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May 1954

Human Behavior in the Concentration Camp.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;71(5):670. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02320410132015

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It is remarkable how quickly the public has formed a distaste for books about the German concentration camps. Of course, one of the first and most thorough descriptions of what really occurred in these hell-holes was in the volumes issued by the United States Government Printing Office, entitled "Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Nurenberg, Nov. 14, 1945-Oct. 1, 1946." These papers grew to a dozen volumes, thousands of pages crammed with cold prison records, captured German directives, retrieved secret documents, and thousands of pages of the testimony of the German politicians, military men, and underlings. Through it all, the reader got the nauseating realization that each sadistic officer or politician blamed his actions on orders from higher up and complained that he was merely carrying out his duty. Yet, through it all, there were innumerable instances where new perverted, sadistic, and degrading practices were