Karl August Lingner (1861-1916), the Odol mouthwash manufacturer,
initiated the foundation of the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum (1912).
In 1911, Lingner was the driving force behind the First
International Hygiene Exhibition which drew over 5 million
visitors to Dresden. This exhibition provided information not
only about human anatomy but also about health care, nutrition
and living. The exhibition was also so successful because the
objects were presented with the most modern technology in an unprecedented
visually graphic way. During the Weimar Republic years the museum
contributed decisively to the development of a more democratic
public health system through its comprehensible state-of-the-art
The museum building designed by Wilhelm Kreis (1873 – 1955) served
as the venue for the Second International Hygiene Exhibition in
1930, and is still in current use by the museum today. “The Transparent
Man” ranked as the greatest attraction in the 1930 exhibition,
in which the image of the human in the modern age was expressed
in a glorifying combination of science, transparency and rationality.
After 1933, the general educational capacity of the museum and
its highly developed modern mediation methods were put into the
service of the Nazi race ideology. In
the final days of the Second World War, large sections of the
museum building and valuable collection holdings were destroyed.