Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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attempt to deceive Wirths by claiming that the large number of patients he was having injected with phenol had all suffered from tuberculosis. Entress also conducted, on 29 August 1942, one of the biggest selections ever to take place on an Auschwitz medical block: he sent to the gas chambers not only patients ill with typhus but many who were convalescing, and also prisoner doctors and other medical personnel in no way ill.21 Dr. Jan W. told me that “on that memorable day, Entress liquidated almost all of the patients of Block 20 because of typhus, as well as seriously ill patients from other blocks — with diarrhea, or who came from surgery or from the internal diseases block — as well as people who were convalescing. This was his … method for getting rid of typhus in the camp. … Entress did it all personally, with the help of SS orderlies.”

Dr. W. estimated that Entress selected a total of one thousand to twelve hundred people that day, again with a sanction from Berlin interpreted in the most lethal way possible. One of those killed among the convalescing patients was Dr. Bujalski, former director of the Polish Ministry of Health. Dr. Bujaiski had asked to remain on the medical block to work there and was said to have been told by Entress that he would be sent to a convalescent ward or sanatorium where he would receive a replacement for the stethoscope he realized he had left behind when entering the truck to take him to the gas chamber.22 Entress was known not only to be especially “radical” in his selections behavior but also to be involved in experiments in which he infected prisoners with typhus in order to make medical observations on its communicability.23

He was ruthless in his pursuit of medical experience. He set up a tuberculosis ward for the purpose of learning the technique of pneumothorax therapy (the introduction of air into the pleural cavity in order to collapse a tubercular lung) under the tutelage of Wladyslaw Tondos, a Polish prisoner physician and lung specialist. Only after Entress had practiced that technique for sometime did he order phenol injections for the entire ward. He also sought surgical experience under the guidance of Polish prisoner surgeons, causing harm and death to a number of patients. He particularly attached himself to Dr. Wladislaw Dering, an experienced surgeon and fellow Polish ethnic German, and “trained” with Dering during the latter’s surgical removal of ovaries and testicles of Jewish prisoners as part of the sterilization and castration experiments (see pages 246-47).24

The phenol-injection project became a major outlet for Entress’s medical radicalism. For the most part he supervised the project in a detached fashion. He did perform some early injections himself; but the general impression was that, in contrast to Bodman and at times Mengele, Entress preferred to turn over the direct killing function to others.

Polish prisoner doctors have provided a consistent picture of Entress (his tenure in Auschwitz [1941-43] was mostly during a period in which Jewish doctors were not yet permitted to work in the medical blocks). One Polish doctor spoke of him as “a very cold person, … without any  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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