Straight Up with Sherri

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Nazi Doctors - Lessons from the Holocaust

Hat tip: maine-iac7

I found this report on the internet. If you do a search, you will find many references to "Medical Science Under Dictatorship," by Dr. Leo Alexander. There is much for information on the "slippery slope" we find ourselves traveling. I vernture to be so bold and say- IT IS NO LONGER A SLIPPERY SLOPE! IT IS TRAIN CHARGING AT FULL SPEED AHEAD, AND IT MUST BE DERAILED!

The Nazi Doctors - Lessons from the Holocaust

1997 marked the 50th anniversary of the Nuremberg medical trial, when 23 physicians and scientists stood trial for war crimes. CMF Student Secretary Peter Saunders outlines the history and reflects on lessons learnt in the light of contemporary developments in medicine.

Most remembering the holocaust think of six million Jews, but the tragic drama which ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Belsen and Treblinka had far more humble beginnings; in nursing homes, geriatric hospitals and psychiatric institutions all over Germany. When the Nazis arrived, the medical profession was ready and waiting.

'Life unworthy of life'

Germany emerged from the First World War defeated, impoverished and demoralised. Into this vacuum in 1920 Karl Binding, a distinguished lawyer, and Alfred Hoche, a psychiatrist, published a book titled The granting of permission for the destruction of worthless life. Its extent and form. In it they coined the term 'life unworthy of life' and argued that in certain cases it was legally justified to kill those suffering from incurable and severely crippling handicaps and injuries. Hoche used the term Ballastexistenzen ('human ballast') to describe people suffering from various forms of psychiatric disturbance, brain damage and retardation.

By the early 1930s a propaganda barrage had been launched against traditional compassionate 19th century attitudes to the terminally ill and when the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, 6% of doctors were already members of the Nazi Physicians League. In June of that year Deutsches Arzteblatt, today still the most respected and widely read platform for medical education and professional politics in Germany, declared on its title page that the medical profession had 'unselfishly devoted its services and resources to the goal of protecting the German nation from biogenetic degeneration'.[1]


Throughout this process doctors were involved from the earliest stage: in reporting, selection, authorisation, execution, certification and research. They were not ordered, but rather empowered to participate. Dr Leo Alexander, a psychiatrist who worked for the Office of the Chief of Counsel for war Crimes at Nuremberg, described the process:

'The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.'[6]

The War Crimes Tribunal reported that 'part of the medical profession co-operated consciously and even willingly' with the 'mass killing of sick Germans'.[7] Among their numbers were some of the leading academics and scientists of the day; including professors of the stature of Hallervorden (neuropathology), Pernkopf (anatomy), Rudin (psychiatry/genetics), Schneider (psychiatry), von Verschuer(genetics) and Voss(anatomy). None of these men was ever prosecuted while of the 23 defendants at Nuremberg, only two were internationally recognised academics.[8]


'As soon as he goes beyond 60-65 years of age man lives beyond his capacity to produce, and he costs society a lot of money... euthanasia will be one of the essential instruments of our future societies.'[14]

The Germans were diligent gatherers of statistical information. Both the child and adult euthanasia programmes relied on extensive form filling; which became the basis of decisions to kill. What a Hitler could do with the Human Genome project or the NHS Information Management and Technology Strategy defies belief.



  • This philosophy of death seemed so weak as to be unworthy of response 35 years ago. It is once again driving across the world. I hope that we have the strength and the power of our fathers in the 1940's.

    By Blogger levi from queens, at 6:47 PM  




    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:36 AM  

  • DW7448

    YOU are a MORON!

    I think VANITY becomes a little lower on the list when someone is trying to KILL YOU- especially in such a tortorous way.

    Where are YOUR priorities?

    Post me on national TV buck naked if it can save my life! REALLY!

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 3:28 PM  

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