When I was in school everyone was taught about the second world war and the Holocaust, but I don’t ever remember anything being said about the human experiments or euthanasia in Germany that also were happening parallel to them. I have only recently learned of this and find it very sickening and heart breaking.

Watching the documentary linked above, has given me a huge insight into the experiments. 1939 Hitler wanted this aryen race or master race and the disabled didn’t fit in his idea of a master race. The disabled were seen as ‘ life unworthy of life’ or ‘usless eaters’, using up beds that could be used for wounded soldiers of the war. 70,000 Germans and Austrians were ‘euthanised’ in Germany and Poland. They would either die from starvation while being observed as they died or Euthanised by lethal injection. Most of these disabled people would have lived a long life but the process was seen and the ‘elimination from the chain of heredity’ named action T4. this took place in asylems and hospitals, one mentioned was Grafeneck, a long way from anywhere.

Not only were they murdering these people they were perform experiments on people consigned to death, collected the brains and considered it legitimate for research purposes. They claim they did it to find cures for disease, for the betterment of mankind, to contribute to the war effort. But it was also for selfish reasons, to advance their careers and satisfy their curiosity about the human body, the limits and possibilities. Shrinking heads? is not for the betterment of mankind. These experiments were sadistic crimes and the doctors were held accountable for some of these crimes in 1948.

 

Four counts:

 

  1. Conspiracy to commit war crimes against humanity: The ordering, planning, and organization of the war crimes and crimes against humanity charged in counts two and three. Charged against all of the defendants. The tribunal decided not to convict on this charge.
  2. War crimes: Charged against all defendants. 15 guilty, 8 acquitted.
  3. Crimes against humanity: Charged against all defendants. 15 guilty, 8 acquitted.
  4. Membership in a criminal organization:  Membership in the SS. Charged against K. Brandt, Genzken, Gebhardt, R. Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Brack, Hoven, and Fischer. All found guilty.

 

Experiments and other “medical” crimes itemized in counts 2 and 3:

 

  1. High-altitude experiments. March – August 1942. Conducted for the German air force to investigate the effect of high-altitude flying; experiments were conducted at the Dachau camp using a low-pressure chamber. Charged against Becker-Freyseng, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Romberg, Ruff, Schroeder, Sievers, and Weltz. Charges against K. Brandt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick were withdrawn. R. Brandt and Sievers were convicted.
  2. Freezing experiments. August 1942 – May 1943. Conducted primarily for the German air force to investigate treatments for persons who had been severely chilled, using prisoners at the Dachau camp. Charged against Becker-Freyseng, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Schroeder, Sievers, and Weltz. Becker-Freyseng, K. Brandt, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, and Weltz were acquitted; R. Brandt, Handloser, Schroeder, and Sievers were convicted.
  3. Malaria experiments. February 1942 – April 1945. Conducted to test immunization for and treatment of malaria; experiments were conducted on more than 1000 prisoners at Dachau. Charged against Blome, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Rostock, and Sievers. (Evidence was also presented against Rose, but no judgment was reached.) No judgment was made concerning Mrugowsky. Blome, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Poppendick, and Rostock were acquitted; Sievers was convicted.
  4. Mustard (“lost”) gas experiments. September 1939 – April 1945. Conducted for the benefit of the German armed forces to investigate treatment of injuries caused by Lost (mustard) gas; experiments were conducted at Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler, and other camps. Charged against Blome, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Rostock, and Sievers. Blome, Gebhardt, Handloser, and Rostock were acquitted; K. Brandt, R. Brandt, and Sievers were convicted.
  5. Sulfanilamide experiments. July 1942 – September 1943. Conducted for the benefit of the German armed forces to test the effectiveness of sulfanilamide and other drugs as treatments for infected wounds; experiments were conducted at Ravensbrueck. Charged against Becker-Freyseng, Blome, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Fischer, Gebhardt, Genzken, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Oberheuser, Poppendick, Rostock, and Schroeder. Charges against Becker-Freyseng, Blome, and Schroeder were withdrawn. No judgment was reached concerning R. Brandt. Genzken, Poppendick, and Rostock were acquitted; K. Brandt, Fischer, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, and Oberheuser were convicted.
  6. Bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration, and bone transplant experiments. September 1942 – December 1943. Conducted for benefit of German armed forces, using Polish inmates at the Ravensbrueck camp. Charged against K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Fischer, Gebhardt, Handloser, Oberheuser, and Rostock. Charge against R. Brandt withdrawn. K. Brandt, Handloser, and Rostock were acquitted; Fischer, Gebhardt, and Oberheuser were convicted.
  7. Seawater experiments. July – September 1944. Conducted for the German air force and navy to test methods of making seawater drinkable; experiments were conducted at Dachau. Charged against Becker-Freyseng, Beiglboeck, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Rostock, Schaefer, Schroeder, and Sievers. The charge against Mrugowsky was withdrawn. K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Handloser, Poppendick, Rostock, and Schaefer were acquitted; Becker-Freyseng, Beiglboeck, Gebhardt, Schroeder, and Sievers were convicted.
  8. Epidemic jaundice experiments. June 1943 – January 1945. Conducted for the benefit of the German armed forces to investigate causes of and inoculations against epidemic jaundice; experiments were conducted on Polish prisoners at Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler camps. Charged against Becker-Freyseng, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Rose, Rostock, Schroeder, and Sievers. Charges against Becker-Freyseng, Rose, and Sievers were withdrawn. R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Handloser, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Rostock, and Schroeder were acquitted; K. Brandt was convicted.
  9. Typhus (“spotted fever”) and other vaccine experiments. December 1941 – February 1945. Conducted for the benefit of the German armed forces to test the effectiveness of vaccines against typhus, smallpox, cholera, and other diseases; experiments were conducted at Buchenwald and Natzweiler. Charged against Becker-Freyseng, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Genzken, Handloser, Hoven, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Rose, Rostock, Schroeder, and Sievers. Becker-Freyseng, K. Brandt, Gebhardt, Poppendick, and Rostock were acquitted; R. Brandt, Genzken, Handloser, Hoven, Mrugowsky, Rose, Schroeder, and Sievers were convicted.
  10. Poison experiments. December 1943 and September – October 1944. Conducted to investigate the effect of various poisons, including poison in food and poisoned bullets; experiments were conducted at Buchenwald (food) and Sachsenhausen (bullets). Charged against Gebhardt, Genzken, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick. Gebhardt, Genzken, and Poppendick were acquitted; Mrugowsky was convicted.
  11. Incendiary bomb experiments. November 1943 – January 1944. Conducted to test pharmaceutical treatments for phosphorus burns; experiments were conducted at Buchenwald, involving the infliction of burns by materials from incendiary bombs. Charged against Gebhardt, Genzken, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick. All were acquitted.
  12. Sterilization experiments. March 1941 – January 1945. Conducted to develop methods of rapid, large scale sterilization in order to ensure the eventual elimination of “enemy” populations while keeping captive workers as a labor force during the war. Experiments were planned and/or conducted at Auschwitz, Ravensbrueck, and elsewhere employing drugs, x-rays, and surgery. Charged against Brack, K. Brandt, R. Brandt, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, Oberheuser, Pokorny, and Poppendick. The charges against Mrugowsky and Oberheuser were withdrawn. K. Brandt, Pokorny, and Poppendick were acquitted; Brack, R. Brandt, and Gebhardt were convicted.
  13. Skeleton collection. June 1943 – September 1944. Conducted to complete a skeleton collection for an anatomical research project at the Reich University of Strasbourg; one hundred twelve Jews at Auschwitz were killed for the purpose. Charged against R. Brandt and Sievers; both were convicted.
  14. Tubercular Polish nationals. May 1942 – January 1944. Polish nationals alleged to have incurable tuberculosis were imprisoned or killed on the pretext of protecting the health of Germans in Poland. Charged against Blome and R. Brandt; both were acquitted.
  15. Euthanasia. September 1939 – April 1945. Involved the secret killing of the aged, insane, incurably ill, deformed children, and others, beginning at asylums in Germany and later in the camps and occupied territories. Charged against Blome, Brack, K. Brandt, and Hoven. Blome was acquitted; Brack, K. Brandt, and Hoven were convicted.

 

Other charges:

 

  1. Phenol (gas oedema) experiments. 1942 – 1944. Conducted to investigate whether levels of phenol in gas oedema serum caused fatalities among wounded soldiers; experiments were conducted on prisoners at Buchenwald. Charged against Handloser, Hoven, and Mrugowsky. Handloser was acquitted; Hoven and Mrugowsky were convicted.
  2. Phlegmon experiments. 1942. Conducted to test treatments for sepsis and related diseases, in coordination with sulfanilamide experiments at Ravensbrueck; experiments were conducted at Dachau and Auschwitz. Charged against Fischer, Oberheuser, and Poppendick; all were acquitted.
  3. Polygal experiments. 1943 – 1944. Conducted to test the effectiveness of polygal, a blood coagulant, for the treatment of wounds. Charged against Blome, Handloser, Poppendick, and Sievers. Blome, Handloser, and Poppendick were acquitted; Sievers was convicted.
  4. Planning, organization, and administration (of 1-15 above)
  5. Conspiracy: Count 1.
  6. Membership: Count 4.

 

Above information taken from http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/php/docs_swi.php?DI=1&text=medical

 

 

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