The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide

The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide

by Robert Jay Lifton


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Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

With a new preface by the author

In his most powerful and important book, renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton presents a brilliant analysis of the crucial role that German doctors played in the Nazi genocide. Now updated with a new preface, The Nazi Doctors remains the definitive work on the Nazi medical atrocities, a chilling exposé of the banality of evil at its epitome, and a sobering reminder of the darkest side of human nature.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465093397
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/16/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 613,482
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile: 1460L (what's this?)

About the Author

Robert Jay Lifton is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is also director of the Center on Violence and Human Survival. Dr. Lifton is the author of many books, including The Nazi Doctors and Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima, which won the National Book Award.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2017 Edition vii

Preface to the 2000 Edition xi

Foreword xv

Introduction: "This World Is Not This World" 3

Part I "Life Unworthy of Life": The Genetic Cure

Introduction to Part I 21

1 Sterilization and the Nazi Biomedical Vision 22

2 "Euthenasia": Direct Medical Killing 45

3 Resistance to Direct Medical Killing 80

4 "Wild Euthanasia": The Doctors Take Over 96

5 Participants 103

6 Bringing "Euthanasia" to the Camps: Action Special Treatment 14f13 134

Part II Auschwitz: The Racial Cure

Introduction to Part II 147

7 The Auschwitz Institution 152

8 Selections on the Ramp 163

9 Selection in the Camp 180

10 Socialization to Killing 193

11 Prisoner Doctors: The Agony of Selections 214

12 Prisoner Doctors: Struggles to Heal 226

13 Prisoner Doctors: Collaboration with Nazi Doctors 239

14 Killing with Syringes: Phenol Injections 254

15 The Experimental Impulse 269

16 "A Human Being in an SS Uniform": Ernst B. 303

17 Dr. Auschwitz: Josef Mengele 337

18 Healing-Killing Conflict: Eduard Wirths 384

Part III The Psychology of Genocide

Introduction to Part III 417

19 Doubling: The Faustian Bargain 418

20 The Auschwitz Self: Psychological Themes in Doubling 430

21 Genocide 466

Afterword: Bearing Witness 501

List of Abbreviations 506

Notes 507

Acknowledgments 540

Index 545

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