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The Nuremberg Medical Trial

The Holocaust and the Origin of the Nuremberg Medical Code


Horst Heinz Freyhofer

Following World War II, the American Military Tribunal indicted twenty-three Nazi doctors and administrators for performing agonizing and often fatal experiments on helpless concentration camp inmates. Using primarily court records, this book attempts to answer the following salient questions: What sort of medical experiments did the Nazi doctors perform? Who were their victims, and what was their fate? What, if any, were the medical results? What legal charges were brought against the doctors, and what was their defense? Who were the witnesses? Did the defendants try to reconcile their brutal acts with the Hippocratic Code never to do harm, or were they devoid of any medical ethics? Did they constitute dishonorable exceptions to a principled German medical profession, or were they symptomatic of a more widespread disregard for traditional medical ethics? In trying to answer these questions, Horst H. Freyhofer gives the reader the opportunity to follow the exchanges between prosecutors and defendants as well as the final reasoning of the court.