Was bedeutet "Entschuldigung"? Die Überlebenden medizinischer NS-Verbrechen und die Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 2011 Sep; 34(3): 224-41
Around the turn of the twenty-first century a new practice in international politics became established: representatives of political, economic and religious organisations apologised for the historical and political crimes of their own collectives, addressing the victims or the victims' descendants. At a public event in June 2001, a formal apology of this kind was made by the president of the Max Planck Society (MPS), who had previously launched an extensive programme of research into the National Socialist history of what was then the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The majority of the eight invited survivors of human experimentation in Nazi concentration camps refused forgiveness. Instead, they called for the MPS not to content itself with historical research and analysis, but to ensure the continued remembrance of the victims and their suffering. Starting from this 2001 ritual of repentance, the paper examines the participants' diverse views of how to deal with the medical crimes of National Socialism, and asks about possibilities of going beyond historical retrospection to fulfil the imperative of remembrance.
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