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November 27, 1996

Nazi Origins of an Anatomy Text: The Pernkopf Atlas

Author Affiliations

St Barnabus Medical Center Livingston, NJ

JAMA. 1996;276(20):1633-1634. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540200019011

To the Editor.  —We recently found that our library contained an anatomy atlas written by a Nazi,1 brought to our attention after reading of Ernst's reference to it in his account of events at the University of Vienna in 1938.2 There are compelling allegations that the author of the atlas, Eduard Pernkopf, an ardent Nazi,2-5 used material obtained from Nazi victims in the atlas.2-4 After finding Pernkopf' s atlas in our medical library, our institution, with a medical staff of 1116 members, decided to expunge it from our collection and retain it in a symbolic manner, to remember those events in those times and their lessons.5The Pernkopf anatomy atlas is extant, however, and is now actively sold and distributed by Urban & Schwarzenberg. The president and chief executive officer of Waverly Inc, the parent company of Urban & Schwarzenberg and Williams & Wilkins, has indicated, in conversations