Lessons from the Holocaust Reviewed in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)


TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In Hitler’s Germany, the efficiency of the Nazi extermination machine was refined with the help of physicians. Are there any parallels in today’s America? Twenty years ago, the late Anna Scherzer, M.D., presented reflections that are reprinted in the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Scherzer’s parents, Ben and Vladka Meed, survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, participated in the creation of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Scherzer explained: “After World War I in Germany, physicians were seen as servants of the State, rather than independent practitioners. Their primary allegiance was pledged to the government. At this same time, the chronically ill were viewed as an undesirable tremendous economic burden on the German society.” The sickly, the impaired, and the undesirables were problems to be eliminated.

This is different from America today—but only by a small step, Dr. Scherzer warns. “In Nazi Germany changes were clearly imposed upon the population through a dictatorship. But the population was systematically made ready and accepting of it.”

Even in 1993, Dr. Scherzer felt that “as a group of physicians, we are being herded into a similar crisis mind-set as pre-World War II Germany…. We are threatened with the ‘Truth’ that we have a ‘Crisis.’”

German physicians who wanted to follow their conscience paid a heavy price. American physicians who objected to the demands of “health reform” to put the good of society before individual patients’ needs had their personal and family obligations to think about. Dr. Scherzer listed various excuses for complying with the system, such as:

“Just a short while before I can retire from the whole thing.”

“After all, it couldn’t be all that bad.”

“I do support many of those ideals.”

“Let’s work with them.”

The Germans were quite calculating in the progression of the restrictions they placed on people, to minimize resistance.

Dr. Scherzer urged us to learn from history, and to remember our Oath. “I did not pledge to the State to satisfy its greater political or budgetary goals.”

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.



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