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Description - Doctors from Hell by Vivien Spitz

A chilling story of human depravity and ultimate justice, told for the first time by an eyewitness court reporter for the Nuremberg war crimes trial of Nazi doctors. This is the account of 22 men and 1 woman and the torturing and killing by experiment they authorised in the name of scientific research and patriotism. Doctors from Hell includes trial transcripts that have not been easily available to the general public and previously unpublished photographs used as evidence in the trial. The author describes the experience of being in bombed-out, dangerous, post-war Nuremberg, where she lived for two years while working on the trial. Once a Nazi sympathiser tossed bombs into the dining room of the hotel where she lived moments before she arrived for dinner. She takes us into the courtroom to hear the dramatic testimony and see the reactions of the defendants to the proceedings. This landmark trial resulted in the establishment of the Nuremberg code, which set the guidelines for medical research involving human beings. A significant addition to the literature on World War II and the Holocaust, medical ethics, human rights, and the barbaric depths to which human beings can descend.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781591810322
ISBN-10: 1591810329
Format: Hardback
(245mm x 166mm x 29mm)
Pages: 318
Imprint: Sentient Publications
Publisher: Sentient Publications
Publish Date: 1-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - Doctors from Hell by Vivien Spitz

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Book Review: Doctors from Hell by Vivien Spitz - Reviewed by (11 Jul 2011)

Review Written by Bernie Weisz Historian contact: BernWei1@aol.com July 10, 2011 Pembroke Pines, Florida U.S.A. Title of Review: Demented Doctors infected with the insanity of National Socialism Lilian Spitz's book hands down takes the cake in showing the depravity of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany and the depths that even their medical profession descended into. Ms. Spitz gives a bone chilling account of human depravity and the ultimate justice she witnessed as a court reporter for the Nuremberg war crimes trial of Nazi Doctors. With trial transcripts and previously unreleased photographs included in this book that were actually used as evidence in the trial, an account of torture and murder by experiment in the name of science and distorted National Socialistic patriotism is told. Aside from explaining what it was like to live for eighteen months in bombed-out, dangerous, post-war Nuremburg without hot water and electricity while working on the trial, the reader is taken with Ms. Spitz into the courtroom to hear the demonic testimony and see the reactions of the defendants to the proceedings. Adolf Hitler's doctors used unwilling Concentration Camp victims and Russian prisoners of war (as well as political prisoners) as unwilling subjects in these experiments and tests.

These subjects were usually lied to and promised an easier life, better food, or release...of course, all lies. Spitz starts off reminding readers of the oath all doctors supposedly must take, i.e. the "Hippocratic Oath" which states: "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work. Whatever house I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves". How much did the Nazi's abide by this? Ms. Spitz points out in her book that after Hitler became Chancellor, compulsory sterilization laws were enacted to sterilize people born with congenital mental defects, schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis, hereditary epilepsy and severe alcoholism. Nazi doctors, despite their "Hippocratic Oath" saw to this. Next, came euthanasia of "useless eaters", i.e. welfare recipients, the elderly and infirm, terminal cancer patients, and the like. Through the exercise of the "euthanasia" program of the German Reich, hundreds of thousands of human beings, including nationals of German-occupied countries, were murdered. This involved the systematic and secret execution of the aged, insane, incurably ill, deformed children, and other persons by gas, lethal injections and diverse other means in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums. These people were termed "useless eaters" and a burden to the German war machine. Relatives of these victims were informed that they died from natural causes, such as heart failure. German doctors involved in the "euthanasia" program were also sent to Eastern occupied countries to assist in mass extermination of Jews".

Lillian Spitz goes into great detail of each experiment, the doctor(s) involved, their photos, their illogical demented justification of the necessity of these demonic experiments, their defense at Nuremburg, and the legal consequences (4 doctors and 3 assistants were sentenced to death and hung). In reading this book, I had a great deal of trouble remaining dispassionate emotionally and to keep my composure I made sure I read this nowhere close to bedtime. I must warn the reader there are some very ugly and obscene pictures of bizarre, non medical experiments, such as the "pool of detached legs". There is the deposition of former "Waffen SS" member Kurt Gersten who graphically described the entire killing process of Jewish men, women and children walking into the gas chamber, the looks on their faces, the screams of the dying coming out of the gas chamber, and the description of the bodies after the gassing that has me shaking even now as I type these words. Not for the faint hearted! This was the toughest reading I have ever come across in my life. There is also a part where many years later Ms. Spitz is confronted with a "Holocaust Denier" who claimed that the aforementioned events never occurred. Ms. Spitz's response to this individual is inspiring, heart warming and very redemptive. This book ends with Ms. Spitz warning society with a prophetic quote from George Santana, which states: "Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. The past is prologue to the future". Please read this book


Author Biography - Vivien Spitz

Vivien Spitz, the youngest court reporter at the Nuremberg Trials, has given over 500 speeches on the lessons of the Holocaust to schools, churches, synagogues, and professional groups internationally. She has been honoured numerous times for her work, including commendations from Bill Clinton, Al Gore, US Senator Christopher Dodd, and the state of Israel. She was the first woman to report on the U.S. Senate floor and has taken down the words of four presidents. She lives near Denver, Colorado.

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