Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Sterilization and the Nazi Biomedical Vision 
In addition, German doctors were discouraged from making reference in their scientific papers to work by Jewish doctors. When necessary to refer to such work, they were required to prepare a separate reference list for Jewish sources — as if to “keep the races separate” and thereby protect Aryan medicine from the Jewish taint in this ultimate form of scientific-literary segregation. In all these ways, given the German shortage of doctors over much of this period, pragmatic need was overruled by ideological requirement. Indeed, Nazi medical leaders conveyed the sense that only after this purification of their profession could they begin to call upon that profession for the realization of the biomedical vision.
Academic Medicine

Academic medicine, as part of the overall university structure, was an important focus for Nazi organizational therapy. The “disease" to be cured was what Josef Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, called “flabby intellectualism,” and what the education and culture minister, Bernhard Rust, called “disastrous concepts of liberty and equality,” or what one educational reformer identified as “any autonomy and freedom of the teacher.” Even before the Nazis, German universities had been bastions of conservative or reactionary political thought which tended to deify the concept of the state. But the Nazis made clear that they wanted something more. As Bavarian professors were told by their new minister of culture: “From now on, it will not be your job to determine whether something is true, but whether it is in the spirit of National Socialist revolution.” Universities were to become (in the words of one historian) “intellectual frontier fortresses” and “bodies of troops”; professors were to develop “trooplike cooperation.”52

Again, with their combination of visionary idealism and terror, the Nazis attracted considerable support from leading German professors: for example, 960 prominent German educators signed a public vow to support Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, which was published in the fall of 1933. Among the notable figures in that list were the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the world-famous Berlin University-Charité Hospital surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch.*

The coercive side of Gleichschaltung from above stressed what was called the "Führer principle" (Führer meaning “leader” in general), appointing reliable Nazis of dubious professional attainment as rectors and deans, so that they became in effect extensions of the regime's similarly directed Education Ministry. The ministry set overall policies concerning subjects taught (for example, more stress on racial biology and ideologized Ger- […man]
* Sauerbruch’s ardor for the regime subsequently diminished, and he was ultimately relatively even-handed in making use of his power within medical circles. Eventually, through contacts with Karl Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, he became tangentially involved in resistance to Hitler (see page 91).   
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

Robert J. Lifton
ISBN 0-465-09094
© 1986
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