KEETMANSHOOP – The Museums Association of Namibia is conducting countrywide exhibitions portraying the then Nazi regime’s ‘Science of Race’ and its implications for medical ethics
and social responsibility. Launching the exhibition recently in Lüderitz, !Nami#Nüs Constituency
Councillor Jan Scholtz described race as the central theme of the exhibition, which speaks strongly to Southern Africa.
“The concept of a ‘Master Race’ was based on the idea that there were different races but only one had
the biological qualities to rule,” he explained. Referring to the theme ‘Deadly Medicine’, he ascribed it to the role doctors and nurses played during the Nazi regime whereby many lives were lost by means of implementing measures to achieve ‘racial hygiene’.
“This exhibition is disturbing, but important and thought provoking. It informs the way in which racial
stereotypes have been created on the basis of false science with fatal consequences,” he said.
Chairperson of the Museums Association of Namibia Professor Martha Akawa-Shikufa explained that
the exhibition has been developed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “challenging viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection.”
She identified both professionals and students in the medical, legal and history fields as the primary audience. “This exhibition will also be a useful teaching and learning resource for senior secondary and university history students, as it provides an indepth perspective on the Holocaust and a critical view of the roots of racism,” she added.
Akawa-Shikufa further regards the intervention as a tool providing needed opportunities for discussing
medical policies, guiding Namibian health professionals through legal, medical and historical perspectives.