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DATE: 1931

LENGTH: 12 min

CATEGORY: Clinical & Surgical, Research & Documentation, Silent, Black & White

PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: School of Tropical Medicine [Hochschule für Tropenmedizin], Hamburg, Germany

Warning: The film contains explicit images of disease and intrusive medical treatment. Viewer discretion advised.


This silent German-language medical film from the early 1930s offers a window into a major medical debate in the interwar period: Should the era of leprosy segregation come to an end?

Manifestations of leprosy from early to developed stages are shown in this silent film. Patients pose before the camera, matched to intertitles in German that classify the various manifestations of the disease, and demonstrate nerve damage, skin damage, loss of extremities, blindness, and other conditions caused by the leprosy bacillus. A portion of the film is devoted to treatment. Patients are shown receiving injections, washing, and exercising. The camera also shows the grounds of the Albert Victoria Hospital and its chaulmoogra trees, which grow nuts that are harvested to make an oil which was then the only recognized medical treatment available….Read The Essay

Supplementary Materials

Books and Pamphlets at the National Library of Medicine

Other materials from the National Library of Medicine

Digitized Films on Tropical Disease at the National Library of Medicine

A films still of the title frame for Tropical Disease Investigations in Africa.Explore tropical disease films in the NLM Digital Collections

Learn more about NLM holdings of tropical disease films in the Guide to Tropical Disease Motion Pictures and Audiovisuals

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