Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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the ... man in charge of the work Kommando. And it was, . . . “You go, you go by truck. You walk, you go by truck .” … A pattern pretty soon developed that you could see — under fourteen about and over thirty-five were assigned to the trucks. And not until we actually marched into the camps did you know exactly where the trucks had gone .... and this was done, I mean, very fast, very efficient.
Next was a ritual reception by old inmates:  
[We went] directly on foot to the camp, . . . and . . . the minute you came into the camp, . . . [there was] a so-called welcome committee of prisoners that would watch you until you could be processed into the sauna [shower]. Those were prisoners — Slovakian girls who had already been there since about one year before .... The only thing they were interested in first of all was to get everything they could get before the SS would get it from us — jewelry or watches, what have you — because they already were in the inner circle knowing how to manipulate and organize for food and things. And secondly, to immediately tell us what was waiting for you and what has happened — somehow [they thought]: "We’ve been [here] so long, you might as well know." 
That knowledge, attained within hours or even minutes, called forth and maintained the extreme numbing that characterized all life in the camp:  
And then of course immediately you realized what the unbelievable smell was . . . that you have been smelling .... Somehow or other they ... were already so inured .... You come to the point that if you were in there long enough, you had absolutely no emotions left — and all you were concerned [with] was survival.
But most did not survive. . The terrible knowledge imposed on this Czechoslovakian girl was recorded by Dr. Otto Wolken, an Austrian-Jewish prisoner physician, who observed closely what went on in the camp, especially the behavior of SS doctors: 
Over time, five crematoria were built in which the gas chambers were also located. People from all nations, of both sexes, of all ages were gassed .... Gassings of unthinkable dimensions took place at the arrival of prisoner transports from France, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, as well as from the Polish camps and from Norway. When the transport trains came in, the arrivals had to pass before the camp doctor. . . on duty. He pointed his thumb either to the right or to the left. Left meant death by gas. From a transport  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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