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Grotjahn, M. (1954). Human Behavior in the Concentration Camp: By Dr. Elie A. Cohen. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1953. 295 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 23:458-459.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:458-459

Human Behavior in the Concentration Camp: By Dr. Elie A. Cohen. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1953. 295 pp.

Review by:
Martin Grotjahn

The bloody bestiality of the Third Reich, its nightmarish but efficient brutality, the sadism disguised as medical research, and the unassuming heroism of its eight million victims are here coolly and carefully described and documented. The author—he is the sole survivor of his family, killed at Auschwitz—writes because he must, and even today prefers to quote the experiences of others rather than his own. His quotations from psychoanalytic literature show little analytic understanding, and his attempts to explain the behavior of the prisoners and the monstrous cruelty of the S.S. remain unconvincing. The collection of material, however, is unsurpassed and concerns the concentration camp, particularly its medical aspects, and the extermination of human beings by gas chambers and death marches. Special chapters describe the medical experiments which involved high altitudes, freezing, infection with typhus or malaria, gassing, bone transplantation, exposure to sea water, sterilization, and 'euthanasia'.

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