Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Selections on the Ramp 
[Sonderstell…] ung; here suggesting “special function”] .... And the extraordinary [nature] of those ... actions [the killing], ... that was not a matter of debate ... but had been accepted. For instance, the problem of the crematorium and its capacity, etc. — that was equal to the ordinary problem of sewerage or the like elsewhere.
One was getting rid of the waste material of a routinized communal enterprise.

For the most part, doctors raised objections not to the project but to being themselves victimized by violations of what they considered fair play: “For instance .... one had to be on duty three nights in a row ... because another ... was shirking and organized for himself an outer camp inspection [assignment] with which he made himself a better life.” Yet communal spirit could be mobilized: “If, for instance, doctors were off duty and another [doctor who was on duty] wasn't able to handle it, ... they would have helped him, according to their [technical ability to give advice on how to get the crematoria going again].”

The use of a vehicle marked with a red cross seemed perfectly natural: “That was a military vehicle. What else should they have used? Gassing was the physicians’ responsibility. Physicians had only cars marked with Red Cross markings. So what should [one expect them to use]?”

Ernst B.’s accurate description leaves out the sense of filth and evil retained by SS doctors at some level of awareness. Thus, in his diary (see page 147), Kremer commented, “In comparison ... Dante’s inferno is almost a comedy. It is not in vain that they call Auschwitz an extermination Camp!”16 True, this and his anus mundi comments came after his first and second selections; thereafter, Kremer’s diary, detached even then, became still more so over the few months he was in Auschwitz. But Dr. B. himself, referring to ramp duty more than thirty-five years later, acknowledged, “There is no way to describe selections in Auschwitz.”  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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