets produced by this study came into the Museum of Natural History in Vienna.


A project began which cross-linked the collection of records housed in the Natural History Museum in Vienna and in the National Anthropological Archives in Washington, from which a record of names and related photographs for further biographical studies was reconstructed. Through the survivors in contact with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum two survivors of the survey had been found and contacted. Based on this investigation this paper will address the anthropological studies of persons who were not free volunteers which were carried out under National Socialism.


Bio: Studied Physical Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Curator of the cast collection at the Department of Anthropology, Museum of Natural History Vienna. Research and publication in History of Anthropology and Physical Anthropology. Cooperation in various scientific projects and participation in exhibitions.



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