Cover image for Medicine and medical ethics in Nazi Germany : origins, practices, legacies
Medicine and medical ethics in Nazi Germany : origins, practices, legacies
Nicosia, Francis R., 1944-
Publication Information:
New York : Berghahn Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
vii, 160 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Nazi medicine in historiographical context / Francis R. Nicosia, Jonathan Huener -- The ideology of elimination: American and German eugenics, 1900-1945 / Garland E. Allen -- The Nazi campaign against tobacco: science in a totalitarian state / Robert N. Proctor -- Physicians as killers in Nazi Germany: Hadamar, Treblinka, and Auschwitz / Henry Friedlander -- Criminal physicians in the Third Reich: toward a group portrait / Michael H. Kater -- Pathology of memory: German medical science and the crimes of the Third Reich / William E. Seidelman -- The legacy of Nazi medicine in context / Michael Burleigh.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R510 .M385 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The participation of German physicians in medical experiments on innocent people and mass murder is one of the most disturbing aspects of the Nazi era and the Holocaust. Six distinguished historians working in this field are addressing the critical issues raised by these murderous experiments, such as the place of the Holocaust in the larger context of eugenic and racial research, the motivation and roles of the German medical establishment, and the impact and legacy of the eugenics movements and Nazi medical practice on physicians and medicine since World War II.

Based on the authors' original scholarship, these essays offer an excellent and very accessible introduction to an important and controversial subject. They are also particularly relevant in light of current controversies over the nature and application of research in human genetics and biotechnology.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book's five chapters derive from a 2000 symposium at the University of Vermont, plus a chapter of reaction to the papers and an appendix, which consists of the text of a speech of apology given in 2001 by the president of the Max Planck Society for the role of some members of the Society during the Nazi era. It includes eight photographs taken during the Nazi era and a few illustrations. The chapters cover the history of eugenics, which shows that Americans had some responsibility for what occurred in Germany; the Nazi campaign against tobacco, which was part of their campaign of "improvement" (they knew tobacco was dangerous before North Americans did, but the US did not profit from their knowledge); the stories of some physicians who committed crimes; the attitude of the German medical profession generally; and a study of brain science in Germany. Other matters likely to be of interest are material on Joseph Mengele, discussion of at least one SS doctor who tried to reduce the number of killings, and other descriptions of some of the atrocities committed in Germany during the Nazi era. Well documented, but slim and readable, even for general adult readers. All levels. M. LaBar Southern Wesleyan University

Table of Contents

Francis R. Nicosia and Jonathan HuenerGarland E. AllenRobert N. ProctorHenry FriedlanderMichael H. KaterWilliam E. SeidelmanMichael Burleigh
Prefacep. vi
Introduction: Nazi Medicine in Historiographical Contextp. 1
1. The Ideology of Elimination: American and German Eugenics, 1900-1945p. 13
2. The Nazi Campaign against Tobacco: Science in a Totalitarian Statep. 40
3. Physicians as Killers in Nazi Germany: Hadamar, Treblinka, and Auschwitzp. 59
4. Criminal Physicians in the Third Reich: Toward a Group Portraitp. 77
5. Pathology of Memory: German Medical Science and the Crimes of the Third Reichp. 93
6. The Legacy of Nazi Medicine in Contextp. 112
Appendixp. 128
Contributorsp. 140
Selected Bibliographyp. 142
Indexp. 151