The renowned architect Diébédo Francis Kéré was brought in as exhibition designer (see interview on page 22) and the historian Christian Geulen was recruited as scientific consultant. In putting the exhibition together, curator Wernsing has borrowed items from various other institutions such as the Musée de l’Homme in Paris and the Karl May Museum in Radebeul, but she has had a wealth of resources to draw on from the archives of the DHMD itself.
The museum as a key propaganda tool
At the 1st International Hygiene Exhibition 1911 in Dresden, which was the catalyst for the founding of the museum one year later, a section was already dedicated to ‘Racial Hygiene’. When it was founded in 1912, the German Hygiene Museum not only concerned itself with matters relating to health education but also with the dissemination of racist ideas. Eventually, during the Third Reich, the museum became one of the Nazis’ key propaganda tools to underpin and propagate its racist ideology. Klaus Vogel, Director of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum (DHMD), says: “This institution comes with historic baggage that we not only must but will address.”