The Nazi War on Cancer

The Nazi War on Cancer

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by Robert N. Proctor
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691070512

ISBN-13: 9780691070513

Pub. Date: 10/02/2000

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Collaboration in the Holocaust. Murderous and torturous medical experiments. The "euthanasia" of hundreds of thousands of people with mental or physical disabilities. Widespread sterilization of "the unfit." Nazi doctors committed these and countless other atrocities as part of Hitler's warped quest to create a German master race. Robert Proctor recently made the

Overview

Collaboration in the Holocaust. Murderous and torturous medical experiments. The "euthanasia" of hundreds of thousands of people with mental or physical disabilities. Widespread sterilization of "the unfit." Nazi doctors committed these and countless other atrocities as part of Hitler's warped quest to create a German master race. Robert Proctor recently made the explosive discovery, however, that Nazi Germany was also decades ahead of other countries in promoting health reforms that we today regard as progressive and socially responsible. Most startling, Nazi scientists were the first to definitively link lung cancer and cigarette smoking. Proctor explores the controversial and troubling questions that such findings raise: Were the Nazis more complex morally than we thought? Can good science come from an evil regime? What might this reveal about health activism in our own society? Proctor argues that we must view Hitler's Germany more subtly than we have in the past. But he also concludes that the Nazis' forward-looking health activism ultimately came from the same twisted root as their medical crimes: the ideal of a sanitary racial utopia reserved exclusively for pure and healthy Germans.

Author of an earlier groundbreaking work on Nazi medical horrors, Proctor began this book after discovering documents showing that the Nazis conducted the most aggressive antismoking campaign in modern history. Further research revealed that Hitler's government passed a wide range of public health measures, including restrictions on asbestos, radiation, pesticides, and food dyes. Nazi health officials introduced strict occupational health and safety standards, and promoted such foods as whole-grain bread and soybeans. These policies went hand in hand with health propaganda that, for example, idealized the Führer's body and his nonsmoking, vegetarian lifestyle. Proctor shows that cancer also became an important social metaphor, as the Nazis portrayed Jews and other "enemies of the Volk" as tumors that must be eliminated from the German body politic.

This is a disturbing and profoundly important book. It is only by appreciating the connections between the "normal" and the "monstrous" aspects of Nazi science and policy, Proctor reveals, that we can fully understand not just the horror of fascism, but also its deep and seductive appeal even to otherwise right-thinking Germans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691070513
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/02/2000
Pages:
380
Sales rank:
1,218,335
Product dimensions:
6.15(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.85(d)

Table of Contents

CONTENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ix
PROLOGUE 3
CHAPTER 1 Hueper's Secret 13
Triumphs of the Intellect 15
"The Number One Enemy of the State" 20
Erwin Liek and the Ideology of Prevention 22
Early Detection and Mass Screening 27
CHAPTER 2 The Gleichschaltung of German Cancer Research 35
The Fates of Jewish Scientists 36
Registries and Medical Surveillance 40
The Rhetoric of Cancer Research 45
Romancing Nature and the Question of Cancer's Increase 51
CHAPTER 3 Genetic and Racial Theories 58
Cancer and the Jewish Question 58
Selection and Sterilization 68
CHAPTER 4 Occupational Carcinogenesis 73
Health and Work in the Reich 74
X-Rays and Radiation Martyrs 83
Radium and Uranium 93
Arsenic, Chromium, Quartz, and Other Kinds of Dusts 102
The Funeral Dress of Kings (Asbestos) 107
Chemical Industry Cancers 114
CHAPTER 5 The Nazi Diet 120
Resisting the Artificial Life 124
Meat versus Vegetables 126
The Fuhrer's Food 134
The Campaign against Alcohol 141
Performance-Enhancing Foods and Drugs 154
Foods for Fighting Cancer 160
Banning Butter Yellow 165
Ideology and Reality 170
CHAPTER 6 The Campaign against Tobacco 173
Early Opposition 176
Making the Cancer Connection 178
Fritz Lickint: The Doctor "Most Hated by the Tobacco Industry" 183
Nazi Medical Moralism 186
Franz H. Muller: The Forgotten Father of Experimental Epidemiology 191
Moving into Action 198
Karl Astel's Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research 206
Gesundheit uber Alles 217
Reemtsma's Forbidden Fruit 228
The Industry's Counterattack 238
Tobacco's Collapse 242
CHAPTER 7 The Monstrous and the Prosaic 248
The Science Question under Fascism 249
Complicating Quackery 252
Biowarfare Research in Disguise 258
Organic Monumentalism 264
Did Nazi Policy Prevent Some Cancers? 267
Playing the Nazi Card 270
Is Nazi Cancer Research Tainted? 271
The Flip Side of Fascism 277
NOTES 279
BIBLIOGRAPHY 351
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 365
INDEX 367

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