Experiments with humans during Nazism

the Third Reich took place between 1933 and 1945 in Germany, with the coming to power of the German National Socialist Workers’ Party. Its indisputable leader, one of the most tragic historical figures: Adolf Hitler.

Experiments with humans in Nazism

During this historical period, there were events that would mark history, such as the World War II, As good as the persecution and extermination of communists, Jews, homosexuals and gypsies.

One of the most unknown but equally gruesome facets of the historical period of Nazi Germany is undoubtedly the experiments carried out by the regime’s doctors with human beings as victims. Comparing the most immoral psychological experiences in history with the research of Dr. Mengele, one realizes that the Stanford prison experience was practically child’s play.

Today’s society views physicians as people who specialize in healing people, preventing them from suffering, and fighting for their well-being and health. However, during the years of Nazism, doctors performed other functions. Many doctors and researchers have been involved in experiments carried out in concentration camps. A total of 15 of the 23 doctors accused of carrying out these horrific experiments were found guilty in post-Reich trials in Germany.

Hypothermia and freezing

The study of freezing in humans was carried out with the aim of simulate the conditions undergone by the military on the Eastern Front. Much of the army died from very low temperatures or from pathologies associated with them, such as influenza or pneumonia. The experiment with humans has been the scientific basis for better predicting the reaction of bodies to cold and for using certain variables to make soldiers more resistant to these conditions.

The investigations were ordered by the doctor Sigmund Rascher in the fields of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Dachau. In 1942, Rascher presented the results at a conference. On the one hand, it showed the time it takes for a human body to freeze to death, and on the other hand, resuscitation methods have been studied for these cases.

The guinea pigs in these inhuman experiments were young Russians and Jews. Each of the victims was placed in barrels of ice water or left completely naked in the open and subjected to freezing temperatures. His body temperature was measured by a probe placed in the rectum. Most young people died when their body temperature was below 26 degrees Celsius.

In addition, when they lost consciousness and were on the verge of death, researchers performed various experiments in an attempt to revive them. these resuscitation attempts they caused great suffering to the subjects, who were kept on the verge of collapse for long and interminable minutes. They were placed under ultraviolet rays that burned the skin, or boiled water was irrigated inside the body, a practice that caused blisters to appear, or placed in tubs of water that gradually heated up.

Burns with chemicals

Buchenwald field it was also the scene of frightening inquiries. The prisoners, mainly gypsies, were burned with phosphorus, to study the consequences of certain chemical compounds on the human body.

High pressure tests at high altitude

Probably one of the most brutal experiments was that carried out by Sigmund Rascher, the same doctor who was the architect of the hypothermia investigations explained above. Himmler, Head of SS, Encouraged Rascher because study human behavior under extreme atmospheric pressure conditions. He wanted to investigate the maximum height at which paratroopers and pilots of military aircraft could jump into the void without sustaining damage.

Of the more than two hundred subjects who participated in the Rascher tests, seventy died.

When he was brought to court by the Allies after the war, one of the most gruesome investigations came to light. A report testified to Rascher’s notes, where he recounted the case of a 37-year-old Jew forced to throw himself from a height of 12,000 meters. After the third jump from this height, he suffered agony and died within minutes.

genetic experiments

The triumph of the Aryan race was one of the main objectives of the Nazis. The Aryan race, however, is a pseudo-scientific concept that Nazi propaganda used to lay the foundation for a society in which this false ethnicity marked the sieve between human and inhuman. Since Nazism, the Aryans, popularly described as blond, with blue eyes and athletic complexions, had become the pure race that would rule the planet. The people who did not respect these characteristics, a little more than should be eliminated. The laws governing marriage were aimed at investigating racial origin and determining its purity.

In the concentration camps, much research was carried out in the field of genetics in order to perfect the breed and to understand the nature of genetic defects. The best-known experiments are those carried out by the doctor Josef Mengele, Which was victimized by gypsies and twin brothers.

The so-called “angel of death” chose the subjects to be investigated as soon as they got off the train upon arrival at AusImagenchwitz field, Based on certain physical defects or rarities which may be of interest.

Mengele received intellectual support from the Kaiser William Institute of Anthropology, Eugenics and Genetics at Dahlem, and sent the reports of his research to Dr Von Verschuer, who at the University of Frankfurt taught it with his extensive knowledge. in the field of genetics of twins. .

Together with the twin brothers he used for his studies, Josef Mengele studied them for a few weeks, and after submitting them to the corresponding tests they received a lethal injection of chloroform directly into the heart.

Other frightening evidence

Other investigations and tests of unusual violence were carried out in the dark premises of the concentration camps: torture during interrogation, administering injections containing viruses to humans, Forced sterilization and study for the advancement of surgical techniques.

Without going any further, the doctor Kurt Heissmeyer was the architect at the administration of injections infected with tuberculosis to inmates of the Neungamme concentration camp. Some of these criminals were also exposed to phosgene gas in order to conduct research for an antidote for poisoning, as phosgene gas had been used as a biological weapon during WWII.

Prisoners who were investigated were also mutilated and then attempted to transplant limbs into another prisoner, also mutilated. The aim was to find out if an arm or leg transplant was possible, but the methodology used was terribly cruel and the few prisoners who did not die were mutilated. The experiment did not give any conclusive results.

Another macabre idea came from the doctor Hans eppinger, Who walked trying to find a way to make seawater drinkable. He deprived several gypsies of food and water and forced them to drink only sea water. Therefore, most of the gypsies have developed severe pathologies.

In concentration camps, poisoning by injection or ingestion of food was common. Insemination in vitro has also been tested in women, with the idea that sperm from different animals were injected to create a monster.

ethical reflections

These experiments carried out during Nazism raised in the future decisive reflections on what human experimentation should be and its ethical limits. The barbarism brought about by doctors like Mengele or Heissmeyer is an unfortunate memory of the irrationality which has led to the torture of tens of thousands of victims in the name of a science devoid of any ethics.

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