Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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The Experimental Impulse 
spreading, ulcerative, gangrenous condition of the face and mouth, which is often fatal and was prevalent among Gypsy children and adolescents in the camp. Mengele agreed, and very quickly a “Noma office” (Nomaabteilung) was established, where forty-five to seventy children were kept and given a special, nutritious diet, vitamins, and sulfa drugs, as requested by Professor Epstein and arranged by Mengele. The SS doctor also had the children photographed before, during, and after treatment and brought other SS doctors to the ward to observe the work. A considerable number of the children made good recoveries.61 Whether or not every detail of this recollection is correct,* it shows that the SS doctor could, out of his own ambition, allow prisoner physicians to take research in a genuinely therapeutic direction (see also pages 360-61). 
Ways of Resisting 
I have discussed situations where prisoner doctors were pressured into participating in clearly harmful experiments that they could in no way view as legitimate research (chapter 12). Some, like Dr. Samuel and Dr. Dering, succumbed to those pressures; but other prisoner doctors resisted them, often indirectly and always cautiously.

Dr. Wanda J. called forth her status with Wirths, who respected and needed her on Block 10, in order to avoid involvement with Schumann and Clauberg. Concerning Schumann, she told me, “Not that I was a heroine [but] I wasn’t his property” — which enabled her to make the false claim (which Schumann probably knew was false) that she was “not a surgeon.” With Clauberg as well as Schumann, Dr. J. managed to limit her participation essentially to therapeutic help to victims. With Wirths she had to be more indirect and even vague, and when he suggested that she remove (as Samuel had done) the cervix of women thought to have pre-cancerous growths, she vacillated and stressed the fact that “first of all I organized the hospital” (see pages 237-38).

A French prisoner physician with strong Protestant religious convictions became known for her direct opposition to Nazi requests. Dr. Lottie M. remembered how Dr. Marie L. had shared the general view that none of them was likely to survive Auschwitz: “So the only thing … left to us is to behave for … the short time that remains to us as human beings.” When pressed by Wirths to do culposcopic examinations of the cervix (to detect pre-cancerous changes), Dr. L. initially did so, but recognizing first that the examinations were entirely inaccurate, and second that the work had potentially harmful consequences (surgical removal of the cervix),
* Langbein corroborates the story, adding that the prize patient was a girl of about ten whose cheeks, through which her teeth had been visible, grew together with scar tissue. He also reported that before the noma was under control, Mengele had the heads of children who died of it severed and preserved in glass containers.62   
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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