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Reviews TV

Science and the Swastika

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 24 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:742
  1. Paul Weindling, Wellcome Trust research professor in the history of medicine
  1. Oxford Brookes University

    Channel 4, Mondays at 9 pm, 19 March to 2 April

    Nazi Germany spent vast resources on medical and biological research. Doctors were prominent in Auschwitz and in other killing centres. These films claim that the “Final Solution” was driven by a Nazi “biological revolution.” This leaves us with the unresolved questions of whether the Nazis slavishly followed the laws of genetics as then understood and practised, or—as Sir Richard Doll's recollections of cancer cells depicted as Jews suggest—that Nazism perverted and debased science. German medicine was experimentally oriented, and research consumed ever increasing resources. Yet after the war allied doctors concluded that its record of clinical innovation was poor and that release of the full story of Nazi human experiments would shake public confidence in clinical research.

    These programmes present testimonies of victims who speak with …

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