Nursing in Nazi Germany Bibliography

Query From Alison O'Donnell 10 Oct 1998

I am currently undertaking a MSc in Nursing at QMC Edinburgh and I am I am looking for any information/references regarding the (possible) ethical dilemmas/dimension which nurses working in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany may have experienced-particularly the focus being if nurses are supposed to have a"caring" ethos, how did they equate this with being a process which killed those in their care? I would be grateful if you could give me any information/references or other useful names to contact. Many thanks.


Burleigh, Michael _Death and Deliverance: "Euthanasia" in Germany, 1900-1945_

MacFarland, Bronwyn Ph.D. dissertation on the subject of ethical dilemmas in nursing during the Nazi period. Should be able to contact her through the University of Chicago History Dept. website:

Steppe, Hilde "Nursing Under Totalitarian Regimes: The Case of National Socialism" in _Nursing History and the Politics of Welfare_edited by Anne Marie Rafferty, Jane Robinson and Ruth Elkan(Routledge, 1997)

Other Suggestions:

View or read Corrie ten Boom's account of her sister's death in Nazi camp and the behaviour of "nursing attendants." The film version is "The Hiding Place" about Dutch rescuers of Jews in Holland.

There was an excellent plenary lecture on this at the _Nursing and the Politics of Welfare_Conference in Nottingham in 1993 or 194, by a German scholar ?Hilde Bruch. But several edited volumes came out of this conference. Not sure if there is anything much in English.

There are two kinds of nurses in the Nazi concentration camps: the prisoners who were nurses, and the nurses in the employ of the Nazis. Obviously the status of the former was very different from that of the latter. Which one are you referring to?

I dare say you have already sent your query to the H-Holocaust...Are you looking exclusively at nurses in concentration camps or also at those involved in the 'Euthanasia' programme? I guess that the case of the 'Euthanasia' programme may be significantly different in that it presented the 'ethical dilemmas' of the elimination of 'life unworthy of life' in a physical and occupational environment that was much nearer to that of the conventional medical institution whereas, in camps the work of the nurse was an adjunct to the purposes of containing, exploiting and 'punishing' 'enemies' of the German state....can contact me at