Murderous Medicine

( 3 )

Overview

More than 1.5 million concentration camp prisoners died of typhus, a preventable disease. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus outbreaks, German doctors, fueled by their racist ideology and their medieval approach to the disease, would use the disease as a form of biological warfare against Jews, Slavs, and gypsies. More than 1.5 million concentration camp prisoners died of typhus, a preventable disease. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus ...

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Overview

More than 1.5 million concentration camp prisoners died of typhus, a preventable disease. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus outbreaks, German doctors, fueled by their racist ideology and their medieval approach to the disease, would use the disease as a form of biological warfare against Jews, Slavs, and gypsies. More than 1.5 million concentration camp prisoners died of typhus, a preventable disease. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus outbreaks, German doctors, fueled by their racist ideology and their medieval approach to the disease, used the disease as a form of biological warfare against Jews, Slavs, and gypsies. Jewish hospitals in ghettos were burned—along with patients and staff—if typhus was present. In concentration camps, even suspected typhus cases were killed in the gas chambers or through intracardiac injections. Typhus vaccines were tested on prisoners deliberately infected with typhus. Only a handful of doctors were ever prosecuted for their crimes. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus outbreaks, German doctors, fueled by their racist ideology and their medieval approach to the disease, would use the disease as a form of biological warfare against Jews, Slavs, and gypsies. More than 1.5 million concentration camp prisoners died of typhus, a preventable disease. Despite advances in public health measures to control and prevent typhus outbreaks, German doctors, fueled by their racist ideology and their medieval approach to the disease, would use the disease as a form of biological warfare against Jews, Slavs, and gypsies. Jewish hospitals in ghettos would be burned—along with patients and staff—if typhus was present. In camps, even suspected typhus cases would be killed in the gas chambers or through intracardiac injections, along with their circle of associates. Typhus vaccine would be tested on prisoners

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The case that the Third Reich engaged in biological warfare using typhus as an ethnic cleansing agent against Jews, gypsies, and Slavs is carefully constructed and fully documented here. Typhus can assume epidemic proportions when living conditions are unsanitary and nutrition is inadequate. Baumslag demonstrates that Nazi Germany deliberately sought to create environments that would engender typhus in the ethnic communities slated for liquidation, and then transported the lice-ridden inhabitants to extermination camps as a public health necessity. That contemporary medicine and public health measures were available to prevent typhus is attested to by the fact that in WW II only 104 cases of typhus were reported in all the Allied armed forces. In contrast, at least 1.5 million prisoners died of typhus as a direct consequence of murder, malpractice, or deliberate negligence by German doctors. Through silence, interest in profit taking, and desire to engage in human experimentation, the International Red Cross, the German pharmaceutical industry, and the German medical establishment, respectively, collaborated with Hitler's Final Solution….Recommended. All academic libraries."

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Choice

"In Murderous Medicine Naomi Baumslag documents the complicity of Nazi doctors and pharmaceutical companies in murderous medical experiments related to epidemic typhus to further Jewish genocide….Baumslag argues that doctors pressured Nazi officials to proceed swiftly to quarantine and ghettoization to further the eradication of the disease - not typhus, but the Jews themselves. Typhus prevention rituals, including shaving and gassing, were used under the subterfuge of providing health care. Several million Jews were murdered as a direct consequence. Underlining the point that the goal was to kill Jews, she notes, with all their barbaric and unethical experiments the German researchers were unable to control typhus and get rid of lice. Jews were left in a diseased environment and doomed to die. It is an important story, and one well worth documenting."

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Journal of Clinical Medicine

"Baumslag documents the complicity by German and Austrian doctors in human experiments and genocide through the exploration of typhus and biological warfare."

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SciTech Book News

"Baumslag explores in impressive detail how typhus was characterised by Nazis as a Jewish plague."

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The Lancet

"[T]hose who continue to ponder Nazi medical atrocities and want to reflect on the moral failures of Nazi doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and humanitarian organizations will find this book useful."

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JCI The Journal of Clinical Investigation

"Baumslag provides useful background information that helps provide the context within which the Nazi regime justified its despicable policies. Thus, Murderous Medicine provides a description of how anti-Semitism influenced the organization and delivery of public health and medical care in the ghettoes of Eastern Europe. It also describes some of the processes by which the Nazi doctors made their decisions to conduct human experiments….The extensive documentation will be helpful to students interested in expanding their knowledge of what must be the worst example of human depravity on record."

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American Journal of Epidemiology

"Baumslag's book is an impassioned plea for her fellow physicians to remain committed to the traditional medical ethics of the Hippocratic Oath. By exposing the immorality and inhumanity of Nazi doctors, the courageous resistance and dedication of Jewish doctors and the cowardly behavior of the International Red Cross, she hopes to keep alive the memory of an atrocity that we dare not repeat."

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H-German

"Murderous Medicine is an important book, a valuable contribution to the literature about Nazi medicine (the qualification is deliberate, as the Nazis' medicine and experiments were neither; they were bestial and torturous, ethically and morally bankrupt). The book should occupy a place on the shelf….Murderous Medicine forces us to remember, and hopefully to reflect….Today's headlines and newscasts remind us that we still have much to remember and learn. That is why this book is important. We are all responsible."

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JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association

"Murderous Medicine is thorough, profusely and admirably illustrated and tackles the medical issues clearly."

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The Jerusalem Post

"[W]e would do well to pay attention yet again to the lessons of history."

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The New England Journal of Medicine

"In this book this terrible situation is systemically illuminated. It is written for a broad audience, and is an easily understandable presentation of the epidemiology, medical history and political use of typhus. The essential context and research on typhus is clearly presented. The author also describes the struggle of the Jewish prisoner-doctors against the typhus and their exploitation throughout the Nazi occupation. The analytical distance that Naomi Baumslag, a respected pediatrician from Georgetown University Medical School brings is admirable as is her dedication to human rights and engaging the role of medicine and the political use of public health."

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German Medical Journal

"A MUST READ FOR ALL….Naomi paints a grim but very real picture of the pathetic conditions of Jews during the Holocaust. The prisoners were kept in pathetic, unsanitary and overcrowded conditions facilitating the spread of typhus… They were then killed under the garb of preventing further infection to other inmates. The horrendous acts of Nazis thus got passed of as acts of great benevolence, even as international agencies like the Red Cross kept watching helplessly."

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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275983123
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

NAOMI BAUMSLAG, M.D., M.P.H., is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Georgetown University Medical School.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Ch. 1 Typhus : war, lice, and disinfection 1
Ch. 2 Decline of German medicine : from euthanasia to murder 33
Ch. 3 Jewish doctors struggle to conceal typhus and save lives 85
Ch. 4 Pharmaceutical companies, typhus vaccines, drugs, doctors, and inhuman experiments 125
Ch. 5 The Red Cross fails its humanitarian mission 169
Ch. 6 Germ warfare : from bodies to bombs 201
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 28, 2009

    A must-read for medical students and physicians

    This powerful book by Naomi Baumslag is a strong reminder of the Nazi atrocities and the horrific medical experimentation perpetrated during World War II. It is an important read for all medical students and doctors. This book will also be useful to anyone concerned with humanitarianism, human rights and the ethical practice of medicine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Groundbreaking and thorough

    MURDEROUS MEDICINE advances contemporary scholarship on Nazi doctors (Lifton, Proctor et al.), offering a groundbreaking and thorough investigation of the dangerous - and preventable - disease, typhus. Through deception, complicity, inhumanity and a disregard for professional standards, Nazi medical personnel created the conditions for typhus and perpetuated epidemics in the ghettos and camps. As a result, 1.5 million prisoners died of the disease. The book is profusely illustrated and referenced with examples of Dr. Baumslag's impressive research in international archives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    Important and Thought Provoking Book

    This is a book which will appeal to those interested in medicine, the holocaust, social issues or just a very good read. Baumslag writes in a clear, lucid style and her research is meticulous. This is an IMPORTANT book that I believe every physician and medical student, every healthcare worker and policy maker should read. But for the rest of us, it is a thought provoking subject which will stay with us for a long time after we put it down. It is a page turner that spells out facts of which I was unaware: how typhus was spread around the world, when its cause was known, when treatment was available and how this knowledge was used or ignored and why. It tells of financial influences on doctors and treatment. It names international companies and nations and reveals their roles during the holocaust. Baumslag has found documentation to support these revelations, which are sometimes jaw-dropping. For me, this was a very moving book, which has changed how I look at doctors, diseases and current social and political issues.

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