At the time I did wonder whether Hitler's seizure of power might not prove helpful to me. In medical school my fellow students were often complaining that opportunities for doctors were getting worse every year, because Germany had so many doctors. But if Hitler came to power he would 'eliminate' our Jewish competition, and then we 'Aryans' could have a profitable practice . . .
Of course that was nonsense -- in 1932 and '33 there were about 50,000 licensed physicians in all of Germany, not even half the number we have today in the Federal Republic alone. But many viewed the mere 10,000 Jewish doctors as a serious threat to our profession. People were envious of the Jews because they attracted more patients and because so many of the most distinguished physicians were Jewish. For someone like me, a civil servant's son without independent means, the prospects for setting up private practice weren't exactly rosy . . .
Please don't misunderstand! At home we had Jewish neighbors with whom we got along splendidly; and whenever one of us was sick my parents would call our old Jewish family doctor. No, I wasn't prejudiced! Besides, when the Nazis promised to 'eliminate' the Jewish competition, I pictured something quite harmless, perhaps a temporary limit on the licensing of Jewish doctors or something of that nature . . . -- Engelmann, 13
My father always claimed he would have been promoted long before if it hadn't been for the Catholics and the Jews. When Hitler was promoted to chancellor he was beside himself with joy. 'Now I'll be made presiding judge' he told my mother. --Engelmann, 28