In the name of Hippocrates - Doctors deported to Natzweiler concentration camp

The exhibition shall be on desplay at the European Center on Resistance and Deportation from 15th September 2018 to 15th June 2019.

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis deported many doctors on political and racial grounds. These doctors were not set in a separate category of deportees and were treated neither better nor worse that the other prisoners. However, because of their status, they sometimes payed a specific role in the camps - Nazis might use them as assistants during their experiments and the deportees saw them as miraculous saviours in the fight against diseases.

Although the topic of Nazi doctors working in the camps is well documented, few studies have focused on deported doctors. And yet, some essential questions remain unanswered: what can a doctor in a camp do to combat the often acute pathologies when he is himself weakened and deprived of ressources? What is the purpose behind practising medicine in a camp where death reign? To bring comfort? An act of resistance? To use your skills to save your skin?

Taking the concentration camp at Natzweiler and ist annex camps as an example, the exhibition provides some avenues for thought based on archive material and testimonies, without claiming to be exhastive as to this complex theme.

Edouard Steegmann, illustrator, has created eight original drawings for the exhibition to compensate for the scarcity of archive photographs. As a counterpoint to the presentation of the deported doctors, artist Angélique Bègue offers original works focusing on the medical experiments perpetrated by the Nazi doctors in violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

The film "Prisoner 9157" directed by André Elias and Emmanuelle Vandycke on the life of Dr. Georges Boogaerts will also be visible during the exhibitiont. "In 1944, Dr. Georges Boogaerts, a Belgian surgeon held as a political prisoner in the Struthof concentration camp, resists losing his humanity by helping the sick in the infirmary. He becomes a key witness of the Nazis’ medical experiments and secret crimes committed in the crematorium block."

Trailer: Prisonnier 9157