Gisella Perl: Angel and Abortionist in the Auschwitz Death Camp

By Anne S. Reamey

 Gisella Perl

Gisella Perl was a successful Jewish gynaecologist in Sighet, Romania before the Second World War. She was best known for her innovative research into female reproduction. Over the course of her professional life she delivered thousands of babies, saved countless lives, and provided medical and emotional comfort to those in need.

In 1944 she, along with almost all of Sighet's Jews, was transported to Auschwitz, where she was put to work in the infirmary. In the years since the war, her role as a physician in Auschwitz has led her work to be cast under ethical scrutiny: Perl has been simultaneously considered a murderer by some and a saint by others. This controversy largely revolves around her role as an abortionist within the camp. The following article explores her life before, during and after the war aiming to provide a balanced view of her struggles and accomplishments.

Gisella Perl: Before the War

The woman who would later be called the "Angel of Auschwitz," Dr. Gisella Perl was born in Maramaros Sighet, a city that was part of Hungary before World War I and during World War II. In the interwar period it was part of Romania. At 16 years old, Gisella Perl was the only woman (and the only Jew) to graduate from her secondary-school class.1

With Hungary serving as an ally of Germany throughout the war, the Jewish community was largely immune to the terrible fates of other Jews throughout Europe. In 1944, however, their false sense of security was brought to an abrupt halt as the Nazis began their rapid extermination plan. Spreading quickly throughout Hungary, the Nazis sent the bulk of the Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp.2

As with many Jews across Hungary, Dr. Perl and her family were forced into a ghetto before being transported to Auschwitz in March 1944.3 After eight excruciating days packed tightly into cattle cars with almost no food or water, Dr. Perl's transport arrived at the gates of Auschwitz. As they entered into what, for many, would be their final resting place, families were separated into two lines: those going to the right were subjected to forced labor (about 3,000 people) while those going to the left were exterminated immediately in the gas chambers (7,000-9,000 people). 4

Arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau (1944-1945)

 Auschwitz-Birkenau

"Like big, black clouds, the smoke of the crematorium hung over the camp. Sharp, red tongues of flame behind the sky, and the air was full of the nauseating smell of burning flesh." 5

After passing the initial selection, Gisella Perl became an inmate of BA I (the women's camp of Birkenau, also known as Auschwitz II). There, she encountered the struggles and hardships of the rest of her transport before being selected to work in the camp "hospital." This name, however, implies more hope than could be found there. This camp was, after all, "an assault and a biological disaster"6 leaving the women with little hope of survival.

A Gynaecologist Without Tools

Although she was relieved at the prospect of working as the inmates' gynaecologist, believing that in this capacity she would be able to provide some good to her fellow prisoners, Dr. Perl was almost immediately forced to confront the radical hopelessness of camp medicine. In an early encounter with her new "colleagues," Dr. Perl later recalled being told, "don't worry about instruments… you won't have any."7

This lack of equipment was compounded by the lack of proper (or, in fact, almost any) nourishment, which led to fights between inmates. Years later, Dr. Perl recalled that shortly after beginning her work in the camp hospital, she "always had most to do after food distribution. I had to bandage bloody heads, treat broken ribs, and clean wounds. This work of mine was really quite hopeless, for the same would start all over again the next day."8

It is almost impossible to overstate the difficulties camp doctors faced; since, camp conditions at Auschwitz were extreme and the resources nonexistent.

Former inmates often describe their daily nourishment as consisting solely of a cup of turnip soup -- often with little actual turnip -- containing unidentifiable chunks. Served along with this sludge was the occasional cup of camp coffee. The exact daily caloric intake of prisoners ranges between sources, with some estimating as low as 700 calories per day, while others estimate closer to 1,300-1,700 calories (1,300 for prisoners doing light labor and 1,700 calories for prisoners doing heavy labor). Although the estimates were originally even higher, (1,700 and 2,150 calories a day, respectively), the numbers were revised once the food stolen from prisoners by other "privileged" prisoners and SS personnel was taken into consideration.9

With almost no nourishment or medical supplies with which to treat her patients, Dr. Perl remembered attempting to heal her patients with words of encouragement. In an interview with staff from the New York Times, Dr. Perl recalled: ''I treated patients with my voice, telling them beautiful stories, telling them that one day we would have birthdays again, that one day we would sing again. I didn't know when it was Rosh ha-Shanah, but I had a sense of it when the weather turned cool. So I made a party with the bread, margarine and dirty pieces of sausage we received for meals. I said tonight will be the New Year, tomorrow a better year will come.''10

The lack of personal hygiene was another of the most deadly issues faced by inmates at Auschwitz. With only one public latrine designed to accommodate between 30,000 and 32,000 women -- and even then only at designated times -- the latrines immediately began to overflow, leaving prisoners to wade through knee-high feces in order to relieve themselves. Those who suffered from dysentery, a common ailment among prisoners, could not wait through the long lines into the latrines and often soiled themselves. Because prisoners almost never received new uniforms, the unfortunate prisoners with dysentery were forced to suffer the indignity, as well as the increased chance of further infection, by being forced to wear their soiled clothing.

The "Angel of Death" and the "Angel of Life": Dr. Mengele and Dr. Perl

Our whole being concentrated on Mengele's hands. Those hands had the power to condemn us to immediate execution or to prolong our miserable life by a few days11

Is a hospital without beds, medical instruments, drugs, or bandages really a hospital? Or is it a facade of hope? For the prisoners of Auschwitz, the camp "hospital" provided minimal help either moral or medical: In fact, it could be as dangerous as the gas chambers.

The hospital in Auschwitz operated with only five doctors and four nurses, all hand selected by Dr. Josef Mengele himself.12 It was the job of the hospital staff to provide the little care they could manage without supplies to those suffering from starvation, and those suffering from the torture inflicted upon them.

Surgery in Auschwitz

Without any anesthesia to assist with the pain, or bandages and antibiotics to aid in the healing after, Dr. Perl performed surgery on hundreds of patients in the hospital at Auschwitz. Two types of surgery were particularly common -- those on the pregnant women, and those to repair the damage done to women's breasts through the brutality of the SS officers, who lacerated the breasts of prisoners with whips.13

Although Dr. Perl's work assisting fellow inmates in Auschwitz saved many lives, after the war many critics of her work asked how a doctor who truly cared about their patients could place pregnant mothers under Dr. Mengele's surgical knife, knowing that they were later destined for the gas chambers. The answer is simple: no one knew the truth about the work done at Auschwitz until it was too late. Upon her arrival as one of the new camp physicians, Dr. Mengele instructed Dr. Perl to inform him of any pregnant woman she discovered. "He told me that he would send them to another camp, for milk, for better nutrition," Dr. Perl recalled during an interview in 1984.14 The women were even taken away in "Red Cross trucks,"15 which turned out to be nothing more than disguised death-transports.

But Dr. Mengele's true intentions quickly became apparent. Dr. Perl remembered that "At first I believed him, but later I learned that he used them, together with the physically handicapped and twins, for his inhumane medical experiments. When he finished with them, they were all destroyed in the gas chambers."16

"… what I observed, surpasses my ability to express my thoughts on the loftiness of the doctor's mission and the heroic performance of his duties. The greatness of these doctors, their devotion found, their recognition in the eyes closed forever of those, who, tortured by captivity and sufferings, will never speak again. The doctor fought for a lost life and for a doomed life. He had at this disposal only a few aspirins and a great heart. There a doctor did not work for fame, flattery of the satisfaction of his professional ambitions; all these stimuli no longer existed. The only thing that remained was a doctor's duty to save the lives in every case and in all circumstances, an effort that was intensified by deep feeling for the human being, by compassion." 17

- Stanislawa Leszcynska, former prisoner of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, No. 41335

Pregnancy in Auschwitz

They were surrounded by a group of SS men and women, who amused themselves by giving these helpless creatures a taste of hell, after which death was a welcome friend…They were beaten with clubs and whips, torn by dogs, dragged around by their hair and kicked in the stomach with heavy German boots. Then, when they collapsed, they were thrown into the crematory - alive.

- Dr. Gisella Perl on the treatment of pregnant women in Auschwitz 18

When Dr. Perl first arrived in Auschwitz, the fate of all pregnant women entering the camp was the same - an immediate trip to the gas chambers. Later, the fate of some became even more horrific: the women were subjected to gruesome medical experiments before being killed, or worse, burned alive without being murdered first.

In an interview with Nadine Brozan for the New York Times in 1982, Dr. Perl recalled her initial experiences with Dr. Mengele's "cure" for pregnancy in Auschwitz. ''Dr. Mengele told me that it was my duty to report every pregnant woman to him,'' Dr. Perl said. ''He said that they would go to another camp for better nutrition, even for milk. So women began to run directly to him, telling him, 'I am pregnant.' I learned that they were all taken to the research block to be used as guinea pigs, and then two lives would be thrown into the crematorium. I decided that never again would there be a pregnant woman in Auschwitz.''19

After Dr. Perl's startling realization of the fates of the pregnant women discovered by Dr. Mengele, she began to perform surgeries that before the war she would have believed herself incapable of - abortions. In spite of her professional and religious beliefs as a doctor and an observant Jew, Dr. Perl began performing abortions on the dirty floors and bunks of the barracks in Auschwitz "using only my dirty hands."20 Without any medical instruments or anesthesia, and often in the cramped and filthy bunks within the women's barracks, Dr. Perl ended the lives of the fetuses in their mothers' womb (estimated at around 3,00021) in the hopes that the mother would survive and later, perhaps, be able to bear children.

In some instances, the pregnancy was too far along to be able to perform an abortion. In these cases Dr. Perl broke the amnionic sac and manually dilated the cervix to induce labor. In these cases, the premature infant (not yet completely developed), died almost instantly.22 Without the threat of their pregnancy being discovered, women were able to work without interruption, gaining them a temporary reprieve from their death sentences.

One of the little-discussed circumstances surrounding the issue of abortion in concentration camps was the fate of the infants who were not killed -- along with their mothers -- in the womb. In Auschwitz, infants were immediately killed through a variety of methods, both by Nazi and Jewish medical staff by "pinch(ing) and clos(ing)" the newborn's nostrils and when it opened its mouth to breathe… gave it a dose of lethal product," or drowning it in a pail of whatever liquid was available. The staff preferred this death to watching the child starve to death, according to Mengele's orders."23

Additional Contributions to Fellow Prisoners

In addition to her work as a physician and surgical assistant to Dr. Mengele, Dr. Perl assisted prisoners in any way possible throughout the night. "Ms. B", a prisoner at Auschwitz from April-September 1944, testified as part of the Claims Conference: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. She recalled the work of Dr. Perl with great reverence:

Dr. Gisella Perl assisted Dr. Mengele during the day. However, at night Dr. Perl came into the barrack and administered an ointment with glue-like consistency to every sore, in order to heal this horrific rash. Dr. Perl came periodically to Barrack No. 10 and also went to other barracks to administer this ointment. The rash needed several weeks to clear up; however, it would often return a few days later. In Auschwitz, there was a belief among the female prisoners that the soup we were given to eat was drugged and the drug was the reason why we suffered from this horrific rash. Without Dr. Perl's medical knowledge and willingness to risk her life by helping us, it is would be impossible to know what would have happened to me and to many other female prisoners. I lived in Sighet, the same town as Dr. Gisella Perl, until I was 16, when I was sent away to the ghetto. I remember what a wonderful reputation she had, and how well-known she was in our area. My mother was her patient, and my grandmother went to her husband, Dr. Krauss, who was an internist. When we both in Auschwitz, I remember she was the doctor of the Jews there. 28

Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen

Following her internment in Auschwitz, Dr. Perl was relocated to Bergen-Belsen, where she was soon liberated at the end of the war. With her liberation only moments behind her, Dr. Perl began wandering from camp to camp in a desperate attempt to locate her family. Although Dr. Perl had saved the lives of countless women at Auschwitz, she could not save her family. Dr. Perl discovered that her husband (a surgeon), son, and parents were killed in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.29

Unable to cope with this devastating blow, Dr. Perl attempted suicide. After her failed attempt, she was taken to a French dentist who was asked by a Catholic Priest to look after "this woman whose soul is still very ill after all the horror of many prison camps."30

Dr. Perl In the Eyes of her Patients

Before struggling to understand the arguments of Dr. Perl's critics, it is important to ascertain how was she viewed by the prisoners she assisted, as well as those who witnessed the abortions? Those who looked on with the knowledge that their doctor could end life as well as give it understood that in the outside world, abortions were immoral and not considered a real doctor's work. Inside the camp, however, life and death decisions looked different. As part of the Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Network, Jeff Heinrich published an article (Born in the Holocaust: A Hungarian woman's miraculous birth in the death camp of Auschwitz24 ) on the astonishing birth and life of an infant born inside the confines of Auschwitz. Heinrich described the moral landscape in the following terms: "Some of the inmates in Camp C, Auschwitz's barrack for Hungarian Jewish women and girls, were able to bring their pregnancies to term, but their babies were almost invariably taken from them right after and killed - "mercifully" strangled to death by Jewish inmate doctors forced to work for the Nazis." He continued, noting that, "most pregnancies never got that far; the usual clandestine practice was to abort fetuses before they could be born - a life-saving measure for the mother, who was an easy target for liquidation if her pregnancy became too obvious."25

Many post-war considerations of Dr. Perl's actions reflect positively on the choices she was forced to make while in Auschwitz. In historian Hans Meyerhoff's article, "A Parable of Simple Humanity," he looks at the moral implications of abortions performed by Dr. Perl. Rather than stating that abortions are morally correct or incorrect as a black and white issue, Meyerhoff notes "[She] risked death and eternal damnation . . . and came to be hailed on behalf of 'simple humanity' at the price of thousands of lives which might have been, but never were and never will be. [She] was right in being what she was by committing this enormous wrong."

While most prisoners understood Dr. Perl's rationale and appreciated her efforts, there were those that criticized her work after the war. While Jews and Protestants often have fairly flexible views on abortions (particularly given Dr. Perl's circumstances), Roman Catholics maintain that no matter the circumstances, abortion is always a moral sin.26 Even fellow physicians, such as David Deutschman (New York) claim, "there is no rational or moral justification for . . . wholesale slaughter of infants . . . whether it was done by the brutal Nazis, or by a sentimental and well-meaning female medical personality."27

After Hell: Life Following the Holocaust

Following the conclusion of the Second World War, Dr. Perl was granted a temporary visa to serve as a lecturer in the Unites States (sponsored by the Hungarian-Jewish Appeal and the United Jewish Appeal31) and moved to an upper class neighborhood in New York.32 Initially, New York Representative (and Democrat) Sol Bloom petitioned the Justice Department to pass his proposed bill that would make Dr. Perl a permanent resident of the United States. The Justice Department rejected the appeal; however, they decided not to prosecute.33

On March 12, 1948, President Truman signed a bill granting haven to Dr. Perl in the United States. Without the bill, Dr. Perl could have been subjected to deportation to Rumania and the possibility of persecution.34 Once in America, Dr. Perl worked to help raise funds to aid fellow refugees.35

During her long and tiring struggle to gain citizenship and have her medical practice licensing reinstated, Dr. Perl faced thorough interrogations by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in an attempt to ensure she did not sympathize with the Nazis.36 Eventually, Dr. Perl was able to resume her practice of gynecology.37 Her prayer at the entrance to the delivery room was always the same: "God, you owe me a life - a living baby."38

In 1979, Dr. Perl moved once again, this time immigrating to Israel. Her daughter (hidden with a non-Jewish family during the war) moved to Israel to live with her mother.39

Eventually, Dr. Perl became a volunteer at National Women's Division of Shaare Zedek's gynecology clinic,40 utilizing her time and professional knowledge to the continued benefit of those in need. She was known there by "Gisi Doctor"41, the name she was known by while serving as a camp physician in Auschwitz.

The Fate of Dr. Perl's Captor and Warden

Unfortunately, the fate of Dr. Josef Mengele was not as satisfying as that of Dr. Gisella Perl. Although she was prepared to testify against the murderer as a war criminal, Mengele eluded authorities and was never brought to trial. 42

A Legacy of Life and Hope After Auschwitz

After forty-three years and the delivery of approximately 3,000 healthy babies after liberation, Gisella Perl passed away at the age of eighty-eight on December 16, 1988. The Jerusalem Post referred to Perl as, "the angel of Auschwitz"43 for her work at the camp, serving both hospital patients and expectant mothers.

Over a hundred mourners attended her funeral in Jerusalem,44 while countless others mourned the loss of the physician-turned-angel worldwide.

 Auschwitz Today

In Front of the Camera: Perl's Life As Seen on the Big Screen

Only eight years after her death, Showtime and Paramount Pictures came together to produce a movie that would chronicle Dr. Perl's experiences in Auschwitz, and her struggle to gain American citizenship due to her involvement in the performing of abortions - Out of the Ashes 45. On August 12, 1996 Marcia Magus issued a letter to readers of The Jerusalem Post requesting information on Dr. Perl who knew her "before, during, or after the war."46 However, it wasn't until 2002 that Christine Lahti was cast to play the role of Dr. Perl, and not until 2003 when the film was finally released.


Christine Lahti, who had for years followed the life of Dr. Perl through newspaper clippings, played the role of Dr. Perl in Out of the Ashes.47 Inspired by Dr. Perl's story, Lahti exhibited a moving portrayal of the personal and professional struggles Perl faced in Auschwitz. When interviewed, Lahti explained, "we wanted to explore the gray tones…what we call the 'choiceless choices'-things she had to do to survive but things that were not so honorable."48

In response to both the Holocaust deniers who claim that Jewish doctors killed out of sheer maliciousness to their own people, and to those who claimed that Dr. Perl "collaborated" with Dr. Mengele when he planned and performed experiments and executions on the pregnant women in Auschwitz, Anne Meredith claims there was no such possibility. As author of the screenplay for Out of the Ashes, Meredith traveled the world to gain as much first-hand knowledge of Dr. Perl -- and the circumstances surrounding her extraordinary works -- as possible. In the process, Meredith interview survivors of Auschwitz who had interacted with Dr. Perl while interned at the camp. During the interviews, Meredith determined that the omnipresent terror with which the inmates at Auschwitz lived, make it impossible to pass moral judgment - "She was in fear of him for the rest of her life."49 She further notes that, "the real problem for all of us who weren't there is to look at these situations that were so horrific with a kind of judgment… we can't comprehend what they went through. Everyone did things that in normal situations they would never do."50

Following the film's release, critics praised the portrayal of Dr. Perl, describing its personal impact and sobering reality. Josh Friedman, writer for the Los Angeles Times, describes the personality of Dr. Perl coming through her character: "Though Perl resents the INS board's interrogation as she defends her actions, her devotion as a doctor and a Jew who treasures the gift of life soon becomes obvious. If the verdict is never in doubt, neither is the power of Perl's testimony."51

After being released to the public in theaters around the world, Out of the Ashes continues to be shown in schools, Jewish education centers, and Holocaust remembrance events. Several cities, including Milwaukee, have even hosted Holocaust film festivals where the public is able to view some of the most powerful films. Melissa Kerbel, former coordinator for Milwaukee's Coalition for Jewish Learning's (CJL) Holocaust Education and Resource Center (HERC), remarked during a telephone interview with the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, "Our mission is to educate the community about the Holocaust and promote remembering the Holocaust. We wanted to make it possible for the community to view Holocaust films they otherwise wouldn't see." 52

A Historian's Goldmine: Utilizing the Story and Testimonies of Gisella Perl

Gisella Perl's book, I Was a Doctor in Auschwitz, as well as interviews and testimonies presented following the war, have provided historians with a goldmine of information and personal insight regarding both Dr. Perl's personal experiences, as well as information on the prisoner experience as a whole. Holocaust historians, such as David Blumenthal (Facing the Abusing God: A Theology of Protest 53), have examined and utilized information provided by Dr. Perl in their own works regarding the Holocaust.

Gisella Perl's Work Vilified

For the Jewish people, particularly those who survived the Holocaust, talking about their past is often a painful, if not unbearable, experience. Those who attempt to castigate or judge the experience of Nazi victims (especially antisemites, Nazi apologists, and Holocaust deniers) make the process even more excruciating.

Holocaust deniers in particular have sought to undercut the testimony of Holocaust survivors. Some of the most notorious Holocaust deniers (including J. Belling, Bradley Smith, Robert Faurisson, Arthur Butz, David Irving, Germar Rudolf, and Carlo Mattogno) work for "historical" groups (such as the Institute for Historical Review, Committee for the Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), and the National Alliance) whose names lead unsuspecting readers to believe in their professional and historical legitimacy. Below is some of the information being presented by such deniers relating to Dr. Gisella Perl. Due to their nature, they should not be considered as historical fact, but should be considered as information publicly available that must be combated by true Holocaust historians.

Five Chimney's - Two Liars? (by J. Belling, published through The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter)

Belling seeks to discredit both, and at the very least one, account(s) of Irma Grese's abortion performed at Auschwitz by Dr. Perl. By comparing the specifics of the testimonies presented by Dr. Perl and Olga Lengyel (author of Five Chimneys), a nurse serving with Dr. Perl, Belling compares minute details of the conversations that occurred prior to, during, and following Grese's abortion procedure. After each section, Belling comments repeatedly that slight the slight differences in their recounting makes one woman, if not both women, (a) liar(s).54 In doing so, Belling attempts to use minute differences in the personal memories of two victims of extremely traumatic events basis for destroying their moral dignity.

Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz (by J. Belling, published on his Website, Irma Grese)

In another of Belling's twisted articles, his attempts to provide "historical evidence" against Dr. Perl once again fall short. Casting Dr. Perl as selfish and materialistic, Belling begins by portraying Perl as a "abortionist-for-hire" in an attempt to earn her the additional food and material goods she desired for herself.

Abortion turned out to be a thriving business for Gisella Perl, the author of "I was a Doctor in Auschwitz." …According to various accounts authored by former inmates of Auschwitz, Perl was the envy of her former associates, due to her leading role in aborting Jewish infants in Auschwitz, thus assisting the Nazis in their attempted genocide of Jewish children - for a profit.

In order to maintain a standard of living higher than the average inmate in Birkenau, Perl devoted her energies to performing abortions on women who became pregnant after sordid trysts in the latrine - a service for which the abortionist lived in rather luxurious style while at the camp, and for which she was paid rather handsomely in food and material goods .55

 Irma Grese

Belling follows his character analysis (itself filled with inaccuracies and completely insupportable by historical records) with a large excerpt from Olga Lengyel's book Five Chimneys: The Story of Auschwitz. The account relates Lengyel's memories of a camp doctor (Dr. "G") who Belling assumes is Dr. Gisella Perl. Once the original source is examined and compared with an account of the abortion Dr. Perl was forced to perform on Dr. Grese, the reader finds that there is nothing to tie the name "Dr. G" to Dr. Perl (she is instead referred to as "one of my best friends"). Further, at the beginning of chapter 18, "Our Private Lives", in which Belling pulls his quote, Lengyel states that "Dr. G" was from Transylvania, while Dr. Perl came from Hungary.56

After an examination of the remainder of the Website Belling has published the above article on, it becomes clear that the site is dedicated in tribute to Irma Grese, a "victim of lies."57 He refers to her double conviction (for the "ill-treatment of certain such persons, causing the deaths…"58) and subsequent hanging following the conclusion of the Belsen war crime trials as "a German girl's heroic death."59

Irma Grese: Victim of Lies - Part IV (by J. Belling, published through The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter)

In Belling's ongoing attempt to refute any wrong-doing during her time at Auschwitz, he proceeds to attempt to refute all historians and survivor's testimonies in order to negate the information presented against Irma Grese. He begins his article by criticizing almost all historical accounts before addressing specific accusations, or even looking at Grese's character as a whole. Included in his tirade is his anger towards the testimonies of Dr. Gisella Perl, who "lived in high style while at the camp, devoting her energies to performing abortions on women who became pregnant after sordid trysts in the latrine, a service for which the abortioness was paid rather handsomely in food and goods."60

Belling continues to note more horrific accusations made against Grese while she was on trials, before returning to his slander against Dr. Perl, during which he says, "Perl is one of the most notorious fabricators and liars to ever have soiled the pages of a book with trash." Concluding this section, Belling notes that " …if anyone seriously believes the above, I suggest that they go for psychiatric counseling immediately. In fact, these sci-fi Tales from the Crypt are quite representative of the tripe which was bandied about during the immediate post-war years."61

Throughout his accounts, Belling provides no historical proof to discredit the testimonies of the camp survivors, or the information that was proven during post-war trials, regarding Irma Grese or Dr. Gisella Perl. Unfortunately, because the information is publicly accessible on the internet, students and others interested in the study of the Holocaust may read his fictitious accounts and assume their accuracy.


Notes

  1. Brozan, Nadine. "Out of Death, A Zest for Life." The New York Times [New York] 15 Nov. 1982, sec. Health. The New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9901EFDE1539F936A25752C1A964948260.

  2. Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005) 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1>.

  3. Brozan, Nadine. "Out of Death, A Zest for Life." The New York Times [New York] 15 Nov. 1982, sec. Health. The New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9901EFDE1539F936A25752C1A964948260.

  4. Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005) 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1>.

  5. Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005) 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1>.

  6. Dwork, Deborah, and Robert Jan van Pelt. Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.

  7. Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005) 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1>.

  8. Gutman, Yisrael, Michael Berenbaum, and Yehuda Bauer, eds. Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. New York: Indiana University, Folklore Institute, 1998.

  9. Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005) 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1>.

  10. Brozan, Nadine. "Out of Death, A Zest for Life." The New York Times [New York] 15 Nov. 1982, sec. Health. The New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9901EFDE1539F936A25752C1A964948260.

  11. Carr, Tonya, "Mengele's twins". 1999 Holocaust Remembrance Project. Holland and Knight , Inc. 7 Mar. 2009 http://holocaust.hklaw.com/essays/1999/998.htm. Quote within "Mengele's Twins" article, pulled from: Astor, Gerald. The "Last" Nazi: The Life and Times of Dr. Joseph Mengele. New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1985. Pg. 4.

  12. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  13. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  14. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  15. Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

  16. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  17. Leszynska, S. "Report of a midwife from Auschwitz." Auschwitz Anthology: In Hell They Preserved Human Dignity. Vol. 2. Warsaw: International Auschwitz Committee, 1971. 181-92.

  18. Perl, Gisella. I Was a Doctor in Auschwitz. North Stratford: Ayer Company, Incorporated, 1997

  19. Brozan, Nadine. "Out of Death, A Zest for Life." The New York Times [New York] 15 Nov. 1982, sec. Health. The New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9901EFDE1539F936A25752C1A964948260.

  20. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  21. "Not So Simple." TIME 20 Sept. 1948.

  22. Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005) 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1>.

  23. Cohen, Judy. "Childbirth And Sadistic Irony." Lessons Learned From Gentle Heroism: Women's Holocaust Narratives. 25 Feb. 2009 http://www.theverylongview.com/WATH/essays/lessons3.htm.

  24. Heinrich, Jeff. "Born in the Holocaust: A Hungarian's woman's miraculous birth in the death camp of Auschwitz." Holocaust Survivors and Rememberance Network. 3 May 2005. 24 Feb. 2009 http://isurvived.org/2Postings/Polgar_Angela-Vera.html

  25. Heinrich, Jeff. "Born in the Holocaust: A Hungarian's woman's miraculous birth in the death camp of Auschwitz." Holocaust Survivors and Rememberance Network. 3 May 2005. 24 Feb. 2009 http://isurvived.org/2Postings/Polgar_Angela-Vera.html

  26. "Not So Simple." TIME 20 Sept. 1948.

  27. "Not So Simple." TIME 20 Sept. 1948.

  28. "Fund for Victims of Medical Experiments and Other Injuries: Personal Statements from Victims." Claims Conference: Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Proc. of Claims Conference: Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 1359 Broadway, Room 2000, New York. 2008. 24 Feb. 2009 http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=medex/case_summary

  29. "Dr. Perl, Nazi Victim, Gets U.S. Residence." The New York Times 13 Mar. 1948: 7. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0E1FFF395A157B93C1A81788D85F4C8485F9&scp=4&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse.

  30. Krell, Robert. "Confronting despair: the Holocaust survivor's struggle with ordinary life and ordinary death." Canadian Medical Association Journal 157 (1997): 741-44. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/157/6/741.

  31. "Dr. Perl, Nazi Victim, Gets U.S. Residence." The New York Times 13 Mar. 1948: 7. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0E1FFF395A157B93C1A81788D85F4C8485F9&scp=4&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse.

  32. Dr. Perl resided at 1295 Madison Avenue in New York City, New York. "Dr. Perl, Nazi Victim, Gets U.S. Residence." The New York Times 13 Mar. 1948: 7. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0E1FFF395A157B93C1A81788D85F4C8485F9&scp=4&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse.

  33. "Dr. Perl, Nazi Victim, Gets U.S. Residence." The New York Times 13 Mar. 1948: 7. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0E1FFF395A157B93C1A81788D85F4C8485F9&scp=4&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse.

  34. "Dr. Perl, Nazi Victim, Gets U.S. Residence." The New York Times 13 Mar. 1948: 7. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0E1FFF395A157B93C1A81788D85F4C8485F9&scp=4&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse.

  35. Magus, Marcia. "Dr. Gisella Perl." The Jerusalem Post Archives 12 Aug. 1996. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  36. Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

  37. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  38. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  39. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  40. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  41. Brozan, Nadine. "Out of Death, A Zest for Life." The New York Times [New York] 15 Nov. 1982, sec. Health. The New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9901EFDE1539F936A25752C1A964948260.

  42. "Dr. Josef Mengele: Selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau." Auschwitz-Birkenau: History of a man-made Hell. 2 Mar. 2009. 4 Mar. 2009 http://www.scrapbookpages.com/AuschwitzScrapbook/History/Articles/Selection.html>

  43. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  44. "Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88." The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  45. Out of the Ashes. Dir. Joseph Sargent. Perf. Christine Lahti, Bruce Davidson, Beau Bridges. DVD. Showtime Ent., 2003.

  46. Magus, Marcia. "Dr. Gisella Perl." The Jerusalem Post Archives 12 Aug. 1996. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

  47. Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

  48. Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

  49. Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

  50. Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

  51. Friedman, Josh. "A Jewish doctor's courage and caring in Auschwitz." Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles] 12 Apr. 2003, sec. Entertainment: 23-23. Los Angeles Times. 12 Apr. 2003. 25 Feb. 2009 http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr/12/entertainment/et-friedman12

  52. Cohen, Leon. "CJL to present first Holocaust film series." The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle 29 Aug. 2003. 4 Mar. 2009 http://www.jewishchronicle.org/article.php?article_id=2579>

  53. Blumenthal, David R. Facing the Abusing God: A Theology of Protest. 1st ed. Westminster John Knoz P, 1993

  54. Belling, J. "Five Chimney's - Two Liars?" The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter. 25 Feb. 2009 http://www.cwporter.com/fivech.htm

  55. Belling, J. "Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz." Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz. 24 Feb. 2009. http://br.geocities.com/grese.irma@ymail.com/abortionist_pt.html

  56. Lengyel, Olga. Five Chimneys : A Woman's True Story of Auschwitz. New York: Academy Chicago, Limited, 1995. 133.

  57. Belling, J. "Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz." Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz. 24 Feb. 2009. http://br.geocities.com/grese.irma@ymail.com/abortionist_pt.html

  58. Phillips, Raymond, ed. Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others (The Belsen Trial). Vol. 2. Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable Ltd., 1949

  59. Belling, J. "Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz." Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz. 24 Feb. 2009. http://br.geocities.com/grese.irma@ymail.com/abortionist_pt.html

  60. Belling, J. "Irma Grese, Victim of Lies (Part IV)." The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter. 4 Mar. 2009 http://www.cwporter.com/grese4.htm

  61. Belling, J. "Irma Grese, Victim of Lies (Part IV)." The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter. 4 Mar. 2009 http://www.cwporter.com/grese4.htm

Photo Credits

Cover: Gisella Perl: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e136/joannaczopowicz/Obozy%20koncentracyjne/SS-Aufseherin/Archiwalne/gisellaperl.jpg Barbed wire: http://timecapsule.phasedrift.com/photo/barbed_wire_fence/

Auschwitz II - Birkenau: http://www.uncp.edu/home/rwb/brama-birkenau.jpg

Auschwitz hospital today: http://www.remember.org/jacobs/Anteroom.jpeg

Out of the Ashes: Movie Cover: http://www.trailerfan.com/movie/out_of_the_ashes

Irma Grese: http://www.hronos.km.ru/img/portrety/grese_irma.jpg

Works Cited

"Angel of Auschwitz Dies at 88". The Jerusalem Post 30 Nov. 1988: 2. The Jerusalem Post Archives. 30 Nov. 1988. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl

Belling, J. "Five Chimney's - Two Liars?" The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter. 25 Feb. 2009 http://www.cwporter.com/fivech.htm.

Belling, J. "Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz." Gisella Perl: Abortionist in Auschwitz. 24 Feb. 2009. http://br.geocities.com/grese.irma@ymail.com/abortionist_pt.html

Belling, J. "Irma Grese, Victim of Lies (Part IV)." The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter. 4 Mar. 2009 http://www.cwporter.com/grese4.htm

Blumenthal, David R. Facing the Abusing God: A Theology of Protest. 1st ed. Westminster John Knoz P, 1993.

Brozan, Nadine. "Out of Death, A Zest for Life." The New York Times [New York] 15 Nov. 1982, sec. Health. The New York Times. 24 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9901EFDE1539F936A25752C1A964948260

Cohen, Judy. "Childbirth And Sadistic Irony." Lessons Learned From Gentle Heroism: Women's Holocaust Narratives. 25 Feb. 2009 http://www.theverylongview.com/WATH/essays/lessons3.htm

"Dr. Perl, Nazi Victim, Gets U.S. Residence." The New York Times 13 Mar. 1948: 7. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0E1FFF395A157B93C1A81788D85F4C8485F9&scp=4&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse

Dwork, Deborah, and Robert Jan van Pelt. Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.

Friedman, Josh. "A Jewish doctor's courage and caring in Auschwitz." Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles] 12 Apr. 2003, sec. Entertainment: 23-23. Los Angeles Times. 12 Apr. 2003. 25 Feb. 2009 http://articles.latimes.com/2003/apr/12/entertainment/et-friedman12

"Fund for Victims of Medical Experiments and Other Injuries: Personal Statements from Victims." Claims Conference: Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Proc. of Claims Conference: Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 1359 Broadway, Room 2000, New York. 2008. 24 Feb. 2009 http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=medex/case_summary

Gutman, Yisrael, Michael Berenbaum, and Yehuda Bauer, eds. Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. New York: Indiana University, Folklore Institute, 1998.

Heinrich, Jeff. "Born in the Holocaust: A Hungarian's woman's miraculous birth in the death camp of Auschwitz." Holocaust Survivors and Rememberance Network. 3 May 2005. 24 Feb. 2009 http://isurvived.org/2Postings/Polgar_Angela-Vera.html.

Krell, Robert. "Confronting despair: the Holocaust survivor's struggle with ordinary life and ordinary death." Canadian Medical Association Journal 157 (1997): 741-44. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/157/6/741.

Lengyel, Olga. Five Chimneys : A Woman's True Story of Auschwitz. New York: Academy Chicago, Limited, 1995.

Leszynska, S. "Report of a midwife from Auschwitz." Auschwitz Anthology: In Hell They Preserved Human Dignity. Vol. 2. Warsaw: International Auschwitz Committee, 1971. 181-92.

Magus, Marcia. "Dr. Gisella Perl." The Jerusalem Post Archives 12 Aug. 1996. The Jerusalem Post. 25 Feb. 2009 http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/results.html?QryTxt=gisella%20perl.

"Not So Simple." TIME 20 Sept. 1948.

Out of the Ashes. Dir. Joseph Sargent. Perf. Christine Lahti, Bruce Davidson, Beau Bridges. DVD. Showtime Ent., 2003.

Peleg, Roni. "Gisella Perl: A Jewish Gynecologist in Auschwitz." Journal's of Women's Health 14 (2005): 588-91. Liebert Online. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/jwh.2005.14.588?cookieSet=1

Perl, Gisella. I Was a Doctor in Auschwitz. North Stratford: Ayer Company, Incorporated, 1997.

Phillips, Raymond, ed. Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others (The Belsen Trial). Vol. 2. Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable Ltd., 1949.

Pogrebin, Robin. "Entering the Gray Areas of Survivalist Mentality." The New York Times 13 Apr. 2003, Cover Page sec. NYTimes.com. The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2009 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503E0DA1238F930A25757C0A9659C8B63&scp=6&sq=gisella%20perl&st=cse