Human Behavior in the Concentration Camp Author:Dr. Elie A. Cohen This remarkable book was written by a Dutch physician who was himself a prisoner at Auschwitz for three years. It reports with striking objectivity on the mentality of the prisoners in the concentration camp and on their Nazi masters. "It is a human document," says the London Times, "that is one of the most moving and at the same time scientific... more »ally most distinguished books to have come out of the postwar period."
After his release from imprisonment -- and after having lost every member of his family at the hands of the Nazis -- Dr. Cohen returned to Holland to write, with a complete avoidance of emotional bias, a psychological study that would describe and explain how the prisoners acted and why they -- and their monstrous jailers -- acted as they did. He gives a detailed picture of life in the concentration camp -- the three stages of adaptation, the defense of "depersonalization," the survival value of spiritual beliefs. He examines some of the medical aspects of camp life, including the medical "experiments" such as freezing, germs, gas and drugs. And finally he comes to his prime object, to give the psychological answer to the question: what enabled the SS-men to perpetrate these inhuman acts?
Dr. Cohen's book is an achievement of the highest order and of lasting worth. In the revelation both of the baseness and the greatness of human beings, the impression it makes is unforgettable and profound. This extraordinary record is a lesson for all humanity.« less