Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Chapter 13 

 Prisoner Doctors:
Collaboration with
Nazi Doctors
  We would accept being mistreated by locksmiths, barbers, common criminals, etc .... but that a fifty-year old [prisoner] physician could strike younger colleagues in the most brutal manner, and that he would send them to the gas chamber, that seemed to us a monstrosity.   
  — Auschwitz prisoner doctor   
A few prisoner doctors came to identify themselves sufficiently closely with Nazi doctors and camp authorities to be viewed as collaborators. Such collaboration could be related to the anti-Semitism of various national groups and to antagonisms between ordinary criminals and political prisoners, and among Jews themselves.

Long-standing Polish anti-Semitism loomed especially large; Dr. Jacob R., a Jew with much understanding for others, spoke of the “nationalistic and anti-Semitic” Polish doctors and the even worse prisoner orderlies, who “really abuse[d] Jews ... in a way that caused people to suffer and to die.” While some Jews had their own antagonisms to Poles, it was the latter who arrived first in Auschwitz and who were given inmate positions of relative authority, including medical authority. While the Poles suffered grievously, their intelligentsia being a particular target for direct and indirect Nazi killing, they were “Aryans” (although Slavs) and certainly not an anti-race like the Jews. Some Poles could make common cause with Nazi authorities in being (as one prisoner doctor put it) “so anti-Semitic they didn’t care about Jews being gassed or getting [fatal]
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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