Doctors from Hell–The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans

Doctors from Hell

By Vivien Spitz

With a title like, Doctors from Hell, it’s easy to walk the other way, hoping to find a more relaxing literary escape. We’ve heard the story of the Nuremberg Trials following the Holocaust. Why keep looking at that awful part of our history? We face so many other problems now. That’s a difficult sentiment to refute. However, Vivien Spitz’s book is telling the story from the eyes of the youngest court reporter at The Nuremberg Trials. In her early 20s, Ms. Spitz spent 18 months in post-World War II Nuremberg, covering the trials. She details not only some of the witness testimony, but also provides insight in what it was like to live in a bombed-out city trying to recover.

Ms. Spitz delayed writing this book for fifty years. While continuing her work as a court reporter, she was a featured speaker throughout the U.S. and abroad. It wasn’t until she faced multiple Holocaust deniers that she realized the importance of putting pen to paper. Published in 2005, Spitz spent years reviewing a condensed version of court reporter records of over 11,000 pages in order to piece together material relevant to report decades after the event.

While a few pages are gut wrenching, the author does a remarkable job of telling the story of many of the medical experiments without causing the reader to walk away from the details. She also provides examples of some heroes who risked everything to help Jewish children survive.

Despite the grim topic and having read many accounts of the Holocaust, I found Doctors from Hell difficult to put down. History told by those who lived through it and those who were eye witnesses provides a much easier to understand, richer learning experience.

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