Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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to demonstrate this military subservience] . . . . We did the work . . . . So you can control a whole country with a very few men. You put the right boys [in] the right place.
Dr. Peter D. put a more positive value on the relationship: Fischer became “a friend and colleague to such an extent that he would never take someone from my work to send to the camp [select for death].” Dr. Magda V. was struck by the use of such relationships to “kind of spread the responsibility” in a situation within which “everybody pushes the responsibility on someone else.” But for SS doctors there was also the principle that Dr. B. has mentioned: their need to “escape into this illusion ... that they were doing good professional medical work.” 
SS Doctors and Women Prisoner Doctors  
SS doctors’ relationships with women prisoner doctors were complex and could include elements of “chivalry” and at times even affection, but also deception and danger. Rohde in particular could, as Dr. Lottie M. put it, view the camp as a “war of German men against Jewish men .... [but he] somehow helped the women and protected them.”² She and others reported that he “was very much in love with our Jewish chief doctor . . . [and] very impressed by her” in ways that enabled her to have considerable influence with him. Dr. M described Dr. V as a “good-looking and very intelligent woman”; and there were widespread rumors among inmates that she became Rohde’s mistress. Some inmates attributed Magda V.’s seemingly privileged status to this alleged affair, and it was a factor in an attempt to bring charges against her in Czechoslovakia after the war. On the basis of having been observed working closely with SS doctors and going around with them, she was accused of complicity in selections — an accusation Dr. M. considered “simply crazy,” because, as she pointed out, Dr. V. was really doing everything possible to save lives.

Lottie M. and Magda V., during separate interviews with me, expressed regret that Rohde was hanged immediately after the war as they considered him, respectively, “a better one” compared with other Nazi doctors, and “in his own way a thoroughly decent chap.” Dr. V. somewhat exaggerated Rohde’s virtue, maintaining the impression that “he refused to do selections and went to the Russian front” (which was not the case). She also said she chastised him for giving opinions, presumably negative, about Jews without having known any: “How can you talk about the Jews?” At the same time, she ridiculed accusations of both collaboration and sexual liaison with Rohde, stressing the Nazi principle of Rassenschande (“racial disgrace or crime”) that would apply to sexual relations with a Jew: “I was only a Häftling [prisoner], for crying out loud!” and,  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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