Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Socialization to Killing 
for propaganda verbiage [Propagandageschwätz] is now totally, completely, wholly [ganz, ganz, ganz] matter-of-fact [trocken; literally, “dry”] and strategically concrete, that it is being realized [verwirklicht] with 100-percent strategy. That above all shook one. That one did not foresee [but] ... you knew it, and all of a sudden you are standing in front of it. Did you really know it?  
The passage is clear enough on the doctor's shocking confrontation with the literal enactment of victimizing imagery. But I believe it also suggests the widespread German psychological resistance to taking in the dark side of Nazi actuality, whatever the extensive evidence of its existence — a form of psychological resistance still present today in Nazi doctors despite, and because of, their exposure to the darkest Nazi reality of all.

Doctors could call forth an absolutized Nazi version of good and evil as both justification for what they were seeing and doing and further avoidance of its psychological actuality (as Ernst B. explained):  
Precisely because they were convinced of the justness, . . . or of the ... National-Socialist “world blessing” [Weltbeglückung] and that the Jews are the root evil [Grundübel] of the world — precisely because they were so convinced of it did they believe, or were strengthened — [in that belief], that the Jews, even existentially, had to be absolutely exterminated [die Juden eben existentiell, also absolut vernichtet werden müssen]. 
And although “not everybody approved of the gassing” and “many theories were discussed,” one had to admit that gassing was an improvement over the inefficiency of previous methods:  
The main argument for the gassing was that when one. tried to create ghettos, ... they never lasted longer than one or two generations. And then the ghetto — let us say — would become porous [undicht geworden; “would become leaky”]. That was the main argument for the gassing. Against the gassing there were a number of different kinds of the most nonsensical speculations ... forced sterilization and so on .... Lots of theorizing went on.
Now there was a more successful approach to the “Jewish problem” and, as Dr. B. added, “a means of confirmation” of that success. In talking about these matters, he never directly answered one question I repeatedly asked him: whether doctors disagreed with one another about the necessity to kill all Jews, or agreed about that and disagreed only about the means. I believe that the ambiguity has psychological significance beyond this evasion. From what Dr. B. and other observers have conveyed, it is probably accurate to say that most Nazi doctors in Auschwitz believed that something they perceived as “Jewishness” had  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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