Sanitätswesen

The Sanitätswesen ("medical corps") was one of the five divisions of a Nazi concentration and extermination camp organization during the Holocaust. The other divisions were the command center, the administration department, the Politische Abteilung and the protective detention camp.

Background

The medical corps was an obligatory component of the command center staff of a concentration camp. This division was subordinate to the chief physician of the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI), called after 1937, the Leitender Artzt ("head doctor"). The chief physician of the CCI was responsible for assigning and posting "medical personnel" to the concentration camps, for technical instructions to the camp doctors and for evaluation of their monthly reports.

Later, the CCI became "Amt D" of the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt and Enno Lolling became head on March 3, 1942 of "Amt D III for Medical Corps Units and Camp Hygiene" with headquarters in Oranienburg. As such, he was the head doctor supervising all concentration camp doctors, who was, in turn, subordinate to the Reichsarzt SS, Ernst-Robert Grawitz.

Chief physician

The Standortarzt ("Garrison Doctor"), the chief camp physician, also called "first camp doctor", ran the medical corps at the concentration camp. In this capacity, the leading doctor was the supervisor of the entire medical staff of the camp. He was also responsible for carrying out the instructions of the chief physician of the CCI and the preparation of monthly reports to them.

Troops doctor

The "troops doctor" was responsible for the medical care of the SS-guards and their family members.

Camp doctors

The rest of the camp doctors divided up the remaining areas of the camp (men's camp, women's camp, etc.), according to the duty roster. The medical care of prisoners was secondary to their main tasks. Of primary importance were the hygienic aspects of disease prevention and maintenance of prisoners' capacity to work. To this end, they availed themselves of prisoners who were doctors and nurses to serve as auxiliary staff in the infirmary.

According to Auschwitz concentration camp commandant Rudolf Höss, their non-medical tasks were:[1]

  1. They were to be present at the arrival of Jewish transports to conduct selektions of those men and women able to work.[1]
  2. They were to be at the gas chambers to observe the killing procedures and verify that everyone was dead.[1]
  3. Zahnärzte ("Dentists") had to conduct continual spot tests to verify that the prisoner dentists from the Sonderkommando removed all gold from the mouths of the dead[2] before they were incinerated in the crematorium and had placed the gold in the secure containers on hand for that purpose. They also had to supervise the gold being melted afterward.[1]
  4. They were to "retire" and send to be exterminated those Jews who had become incapacitated and for whom the prognosis did not anticipate a return to work within four weeks. Those who couldn't get out of bed were to be killed with an injection.[1]
  5. They had to conduct verschleierten Exekutionen ("covert executions") of healthy prisoners arrested by the Politische Abteilung who had been sentenced to death for political reasons. These were "liquidated" by injection. The camp Gestapo wanted the executions to be kept secret, hence the doctors certified the cause of death as being from "natural causes".[1]
  6. Attendance at "judicial" camp executions was required to certify death.[1]
  7. They had to be attend the corporal punishment of prisoners in order to examine the prisoner serve as an impediment.[1]
  8. They had to conduct forced abortions on non-German women, up to the fifth month.[1]

Moreover, the doctors had the opportunity, and in some cases, were assigned, to conduct "medical research".[3][4] These experiments were conducted on living prisoners or sometimes on prisoners who were executed for the purposes of the particular research project.[4][5] Along with this were manifold relationships throughout the German Reich with National Socialist professors at medical faculties and institutions, such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (now the Max Planck Institute), also the pharmaceutical industry and medical organizations.[1][4]

When the local registrar's office required a death certificate for one of these dead prisoners, it was falsified with regard to doctor's name and cause of death.

SS medics

The camp doctors were allocated SS medics as ancillary staff, who served as nurses in the infirmary. These medics often had little or no nursing training and as a result, possessed only limited medical knowledge.

Prisoner doctors and nurses

The direct care and treatment of sick prisoners was mainly by prisoners who had been doctors and nurses before their arrest. At times, their medical work was performed "illegally", in disobedience of a direct order from the SS.

Other medical staff

On occasion, there was also an SS pharmacist.

After 1945

Though a number of the most important Nazi doctors were tried in Nuremberg and some were executed, many Nazi doctors slipped into comfortable and respected positions after the war. For example, in East Germany, Hermann Voss became a prominent anatomist and in West Germany, Eugen Wannenmacher became a professor at the University of Münster and Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, who had been Josef Mengele's mentor and sponsor, was allowed to continue his medical practice.[3][4][6] Their Nazi past was generally ignored, though some were forced to work under false names. The experiments they conducted have been cited in medical journals and sometimes republished with no reference or disclaimer as to how the research data were obtained.[3]

See also

Sources

  • Karin Orth, Die Konzentrationslager-SS. dtv, Munich (2004) ISBN 3-423-34085-1 ‹See Tfd›(in German)
  • Wolfgang Kirsten, Das Konzentrationslager als Institution totalen Terrors. Centaurus, Pfaffenweiler (1992) ISBN 3-89085-649-7 ‹See Tfd›(in German)
  • Hermann Langbein, Menschen in Auschwitz. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin Wien, Ullstein-Verlag (1980) ISBN 3-548-33014-2 ‹See Tfd›(in German)
  • Eugen Kogon, Der SS-Staat. Das System der deutschen Konzentrationslager, Alber, Munich (1946); later, Heyne, Munich (1995) ISBN 3-453-02978-X ‹See Tfd›(in German)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Die Tätigkeit von SS-Ärzten in Konzentrationslagern und das "Großlaboratorium" Auschwitz" Archived 2008-08-31 at the Wayback Machine University of Marburg, official website. Retrieved May 27, 2010 ‹See Tfd›(in German)
  2. ^ "Americas Holocaust legal action welcomed" BBC News (August 22, 1998) Retrieved May 25, 2010
  3. ^ a b c Baruch C. Cohen, "The Ethics Of Using Medical Data From Nazi Experiments" Jewish law website. Retrieved May 27, 2010
  4. ^ a b c d "Mad Science and Criminal Medicine" Archived 2006-02-20 at the Wayback Machine With photos. Retrieved May 27, 2010
  5. ^ Vivien Spitz, Doctors from hell: the horrific account of Nazi experiments on humans, foreword by Elie Wiesel. pp. 232-233. Sentient Publications (2005) ISBN 1-59181-032-9
  6. ^ Ernst Klee, "Von deutschem Ruhm" Die Zeit, (September 25, 2003) Retrieved May 27, 2010 ‹See Tfd›(in German)
Adolf Theuer

Adolf Theuer (sometimes given as Teuer) (20 September 1920 in Henneborg-Bolatitz, today borough of Borová, Bolatice, Opava District – 23 April 1947 in Opava) was an SS-Unterscharführer at Auschwitz concentration camp. He was executed after the war as a war criminal.

Budapest Ghetto

The Budapest Ghetto was a Nazi ghetto set up in Budapest, Hungary, where Jews were forced to relocate by a decree of the Hungarian Government during the final stages of World War II. The ghetto existed only from November 29, 1944 - January

17, 1945.

Central Committee of the Liberated Jews

The Central Committee of the Liberated Jews (ZK) was an organization which represented Jewish displaced persons in the American Zone of the post-World War II Germany, during 1945-1950.Originated on July 1, 1945 through the efforts of Dr. Zalman Grinberg, former director of the Kovno ghetto hospital, rabbi Abraham Klausner, a chaplain of the US Army, and others, on September 7, 1946 the Committee was recognized as "the legal and democratic representation of the liberated Jews in the American zone" by the American military government in Germany.The first Chairman was Zalman Gringberg, succeeded by David Treger (in 1946) after Grinberg's emigration to Palestine and then by Abraham Treger. Abraham Treger served as the Committee's chairman between 1946 to 1948 and then emigrated with his wife Ida to Haifa, Israel.

Dog tag

"Dog tag" is an informal but common term for a specific type of identification tag worn by military personnel. The tags' primary use is for the identification of dead and wounded soldiers; as such, they have personal information about the soldiers written on them, and convey essential basic medical information such as the soldier's blood type and history of inoculations. They often indicate religious preference as well.

Dog tags are usually fabricated from a corrosion-resistant metal. They commonly contain two copies of the information, either in the form of a single tag that can be broken in half, or as two identical tags on the same chain. This purposeful duplication allows one tag, or half-tag, to be collected from a soldier's dead body for notification, while the duplicate remains with the corpse if the conditions of battle prevent it from being immediately recovered. The term arose and became popular because of the tags' resemblance to animal registration tags.

Haavara Agreement

The Haavara Agreement (Hebrew: הֶסְכֵּם הַעֲבָרָה Translit.: heskem haavara Translated: "transfer agreement") was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews signed on 25 August 1933. The agreement was finalized after three months of talks by the Zionist Federation of Germany, the Anglo-Palestine Bank (under the directive of the Jewish Agency) and the economic authorities of Nazi Germany. It was a major factor in making possible the migration of approximately 60,000 German Jews to Palestine in 1933–1939.The agreement enabled Jews fleeing persecution under the new Nazi regime to transfer some portion of their assets to British Mandatory Palestine. Emigrants sold their assets in Germany to pay for essential goods (manufactured in Germany) to be shipped to Mandatory Palestine.

The agreement was controversial at the time, and was criticised by many Jewish leaders both within the Zionist movement (such as the Revisionist Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky) and outside it, as well as by members of the NSDAP and members of the German public.

For German Jews, the agreement offered a way to leave an increasingly hostile environment in Germany; for the Yishuv, the new Jewish community in Palestine, it offered access to both immigrant labor and economic support; for the Germans it facilitated the emigration of German Jews while breaking the anti-Nazi boycott of 1933, which had mass support among European Jews and was thought by the German state to be a potential threat to the German economy.

History of the Jews during World War II

The history of the Jews during World War II is almost synonymous with the Jewish persecution and murder of unprecedented scale in modern times in political Europe inclusive of European North Africa (pro-Nazi Vichy-North Africa and Italian Libya). The massive scale of the Holocaust which happened during World War II heavily affected the Jewish nation and world public opinion, which only understood the dimensions of the Final Solution after the war. The genocide, known as HaShoah in Hebrew, aimed at the elimination of the Jewish people on the European continent. It was a broadly organized operation led by Nazi Germany, in which approximately six million Jews were murdered methodically and with horrifying cruelty. During the Holocaust in occupied Poland, more than one million Jews were murdered in gas chambers of the Auschwitz concentration camp alone. The murder of the Jews of Europe affected Jewish communities in Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.Leading to World War II, nearly all Jewish firms in Nazi Germany had either collapsed under financial pressure and declining profits, or had been forced to sell out to the Nazi German government as part of the "Aryanization" policy inaugurated in 1937. As the war started, massacres of Jews took place originally as part of Operation Tannenberg against the Polish nation. The much larger and methodical mass killings of Jews began with the onset of Operation Barbarossa. Led by Einsatzkommandos and the Orpo battalions, the destruction of European Jews took place with the active participation of local Auxiliary Police including Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian Schutzmannschaften.

Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations

The Joint Declaration by Members of the United Nations was a statement issued on December 17, 1942, by the American and British governments on behalf of the Allied Powers. In it, they describe the ongoing events of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The statement was read to British House of Commons in a floor speech by Foreign secretary Anthony Eden, and published on the front page of the New York Times and many other newspapers. It was made in response to a 16-page note addressed to the Allied governments on December 10 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Polish government-in-exile, Count Edward Raczynski, titled The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland and his official Raczyński's Note addressed to western governments.

List of Nazi ghettos

This article is a partial list of selected Jewish ghettos created by the Nazis for the purpose of isolating, exploiting and finally, eradicating Jewish population (and sometimes Gypsies) on territories they controlled. Most of the prominent ghettos listed here were set up by the Third Reich and its allies in the course of World War II. In total, according to USHMM archives, "The Germans established at least 1,000 ghettos in German-occupied and annexed Poland and the Soviet Union alone." Therefore, the examples are intended only to illustrate their scope across Eastern and Western Europe.

Mass murders in Tykocin

The Mass murders in Tykocin occurred in August 25, 1941, during World War II, where the local Jewish population of Tykocin (Poland) was killed by German Einsatzkommando.

SS Führungshauptamt

The SS-Führungshauptamt (English: SS Leadership Main Office) (SS-FHA) was the operational headquarters of the SS.

It was responsible for the administration of SS-Junkerschulen (SS-Junker Schools), medical services, logistics, and rates of pay. It was also the administrative and operational headquarters for the Waffen-SS that was responsible for its organisation and equipment and Order of battle of SS combat units.

Szczuczyn pogrom

Szczuczyn pogrom was the massacre of some 300 Jews in the community of Szczuczyn carried out by its Polish inhabitants in June 1941 after the town was bypassed by the invading German soldiers in the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. The June massacre was stopped by German soldiers.

A subsequent massacre by Poles in July killed some 100 Jews, and following the German Gestapo takeover in August 1941 some 600 Jews were killed by the Germans, the remaining Jews placed in a ghetto, and subsequently sent to Treblinka extermination camp.

The Holocaust in Luxembourg

The Holocaust in Luxembourg refers to the persecution and near-annihilation of the 3,500-strong Jewish population of Luxembourg begun shortly after the start of the German occupation during World War II, when the country was officially incorporated into Nazi Germany. The persecution lasted until October 1941, when the Germans declared the territory to be free of Jews who had been deported to extermination camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe.

The Holocaust in Russia

The Holocaust in Russia refers to the Nazi crimes during the occupation of Russia (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) by Nazi Germany.

The Holocaust in the USSR

The Holocaust in the Soviet Union (USSR) refers to the German persecution of Jews, Roma and homosexuals as part of The Holocaust in World War II.

It may refer to:

The Holocaust in Russia

The Holocaust in Belarus

The Holocaust in UkraineIt may also refer to The Holocaust in the Baltic states, annexed by the Soviet Union before the war:

The Holocaust in Latvia

The Holocaust in Lithuania

The Holocaust in Estonia

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Vichy anti-Jewish legislation

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The statutes were aimed at depriving Jews of the right to hold public office, designating them as a lower class, and depriving them of citizenship. Many Jews were subsequently rounded up at Drancy internment camp before being deported for extermination in Nazi concentration camps.

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Yizkor books

Yizkor books are memorial books commemorating a Jewish community destroyed during the Holocaust. The books are published by former residents or landsmanshaft societies as remembrances of homes, people and ways of life lost during World War II. Yizkor books usually focus on a town but may include sections on neighboring smaller communities. Most of these books are written in Yiddish or Hebrew, some also include sections in English or other languages, depending on where they were published. Since the 1990s, many of these books, or sections of them have been translated into English.

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