The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide


List of Events
Film cover of Gray Matter featuring medical jar with preserved brain inside.

© Joe Berlinger

Science + Suffering: Film Screening: Gray Matter

With talk by Dr Herwig Czech

Mon 11 Sep 2017

Time: 6pm - 8pm

Part of The Wiener Library's Science + Suffering event series.

In the spring of 2002, acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger travelled to Vienna to witness the burial of the preserved brains of over 700 disabled children that had been murdered in a “euthanasia” clinic as part of the Nazi eugenics programme that many consider the opening act of the Holocaust. Gray Matter chronicles the director’s journey as he searches for Dr Heinrich Gross, who not only allegedly participated in these murders, but also continued to experiment on the children’s remains for decades after the end of the war, while rising to prominence in Austrian society despite his past. Along the way, Berlinger meets clinic survivors and other remarkable voices who shed new light upon this shadowy legacy and the nation that now grapples with its own denial.

The film screening will include an introduction, talk and discussion with historian Dr Herwig Czech, postdoctoral researcher in the history of medicine at the Medical University of Vienna.

About the Speaker:

Dr Czech studied history at the Universities of Graz, Vienna, Paris VII and Duke. In 2007, he earned his PhD from Vienna University with a thesis on Medicine in National Socialist Vienna. He has held teaching assignments at the Universities of Newcastle, Wroclaw and Vienna. From 2004 to 2011 and 2014 to 2017, he was a Research Fellow at the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance. From 2011 to 2014 he was the recipient of an APART-Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Dr Czech has had numerous publications on medicine, race hygiene and biopolitics under National Socialism.


With support from the Wellcome Trust.

Location: The Wiener Library - click for map

Image - wellcome_logo_black_4.jpg

How to book: