Medicine's dark past
The medical profession played its part in the atrocities committed during Hitler's Third Reich. Shmuel Reis and Uri Weinberg document the involvement of doctors
- By: Shmuel Reis, Uri Weinberg
Under the Third Reich, the medical profession, including universities and prestigious research institutes, played a critical role in the evolution of the holocaust and the implementation of Hitler's final solution. But documentation of the extent of medicine's involvement has been sporadic.
The first key event was the Nuremberg doctors' trial, the decision of which formed the basis of the Nuremberg Code of 1946, which addressed experimentation on human subjects. The Nuremberg medical trial involved the prosecution of a small number of doctors and did not consider the extent of the involvement of the German and Austrian medical communities and institutions. The report on the doctors' trial by German doctors Alexander Mitscherlich and Fred Mielke was suppressed by the Physician's Chamber of the Federal Republic.12
Other reports revealed the considerable involvement of German doctors, who were among the first to join the Nazi party and the SS. German doctors, who were