Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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doctors to be developing within the SA something on the order of a revolutionary medicine and, indeed, of a biologized state: “And they were all doctors like me, who tried to think biologically, [of] biology as the foundation of medical thought …. We didn't want politics — we were critical of politics — but [were concerned] with the way human beings really are — not just an idea or philosophy.” 
National Socialism as Applied Biology 
The nation would now be run according to what Johann S. and his cohorts considered biological truth, "the way human beings really are." That is why he had a genuine “eureka” experience — a sense of “That's exactly it!” — when he heard Rudolf Hess declare National Socialism to be “nothing but applied biology” (see page 31). Dr. S. felt himself merged with not only Hess (he told me, with some excitement, “I was standing no more than ten meters from him at the time!”) but with the Führer himself: “Hess knew exactly what Hitler thought . . . . He was the only one closely involved with him all the time.” S. quickly joined the Party and devoted himself to the realization of that biological claim.

He pointed out proudly that these early SA doctors formed the nucleus of the National Socialist German Physicians' League (Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Ärztebund), the doctors who, as he put it, "were the first intellectuals to have complete confidence . . . in National Socialism to march in the streets" - in effect, to put their bodies on the line.

Now S.’s hero was Gerhard Wagner, who had served in the First World War, the Freikorps, and the SA and was a founder and the head of the Nazi Doctors’ League. Described accurately by one observer as “a notorious public advocate of the anti-Jewish racial laws,”45 Wagner was to Johann S. “a fantastic person — an all-around doctor from a medical family, [who] had a personal influence on Hitler.” Wagner was a protégé of Rudolf Hess, and Dr. S. understood both of these leaders to favor something on the order of permanent revolution and to view the National Socialists “as a movement rather than a party, constantly growing and changing according to the ‘health’ requirements of the people’s body [Volkskörper]”: “Just as a body may succumb to illness, the Volkskörper could do the same.”

S. worked closely with Wagner in the Nazification of German medicine, the two men sharing Hess’s Volk mysticism, advocacy of lay practitioners, a Nazi version of holistic medicine that would “put in the foreground . . . questions of the psyche that had been neglected” (see pages 40-41), a broad medical outreach to all institutions (holding to medical authority so that “employees of a factory knew that their boss could not give orders to the doctors”), and “a new medical Weltanschauung ” This worldview replaced two false doctrines — that of Christianity, which understood human beings “only in a spiritual sense”; and that of the French Revolution, which claimed that “all human beings are equal” — both of which,  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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