Ethics. Research. Community.

[Story of three SS dentists during World War II: Pr Hugo Blaschke, Dr Hermann Pook and Dr Willy Frank]

Vesalius : acta internationales historiae medicinae. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
This story of three SS dentists shows very clearly that the medical code of ethics, under a totalitarian regime, ends where ideology begins. Professor Hugo Blaschke provided dental care to the most eminent Nazi leaders, but he also was the senior SS dentist. He was in charge of dental care in the Waffen-SS, and therefore, he had responsibility for the stocks of dental gold collected from the mouths of those who died in the concentration camps, in order to make dentures for his soldiers. Dr Hermann Pook was the dentist in charge of all the other dentists practising in the concentration camps. He was responsible for gathering statistics on the dental care provided for prisoners in the camps. His instructions were very clear: "No conservation or restorative treatment. Only extractions, and with no anaesthesia!" He was also in charge of gathering the gold that was collected in the camps, for the financial department of the SS. Dr Willy Frank, an Auschwitz dentist, took part in the selection of some of the convoys for the gas chambers. His participation in the collection of gold from the mouths of the dead was also established. These three men were sentenced to prison for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.
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