Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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Chapter 21 

  To live means to kill.   
  In a dark time the eye begins to see.   
Doubling facilitates genocide And while Mann’s devil declares that German “happens to be just precisely my favoured language,”¹ we know well enough that the Devil can speak in any tongue. Genocide is a potential act of any nation.

Yet the Nazis did provide the impetus for the legal naming of a very old crime. The word “genocide” was coined (from the Greek genos, “race, tribe,” and the Latin cide, “killing”) in 1944, and defined by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 as “a denial of the right of existence, of entire human groups.” The Convention on Genocide approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948 associated the concept with killing, seriously harming, or interfering with the life continuity (by preventing births or forcibly transferring children) of  “a national ethnical racial or religious group.”² Significantly, the original definition of the word by its coiner, Raphael Lemkin, speaks of  “an old practice in its modern development,” includes long term actions aimed at “the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups,” and limits the concept to attempts to destroy groups in their entirety or biological totality.³

This book has been mainly about what we call the “Holocaust,” a unique expression of Nazi genocide perpetrated against the Jews — unique in dimensions, in bureaucratic organization for annihilation, and in degree of absolute focus on a victim group dispersed throughout the world. Yet it is significant that, in accordance with their biological vision, the Nazis attempted genocide of other groups Gypsies Russians, and Poles. Now I shall examine some of the psychohistorical themes of Nazi genocide in order to derive more general principles. I shall refer to other genocides notably the Turks’ annihilation of about one million Armeni […ans]  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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