PDF Subscribe


Sari J. Siegel

Junior Fellow (03/2015 - 08/2015)


Between Coercion and Resistance. Jewish Prisoner-Physicians in Nazi-Camps


Siegel webThe research examines an important yet widely overlooked group in Holocaust history—Jewish inmates who utilized their medical knowledge in Nazi camps. Focusing on the labour, concentration, and extermination camp systems in the Reich between 1938 and 1945, it draws particular attention to the dynamic natures of camp conditions and the prisoner-physicians’ strategies to save their own lives as they attempted to treat fellow inmates and uphold their Hippocratic promise to ‚do no harm.‘ The work combines survivor testimonies and legal documents with contemporary government and organisational records for insight into how contextual variables and individual traits shaped the actions of these doctors in the camps. Since the prisoner-physicians’ medical activities placed them within survivor and memoirist Primo Levi’s ‚gray zone‘, analysis of their behavioral shifts allows to illuminate a new aspect of this morally ambiguous realm.


Sari Siegel is a doctoral student supervised by Prof. Wolf Gruner at the Univ. of Southern California. Born and raised in New York, she received her BA with Distinction in History from Yale Univ. She is the American recipient of the 2014 IfZ-USHMM Exchange of Scholars Award and a 2014-15 Kagan Fellow. She has presented her research at several international conferences, and her article Treating Dr. Maximilian Samuel: A Case Study of an Auschwitz Prisoner-Doctor will appear in a forthcoming issue of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

May 2024
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2

The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


bmbwf en 179


wienkultur 179


 BKA Logo srgb