Gypsum masks

In conjunction with the commencement of war in 1939, the Nazi party leadership in Vienna had Jews who had been declared stateless interned in the Prater Stadium. From there they were deported to Buchenwald. Before deportation, however, they were registered and examined from a racist viewpoint by the staff of the Naturhistorisches Museum’s anthropology department.

Hundreds of photos and plaster life masks testify to the will to classify human beings racially according to external features. In Buchenwald in the winter of 1939/40, many of these persons fell victim to the first deliberately induced mass death in a German concentration camp.

Naturhistorisches Museum Wien