Recent developments

In the 2014 anniversary book and exhibition “100 years of MPI: minds in motion” ( ISBN 9 783000 459771   ISBN 9 783000 458255), the Institute commemorated this tragic history. The current directors Moritz Helmstaedter, Gilles Laurent and Erin Schuman and directors emeritus Heinz Wässle and Wolf Singer state that:

"We believe it is essential to expose this grim history.
We commit to never allowing it to be forgotten."

In the beginning of 2015, Heinz Wässle discovered brain slices from this dark period in the Archives of the Max Planck Society and an investigation has been initiated. In addition, a commemoration event was organised on October 2015 for those children murdered at Brandenburg Görden on October 28, 1940. In addition, current directors (Erin Schuman, Gilles Laurent and Moritz Helmstaedter), directors emeritus (Wolf Singer and Heinz Wässle) and Max Planck research group leaders Tatjana Tchumatchenko and Johannes Letzkus, as well as Paul Weindling, were interviewed by Jasmine Wingfield, a London-based film director, writer and editor. The film about Julius Hallervorden and his involvement in the euthanasia program was shown on October 28, 2015 and can be viewed below.

To commemorate its past, the institute's directors initiated an annual Ethics in Science Lecture Series with lectures by Paul Weindling (2015), Jean-Pierre Changeux (2016) and Sarah Chan (2018).

In the beginning of 2017, the journal Science reported about the events taking place during the Third Reich period and mentioned that the Max Planck Society appointed a committee of experts to investigate the activities of former scientists of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society during the Nazi era and the exploitation of human material by scientists of its predecessor (Max Planck Society) even after WWII.

In June 2017, Heinz Wässle's investigations regarding the Hallervorden H-Serie were published in the historical journal Endeavour: Wässle, H. (2017). A collection of brain sections of „euthanasia“ victims: The Series H of Julius Hallervorden. Endeavour 41: 166-175. (June 21, 2017) Direct link to the paper