Abstract

In his seminal work The Nazi Doctors, Robert Jay Lifton labeled Dr. Maximilian Samuel a “Jewish medical collaborator.” Although the Auschwitz prisoner-physician did participate in Block 10 medical experiments, a deeper investigation of available sources reveals that he cannot be characterized so simply. This article undertakes a critical analysis—informed by medical knowledge—of survivor accounts found in memoirs, legal documents, and video testimonies to arrive at a more comprehensive and nuanced depiction of Dr. Samuel. In doing so, it sheds light on the prisoner-physicians, a group whose members are relatively absent from historiography—and whose activities invite an investigation of resistance and coercion against the backdrop of the “gray zone.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
1476-7937
Print ISSN
8756-6583
Pages
pp. 450-481
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-13
Open Access
No
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