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Karl Brandt - The Nazi Doctor: Medicine and Power in the Third Reich
     

Karl Brandt - The Nazi Doctor: Medicine and Power in the Third Reich

by Ulf Schmidt
 

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This is the first full-scale biography of Karl Brandt, one of the most powerful figures of the Third Reich. It tells the story of his rise to power and influence at the heart of Hitler's coterie of trusted advisors and confidants. It also tells of his execution after Nuremberg, and of the many thousands of 'patients' condemned to death as a result of his researches

Overview

This is the first full-scale biography of Karl Brandt, one of the most powerful figures of the Third Reich. It tells the story of his rise to power and influence at the heart of Hitler's coterie of trusted advisors and confidants. It also tells of his execution after Nuremberg, and of the many thousands of 'patients' condemned to death as a result of his researches.As General Commissioner for Health and Sanitation Karl Brandt became the highest medical authority in the Nazi regime and played a major role in the organisation and implementation of the first mass killing programme of the Third Reich, the so-called ‘Euthanasia' programme. He initiated experiments which were carried out on concentration camp inmates, and was eventually put in charge of biological and chemical warfare research. How was it that a rational, highly cultured, literate, idealistic and talented young professional could come to be responsible for mass murder and criminal human experimentation on a previously unimaginable scale? In this riveting biography, Ulf Schmidt explores in detail what we know and what we cannot know about one of the most intriguing of the Nuremberg Nazis.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Karl Brandt (1904-1948) was for a time the leading medical authority in the Nazi regime. He was responsible for the euthanasia program, in which tens of thousands of handicapped individuals were killed. But that Brandt (who also served for a time as Hitler's physician) left the details up to subordinates didn't help him after the war, at Nuremberg, where he was convicted and executed for his crimes. As British historian Schmidt (Justice at Nuremberg: Leo Alexander and the Nazi Doctors' Trial) shows, a belief in eugenics, combined with a dash of ambition, motivated Brandt. During the war, he saw it as "legitimate to sacrifice individual human lives in the name of science." Outside of the diaries he wrote during the Nuremberg trials, which Schmidt had partial access to, Brandt left few writings, so Schmidt is forced to make informed guesses about the degree of Brandt's involvement in certain projects, such as the gruesome medical experiments conducted on concentration camp inmates, as well as about some of his motivations. Schmidt concludes that whether Brandt backed the genocide of the Jews is almost impossible to know. There's a lot to wade through, but readers who do will learn about a man of culture and science who turned medicine into a tool of murder. B&w illus., maps. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847252067
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
06/15/2008
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Dr Ulf Schmidt is Professor of Modern History at the University of Kent, Canterbury, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Research Associate at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford.

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