News & Events

German doctors admit complicity in experimentation on Holocaust prisoners

Two weeks ago, the German Medical Association (Bundesarztekammer) adopted a declaration acknowledging that German doctors, willingly and by choice, performed experiments on prisoners during the Holocaust. It had been widely accepted that the doctors were forced by the Naziregime to experiment on prisoners, most of whom died from unnecessary operations, from diseases given to them, or from the horrible physical trauma inflicted on them.
The news was reported by Arthur Caplan, PhD., the head of the Bioethics Department at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. In straightforward terms, a GMA representative issued the acknowledgement that he felt would set the record straight for survivors and the families of those who died. The association apologized for many doctors who under the Nazis were “guilty, contrary to their mission to heal, of scores of human rights violations and we ask the forgiveness of their victims, living and deceased, and of their descendants.”

The GMA says “these crimes were not the actions of individual doctors but involved leading members of the medical community” and should be taken as a warning for the future.

Caplan called the apology “the most important one made in the name of medicine. It’s better than continuing to deny it. That the doctors actually remember the victims is significant if only because they can’t forget the horror of what they inflicted.” According to Caplan, the GMA reached a unanimous decision to adopt the apology. The only redemption for many may be that these doctors if living, are witnesses and able to combat the rhetoric of Holocaust deniers.

Are you satisfied with this apology?
No. It’s not enough.
No. The apology is hollow and dispassionate.
No. Any of these doctors that are still living should go to prison for their crimes.
No. I want to know, why the association is coming forward now.