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Books, Journals, New Media
November 20, 2002

Nazi MedicineMedicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices, Legacies

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


edited by Francis R. Nicosia and Jonathan Huener (symposium, University of Vermont, April 2000), 160 pp, with illus, $59.95 ISBN 1-57181-386-1, paper, $19.95, ISBN 1-57181-387-X, New York, NY, Berghahn Books, 2002.

JAMA. 2002;288(19):2479-2480. doi:10.1001/jama.288.19.2479-JBK1120-4-1

This is an engrossing book. While the story of Nazi crimes against humanity and the role of physicians in them are broadly known, the essays in Nicosia and Huener's short book bring a specificity and analysis that is profoundly disturbing.

German doctors were unusually supportive of the Hitler regime and Nazi racial ideology. Forty-five percent joined the Nazi party, 33% joined the Nazi Physicians' League, 26% were members of the SA (stormtroopers), and 7% joined the elite and comparatively small Schutzstaffel (SS). Physicians outranked in representation every other professional group except in the SS (there, lawyers had them beat).

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