Dr. William S. Silvers Holocaust, Genocide, and Contemporary Bioethics Lectureship

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

We have curated a list of events related to the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and bioethics that fall into the month of January. To access and attend these commemorations, click here. 

Past Events

The program each year will bring in a visiting scholar to provide a lecture at IU School of Medicine and lead a community event.

In 2019, the visiting scholar was Matt Wynia, MD, MPH, FACP.  Dr. Wynia is the director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and a Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Matt Wynia presented, " How Healers Became Killers: Nazi Doctors and Modern Medical Ethics."

In 2020, the visiting professor was Sabine Hildebrandt, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  She is an anatomy educator and conducts research on the history and ethics of anatomy, specifically the history of anatomy in National Socialist Germany. Dr. Hildebrandt presented, "Nazi Anatomy: Restoration of the Victims' Biographies."

In 2022, professor Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD at the IU School of Medicine gave a talk titled, "Man, Descending: Eugenics in Indiana and Germany." Eugenicists in the United States, building on the breakthroughs of Darwin and Mendel, aimed to protect the human gene pool by preventing “inferior” human beings from reproducing. What they unleashed, however, was a terrible tide of dehumanization and inhumanity, both here at home in Indiana and in far-away Germany. The lessons of their efforts, though difficult to contemplate, must never be forgotten.

In 2023, on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), Dr. Alex Kor, DPM, MS, gave a talk titled, “The Lessons of the Holocaust for Healthcare: Personal, Professional, and Historical Reflections.” Dr. Kor relates the story of three people: his mother, Eva Kor, who was a victim of Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz; Dr. Hans Muench, a physician at Auschwitz who found a way to protect prisoners there; and himself, a podiatrist and cancer survivor. These stories yield important lessons about memory, forgiveness, and the ethical practice of medicine.