Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Concerning Dering’s anti-Semitism, Dr. R. reported that, on the same day of the rounds, Dering said to him, “You see that what is going on with the Jews is not very esthetic, but it's the only way, the only solution.”

Dering was thought to have informed on other prisoners to the Political Department. He used his influence to have certain Jewish prisoners he did not like, including at least one physician and a nurse, sent to the gas chamber without even the formality of a selection.

Dering was rewarded for his efforts by being released from Auschwitz, and then went to work in the clinic of Carl Clauberg (the other Auschwitz doctor engaged in experimental sterilization) in Germany. Dr. Wanda J. saw Dering leave, carrying two suitcases and looking fit. As she said, “He was a kind of German anyhow — a Volksdeutsch [ethnic German].”*

After the war, Dering went back to Poland, soon fled to England out of fear of Polish legal proceedings, and was held for nineteen months in a British prison until it was finally decided not to extradite or deport him. He worked in Africa for ten years as a physician with the British Colonial Medical Service and then returned to London where he practiced under the National Health Service.5

His quiet medical life was startlingly interrupted in 1959 with the publication of the novel Exodus by the American Jewish writer Leon Uris. Uris spoke of Auschwitz’s Block 10 where Nazi doctors “used women as guinea-pigs and Dr. Schumann sterilized by castration and X-ray and Clauberg removed ovaries and Dr. Dehring [sic] performed 17,000 ‘experiments’ in surgery without anesthetic.”6 Feeling pressed to clear himself in the eyes of his son and his second wife (his first wife was said to have divorced him upon learning what he had done in Auschwitz), Dering initiated a libel suit against Uris and the British publisher and printer of the novel. An extraordinary trial ensued in which Nazi sterilization experiments and Dering’s relationship to them were dramatically revealed by three leading women prisoner physicians, two of them Jewish, as well as by surviving victims of those operations, every single one of whom was brought to London as a witness. The women prisoner doctors played a large part in the legal proceedings, both in giving damning testimony and in contacting the women who had been operated on and arranging for not only them, but the surgical records from the Auschwitz Museum, to be brought to London. The latter, in keeping with the German penchant for orderly records, contained (according to one of these doctors) “the number of girls ... that he [Dering] operated on .. . . [what] he did to them, and the numbers of the boys — everything was in this book.”

At the trial two former Polish prisoner doctors testified for Dering, mainly concerning his life-saving efforts on behalf of themselves and others during the early Auschwitz years. Another Polish male prisoner doctor testified against him. But the testimony of the three women doc- [ …tors]
* I heard of only one other prisoner doctor, also Polish, who was released from Auschwitz. One apparently had to identify oneself as an ethnic German to be eligible for release.   
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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