Behavior: Doctors of the Death Camps

An American psychiatrist examines some murderous M.D.s

Of all the troubling questions that linger from the Holocaust, one is as baffling today as it was when the first Allied soldiers stumbled upon the Nazi death camps: How could German physicians, heirs to Europe's proudest medical tradition, participate in mass slaughter and grisly human experiments?

No one has offered a convincing answer, certainly not the participants themselves. Only last week a West Berlin court convicted a former SS doctor of having murdered scores of inmates at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria—"sometimes out of pure...

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