Ever since I was around 11 or 12 years old, a major portion of my reading diet has consisted of books and articles about World War II. Back when I was young, my interest was, as you might expect, primarily the battles. No cracks about how the airplane glue obviously affected me, although it is true that back then it was real airplane glue, chock full of toluene and lots of other organic chemicals—none of this citrus-scented stuff they sell now!
Essays by Others From Polity, Vol. Review-essay on Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis. Cambridge, MA and London: Translated by George R.
Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide.
Everyone recognizes that after a major religious or ideological war, history is written by the victors. We fail to recognize that science, too, may be written, and rewritten, by the victors.
These three books raise important questions about the relationship of politics, science, and ethics both in Nazi Germany then and in liberal America today. Who has not heard of the Dreyfus case, that turn-of-the-century example of French anti-Semitism?
Dreyfus and the exposure of some of his Christian colleagues. Zola has ever been praised amid the Pantheon of the Left. About the same time in the United States there were numerous scientific studies, some published by the Eugenic Society, concerning generations of family degeneracy.
Both Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, progressive Republican and progressive Democrat, were influenced by such notions. But the leader in the sciences of heredity, genetics, and racial hygiene, as in so many other fields at that time, was Germany.
What would happen when these scientists, aided by the medical and anthropological professions, would win powerful political allies and achieve power? That is the theme of these three books, whose coverage is different yet complementary. The most recent work is by Robert Proctor, who presents a general overview of Nazi medicine with revealing illustrations, including fascinating chapters on organic medicine in the Third Reich and the opposition to the Nazis by the Association of Socialist Physicians.
Unlike Raul Hilberg,2 Proctor proposes a different logic, one that begins with studies of heredity, genetic disease, and racial hygiene, yet culminates with doctors selecting who would be gassed at Auschwitz.
Proctor traces the development of medicine from the turn-of-the-century racism that dominated science in every country, to the growth of anthropology, race hygiene, and eugenics. All stressed racial differences; all, the role of heredity in disease, crime, intelligence, alcoholism, divorce, etc.
Aftera debate ensued between the followers of Lamarck and Mendel. That is one more reason for the belief that a Jew remains a Jew, in Germany or any other country. In his inaugural address Dr.
Indeed, to prevent Mendelian genetics from undermining egalitarian ideals in the Soviet Union, Stalin had the scientific opponents of Lamarck and Lysenko imprisoned or murdered.
But the Nazis were unlike the Communists; the Nazis encouraged science and were supported by many scientists. Infor example, the largest political group of physicians in Germany was the Nazi doctors organization.
Afterthey sought to expel their competitors from the profession, Jews, Communists, and Socialists. Gerhard Wagner, the Nazi who became the leader of the. Most German doctors endorsed Dr. To prevent degeneration, aboutGermans were sterilized between and —feeble-minded, schizoid, epileptic, alcoholic, manic-depressive, blind, deaf, and malformed, overwhelmingly Aryan Germans p.
Doctors directed this program, which was so thorough that occasionally Nazis like Dr. Wagner and Heinrich Himmler felt compelled to restrain the doctors, who, for example, sought to sterilize an alcoholic in his seventies pp.
Though Jews were not particular victims of this program, blacks were. The Nazis sought to restore family values. Proctor fails to mention the famous Nazi slogan for women, Kinder, Kiiche, Kirche children, kitchen, churchbut he nevertheless describes this ideal. Inmillions of German women were employed.
If women were to remain at home, men could take their jobs. And at home, women could bear children, increase the low German birthrate, and care for their larger families.
The Nazi leadership presented medals to women with many children, and government funds subsidized large families. As a consequence of these Nazi pro-family policies, the birthrate rose so that by it equalled that of England and France combined.
Not all of the pro-family policies were carrots. According to the Nuremberg laws of an unmarried German woman, like Jews, lost her citizenship. These pro-family policies of the Nazis are neglected in most histories.
In the fall ofProctor relates, Hitler signed a series of anti-Jewish Nuremberg laws, which defined Jews racially and forbade them to marry non-Jews.Dec 19, · Running Head: NAZI SCIENCE AND MEDICAL ETHICSA realize into of Robert Proctor s national socialist knowledge and national socialist medical exam morals Some Myths and MisconceptionsNameAffiliation A Review of Robert Proctor s Nazi Science and Nazi aesculapian Ethics Some Myths and MisconceptionsIn this floor of information and medical examination ethical motive, .
Examinations: The exams are designed to test for an understanding of the terms, theories, ideas, and historical events related to Nazi science and human rights as presented in text, readings, lecture, and discussion.
The exams will include multiple choice, matching, short answer, and essay. Exams will be worth 75 percent of your final grade. Dec 04, · How can we explain such obvious violations of basic medical ethics?
How, indeed, did the doctors justify such work? of the medical science of the Nazi era should never have been done because. Nazis And Medical Ethics: Context And Lessons Date: October 18, Source: American Medical Association Summary: The practice of medicine in Nazi Germany still profoundly affects modern-day.
An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races; Nazi human experimentation was a series of medical experiments on large numbers of and revulsion at the abuses perpetrated led to the development of the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics.
The Nazi physicians in the Doctors' Trial argued that military necessity justified their torturous. medical science. The SS men would search through the thousands of people to see if anyone had a mental illness, severe handicap, eyes that were two different colors, a clubbed foot, was a giant, a dwarf, hunchbacks, a twin, or any other odd physical difference.3/5(2).