Dr. Johnny Doe
The Nuremberg Code The Holocaust is known as one of the greatest genocides ever to transpire in the history of the world. The atrocities committed by members of the German Nazi party were to be paid for in Nuremberg, as well as steps to be taken for these acts to never be repeated by any nation. The Nuremberg Code was one such precaution and the result of the Nuremberg Doctors Trial. Specifically after the German doctors ignored their Hippocratic Oath, the Nuremberg Code was set up to protect the power of the subject, force both preparedness and safety on part of the doctor or physician, and require cause of said doctor or physician. Before the Nuremberg Code can be discussed one must understand what and why the events necessitating it occurred. Beginning with the words of Elie Wiesel, “How can we explain their betrayal? What made them forget or eclipse the Hippocratic Oath? What gagged their conscience? What happened to their humanity?” (Wiesel, 1511) Wiesel, obviously a survivor of the Holocaust, and famed author of the book, Night, is one a few people who can speak of such things with any accuracy having lived through the horror. He asks the question that was on everyone’s mind following the Holocaust, how could somebody do this? Some men are completely mad, completely apathetic to all around them, just in search of their goal. Others have an insatiable taste for blood, taking sick pleasure in the pain and suffering of others. Yet some have been lied to and tricked.
The totalitarian government which Hitler and the Nazi party pursed, and for the most part achieved, involves the immersion of said party into the culture of the governed at a fundamental level. This immersion involves more than just political support, but infiltrates every part of every citizen’s life and the goal of fundamentally changing the culture. Practically everything was owned and operated by a government that was under the control of the Nazi party, thereby eliciting massive national and patriotic support. Once fully immersed into the minds of the population, Nazi ideals would seem to spring unaided into the minds of German citizen’s. This seems all too noticeable but, comparably as one would read a mystery novel, having believed to have the book figured out entirely, only to come to the end and discover one’s personal conclusion reached is nowhere near the actual outcome. Then grudgingly looking back at the events throughout the book, noticing how obvious the plotline was.
The Nazi “master plan” was to eliminate all other races in the area to make way for German/Aryan expansion. The elite Aryan race, gone but not entirely, Hitler believed that their descendants were the Western Europeans, but the purest of such in Germany. He believed in destroying all other races, but not the races most Americans would think of, as Jews and Slavs were considered races. To do this, death camps were used, staffed by not only Nazi officers, but Nazi minded citizens. To these people their actions against the inferior races made sense, once more taking a direct look at the doctors. In their minds they were getting rid of the inferior, so they experimented to learn what they could and gain knowledge. Wiesel writes, “Thus, the doctors who tortured, tormented, and killed men and women in the concentration camps for “medical” reasons had no scruples. Human guinea pigs, prisoners both young and not so young, weakened or still in good health, were subjected to unspeakable suffering and agony in laboratories managed by doctors from the best German families and the most prestigious German universities.” (Wiesel, 1512) But what they did will go down in history as some of the worst acts against humanity ever.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum gives three categories of medical experimentation, first to the survival to the Axis powers including experiments with low pressure chambers, and hypothermia. Second to develop medicine and