Genocide of the Holocaust
Arthur Caplan, editor of When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the
Holocaust, states, "The Holocaust, unlike many other instances of mass
killing, was scientifically inspired, supervised and meditated
genocide." Since all genocides are a grand-scale effort to
systematically eradicate populations, their success hinges on having
large portions of a nation going along with genocidal policy. The
individuals in a society must be convinced of genocide's legitimacy in
'their case', they need to forget that it is murder. Genocide obtains
it legitimacy for the people of a nation from professionals, those
knowledgeable individuals that provide the ideological, intellectual,
and scientific basis to justify the complete destruction of a group.
It is the status these professional hold that okay destructive
actions, all of the statements they make are thought to be important
as well as accurate. A well-educated man in good standing...How could
he be wrong?
In the case of Germany, doctors began small. Doctors began to try and
use hygiene and sanitation to fight diseases such as typhus, cholera,
plague, influenza, and smallpox. They then identified Jews as carriers
of these diseases. And it was not long before these associations
forced the Jews into small, overcrowded ghettos. This was, of course,
justified and necessary, given the doctors' finding regarding these
diseases. These ghettos were without proper sanitation, and
considering the extreme overcrowding, there was soon quite an outbreak
of disease, and the doctors had their 'proof' that Jews were dirty and
diseased. In fact the Jews became the disease in people's minds. It
was the reports by doctors that truly turned people against the Jews.
Dirty and diseased, they were no better than cockroaches. Genocide
would be necessary in order to maintain the health of Germany.
In Mein Kampf, Hitler explains, "Anyone who wants to cure this era,
which is inwardly sick and rotten, must first summon up the courage to
make clear the causes of the disease." Of course, he was referring to
the Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals that were 'contaminating' the
German race. This is the ideology behind the medical experimentation
in sanitation and hygiene, that led to the gas chambers and
euthanasia...all in an effort to rid the German race of it unwanted
"Medicine and science had played crucial roles both in fostering of
Nazi ideology and in implementing the final solution." (Caplan) While
medicine and science were being utilized, they had taken on a very
different form. They were not treating individuals, but torturing
them. It is obvious that the Hippocratic oath was either forgotten, or
large, significant parts were completely ignored.
The Hippocratic Oath
I swear by Apollo the...