Press Kit (PDF)

“Lifton’s elegantly reasoned, 87-minute response to events that were famously declared to have put an end to poetry brings us closer to the truth of what happened than gruesome images ever could.”Village Voice

“Galvanizing documentary….With its contemplative pauses and subtle angle changes, the picture provides a full appreciation of Lifton's analysis and the impact that this study personally had on the man, himself a physician.”Variety

“Excellent new documentary.” Jewish Week

An intense and illuminating conversationalist, world renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton discusses the processes by which ordinary doctors became murders, issues at the heart of his groundbreaking 1986 book “The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide” (winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize & National Jewish Book Award). Dr. Lifton, a prolific author, founding member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985) and a pioneer in the field of psychohistory, interviewed dozens of Holocaust perpetrators, including 40 former Nazi physicians.

In Nazi Doctors we meet Lifton at his home on Cape Cod, where he engages in a lively discussion with Veteran German filmmakers Wolfgang Richter and Hannes Karnick about the doctors who served in Auschwitz (“doctors were at the heart of it”), the circumstances under which they were currently living (financially affluent, some still practicing), and their attitude toward him (nervous, “unctuous”). With carefully calibrated analysis and a surprising amount of humor, Lifton leads us through the “acculturation to killing” that the camps fostered, the process of “splitting” or “doubling” which allowed doctors to strike a Faustian bargain, and his belief that “any one of us might find ourselves in service to evil.”

“This is a fascinating, compelling, profoundly disturbing movie that miraculously leaves one agreeing with Lifton that ‘there is room for hope.’”
– Karen Cooper, Director, Film Forum


“Robert Jay Lifton is enthralling.” –Epd film (German film monthly)

“Because Lifton is able to talk about very complicated issues in a clear and comprehensible manner, one is captivated when listening. You can virtually see thoughts turn into words.” –Epd Film

“Very exciting...a brilliant insight into a very dark chapter of German history, illuminated by a vibrant thinker who has kept, in spite of it all, his healthy sense of humor." –Film-echo

“A film portrait of the scientist and cofounder of International Physicians for the Prevention of the Atomic War to whom we listen with growing admiration.” –Konkret Magazine


Hannes Karnick and Wolfgang Richter, both born in 1947, work as a producing and directing team. In 1972 they founded a production company "docfilm" which produces documentaries on politics, culture and society for TV and theatrical release with special interest in current affairs and historical subjects. Their films have been screened in many international film festivals in Germany and abroad. Karrick and Richter are both founding members of the German Documentary Filmmaker's Association (AG DOK), and Richter is a member of the German Federation of Film Critics and a member of the German Film Academy.


Huffington Post: Nazi Doctors, Hiroshima and Today

NPR: A Century of Atrocities, Through a Psychiatrist's Eyes

Home Use DVD:

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $195

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us


Back to Top

Robert Jay Lifton:
Nazi Doctors

Germany, 2009,
86 minutes, color, In English
Produced & Directed by Hannes Karnick & Wolfgang Richter

Buy Now

Public Exhibition formats: Beta, DVD





Join our mailing list!