I was a Doctor in Auschwitz
Author: Gisella Perl
Perl’s memoir is the extraordinarily candid account of women’s extreme efforts to survive Auschwitz. Perl recalls her life before imprisonment in Auschwitz and other camps and in the struggle to remake her life. It is also the first memoir by a woman Holocaust survivor and establishes the model for understanding the gendered Nazi policies and practices targeting Jewish women as racially poisonous. Perl’s memoir is also significant for its inclusion of the Nazis’ Roma victims as well as in-depth representations of Nazi women guards and other personnel. Unlike many important Holocaust memoirs, Perl’s writing is both graphic in its horrific detail and eloquent in its emotional responses. One of the memoir’s major historical contributions is Perl’s account of being forced to work alongside Dr. Josef Mengele in his infamous so-called “clinic” and using her position to save the lives of other women prisoners.