Judge the Ends, Not the Means (a Paper on Edward Pernkopf)

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Rasputin
Words 565
Pages 3
Judge the Ends, Not the Means
Shawn Ferreira
ENGL 1010
Professor Rachel Carter
22 March 2010
Judge the Ends, Not the Means Eduard Pernkopf’s Atlas de Tropographische Anatomie des Menschen or Atlas of Topographic and Applied Human Anatomy, as it translates to English, is described as one of the most exquisitely detailed and beautifully illustrated anatomy atlases ever printed. It is also considered to be the epitome of anatomy atlases, setting the bar to which all other atlases should try to live up to. There are many other anatomy atlases out there including Frank H. Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy, Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, Johannes W. Rohen’s Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body and many more but those are a few of the most popular; yet none of them seem to be quite as extraordinarily done as Pernkopf’s. However, almost no one, save for a some specialists, uses it anymore and it has been out of print for the past twenty years. The reason for this is that Eduard Pernkopf was an ardent member of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party) or as they are most often referred to, the Nazi Party. Lately a controversy has sprung up concerning the propriety of using this atlas because, while the identities of the cadavers used for the paintings are unknown, it has been speculated that the bodies were those of victims murdered and tortured by the Nazis and possibly even victims of the Holocaust. The question is whether or not it is ethical to use such a book, knowing the likely possibility of whom the images were depicted after, because of the phenomenal work that it contains. Yes, it is indeed ethical because it is important to focus on the works of the man rather than the man behind the works. Pernkopf was very much an evil man, right in line with Hitler, but that does…...

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