Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele  
science, of omnipotence and doubt, were probably shared widely among Nazified German scientists, and his serving as a personal connection between the anus mundi of Auschwitz and the German medical-academic establishment would seem to have been completely appropriate. In leaving the camp at the end, Mengele fled to the Berlin-Dahlem Institute to which he had sent his specimens. It is unclear whether he left new material there (destroyed later by Verschuer) or took from it old material he had earlier sent. In any case he was said to have gone there to make his report on his work.50  
Mengele and His Fellow Nazi Doctors 
Mengele’s relationships with SS medical colleagues also show contradictions as well as discernible patterns. We know of Dr. B.’s lauding him as “the most decent colleague I met there.” Ernst B.’s description of Mengele’s close professional and personal relationship with Weber suggests the existence of a “medical-intellectual élite” at Auschwitz.

A survivor, who had had opportunities to observe SS doctors together, thought Mengele somewhat removed and “quite arrogant” toward other SS doctors, but also said he had “a strong personality and could influence people.” We have heard of some of that persuasiveness in Mengele’s manipulation of Lolling for the sake of maintaining support for his research and apparently countering Wirths’s opposition to some of it, perhaps that portion of the work that required having children in the camp.

Considering these tendencies, as well as Dr. B.’s recollection of the impressive “rationality” with which Mengele could spin out his wildly Nazified racial-historical concepts, Mengele’s position with other SS doctors in Auschwitz may well have depended upon his talent for rationalizing the murderously absurd. He could be persuasive because, perhaps more than any other SS doctor, he could make “good sense” of Auschwitz. 
Deadly Colleagueship: Mengele and Prisoner Doctors  
Much confusion about Mengele stemmed from his solicitude toward prisoner doctors which, while not without contradictions, could be impressive and life saving. More than merely needing them for his research purposes, Mengele placed doctors in a special category: as Dr. Lottie M. put it, ordinary prisoners (Jews especially) “were the rabbits and mice,” while the doctors were “the human beings,” so that even Jewish doctors could become his “colleagues.” She told the story of how, when the Czech camp was annihilated, Mengele made up a very small list of those who were to be spared, which included his twins, his artist Eva C., and several Jewish doctors. When one of the doctors said to him that he would not go with Mengele unless his wife and daughter were spared as well, Mengele permitted both of them to survive. Despite his coldness, Dr. Lottie M. considered him more intelligent than the others, and more  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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