Invitation to the 3rd international conference Medical Review Auschwitz: Medicine Behind the Barbed Wire

We would like to invite you to take part in the 3rd international conference Medical Review Auschwitz: Medicine Behind the Barbed Wire, which will take place on 4–9 October 2021. This year, due to the pandemic situation, the conference is organized online, with open access to the presentations provided on this website. Videos from each session will be released at 5 p.m. CET on the day of the respective session, and remain available for viewing afterwards. Next year we hope—and plan—to meet you again at the live event in Kraków.

The conference is organised by the Polish Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine and the medical publisher Medycyna Praktyczna, in collaboration with the Kraków Medical Society, Department of Bioethics and the Holocaust of the International Chair in Bioethics, the Maimonides Institutue for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust, the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics, University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities, the Jagiellonian University Medical College, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, and the Polish Association for Spiritual Care in Medicine, under auspices of the European Federation of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians.

The aim of the conference is to educate the world’s medical community about the medical ethics and practice in the context of the Second World War, looking into the behaviour of physicians and other medical professionals imprisoned in Nazi German concentration camps, prisons, ghettoes, or other places of detainment, as well as bringing to light the malpractice and ethical violations of the Nazi German doctors, hoping to demonstrate the implications of the history of medicine during that period for contemporary medical practice and healthcare policy.

The conference is part of the Medical Review Auschwitz project, developed with the aim of sharing with the international community the unique scientific documents published over 31 years (1961–1991) in the medical journal Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim (Medical Review – Auschwitz). Articles from this journal are being successively translated into English and made available at

We hope that this conference will make a significant contribution to further the understanding of one of the darkest chapters in the history of medicine, both by spreading the knowledge of the often heroic attempts by medical professionals to counteract the grim reality of the war and the Holocaust and by educating about those physicians who became the perpetrators themselves. By doing this, the Organizers of the conference intend to help the international community draw a lesson for future generations.

We look forward to meeting you in virtual space in October 2021.

Organizing Committee,
3rd international conference Medical Review Auschwitz: Medicine Behind the Barbed Wire

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A public task funded in 2020–2022 within the DIALOG Program of the Ministry of Education and Science.

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