5th Medical Review Auschwitz: Medicine Behind the Barbed Wire

The aim of the conference is to educate the world’s medical community about the medical ethics and practice in the context of the Second World War, looking into the behavior of physicians and other medical professionals imprisoned in Nazi German concentration camps, prisons, ghettoes, or other places of detainment, as well as bringing to light the malpractice and ethical violations of the Nazi German doctors, hoping to demonstrate the implications of the history of medicine during that period for contemporary medical practice and healthcare policy.

The conference is part of the Medical Review Auschwitz project, developed with the aim of sharing with the international community the unique scientific documents published over 31 years (1961–1991) in the medical journal Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim (Medical Review – Auschwitz).

We hope that this annual conference makes a significant contribution to further the understanding of one of the darkest chapters in the history of medicine, both by spreading the knowledge of the often heroic attempts by medical professionals to counteract the grim reality of the war and the Holocaust and by educating about those physicians who became the perpetrators themselves. By doing this we intend to help the international community draw a lesson for future generations.