["Eternal physicianship" or "new medical ethics" 1939-1945? Hippocrates and historians in the service of war].

Abstract

What changes, if any, came with the so-called "new medical ethics" that was propagated during the Nazi period and the war of 1939-1945? This article analyses the context of the publication series "Ewiges Arzttum" ("eternal physicianship"), which was edited during World War II. The first volume--"Hippocrates"--included an introduction by the "Reichsführer-SS", Heinrich Himmler, and was edited by the "Reichsarzt-SS", Ernst Grawitz. B. J. Gottlieb, the medical historian who arranged the excerpts from Hippocratic texts, later headed an SS-Institute for the History of Medicine in Graz. Gottlieb was a pupil of Paul Diepgen, the head of the large Department for the History of Medicine and Natural Sciences at the University of Berlin. What were the goals of historians under National Socialism when they constructed continuities between the ethics of ancient times and the Nazi ethos? How did the moral points of view change under political pressure and in the circumstances of war? The series "Ewiges Arzttum", its context, and the correspondence between the persons involved are striking examples of the instrumentalisation of history for other purposes, even for "total war".

Cite this paper

@article{Frewer2004EternalPO, title={["Eternal physicianship" or "new medical ethics" 1939-1945? Hippocrates and historians in the service of war].}, author={Andreas Frewer and Florian Bruns}, journal={Medizinhistorisches Journal}, year={2004}, volume={38 3-4}, pages={313-35} }