Nazi medical experiments during World War II

Many German doctors took part in brutal and bloody experiments under the Nazi regime. In the end, only a few received sanctions.

Autopsy room in a Nazi concentration camp and print of the German Red Cross (1940). Photos: Shutterstock

During World War II, some German doctors carried out painful death sentences. experiences prisoners in concentration camps. Many victims died.

When inhumane conditions, lack of consent and questionable research standards emerged, the vast majority of modern scientists rejected the use of test results. experiences made in the fields.

Since the arrival of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor in 1933, the collusion and collective participation of health workers to enforce laws on racial segregation, protection of the Aryan race, forced sterilization programs, euthanasia programs for the mentally or physically handicapped were added. experiences Doctor on disabled and healthy prisoners and active murder of innocent prisoners.

Many German physicians and scientists had previously supported the idea of ​​racial hygiene. nazis They will come to power. But in 1933 he began to emphasize the dominance of biology and heredity.

loss experiences Focuses on: survival of military personnel, drug and treatment testing, and advancing racial goals nazis,

Medical profession in Nazi Germany

From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany waged a campaign to “purify” society of those it believed to be biological threats. to do this, nazis He received help from doctors and geneticists, as well as psychiatrists and anthropologists.

The racial health policies developed by these professionals began with the mass sterilization of many people in hospitals and other institutions trying to eliminate Jews in Europe.

Medical experiments under the Third Reich

loss experiences Doctors of the Third Reich belong to these three categories:

1- experiences for the survival of military personnel

loss experiences He sought to facilitate the survival of military personnel. practicing physicians of the German Air Force and the German Aviation Experimental Institute experiences The maximum altitude from which the crew of the damaged aircraft can be dropped by parachute. He also experimented with freezing prisoners to find a cure for hypothermia and other experiences To test the potability of sea water.

2- experiences To test drugs and treatments

other experiences They were carried out to test drugs and methods of treating injuries and illnesses to which German military personnel were exposed in the field.

With the prisoners in the camps, German doctors tested vaccine compounds and antibodies to prevent and treat diseases such as malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, yellow fever, etc. Other doctors have experimented with bone grafts. He exposed prisoners to phosgene and mustard gas to test antidotes.

3- experiences for the advancement of racial goals

loss experiences The most infamous was performed by Josef Mengele, who performed it on twins of all ages from Auschwitz. Other surveys purported to show “Jewish racial inferiority”, while others experiences He focused on the mass sterilization of Jews.

Infamous case of brutality Sigmund Rasker, the Nazi doctor who drowned many people in freezing water and killed them

Rasker was seeking hypothermia treatment for pilots killed at sea.

A Nazi doctor immersed people in tanks of flavored water to study the effect of cold on the body. He conducted experiments on 300 prisoners and a hundred of them died.

Dr. Rasher also experimented with a decompression chamber to simulate altitudes of up to 20 km. Many people died inside the chamber.

Herta Oberheuser, Perversion and sadness

This nurse removed and re-implanted body parts to test recovery.

He was one of the most ruthless of personalities, with a sadism that nearly killed all of his victims in the operating room.

They used sulfonamines, drugs believed to be used to fight bacterial infections and leprosy. In such a situation, they were used to investigate the effect on prisoners.

To do this, Herta inflicted wounds similar to those of German soldiers on the battlefield. Then they were infused with wood shavings, glass, rusty nails or dirt to deliver the drug topically.

The victims were called “Kanichen” or “Guinea Pigs”. The nurse severed some of the prisoners’ organs to see how muscle and nerve regeneration was going or if transplants were needed. First, he struck with a chisel or a hammer, then sewed up the affected parts, then reopened the wounds to see the result.

After the war, only a few of these brutal figures were professionally disciplined, as most continued to ply their trade.

Sources consulted: El País, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, La Vanguardia and BBC

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