The ghosts of Nazi Germany linger over Israel in surprising ways even today, with doctors still relying on medical texts from the Third Reich.Dvir Musai was only 13 when he was gravely wounded after stepping on a Palestinian landmine during the Second Intifada. He suffered severe agony for decades, but the now 31-year-old Musai was recently offered a chance at rehabilitation by a surgeon at Hadassah-University Medical Center. The catch, however, is that, for the highest chance of success the procedure would necessitate the use of a textbook written by Nazis. The New York Times reported. The textbook Atlas of Topographical and Applied Human Anatomy was written by Austrian professor of anatomy Eduard Pernkopf in 1937, though he continued to work on it until his death in 1955. The book, often referred to as the Pernkopf atlas, was written over a 20-year period by Pernkopf and four artists.The textbook Atlas of Topographical and Applied Human Anatomy was written by Austrian professor of anatomy Eduard Pernkopf in 1937, though he continued to work on it until his death in 1955. He wrote the book, often referred to as the Pernkopf atlas, over a 20-year period along with four artists.The textbook is widely hailed as a masterpiece and the accuracy and detail of its descriptions and illustrations stand out even today, when they need to compete with state-of-the-art imaging technologies.However, Pernkopf and the artists were all Nazis, and are believed to have the corpses of political prisoners, Jews and other discriminated peoples in their research – though it is unclear if any of them were victims of concentration camps. Indeed, several of the illustrations are known to have incorporated Nazi imagery, such as swastikas and SS lightning bolts.Pernkopf expelled all Jewish members of the medical school after having climbed to the position of rector at the University of Vienna. In 1939, Nazi law dictated that the bodies of all executed prisoners be sent to the nearest department of anatomy for research and teaching purposes.For 18 hours a day, Pernkopf worked tirelessly, dissecting bodies of gays, lesbians, gypsies, political prisoners and Jews killed by the Nazis, as artists drew detailed, colored images of their bodies. These drawings created what is considered today to be “the best example of anatomical drawings in the world,” the BBC explained in a report.As a result, the use of the atlas is controversial in much of the medical world, but its usage is still continued.In 2014, Dr. Susan E. Mackinnon of Washington University, St. Louis, a world-renowned nerve surgeon, saved the leg of a patient using Pernkopf’s book, which helped her trace a nerve and its branches, leading to a successful surgery.However, shortly after the surgery, Mackinnon questioned the ethics of consulting Pernkopf’s book, taking into consideration its grim history. She told BBC that the book’s unrivaled accuracy helps “figure out which of the many small nerves that course through our body are potentially causing the pain.”Bioethicist and Holocaust survivor Rabbi Joseph Polak of Boston University also commented on the book: “I hate to say it, but the illustrations are beyond spectacular.”Asked by Mackinnon about the ethics of using the book, Polak told the BBC that, “If this is going to heal this person and give them their life back, then there is no question that the atlas can be used.”Ironically, the surgeon, Dr. Madi el-Haj, was an Arab Muslim from the Galilee, and the surgery was successful due to following the atlas, which he first encountered when studying under Mackinnon.“It sounds like a good joke,” Musai said, according to the Times. “The Muslim surgeon with the Nazi atlas operating on a Jew.”Haj has reportedly used the atlas in 90% of his operations, but he makes sure to always explain the background behind it to their patients and give them the opportunity to say no to its usage.“No patient has ever refused,” he said, according to the Times. “Not ever. Because these people can make a pact with the devil to get out of their pain.”Alon Einhorn contributed to this report.