I Was A Doctor In Auschwitz has ratings and 20 reviews. M— said: I had a hard time reading this. It’s a slim little publication, not pages, but i. GISELLA PERL Manufactured in the United States of America □u ; Doctor In Auschwitz Five months later I was to see him again, in the. Forced to work for the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele at Auschwitz, Gisella Perl risked all to save as many lives as she could. This is her incredible.

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She was best known for her innovative research into female reproduction. Over the course of her professional life she delivered thousands of babies, saved countless lives, and provided medical and emotional comfort to those in need. In she, along with almost all of Sighet’s Jews, was transported to Auschwitz, where she was put to work in the infirmary. In the years since the war, her role as a physician in Auschwitz has led her work to be cast under ethical scrutiny: Perl has been simultaneously considered a murderer by some and a saint by others.

This controversy largely revolves around her role as an abortionist within the camp. The following article explores her life before, during and after the war aiming to provide a balanced view of her struggles and accomplishments.

In the interwar period it was part of Romania. At 16 years old, Gisella Perl was the only woman and the only Jew to graduate from her secondary-school class. Inhowever, their false sense of security was brought to an abrupt halt as the Nazis began their rapid extermination plan. Spreading quickly throughout Hungary, the Nazis sent the bulk of the Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Perl and her family were forced into a ghetto before being transported to Auschwitz in March Perl’s transport arrived at the gates of Auschwitz. As they entered into what, for many, would be their final resting place, families were separated into two lines: Sharp, red tongues of flame behind the sky, and the air was full of the nauseating smell of burning flesh.

There, she encountered the struggles and hardships of the rest of her transport before being selected to work in the camp “hospital. This camp was, after all, “an assault and a biological disaster” 6 leaving the women with little hope of survival.

A Gynaecologist Without Tools Although she was relieved at the prospect of working as the inmates’ gynaecologist, believing that in this capacity she would be able to provide some good to her fellow prisoners, Dr. Perl was almost immediately forced to confront the radical hopelessness of camp medicine.

In an early encounter with her new “colleagues,” Dr. Perl recalled that shortly after beginning her work in the camp hospital, she “always had most to do after food distribution. I had to bandage bloody heads, treat broken ribs, and clean wounds.

This work of mine was really quite hopeless, for the same would start all over again the next day. Former inmates often describe their daily nourishment as consisting solely of a cup of turnip soup — often with little actual turnip — containing unidentifiable chunks. Served along with this sludge was the occasional cup of camp coffee. The exact daily caloric intake of prisoners ranges between sources, with some estimating as low as calories per day, while others estimate closer to 1, calories 1, for prisoners doing light labor and 1, calories for prisoners doing heavy labor.

Although the estimates were originally even higher, 1, and 2, calories a day, respectivelythe numbers were revised once the food stolen from prisoners by other “privileged” prisoners and SS personnel was taken into consideration.


Perl remembered attempting to heal her patients with words of encouragement. In an interview with staff from the New York Times, Dr. I didn’t know when it was Rosh ha-Shanah, but I had a sense of it when the weather turned cool. So I made a party with the bread, margarine and dirty pieces of sausage we received for meals. I said tonight will be the New Year, tomorrow a better year will come.

With only one public latrine designed to accommodate between 30, and 32, women — and even then only at designated times — the latrines immediately began to overflow, leaving prisoners to wade through knee-high feces in order to relieve themselves.

I Was A Doctor In Auschwitz by Gisella Perl

Those who suffered from dysentery, a common ailment among prisoners, could not wait through the long lines into the latrines and often soiled themselves. Because prisoners almost never received new uniforms, the unfortunate prisoners with dysentery were forced to suffer the indignity, as well as the increased chance of further infection, by being forced to wear their soiled clothing. The “Angel of Death” and the “Angel of Life”: Perl Our whole being concentrated on Mengele’s hands.

Those hands had the power to condemn us to immediate execution or to prolong our miserable life by a few days 11 Is a hospital without beds, medical instruments, drugs, or bandages really a hospital? Or is it a facade of hope? For the prisoners of Auschwitz, the camp “hospital” provided minimal help either moral or medical: In fact, it could be as dangerous as the gas chambers.

The hospital in Auschwitz operated with only five doctors and four nurses, all hand selected by Dr. Surgery in Auschwitz Without any anesthesia to assist with the pain, or bandages and antibiotics to aid in the healing after, Dr. Perl performed surgery on hundreds of patients in the hospital at Auschwitz. Two types of surgery were particularly common — those on the pregnant women, and those to repair the damage done to women’s breasts through the brutality of the SS officers, who lacerated the breasts of prisoners with whips.

Perl’s work assisting fellow inmates in Auschwitz saved many lives, after the war many critics of her work asked how a doctor who truly cared about their patients could place pregnant mothers under Dr.

Mengele’s surgical knife, knowing that they were later destined for the gas chambers. The answer is simple: Upon her arrival as one of the new camp physicians, Dr.

Perl to inform him of any pregnant woman she discovered. Perl recalled during an interview in Mengele’s true intentions quickly auxchwitz apparent. Perl remembered that “At first I believed him, but later I learned that he used them, together with the physically handicapped and twins, for his inhumane medical experiments. When he finished with them, they were all waa in the gas chambers.

The greatness of these doctors, their devotion found, their recognition in the eyes closed forever of those, who, tortured by captivity and sufferings, will never speak again. Das doctor fought for a lost life and for a doomed life. He had at this disposal only a few aspirins and a great heart.

Gisella Perl

There a doctor did not work for fame, flattery of the satisfaction of his professional ambitions; all these stimuli no longer existed. The only thing that remained was a doctor’s duty to save the lives in every case and in all circumstances, an effort that was intensified by deep feeling for the human gisela, by compassion.

Then, when they collapsed, they were thrown into the crematory – alive. Gisella Perl on the treatment of pregnant women in Auschwitz Perl first arrived in Auschwitz, the fate of all pregnant women entering the camp was the same – an immediate trip to dovtor gas chambers.


Later, the fate of some became even more horrific: Perl recalled her initial experiences with Dr. Mengele’s “cure” for pregnancy in Auschwitz.

The Tragic Heroism Of Gisella Perl, “The Angel of Auschwitz”

Mengele told me that it was my duty to report every pregnant woman to him,” Dr. So women began to run directly to him, telling him, ‘I am pregnant. I decided that never again would there be a pregnant woman in Auschwitz. Perl’s startling realization of the fates of the pregnant women discovered by Dr.

Mengele, she began to perform surgeries that before the war she would have believed herself incapable of – abortions. In spite of her professional and religious beliefs as a doctor and an observant Jew, Dr. Perl began performing abortions on the dirty floors and bunks of the barracks in Auschwitz “using only my dirty hands.

Perl ended the lives of the fetuses in their mothers’ womb estimated at around 3, 21 in the hopes that the mother would survive and later, perhaps, be able to bear children.

Gisella Perl – Wikipedia

In some instances, the pregnancy was too far along to be able to perform gissella abortion. In these cases Dr. Perl broke the amnionic sac and manually dilated the cervix to induce labor. In these cases, the premature infant not yet completely developeddied almost instantly.

One of the little-discussed circumstances surrounding the issue of abortion in concentration camps was the fate of the infants who were not killed — along with their mothers — in u womb. The staff preferred this death to watching the child starve to death, according to Mengele’s orders. Perl assisted prisoners in any way possible throughout the night. She recalled the work of Dr. Perl with great reverence: Gisella Perl assisted Dr.

Mengele during the day. However, at night Dr. Perl came into the barrack and administered an ointment with glue-like consistency to every sore, in order to heal this horrific rash. Perl came periodically to Barrack No.

The rash needed several weeks to clear up; however, it would often return a few days later. In Auschwitz, there was a belief among the female prisoners that the soup we were given to eat was drugged and the drug was the reason why we suffered from this horrific rash.

Perl’s medical knowledge and willingness to risk her life by helping us, it is would be impossible to know what would have happened to me and to many other female prisoners.

I lived in Sighet, the same town as Dr.

Gisella Perl, until I was 16, when I was sent away to the ghetto. I remember what a wonderful reputation she had, and how well-known she was in our area. My mother auschwitx her patient, and my grandmother went to her husband, Dr. Igsella, who was an internist. When we both in Auschwitz, I remember she was the doctor of the Jews there.

Perl was relocated to Bergen-Belsen, where she was soon liberated at the end of the war. With her liberation only moments behind her, Dr. Perl began wandering from camp to camp in a desperate attempt to locate her family.