During the holocaust prisoners of concentration camps were faced with evil, torture and death every day. Some of the prisoners in these camps were selected for Nazi medical experiments. Nazi doctors performed several different human experiments on prisoners throughout the Holocaust. A specifically horrific experiment was the twin experiments. This experiment was performed by Dr. Joseph Mengele and several of his assistants in Auschwitz. He is known for performing some of the most inhumane experiments during the holocaust.
Holocaust prisoners left, together, in cold dark water for hours at a time. Were their punishments for nothing? Or did their suffering somehow help us today? Between the years of 1939 and 1945, also known as the Holocaust; the Nazi’s took test subjects from groups of people to perform procedures and experiments on. Unfortunately, all of these so-called “important tests” were exceptionally inhumane. A few examples of the procedures performed were leaving prisoners in freezing cold water for three hours straight or only allowing them to drink pure ocean water for two weeks straight. For the most part, what those German doctors did was unnecessary due to the fact that the outcome was highly predictable. But over the course of the intense studies, a few valid and useful tidbits of information did surface. Some of the research findings from Nazi medical testings during the Holocaust continue to benefit today's modern medical development.
The chapter on Nazi medical experiments in Chalmers’ book is one of the most fascinating chapters because it examines the different types of techniques that the Nazi’s used to sterilize men and women. Chalmers explains that women were particularly subject to medical experiments because the Nazis were obsessed with destroying inferior races and wanted to perfect the art of sterilization so no more undesirable elements would be born (Ibid 123). However, both men and women were subject to Nazi medical experiments like medical injections, X-Rays, and chemicals, which resulted in burnt skin, abnormalities, and death. Among these experimentations many chemical companies, doctors, and University professors supported the experiments being done on
“I will remember that there is an art to medicine as well as a science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife and the chemist’s drug.” (Louis Lasagna). However, the doctors of the holocaust didn’t care, and used the victims as guinea pigs for the results. The medical experiments performed during the Holocaust had horrific outcomes for those experimented upon.
Many claim that doctors were only advancing science, and others claim the horrid acts that were committed were done because of the hatred towards the Jewish people. Regardless of which fact is inevitably true, both situations caused cruel and inhuman treatment to the Jews, and ultimately led to their deaths at the camps. A civilian doctor named Carl Clauberg was famous for his sterilization experiments. The procedure involved injections to the cervix to destroy the fallopian tubes, and then often the victims were gassed and left for dead (Winik 9). When the Jews arrived on transports, Nazi doctors immediately determined who would be gassed and who would go to a work camp (Winik 8). In Auschwitz, Nazi doctors presided over the murder of most of the one million victims of that camp. “Doctors consulted actively on how best to keep selections running smoothly, on how many people to permit to remain alive to fill the slave labor requirements” … “and on how to burn the enormous numbers of bodies that strained the facilities of the crematoria (Gutman 303). In the book, “Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp,” Yisrael Gutman offers a summary of the events that took place at Auschwitz:
These experiments were not only full of hate but also used for the advancement of medicine and effective treatment of the patient. Some were just out of fascination and believed they were for the better of the Aryan race. Injecting prisoners with chemicals, raising and lowering body temperature, and comparing the vitals of twins under extreme conditions are just three ways doctors of the Holocaust used prisoners for medical advancement. Since that age and time we have strived to move forward from that period and time and focus more on the patient's well being rather than the
Mengele called the experiments sessions. “After one of these sessions, she developed a high fever and swelling in her arms and legs, and Mengele put her in ‘the hospital’ which was actually a place to keep victims who were expected to die” (Wells). The people that were sent to ‘the hospital’ weren’t given food or water. They also weren’t given medications either. “If she had died, her sister would have been killed so the Nazi’s could perform an autopsy and compare the twins in death, too” (Wells). One of Mengele’s experiments consisted of “Gypsy twins who had been taken away for surgery returned joined at the back” (Wells). Mengele had tried to join the twins by attaching the boys and joining blood vessels together. The boys ended up dying three days later. “Out of 1,500 sets of twins subjected to the Mengele experiments, fewer than 200 individuals survived” (Wells). The experiments had a negative effect on the survivor’s health later on. “The experiment’s permanently stunted the growth of Miriam Mozes’ kidney’s, Kor said, and in 1985 she developed a rare form of cancer probably attributed to the experiments. She died in 1987” (Wells). Kor never forgave the Nazi’s or Dr. Mengele for what they had done until several years
The ignoble experiments of the nazi regime included exposure to freezing/ hypothermia, tests on the genetics of an individual, exposure to infectious diseases, undergoing of interrogation and torture, most effective and inexpensive methods of killing/ mass genocide, exposure to conditions resembling high altitude, pharmacological tests, sterilization of an individual, the undergoing of different surgeries, and inflicting traumatic injuries on the patent undergoing the experiment. The experiments done by nazis on prisoners were in an effort to find ways to cure burns, hypothermia, infections, and ways to mass exterminate the jews in the most cost efficient way possible.
Doctors of the Holocaust For the doctors of the Holocaust killing became the prerequisite for healing. The Nazi doctors at the death camps tortured men, women, and children. The doctors made injections with lethal germs, sex change operations, and removed organs and limbs. For a doctor, phenol injections were the most literal example of the entire healing-killing reversal.
During World War II, there were many acts of cruelty done towards people seen as unsuitable or worthless to the Nazis. These people included Jew, homosexuals, gypsies, and the handicapped. In this paper, I'm going to describe the medical experiments that were performed on inmates by Nazi doctors during the Holocaust. These experiments include: the twin experiments, the freezing experiments, the seawater experiments, and the bone grafting and nerve experiments.
The doctors who examined the incoming prisoners and sorted them also worked in these hospitals performing medical research on the ill. This medical research was mostly placing the Jewish prisoners in ice water baths then monitoring them until they died. This research was mostly used to prevent hypothermia if German Pilots ever ended up being stranded in the ocean. Some of the experiments performed by doctors often had no research purpose at all, such as experiments involving eye color changing using chemical droppers and the surgical sewing of children together to create siamese twins. Auschwitz was the largest death camp with 20,000 Jews being killed a day and 39 subcamps.
During the Holocaust the Jews were tortured and kill. But were the benefits of science justified for the jewish. Nazi doctors conducted almost as many as 30 different types of experiments on prisoners that were in the concentration camps. You will also find out Hitler’s views on the experiments. And also why they did this.
Some of the experiments they used them for included treatments for hypothermia, maximum height that crews from damaged aircraft could parachute to safety, making seawater safe to drink, treatments for contagious diseases, test drug efficacy, sterilization, and Josef Mengele’s experiments on twins (Medical). Although many other SS physicians conducted experiments in the camps, Mengele’s are the most famous. Before he came to the camps, he performed numerous experiments on twins. When he arrived at the camps he was told it was okay to kill them, so he took that opportunity to perform long, painful and dangerous experiments
The Nuremberg Doctor’s trial of 1946 involves human experimentation performed by the Nazi doctors. These physicians were accused of conducting torturous “experiments” with concentration camp inmates. During these studies, physicians conducted treatments that were not permitted and caused severe injuries to the participants, and in some cases, participants died as a result of this. Prisoners were left to freeze to study more on hypothermia. Later, during December 9th, 1946 to August 20th, 1947 representatives establish a Nuremberg trial to prosecuted these doctors for the atrocities that they committed and 23 out 15 were found guilty. As a result, the Nuremberg code was created to