joachim neander wrote:At Birkenau, the camp hospital (Häftlingskrankenbau, abbreviated HKB, in camp parlance das Revier) was run by prisoner doctors. There were also SS doctors and paramedics, but they treated SS personnel in the SS hospital, which was outside the camp, and in rare cases, non-Jewish German (Reichsdeutsch) prisoners within the camp, but never Jews. As the SS was very much afraid of contagious diseases, the supervision of the HKB was rather superficial. Therefore the prisoner doctors had much leeway, and many of them did their best for the sick inmates. Their best - because, as Wiesel rightfully remarks, their means were very much limited. There was a chronic lack of medicines, vaccines, and dressing material, and operations on the prisoners had to be carried out under primitive conditions.
There is one big problem in understanding Birkenau, by Revisionists as well as by the uninformed masses: Birkenau was by far not only a place of mass killing (doubted by Revisionists), but also a huge forced labor camp and a giant turntable for hundreds of thousands of men and women, who were sent from there to CCs in the Reich as forced laborers. These functions existed side by side. That makes Birkenau unique in the system of Nazi concentration camps and has lead to many misconceptions.
You present yourself as an expert without ever providing documentation or sources for your propaganda. I guess you post here to provide a counter for those newbies and uninitiated who come here to see what they can learn because you sure don't fool the members who have done their homework on these topics.
As for "Wiesel rightfully remarking" on the quality of the medical care in Birkenau --- the Wiesel you refer to probably was not even there and the story in Night was written by someone else, but be that as it may --- if "the SS was very much afraid of contagious diseases" as you say, why does Wiesel in his book have the SS constantly in the barracks abusing prisoners like his sick father, mostly just out of meanness? It is my understanding that the SS guards did not go into the barracks; that's what the block leaders were for. Yet in Wiesel's book and so many other survivor stories, the SS guards are portrayed as intimately involved with the prisoners in an abusive manner, in the barracks, in the infirmaries, in the latrines ... everywhere. It's all fiction and cannot be pointed to as proof of anything.
You write this:
Therefore the prisoner doctors had much leeway, and many of them did their best for the sick inmates. Their best - because, as Wiesel rightfully remarks, their means were very much limited. There was a chronic lack of medicines, vaccines, and dressing material, and operations on the prisoners had to be carried out under primitive conditions.
You are just making this up based on what has been "passed down." How do you think the operating conditions at the Front and to the rear of the Front were being carried out? Under pristine conditions? As Eric asked and you ignored: Why wasn't Wiesel just sent to the gas chamber? Why take care of his foot at all? A weakling like him couldn't have been all that valuable.
An additional, very important point: In All Rivers Run to the Sea, Wiesel writes about his KNEE operation, on page 90.
One of the doctors, a tall, kind-looking man, tried to comfort me. "It won't hurt, or not much anyway. Don't worry, my boy, you'll live." He talked to me before the operation, and I heard him again when I woke up. I believe he had kept talking the whole time.
Even in Night, page 83-84, it reads
At ten o-clock in the morning, they took me into the operating room. "My" doctor was there. I took comfort from this. I felt that nothing serious could happen while he was there. There was balm in every word he spoke, and every glance he gave me held a message of hope. "It will hurt you a bit," he said, "but that will pass. Grit your teeth." The operation lasted an hour. They had not put me to sleep. I kept my eyes fixed upon my doctor. Then I felt myself go under ... When I came round, opening my eyes, I could see nothing at first but a great whiteness, my sheets, then I noticed the face of my doctor bending over me: "Everything went off well. You're brave, my boy. Now you're going to stay here for two weeks, rest comfortably and it will be over. You'll eat well, and relax your body and your nerves."
In this account, he says they did not put him to sleep, but they obviously gave him a heavy local anesthetic and probably some kind of tranquilizers. I personally have been through surgery more than once with local anethetic, which is preferable to being "put under" which is more dangerous and mainly for the convenience of the doctors and nurses. Or for scaredy cats. These passages do not fit the common holo promotion from people like Zisblatt that prisoners were operated on without anesthetic. And you subtly push that same idea.