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This paper examines how aesthetic ideals shaped the practice of Nazi medicine. It proposes that Nazi eugenics relied on the conflation of norms of health with norms of beauty determined and performed by Nazi cultures of action. Though theories of biological holism served as vehicles of Nazi ideology, they did so contingently. The anti-totalitarian thinking of biological holist Kurt Goldstein shows that the use of biological holism to promote Nazi ideology was not inevitable. This examination of aesthetic influences on Nazi medicine shows that traditionally speaking 'non-rational' factors shaped the Nazi biomedical program's aims and methods. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sophia Efstathiou. The Nazi cosmetic: medicine in the service of beauty. Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences. 2012 Sep;43(3):634-42

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PMID: 22683496

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