Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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“A Human Being in an SS Uniform”: Ernst B 
families of the SS officers and men; she had been placed there by a noncommissioned officer who made a little business from her drawings. Having had her make a drawing from a picture of his wife and children, B. was fascinated by this very “primitive” young person who was able to alter her drawings from crude ones for crude SS men to “marvelous” and “tasteful” renditions for more cultivated SS officers like himself. She was from the nearby Beskid Mountains, and on one occasion when B. spoke of driving into them she warned him not to because “there are too many partisans there.” 
I dreamed that I fled with her into the Beskids to the partisans …. I'm sure that there was nothing … in any way erotic …. There are various versions …. [Mostly] we are in a primitive Beskid house, and then the partisans arrive, and we go with them join them], and so on …. There are no further details that I can remember
He thought the dream might be related to his seeing the drawing again upon returning to Germany (he had apparently sent it from Auschwitz to his wife), a drawing he both treasured (keeping it sometimes in his office and sometimes in their bedroom) and, was made anxious by (taking it down because “I had too many bad dreams”). The eroticized tie with this young female prisoner in connection with fleeing to join the Nazis’ enemies suggests an ultimate integration and an image, however fearful, of transcending and erasing the Auschwitz taint.

Former inmates tended to exaggerate and simplify Ernst B.’s conflicts, as did one doctor who stated that Dr. B. “confessed that … he was drinking more and more in order to react less to what was happening around him.” He was asked whether he believed Hitler would win the war, and is said to have answered, “If justice exists on earth, then Hitler should lose the war, but is there really justice on earth?” — the kind of enigmatic answer that prisoner doctors could experience as very heartening.

Only one prisoner doctor noted “emotional problems” in Dr. B., observing that he would at times become tearful and had a variety of psychosomatic ailments and “the pattern of a heavy drinker.” While confirming that B. was decent to individual Jews, this doctor said that he was “hostile to the [Jewish] population” — the only inmate to make this claim about B.

But Dr. B.’s conflicts in no way interfered with his fundamental adaptation to the place. As he said to me, “I must — this now really sounds — one cannot understand it if I say … I didn't really mind being there.” For his need for contact was satisfied there. He was “really touched” by the fact that “as soon as one had a little contact with an inmate …. the most important thing then was — almost more important than eating — … that he could talk to someone about his family.” He even claimed that  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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