The Best Essay Written This Year!
After reading the first three paragraphs of Emily Bazelon’s essay, The Nazi Anatomists, How the corpses of Hitler’s victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics, I realized I was hooked. She could’ve put the literary equivalent of the phone book after those three paragraphs, and I’d read every word.
This is the writing in the big leagues, top of the line, cream of the crop, etc. This essay is going to be used in schools and colleges to show others what possibilities the essay has to offer.
Read it. You’ll never forget it.
James Alan Pilant
Nazi anatomy history: The origins of conservatives’ anti-abortion claims that rape can’t cause pregnancy.
In 1941, Charlotte Pommer graduated from medical school at the University of Berlin and went to work for Hermann Stieve, head of the school’s Institute of Anatomy. The daughter of a bookseller, Pommer had grown up in Germany’s capital city as Hitler rose to power. But she didn’t appreciate what the Nazis meant for her chosen field until Dec. 22, 1942. What she saw in Stieve’s laboratory that day changed the course of her life—and led her to a singular act of protest.
Stieve got his “material,” as he called the bodies he used for research, from nearby Plötzensee Prison, where the courts sent defendants for execution after sentencing them to die. In the years following the war, Stieve would claim that he dissected the corpses of only “dangerous criminals.” But on that day, Pommer saw in his laboratory the bodies of political dissidents. She recognized these people. She knew them.
On one table lay Libertas Schulze-Boysen, granddaughter of a Prussian prince. She’d been raised in the family castle, gone to finishing school in Switzerland, and worked as the Berlin press officer for the Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She joined the Nazi Party in 1933. On a hunting party, she flirted with Hermann Göring, commander of the Luftwaffe, the German air force. But in 1937 Schulze-Boysen joined the resistance with her husband, Harro, a Luftwaffe lieutenant. They helped form a small rebel group the Nazis called the Red Orchestra. When Libertas started working for Hitler’s movie empire in 1941, she gathered photos of atrocities from the front for a secret archive. Harro was transferred to Göring’s command center and with other dissidents started passing to the Soviets detailed information about Hitler’s plan to invade Russia. The Gestapo decoded their radio messages in 1942 and arrested Harro at the end of August. They came for Libertas eight days later. Both she and her husband were sentenced to death for espionage and treason.
From around the web.
From the web site, Bullying Prevention.
No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily
Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social
and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings
readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the
ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes
devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes
us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the
website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.
Along the way, Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as
important, what it is not. She explores when intervention is essential
and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She
also dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys, that
online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct, that bullying is a
common cause of suicide, and that harsh criminal penalties are an
effective deterrent. Above all, she believes that to deal with the
problem, we must first understand it.