Archive for Auschwitz

Filmmaker compares Gosnell’s abortion clinic to Auschwitz where blood ran down the walls

Posted in Kermit Gosnell, Media Bias with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2015 by saynsumthn

Journalist, documentary filmmaker, and director Ann Mcelhinney discusses some heart-wrenching stories about Kermit Gosnell and abortion in America with Steven Crowder.

She is helping to produce the Indy Go Fund Me campaign, Gosnell the Movie.

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Gosnell was convicted of murder after he snipped the necks of babies born alive inside his House of Horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia, PA.

Babies born alive are known in the abortion industry as the “dreaded complication.”

Mcelhinney said that after their research the only thing she can compare Gosnell to is Auschwitz and the Nazi Holocaust.

“Words really fail to describe what Kermit Gosnell did. I mean, language really starts to fail..And, as I’ve worked on it, the only comparison that worked for me at all is Auschwitz,” Mcelhinney told Crowder.

Louder Crowder Gosnell

“It’s the only thing – the Holocaust is all I could compare it to. Because…one thing that was said in Auschwitz that I think was amazing, and somebody said ‘Where was God in Auschwitz?’ And a Rabbi said, ‘it’s the wrong question – the question is – where was humanity?’ And, I found that really helpful with Gosnell because dealing with the people – all of the people who knew what was going on….and did nothing. And you have to ask yourself: Where was humanity?” she said.

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Mcelhinney said that she was shocked when she read Gosnell’s assistant, Stephen Massof’s testimony where he said they ran around with scissors and the “blood ran down the walls.”

Massof was eventually sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison.

What he did was illegal,” she tells Crowder.

But, Mcelhinney says that if the public thinks that what Gosnell did was disgusting, “then why is it that you don’t think it’s disgusting when it happens inside of the woman? Because, by the way, it is completely legal what he did- if he had done it in the womb.

Mcelhinney has admitted that before she investigated the Gosnell clinic she was not outspoken against abortion. Now, she is passionate.

If the public could see what really goes on, would they speak out? That is the one million dollar question.

I have blogged about the way that society is silent as this abortion holocaust like they were the Nazi Holocaust in the past…please read: Abortion just like the Nazi Holocaust is the “Sin of the Innocent Bystander.”

Drone captures haunting images over Auschwitz

Posted in Concentration Camp, Hitler, Hitler and the Church, holocaust, Michael Savage, Nazi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2015 by saynsumthn

Auschwitz

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January 27, 2015 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp run by the Nazi’s in Germany: Auschwitz

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NEVER AGAIN?

In response, Michael Savage on his daily radio show asks Where are the righteous Jews who are not speaking out against the persecution of Christians from ISIS or ISIL today? The “never again” is happening again today !

Savage mentions the HBO documentary Night Will Fall:

In addition – there is one more holocaust people are silent about- it is the holocaust of abortion on millions of unborn children in the womb!

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READ:

Abortion like Nazi Holocaust is “Sin of the Innocent Bystander” http://tinyurl.com/lam95uj

Hitler + the Church- what newspapers tells us + how history warns us today http://wp.me/ptUz8-5J6

In US Adolf #Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ surges in e-book sales http://tinyurl.com/k598c8m

Eugenicists In California Trained Nazi Party – had ties to Planned Parenthood’s founder http://tinyurl.com/p9pryzh

Massenvernichtung: Planned Parenthood’s Holocaust: 6 million abortions and counting http://tinyurl.com/nru77vt

To eliminate blacks f/Germany Hitler called #eugenicist w/role in Sanger’s Population conf. http://fb.me/3ta8EkekH

Abortion just like the Nazi Holocaust is the “Sin of the Innocent Bystander”

Posted in Aborted Baby Body Parts, Aborted baby born alive, Abortion compared to Nazi Germany, Abortion medical experiments, Hitler, holocaust, Meat Grinder Abortion, Nazi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by saynsumthn

Written By: Carole Novielli Survivors from the Wobbelin concentration camp

Researchers at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have just released documentation that astounds even the most informed scholars steeped in the previously known statistics of German atrocities. Here is some of what has now been conclusively discovered:

Rabbi Benjamin Blech writes, “There were more than 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe from 1933 to 1945.

There were 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1000 prisoner of war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.

The best estimate using current information available is 15 to 20 million people who died or were imprisoned in sites controlled by the Germans throughout the European continent.

Simply put, in the words of Hartmut Berghoff, Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, “The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought; we knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was, but the actual numbers are unbelievable.”

And what makes this revelation so important is that it forces us to acknowledge a crucial truth about the Holocaust that many people have tried to ignore or to minimize – a truth that has profound contemporary significance: The unspeakable crime of the 20th century, more than the triumph of evil, was the sin of the “innocent” bystander.”

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According to the pro-life group, Life Dynamics, “The euphemisms used by Nazis and abortion advocates are eerily similar. Death camps were called “relocation centers” in Nazi Germany and Nazi Occupied Europe. Death camps are called “reproductive health centers” in modern America. The Jews were described as a “parasitic race” by Hitler, while the unwanted child is described “a mere parasite” by Planned Parenthood. The end result then was “termination” of the Jews and the end result now is “termination of pregnancy.”

According to a website which tracks abortion clinics, AbortionDocs.com, there are 619 abortion surgical centers in the United States, 167 abortion pill clinics, and at least 789 known abortionists willing to kill preborn persons in the womb.

As of October 2013, the largest chain of abortion providers Planned Parenthood boasts that they have over 750 locations across the United States:
2013 PP 750 locations

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The railroad platform at Treblinka, where the Nazi holocaust victims were singled out for death, had flower beds that gave the area a “a neat and cheery look.” Today, abortion clinics use plants and bold colors to create a “cheerful and anxiety-free environment.”

An inmate orchestra provided tangos, jazz and waltzes as the victims were dispatched to the “shower rooms” of Auschwitz. Soothing music is piped into most waiting rooms and “procedure rooms” of abortion clinics.

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According to an Auschwitz survivor, 17,280 corpses were disposed of “per twenty four hour shift. And the ovens, with murderous efficiency, functioned day and night.” According to a former abortionist, “From eight in the morning until midnight, seven days a week, doctors working in ten operating rooms performed vacuum aspirations on an endless parade of pregnant wombs.” (Vacuum aspiration is a type of abortion.)

An Auschwitz gassing technician stated that, “I had no feelings carrying out these things.” One abortionist stated that, “I never had any psychological adverse reaction, except for an occasional feeling that one was destroying life.”

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In 1998, pro-lifers uncovered a container which housed thousands of aborted children.

This “lab” is a depot for Family Planning Associates, California’s largest abortion mill chain. Every container holds a baby who was murdered by abortion. The size of the container is proportional to the age of the child. The larger containers hold 2nd trimester babies. Each of these children deserved to live.

The following pictures were taken 1/25/98 and 2/1/98 at:

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“One of the boxes fell out of the container, spilling its contents on the ground. I stared at a large object but couldn’t tell what it was. I called my boss to come over and take a look. All of a sudden we realized with great horror that it was a decapitated body of a baby. Other workers started vomittig.” ` Hank Stolk, employee of Martin Container Corporation, Los Angeles, Ca. USA 1982.

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17,000 ABORTED FETUSES FOUND:

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Article 17000 Fetus Container found

But..NO PROSECUTION:
No prosecution 17000 fetus abortion

In the early 1980’s, a man by the name of Malvin Weisburg was operating an outfit called Medical Analytic Laboratories, and he was receiving from abortion clinics around the country the bodies of aborted babies for pathological analysis. When he was done with his work, the bodies of these babies, many of them decapitated by the abortion, and some of them weighing a couple of pounds, were put in plastic containers and ultimately stored in a large waste container that he was renting. In 1982, Weisburg failed to make proper payments on the container, and therefore it was repossessed by the company.

That’s when workers discovered what was in it — the bodies of aborted babies, totaling 16,433. The bodies were taken into the custody of Los Angeles County.

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According to Fr. Frank Pavone at Priests for Life, “This made news and touched off a firestorm about what should be done with the babies. Pro-life people and public officials got together to call from the release of the bodies for proper burial. Meanwhile, pro-abortion groups, including the ACLU, went to court to block any religious service, or even burial, for these babies. They claimed that the ‘separation of church and state’ prohibited the state from facilitating a religious service. The court agreed. However, the pro-abortion groups wanted more, namely, to not allow a burial at all. They wanted the bodies cremated and thrown away as medical waste. And forgotten. With this, however, the court did not agree. Even the Supreme Court was petitioned in the matter, and in the end, after a three year battle, the babies were buried on October 6, 1985. Even President Ronald Reagan got involved, and wrote a eulogy that was read at the service, calling for an end to abortion.

“For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It’s too disturbing a reminder of the humanity of the victims of abortion. When people forget, the abortion supporters win; when people remember, we win. That is why we need to keep telling the stories of these graves, and visiting them. And that is why we continue to demand that the bodies of the babies killed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia be released so that we can bury them.

“Ironically, the 16,433 aborted children in Los Angeles could not be buried at the nearby Catholic cemetery; but who is buried there? The late term abortionist James McMahon. God help us.”

Tell me how the images of aborted children differ from images of murdered Jews from Hitler’s Nazi Regime?

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More images of aborted children can be seen here
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In May of 2013, abortionist Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of murdering three babies born alive in an abortion clinic. He was acquitted in the fourth baby’s death, and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of an adult patient.

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Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was convicted of first-degree murder of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy legal abortion clinic.

“The standard practice here was to slay babies. That’s what they did,” Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told jurors, who echoed a 2011 grand jury report in calling the clinic “a house of horrors.” Staff went along with the routine because they were nearly as desperate as the women, she said. The two other “doctors” on staff were allegedly medical school doctors without licenses. The woman giving anesthesia was a sixth-grade dropout who could hardly read or write, Pescatore said. And one of the employees who advanced from the reception area to the operating room was a 15-year-old high school student.

“They looked just like regular babies,” Employee Ashley Baldwin said. Baldwin said one baby was so big that Gosnell joked that “this baby is going to walk me home.”

The Philadelphia medical examiner analyzed the remains of 45 fetuses seized from the clinic. Of these, 16 were first-trimester; 25 were second-trimester, ranging from 12 to 21 weeks; 2 were 22 weeks; 1 was 26 weeks; and 1 was 28 weeks.

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According to the Grand Jury Report, “He also killed live, viable, moving, breathing, crying babies. He killed them by cutting their spinal cords after their mothers had delivered them after receiving excessive amounts of medication designed to induce active labor. This report documents multiple murders of viable babies. The evidence makes a compelling case that many others were also murdered. It was Gosnell’s standard business practice, to slay viable babies.”

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LIKE THE NAZI PRISON GUARDS, Gosnell’s employees said they only did as they were told:

Today, abortion is justified by claiming the killing of babies is “safe and legal.” Dr. Michael Jackson, an abortionist and clinic owner said, “I just go by what the courts say. I only do what’s legal.”

These were the same justifications used by doctors who participated in the massacre of millions at Auschwitz. Zyklon-B, the poison gas used to kill the Jews, was seen as helping to alleviate suffering and permit “humane killing”.

At Nuremberg, numerous Nazi doctors and killers said they were innocent because they had broken no law. “The jurists in Berlin told us this was a legal matter,” testified Walter Schmidt, “quite legal.” According to an expert on Auschwitz, “The Nazis committed no crime at Auschwitz since no law or political order protected those who were condemned.”

In fact, the legality itself helped to distance the killers from the killing – if it was legally ordered or at least permitted, then the killing was someone else’s fault. At the trial held for nurses who injected infants and children with lethal substances, the heart of their defense of was that the killing was carried out in conformity of the existing laws. The defense claimed that “these people were only carrying out the laws of the land” and “the accused did not act wrongly because they were covered by law.”

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KERMIT GOSNELL EMPLOYEES – JUST DID AS THEY WERE TOLD ALSO

STATEMENTS BY GOSNELL EMPLOYEES

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• Lynda Williams, 44, of Wilmington, said Gosnell taught her how to flip the body of the baby over and snip its neck with a pair of scissors to ensure “fetal demise.” Williams also testified that she followed Gosnell’s orders one time, when Gosnell was away either running, swimming or working at a clinic in Delaware, and took a baby that was delivered in a toilet and snipped its neck. “It jumped, the arm,” she said, showing the jury by raising her arm. Williams told investigators she only snipped a neck the one time, “because it gave me the creeps.” “I only do what I’m told to do,” she told the jury. “What I was told to do was snip their neck.”

• Lynda Williams also responded the same way when asked about seeing Gosnell cut the necks of babies who were delivered before abortion procedures, admitting after reviewing earlier statements that she had seen Gosnell do this at least 30 times. Williams said she asked Gosnell about the baby that moved, and said Gosnell told her it was just an “involuntary response” and a “last breath” because it was “already dead” due to drugs that had been administered earlier. “I never knew it was murder,” Williams told investigators and repeated to the jury.

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Gosnell employee MORTON

• Adrienne Moton , “I kept doing whatever I was told,” told the jury.

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• Sherry West, “I felt a loyalty to him because he had been my doctor for so long,” West testified.

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• Elizabeth Hampton – During the FBI investigation of the clinic, Hampton said that she wasn’t “totally truthful” with investigators because she was scared. She was later arrested for perjury in August 2010 and pleaded guilty. After the investigation, Elizabeth Hampton said that Gosnell ordered the employees to clean and scrub the clinic. The first floor was repainted. When asked why he did so, Hampton replied “If he said to do something, we did it. We didn’t question him.”

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• ASHLEY BALDWIN: “They looked just like regular babies,” Baldwin said. Baldwin said one baby was so big that Gosnell joked that “this baby is going to walk me home.” She said the joke bothered her and she talked to her mother about it. Baldwin’s mother, however, was also a Gosnell employee. Tina Baldwin had worked there since 2001. Ashley Baldwin said she assisted Gosnell in abortions, applying pressure to the mother’s abdomen, handing the doctor instruments and equipment. She said she also saw Gosnell use scissors to “snip” the neck of newborns who were moving after the procedure. Although she sometimes felt uneasy about what she saw, Baldwin said, Gosnell always had an explanation: “He told me that’s how it was supposed to go.”

During the trial, an Associated Press reporter described Gosnell as an “elegant man . . . who smiled softly.” How could he smile? How could he be serene at his piano? How could he eat in the midst of squalor and death? How could he live with himself?

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Within days if the Gosnell story breaking open, the pro-life group Life Dynamics located in Denton, Texas, released an interview with three former abortion clinic workers which prove the Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, recently convicted of murder, is not an anomaly.

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The interview was conducted on May 3, 2013 with clinic employees located in a different state.

Mark Crutcher, President of Life Dynamics: “While the pro-life movement claims that abortion takes the life of a living human being, nobody on earth knows that better than the people who work at abortion clinics. The lofty rhetoric of “choice” may insulate those who work in the political and public relations arena, but the day-to-day reality for those who provide those “choices” is to deal with the corpses and parts of corpses they pull out of their customers’ bodies. “

Just as in the Gosnell case, abortion is so prevalent, abortion clinic workers do not know that killing them after they survive is illegal:

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The New York Times, More U.S. Curbs Urged in the Use Of Fetal Tissue: 11-19-1989
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE0D81538F93AA25752C1A96F948260&sec=health&pagewanted=2

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MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS ON NAZI VICTIMS AND ABORTED BABIES

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5961Victims of Dr. Josef Mengele’s medical experiments at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Poland, 1944.

During World War II, a number of German physicians conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent.

Like Hitler and the Nazis, aborted baby body parts are being used for medical experimentation on and sold (Aborted Baby Body Parts Investigation, by Life Dynamics)

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Medical experiments of Test Tube Babies have also been conducted. Aborted baby tissue is also used in medical experiments. (here)

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Deborah Nucatola Planned Parenthood body parts lower extremeties

In 2015: a shocking three year undercover investigation, dubbed the “Human Capital” project, was conducted by the The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and directed by CMP project lead David Daleiden.

The group obtained audio and video recordings of Planned Parenthood administrators and abortionists casually agreeing to sell freshly-extracted parts from their abortions, and will be releasing the horrific admissions over the next few weeks.

CMP has uploaded several documents they obtained in their investigation, some containing orders of the aborted babies to Stem Express.

Stem Express Planned Parenthood Liver Thymus aborted baby

Above is an image of one page from a procurement log of baby parts, CMP said were harvested from Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s flagship abortion clinic in San Jose, CA, on January 10, 2013. A total of 9 specimens were harvested from 8 different fetuses by StemExpress. At the time, StemExpress paid Planned Parenthood $50/specimen, so this one day of procurement at one clinic yielded $450 for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. StemExpress also harvests from PPMM clinics in Sacramento, Fresno, and Stockton, and so a similar yield at those clinics just one day per week means at least $1800/week, $7200/month, and $86,400/year for this Planned Parenthood affiliate.

The image below is a record CMP said was taken from the StemExpress task page shows orders for fetal body parts for March 20 and March 21, 2013. 16 baby parts were ordered on 3/20, and 3 on 3/21.

This page shows requests for fetal kidneys and brains:

Stem Express task log Planned Parenthoppod fetal kidney brain

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In a letter written by abortion doctor: Curtis Stover to the Colorado Department of Health, he accused another abortion doctor, James J. Parks of improper disposal of the aborted babies. Stover claimed that Parks who ran the Mayfair Women’s Center was placing aborted babies up to 22 weeks gestation in an “outside trash container”, because he said that the babies would, “clog up his commode”. Stover also accused Parks of, “assembling an old fashioned meat grinder” and using it to grind the fetuses up on a daily basis. In his official affidavit, Stover gave this eyewitness testimony, “At the end of the workday, Dr. James J Parks the owner of the Mayfair Women’s Center demonstrated to me this method of fetal disposal. We went into a utility room that was used for such things as sterilizing instruments. On the countertop were several white plastic buckets, each containing fetuses from about 15 to 22 weeks size. Dr. Parks reached up to a shelf and brought down several pieces of metal that were parts of a meat grinder and placed them on the counter. Next, he assembled the grinder and clamped it to the countertop. As I looked at the grinder, I realized that it was very old and resembled the same meat grinder my mother used years ago to grind meat into hamburger meat. Dr. Parks then began to empty each bucket into the hopper on top of the grinder, and with his left hand pressed the fetal tissue down into the hopper as he turned the handle with his right hand, grinding the tissue. As he did this the tissue oozed out of the end of the grinder like multiple tubes of pink toothpaste. Though I have seen many disturbing and unsightly things in my 20 years of medical experience, I was not prepared for this. I became instantly nauseated and vomited. All the fetuses were ground into a large bucket, he dumped the contents into the sink and washed it down the sink with water.”

In November of 1989, a Dr. James J. Parks of Denver, was mentioned in a New York Times article entitled More U.S. Curbs Urged in the Use Of Fetal Tissue. The Times said he supplied fetal tissue free to researchers at the University of Colorado.

Curtis Stover Meat Grinder Affidavit
Affidavit: Curtis E. Stover, MD: 6-15-1992/ Letter: Colorado Health Department, 6-151992

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Rabbi Benjamin Blech continued, “For years our efforts to understand the Holocaust focused on the perpetrators. We looked for explanations for the madness of Mengele, the obsessive hatred of Hitler, the impassive cruelty of Eichmann. We sought answers to how it was possible for the criminal elements, the sadists and the mentally unbalanced to achieve the kind of power that made the mass killings feasible.

That was because we had no idea of the real extent of the horror. With more than 42,000 ghettos and concentration camps scattered throughout the length and breadth of a supposedly civilized continent, there’s no longer any way to avoid the obvious conclusion. The cultured, the educated, the enlightened, the liberal, the refined, the sophisticated, the urbane – all of them share in the shame of a world that lost its moral compass and willingly acceded to the victory of evil.

“We had no idea what was happening” needs to be clearly identified as “the great lie” of the years of Nazi power. The harsh truth is that almost everyone had to know. The numbers negate the possibility for collective ignorance. And still the killings did not stop, the torture did not cease, the concentration camps were not closed, the crematoria continued their barbaric task.

The “decent” people were somehow able to rationalize their silence.

Just last year Mary Fulbrook, a distinguished scholar of German history, in “A Small Town Near Auschwitz “wrote a richly and painfully detailed examination of those Germans who, after the war, successfully cast themselves in the role of innocent bystanders.

“These people have almost entirely escaped the familiar net of ‘perpetrators, victims and bystanders’; yet they were functionally crucial to the eventual possibility of implementing policies of mass murder. They may not have intended or wanted to contribute to this outcome; but, without their attitudes, mentalities, and actions, it would have been virtually impossible for murder on this scale to have taken place in the way that it did. The concepts of perpetrator and bystander need to be amended, expanded, rendered more complex, as our attention and focus shifts to those involved in upholding an ultimately murderous system.”

Mary Fulbrook singled out for censure those who lived near Auschwitz. But that was before we learned that Auschwitz was replicated many thousands of times over throughout the continent in ways that could not have gone unnoticed by major parts of the populace. Millions of people were witnesses to small towns like Auschwitz in their own backyards.

And so Elie Wiesel of course was right. The insight that most powerfully needs to be grasped when we reflect upon the Holocaust’s message must be that, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

That remains our greatest challenge today. If we dare to hope for the survival of civilization we had better pray that the pessimists are wrong when they claim that the only thing we learn from history is that mankind never learns from history.”

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CHURCH’S ROLE?

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After a speech, pro-life activist Penny Lea was approached by an old man. Weeping, he told her the following story:

“I lived in Germany during the Nazi holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. I attended church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews, but like most people today in this country, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we noticed cries coming from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews. They were like cattle in those cars!

Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns. By the time that train came rumbling past the church yard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some of the screams reached our ears, we’d just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.

“Their screams tormented us . . . If some of their screams reached our ears we’d just sing a little louder.”

Now, so many years later, I see it happening all over again in America. God forgive you as Americans for you have blocked out the screams of millions of your own children. The holocaust is here. The response is the same as it was in my country – SILENCE!” ( H/T Repent America)

Note: some quotes came from Life Dynamics websites Death Camps

UPDATE – also read: New research: harvest organs from aborted fetuses to implant in animals

Also read: The day I saw abortion first hand

The Nazi Doctors and Nuremberg: Some Moral Lessons Revisited

Posted in Health Care, Hitler, Nazi with tags , , , , , on October 12, 2009 by saynsumthn

BY Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD

15 August 1997 | Volume 127 Issue 4 | Pages 307-308

Exactly 50 years ago, the world learned of the moral depravity of the 20 Nazi physicians who were tried and convicted in Nuremberg for the part they played in the brutal human experiments at Auschwitz [1-4]. Ethicists have since expounded on the moral lessons to be learned from the Nuremberg Trials. So obvious these moral lessons seem now, and so gross the malfeasance, that it seems redundant to revisit them. Certainly we do not need to study such gross moral pathology that could never happen again.

That is a dangerous conclusion. Moral lessons are quickly forgotten. Medical ethics is more fragile than we think. Moral reasoning based on defective premises tends to recur in new settings. Not all of the Nazi physicians were mentally deranged-they believed they were doing the right thing. If we are to avoid even attenuated errors of the same kind, we are obliged to examine a few of their errors even now.

In light of the enormity of the crimes of the Nazi doctors, it seems easy to acquiesce to the 10 basic principles promulgated by the Tribunal to keep human experimentation within moral, legal, and ethical boundaries [5]. But acquiescence does not equate with comprehension. The first principle of the Nuremberg Code is this: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” However, this principle was compromised almost immediately after the Nuremberg trials. The Helsinki Declaration, which superseded the Nuremberg Trials, weakened the provision by placing too much emphasis on the advancement of science and not enough on the integrity of the subject. Katz faults the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Rules and Regulations for lack of a similar failure fully to protect human research subjects [6].

Even more distressing are the instances of unethical research behavior that have occurred since the revelations of the Nuremberg Trials and wide acceptance of the 10 principles they promulgated. Only a few such instances need to be listed here: the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the Willowbrook Hepatitis Study, U.S. radiation experiments, the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital Study and the lysergic acid study supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, and others that have not been brought to light [7-10].

Clearly, the major lesson of the Nuremberg Trials has not been learned. Ethicists have the painful responsibility of reaffirming that lesson even in the United States. Failure to respect the absoluteness of the requirement for truly informed consent is a major factor behind current moves to strengthen regulatory mechanisms regarding research involving humans.

The integrity of medical ethics is important not because it protects the physicians’ prerogatives but because it is a bulwark against the use of medical knowledge for purposes other than for the good of the sick. The German physicians indicted at Nuremberg had been taught by some of the world’s best historians of medicine and ethics [11]. They could not plead ignorance of ethics and, in fact, made constant allusions to medical ethics and the Hippocratic tradition in their testimony [12]. They even convinced themselves that their heinous acts were consistent with those principles.

What the Nazi doctors illustrate is that ethical teaching has to be sustained by the ethical values of the larger community. In Germany, this support system was weakened well before the Holocaust and the experiments at Auschwitz. German academics, especially psychiatrists, were leaders in theories of racial superiority, social Darwinism, and the genetic transmissibility of mental illness before Hitler came to power [13]. They even urged the Hitler regime to adopt these nefarious ideals.

Clearly, protection of the integrity of medical ethics is important for all of society. If medicine becomes, as Nazi medicine did, the handmaiden of economics, politics, or any force other than one that promotes the good of the patient, it loses its soul and becomes an instrument that justifies oppression and the violation of human rights.

Subversion becomes a greater danger whenever medicine comes too close to the power of the state [14]. The German medical profession eagerly supported Hitler’s Third Reich and made itself the Reich’s willing agent. Hitler, like his counterparts in Stalinist Russia and Imperial Japan, recruited medicine at the very beginning of his regime. Physicians should have refused. Even Hitler would probably not have prevailed against a united profession exerting its collective moral power. But the caduceus joined the swastika in a lethal symbiosis that cost millions of lives and forever branded German medicine as a traitor to every tradition that ever made medicine a beneficent rather than a maleficent enterprise.

This lesson becomes even more important as medicine becomes increasingly bureaucratized, institutionalized, and dependent on government and politics for its support. Medical power is too great to be left unregulated, but it is also too great to be enslaved by government, however benign the government’s intentions might be.

The Nazi doctors were rational beings. To be sure, they acted within psychological and sociohistorical contexts [15-17]. Ultimately, they justified their actions by what they considered to be moral reasons that have received insufficient attention [18]. During the testimony, the defendants and their lawyers repeatedly advanced a few moral premises with a familiar ring: They were not killing by their own authority but obeying the laws of the state, which can determine the method of death [12]. To resist would have been treasonous; ethics must be subordinate to the demands of war. Consent from those condemned to death was unnecessary. The death of a few prisoners would save many German lives; medical ethics could be set aside by law.

We see here the initial premises that law takes precedence over ethics, that the good of the many is more important than the good of the few, that national emergencies supersede ethics, and that some persons (prisoners in this case) can lose their claim to humanity. The lesson here is that moral premises must be valid if morally valid conclusions are to be drawn. A morally repulsive conclusion stems from a morally inadmissible premise.

Perhaps, above all, we must learn that some things should never be done. We will know when to say “no” if we extrapolate our moral premises to their logical conclusions. This the Nazi doctors did not do.

Clearly, there are moral lessons still to be learned from the Nuremberg Trials and there always will be. These lessons must be repeatedly relearned. They are pertinent to other contexts and other issues in today’s intensive bioethics debates. The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust are metaphors for absolute moral evil, the lessons of which are as old as ethics itself [19]. This we must never forget if we wish to be certain that the moral disasters revealed at Nuremberg never occur again.

Current Author Address: Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, 400 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007.

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