Healing by Killing | Chicago Reader

Healing by Killing

The careers of Dr. Irmfried Eberl, the first director of Treblinka, and Dr. Carl Clauberg, who oversaw the sterilization of women at Auschwitz, are carefully traced in this persuasive yet circular documentary about the medical practices underpinning the Holocaust. Extensive interviews with an SS doctor, people who were forcibly sterilized, and doctors and psychiatrists who discuss the role of medical professionals in general and during the Holocaust are intercut with the two biographies, as are brief interviews with contemporary medical students responding to questions about the Hippocratic oath. One young man says medical ethics shouldn't be taught to medical students because their course loads are heavy enough already. But clips such as this, intended to suggest how ignorance and apathy can lead to cruelty and injustice, are nakedly rhetorical when juxtaposed with the depiction of Eberl and Clauberg as self-aggrandizing sociopaths. Directed by Nitzan Aviram.

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