Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele 
cruelty (which was usual) but in their extraordinary scientific naïveté — or, one might more accurately say, their scientific corruption.
Mengele was thought to have done further research in a variety of areas, but unclear accounts make it difficult in some cases to distinguish what actually took place from distortions or even fantasy. Yet, in each case, he could have been somehow involved.

Eva C., for instance, on the whole an accurate and earthy observer, told me with uncharacteristic hesitancy and confusion of a vast research unit she was taken to, a special block in the Auschwitz main camp where people were being experimented upon, some of them wearing a diver’s suit and lying in water with ice in it. Mengele walked about quickly and: somewhat agitatedly, giving orders in a way that showed that “he was very definitely the top dog in there, too.” Other inmates were convinced that Mengele performed sterilization experiments; and although he was clearly not a major Auschwitz experimenter in this area, there were enough reports to suggest he might have had some peripheral relationship to it. One survivor told me that Mengele “cut off the balls” of a very young twin, and that he (this witness), in fact, saw the testicles “lying on our table.” A Greek survivor, one of whose testicles had been removed, appeared in court against Schumann but held Mengele equally responsible and told of the latter’s supervising the crude method of collecting sperm from males. Involved in sterilization experiments. Other survivors told of injections Mengele gave or ordered given in the abdomen that left one sterile.41 One woman told of an injurious substance being injected into her back by an assistant of Mengele, resulting in loss of her menstrual periods and inability to conceive. A survivor, whose fiancé worked on Block 10, spoke of “medical research and experiments by the notorious doctors Mengele and Clauberg” on that block."42 Another survivor told of bone-marrow experiments, involving several operations on her thigh, with removal of material for bone-marrow transplants. An international commission confirmed that this woman had been subjected to medical experiments, and she was able to locate another survivor victimized by the same kind of procedure.

My belief is that each of these reports stems from some form of actual abuse, usually experimental, even if there was some confusion in details, including the question of which Nazi doctor was involved. Mengele’s unbridled research interests, special Auschwitz energies, and extraordinary absence of moral restraint made him a candidate for real acts that sound fantastic no less than for unbridled fantasy.

Mengele set up an Auschwitz caricature of an academic research institute. Doctors, mostly Jewish, with varied clinical and laboratory backgrounds, were called upon to contribute to his work by diagnosing and sometimes treating (when consistent with Mengele’s interest) his research subjects. Key figures in confirming diagnoses were Dr. Abraham  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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