Subject: History and Political Science Date: March 19, 2012 Topic: Doctors from Hell by Vivien Spitz Introduction The story of Nuremberg trials and the revelations by the galaxy of Nazi doctors, defies all moral codes of humanity…
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Not a whimper of protest is raised by the doctors against the orders by Adolph Hitler. Why do the doctors fail to abide by the noble ethics of their medical profession and succumb to the dictates of the Nazi regime to commit atrocities of the worst order on innocent human beings? The main issue is, why the entire German medical fraternity turns demonic, and what makes them to wean away from their traditional vocation of serving the sick? Vivien Spitz defends her position to the military authority, which is skeptical about her ability to carry out the onerous and dangerous responsibility as the court reporter at Nuremberg trials thus: “I have to go to see for myself. I’m a court reporter, and the War Department needs court reporters. I want to take these doctors’ testimony watch their face. I want to hear how they defend these terrible atrocities and experiments on human beings.”(8) The book, “Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans,” is born, through her blazing pen and the steely determination. Two types of wars are waged in Germany after Hitler comes to power in 1933. The normal war when soldiers of the opposite camps kill each other, and another war, that is devoid of conscience to exterminate a particular race from the face of earth. They include children, women, able-bodied and the mentally and physically sick. German soldiers begin to kill all those from a particular community with whom they have no previous personal enmity. Spitz writes, “After Hitler came to power in 1933, a Superior Genetic Health Court was established. Thus began the perverse degradation of German medicine and the demonic human experimentation and murder of thousands of innocent people by willing German doctors.”(2)Are they up to a medical cause or a political adventure? What are their ulterior motives and the hidden agenda? The important question is how the medical fraternity takes the lead and commits heinous atrocities against the defenseless human being lying flat in front of them which even the fighting forces would not have done in the normal conditions? To kill a man by firing bullets from a weapon is understandable. But to use a doctor’s knife, cut one by part by part, torture and lead one to slow death of agony is barbaric. In this essay an attempt has been made to discuss the issues related to medical trials, to determine the role of medical practitioners in the extermination system and the perverse acts committed by them in the cause of so-called medical research. How and why the German medical practitioners go insane. Are the acts committed due to political pressure or for the sadistic pleasure, also known as medical research for the benefits of the generations to come? How does it progress unabated with no authority to restrain the atrocities committed by highly professional doctors? How the best friend of the sick people turns out to be the worst enemy, whose very presence sends shivers for the man in front of him? Spitz gives the historical evidence as for the behaviour of the doctors. She argues, “Science and ideology are treacherous partners. When an ounce of science is mixed with a ton of zealotry, catastrophic results can be anticipated.”(xvi) The well-trained physicians turn overenthusiastic as the result of the relentless Nazi propaganda that they are expected to perform a great national duty to the
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