|Author: Daniel S. Nadav
Cover: Hard cover
Publisher: Magnes Press
This introductory book deals with the bonds created between German physiciansand the Nazi biomedical vision based upon racial and eugenic conceptions. Theseideological connections and the attitudes of many Nazi doctors, culminating inthe actions of Mengele and other SS physicians in Auschwitz, may be described as a Medicalization ofthe Holocaust.
In July 1933, the sterilization law wasenacted. Under the pretext of war, the Nazi modus operandi was changed tomedical murder. It strove to stop the spread of hereditary diseases by gassingto death sick people judged “unfit to be included among “AryanGermans. Although officially abandoned in summer 1941, Hitler used theexpertise gained by the medical murderers to design the “Final Solution.
Nazi physicians operated the firstannihilation camps like Treblinka, while others initiated the process ofGhettoization, arguing that the Jews were spreading epidemics.
The second part of this book depicts thecourageous efforts of many Jewish doctors to resist annihilation. In manyghettos, Jewish doctors worked on behalf of the “Judenrat to try keeppeople alive. A clandestine medical faculty functioning in the Warsaw ghetto was the pinnacle of Jewishintellectual resistance. Even in concentration camps, physicians attempted tosustain the basic creeds of medical ethics by protecting and saving patients.
The last chapters of the book deal with theefforts to cope with the lessons of the Nazi misuse of medicine.