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Medical Experiments During the Holocaust

Explores different experiments of the Holocaust, involvement of the U.S., the aftermath, and recognition of the event.
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Missey Mei @--^--

on 20 March 2014

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Transcript of Medical Experiments During the Holocaust

Medical Experiments of the Holocaust
The Event
Over 30 different types of experiments took place on concentration-camp prisoners, and the most well known were experiments of freezing, twins, and bone, muscle, joint transplant, and sterilization of Jews. The doctors performed these experiments without the consent of the victims. These subjects endured mutilation, permanent disability, or many times death.
Scientists perform many experiments today for research and the betterment of human life. Today, animals and other living things are subjects to experiments, but there are rules and guidelines scientists must follow. In contrast, during the Holocaust, experiments on prisoners surpassed all limitations. Pharmaceutical experiments, experiments of races, experiments on disabled, and many others took place. These inhumane experiments severely harmed victims to an extent that those who survived suffered consequences for the rest of their lives.
Freezing Experiments
In order to find the most effective method of treating German pilots who were freezing from the low temperatures of the ocean they ejected into, Doctors Rascher, at Dachau, had various methods for experimentation. They placed subjects into icy water for up to five hours in aviator suits or naked, or they tied them naked in freezing temperatures outside. The two doctors measured the effects on the body, by recording the heart rate, body temperature, muscle reflexes, and other vital signs. If the body’s internal temperature fell to 79.7°F or below, the doctors tried to increase the temperature through hot sleeping bags, scorching baths, or forcing naked women to engage in sexual intercourse with the doctors. About 80 to 100 patients died during these experiments (Tyson).
Experiments on Twins
Josef Mengele, also known as Auschwitz's "Angel of Death," was fascinated with twins. He hoped to find the secret to multiple births to increase the population of Germany. He conducted “genetic experiments” on 1500 pairs of twins between 1943 and 1944.The twins underwent daily blood and x-ray tests daily and blood transfusions from one twin to another, sex change operations, removal of organs and limbs, and reaction to multiple stimuli. In one experiment, Mengele injected different chemicals into victims’ eyes to change the color of their eyes ((Lagnado and Dekel, 70-71). Although twins received better treatment and more food, even if for a short time, of the 3,000 pairs of twins experimented upon, only about 200 pairs survived (Lagnado and Dekel, 257).
Bone, Muscle, Joint Experiments
Doctors tried to attach a limb, joint, or muscle of one person to another who had lost that part. They wanted to study the regeneration of process of the bone, muscle, or nerve after the transplant. Dr. Herta Oberhauser amputated different parts of the body of prisoners and tired to transplant them to other prisoners at Ravensbruck (Yin). Victims suffered through these experiments without anesthesia or appropriate tool. They used hammers (Tyson). One of the victims, Vladislava Karolewska, testified, “… two weeks later we were all taken to the operating theatre again, and put on the operating tables. The bandage was removed, and that was the first time I saw my leg. The incision went so deep that I could see the bone (Yin).”
Sterilization
Nazi doctors also took X-rays of victim’s genitalia in order to sterilize them as part of their effort to prevent Jews from reproducing. As a result, many survivors had difficulty producing children. Mr. Rozenkier, a victim, reported that the sterilization shots he had received caused his genitalia to swell and bleed and caused wrenching pain for days. The shots also caused a more lasting anguish (Greenhouse).
U.S. Involvement
The United States did not take any action towards the genocide against the Jews. In August 1942, the U.S. State Department received a cable that exposed Nazi’s plan for murdering the Jews. No one passed the cable to the World Jewish Congress president, who was the intended recipient. Instead, the WJC president received the report through Britain, but United States asked him to refrain from announcing the content ("The United States and the Holocaust").
U.S. Involvement Continued...
The United States also failed to rescue the victims of the Holocaust. United States and Britain participated in a conference held at Bermuda to find solutions to wartime refugee problems. No significant conclusions resulted. In 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt received reports of mass murder of Jews from an underground Polish courier Jan Karski. These reports came from the Jewish leaders of the Warsaw ghetto. United States did not take any actions to rescue the victims until 1944. At that time, Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board. By the time the U.S. established the refugee board, four-fifths of the Holocaust prisoners who would die in the camps had already died ("The United States and the Holocaust").
Aftermath
The Holocaust left the subjects of these experiments with gruesome memories, pain, and abnormalities. These experiments separated families and many helplessly saw their family members die or put through the torture. “What they did to me is beyond right and wrong,'' said Mr. Rozenkier, who lost his parents and four siblings in the Holocaust. ‘‘ They should be punished (Greenhouse).'' Some subjects of the experiment have permanent phobia of doctors and hospitals. “Um, I really got to hate doctors...I was terribly scared of doctors,” Irene Hizme, a victim of the medical experiments at Auschwitz, said, “I still am. They're a nightmare. Hospitals are out of the question and illness is unacceptable (Hizme).”
Aftermath Continued
Today, when survivors tell stories of their torture and experiences, the audience cannot relate to them. One has to experience that kind of pain to understand, and the rest of world cannot. As a result, the world silences the survivors. As in Delbo’s work, “Who Will Carry the Word?”, Francoise says, “We’ll explain and no one will understand. We’ll never be able to make them see what we have seen. We’ll bore people the way those from First World War bored us (318).” The survivors cannot express their grief, making it harder for them share their pain.
Recognition
The Holocaust and the experiments during the Holocaust are well recognized. Courts have tried doctors conducting the experiments, and memorials are present all over the world. In addition to memorials, the German government also arranged compensation.
List of Holocaust memorials over the world:
http://www.science.co.il/holocaust-museums.asp
Doctors on Trial
Many doctors were involved in the experimentations, but six doctors committed the most serious acts. Dr. Karl Brandt, Dr. Wilhelm Beiglboeck, Dr. Herta Oberhauser, Dor Josef Mengele, Dr. August Hirt, and Dr. Carl Clauberg. At the Nuremberg "doctor's trial," twenty-three German doctors were brought to trial immediately after the war. Eight of the doctors were released, seven were sentenced to death, five were sentenced to life in prison, and four were charged for 10-20 years in prison. Only one doctor sentenced to prison served the full sentence (Yin).
Compensation
Due to the injuries survivors endured, many filed lawsuits against German companies involved in supplying the drugs and equipment for the experiments and the German government. Mr. Rozenkier filed one such lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies, Bayer and Schering, for providing experts and drugs to Dr. Mengele and other Nazi doctors for sterilizations. In order to prevent these types of lawsuits, United States and Germany created a $5 billion fund for victims of the experiments and Nazi slave laborers. Mr. Rozenkier, like many survivors, does not feel $8000 is adequate (Greenhouse).
Memorials in Berlin
Memorials are present throughout Berlin; an enormous museum is located in the center of Berlin. As of 2008, two new monuments would be built in Berlin: one in Reichstag, for the murdered Gypsies and another near Brandenburg Gate, to gays and lesbians killed in the Holocaust. Sites of concentration camps and SS headquarters are also locations of memorials. A Topography of Terror center at the location of the Gestapo and SS headquarters, and a new exhibition opened at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in October 2007. At the Dachau camp, a visitor center opened in the summer of 2008. There are also two exhibitions about the role of the German railways taking millions to the camps (Kulish).
U.S. Holocaust Museum
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located in Washington D.C. This museum focuses more on the narrative of the Holocaust rather than displaying artifacts and documents from the event. The physical objects support the narrative, rather than become the primary focus. An issue confronted during the construction of the museum was the difficulty of relating the events to the American audience. The creators did not want the audience to feel distant from the Holocaust victims. Therefore, each visitor receives an identity card as they enter, which has matching age and gender as well as the vital signs of an actual Holocaust victim. From time to time, the visitor inserts the identity card into a kiosk that declares the status of the actual victim or survivor. Eventually, most victims on the card would be dead (Ochsner). Through this method of entrance, the museum allows the visitor to relate to an actual victim and understand the experience of the Holocaust personally, rather than read about it.
http://www.ushmm.org/lcmedia/viewer/wlc/testimony.php?RefId=ISE0789F
Video
Medical Experiments During the Holocaust
Scientists perform many experiments today for research and the betterment of human life. Today, animals and other living things are subjects to experiments, but there are rules and guidelines scientists must follow. In contrast, during the Holocaust, experiments on prisoners surpassed all limitations. Pharmaceutical experiments, experiments of races, experiments on disabled, and many others took place. These inhumane experiments severely harmed victims to an extent that those who survived suffered consequences for the rest of their lives.
Over 30 different types of experiments took place on concentration-camp prisoners, and the most well known were experiments of freezing, twins, and bone, muscle, joint transplant, and sterilization of Jews. The doctors performed these experiments without the consent of the victims. These subjects endured mutilation, permanent disability, or many times death.
Freezing Experiments
In order to find the most effective method of treating German pilots who were freezing from the low temperatures of the ocean they ejected into, Doctors Rascher, at Dachau, had various methods for experimentation. They placed subjects into icy water for up to five hours in aviator suits or naked, or they tied them naked in freezing temperatures outside. The two doctors measured the effects on the body, by recording the heart rate, body temperature, muscle reflexes, and other vital signs. If the body’s internal temperature fell to 79.7°F or below, the doctors tried to increase the temperature through hot sleeping bags, scorching baths, or forcing naked women to engage in sexual intercourse with the doctors. About 80 to 100 patients died during these experiments (Tyson).
Experiment on Twins
Josef Mengele, also known as Auschwitz's "Angel of Death," was fascinated with twins. He hoped to find the secret to multiple births to increase the population of Germany. He conducted “genetic experiments” on 1500 pairs of twins between 1943 and 1944.The twins underwent daily blood and x-ray tests daily and blood transfusions from one twin to another, sex change operations, removal of organs and limbs, and reaction to multiple stimuli. In one experiment, Mengele injected
Bone, Joint, and Muscle Experiments
Doctors tried to attach a limb, joint, or muscle of one person to another who had lost that part. They wanted to study the regeneration of process of the bone, muscle, or nerve after the transplant. Dr. Herta Oberhauser amputated different parts of the body of prisoners and tired to transplant them to other prisoners at Ravensbruck (Yin). Victims suffered through these experiments without anesthesia or appropriate tool. They used hammers (Tyson). One of the victims, Vladislava Karolewska, testified, “… two weeks later we were all taken to the operating theatre again, and put on the operating tables. The bandage was removed, and that was the first time I saw my leg. The incision went so deep that I could see the bone (Yin).”
Sterilization
U.S. Involvement
The United States did not take any action towards the genocide against the Jews. In August 1942, the U.S. State Department received a cable that exposed Nazi’s plan for murdering the Jews. No one passed the cable to the World Jewish Congress president, who was the intended recipient. Instead, the WJC president received the report through Britain, but United States asked him to refrain from announcing the content ("The United States and the Holocaust").
U.S. Involvment Continued..
The United States also failed to rescue the victims of the Holocaust. United States and Britain participated in a conference held at Bermuda to find solutions to wartime refugee problems. No significant conclusions resulted. In 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt received reports of mass murder of Jews from an underground Polish courier Jan Karski. These reports came from the Jewish leaders of the Warsaw ghetto. United States did not take any actions to rescue the victims until 1944. At that time, Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board. By the time the U.S. established the refugee board, four-fifths of the Holocaust prisoners who would die in the camps had already died ("The United States and the Holocaust").
Aftermath
Nazi doctors also took X-rays of victim’s genitalia in order to sterilize them as part of their effort to prevent Jews from reproducing. As a result, many survivors had difficulty producing children. Mr. Rozenkier, a victim, reported that the sterilization shots he had received caused his genitalia to swell and bleed and caused wrenching pain for days. The shots also caused a more lasting anguish (Greenhouse).
The Holocaust left the subjects of these experiments with gruesome memories, pain, and abnormalities. These experiments separated families and many helplessly saw their family members die or put through the torture. “What they did to me is beyond right and wrong,'' said Mr. Rozenkier, who lost his parents and four siblings in the Holocaust. ‘‘ They should be punished (Greenhouse).'' Some subjects of the experiment have permanent phobia of doctors and hospitals. “Um, I really got to hate doctors...I was terribly scared of doctors,” Irene Hizme, a victim of the medical experiments at Auschwitz, said, “I still am. They're a nightmare. Hospitals are out of the question and illness is unacceptable (Hizme).”
Today, when survivors tell stories of their torture and experiences, the audience cannot relate to them. One has to experience that kind of pain to understand, and the rest of world cannot. As a result, the world silences the survivors. As in Delbo’s work, “Who Will Carry the Word?”, Francoise says, “We’ll explain and no one will understand. We’ll never be able to make them see what we have seen. We’ll bore people the way those from First World War bored us (318).” The survivors cannot express their grief, making it harder for them share their pain.
Recognition
The Holocaust and the experiments during the Holocaust are well recognized. Courts have tried doctors conducting the experiments, and memorials are present all over the world. In addition to memorials, the German government also arranged compensation. This link show a list of all buildings dedicated to the Holocaust throughout the world: http://www.science.co.il/holocaust-museums.asp
Doctors on Trial
Many doctors were involved in the experimentations, but six doctors committed the most serious acts. Dr. Karl Brandt, Dr. Wilhelm Beiglboeck, Dr. Herta Oberhauser, Dor Josef Mengele, Dr. August Hirt, and Dr. Carl Clauberg. At the Nuremberg "doctor's trial," twenty-three German doctors were brought to trial immediately after the war. Eight of the doctors were released, seven were sentenced to death, five were sentenced to life in prison, and four were charged for 10-20 years in prison. Only one doctor sentenced to prison served the full sentence (Yin).
Compensation
Due to the injuries survivors endured, many filed lawsuits against German companies involved in supplying the drugs and equipment for the experiments and the German government. Mr. Rozenkier filed one such lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies, Bayer and Schering, for providing experts and drugs to Dr. Mengele and other Nazi doctors for sterilizations. In order to prevent these types of lawsuits, United States and Germany created a $5 billion fund for victims of the experiments and Nazi slave laborers. Mr. Rozenkier, like many survivors, does not feel $8000 is adequate (Greenhouse).
Memorials in Berlin
Memorials are present throughout Berlin; an enormous museum is located in the center of Berlin. As of 2008, two new monuments would be built in Berlin: one in Reichstag, for the murdered Gypsies and another near Brandenburg Gate, to gays and lesbians killed in the Holocaust. Sites of concentration camps and SS headquarters are also locations of memorials. A Topography of Terror center at the location of the Gestapo and SS headquarters, and a new exhibition opened at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in October 2007. At the Dachau camp, a visitor center opened in the summer of 2008. There are also two exhibitions about the role of the German railways taking millions to the camps (Kulish).
U.S. Holocaust Memorial
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is located in Washington D.C. This museum focuses more on the narrative of the Holocaust rather than displaying artifacts and documents from the event. The physical objects support the narrative, rather than become the primary focus. An issue confronted during the construction of the museum was the difficulty of relating the events to the American audience. The creators did not want the audience to feel distant from the Holocaust victims. Therefore, each visitor receives an identity card as they enter, which has matching age and gender as well as the vital signs of an actual Holocaust victim. From time to time, the visitor inserts the identity card into a kiosk that declares the status of the actual victim or survivor. Eventually, most victims on the card would be dead (Ochsner). Through this method of entrance, the museum allows the visitor to relate to an actual victim and understand the experience of the Holocaust personally, rather than read about it.
Video
http://www.ushmm.org/lcmedia/viewer/wlc/testimony.php?RefId=ISE0789F
different chemicals into victims’ eyes to change the color of their eyes ((Lagnado and Dekel, 70-71). Although twins received better treatment and more food, even if for a short time, of the 3,000 pairs of twins experimented upon, only about 200 pairs survived (Lagnado and Dekel, 257).
Full transcript