to investigate the most effective means of treating persons who had been
severely chilled or frozen. The victims were forced to remain in a tank
of ice water for up to 3 hours. Extreme rigor developed in a short time.
Numerous victims died in the course of these experiments. After the
survivors were severely chilled, rewarming was attempted by various
means. In another series of experiments, the victims were kept naked
outdoors for many hours at temperatures below freezing. The victims
screamed with pain as their bodies froze.
to study various methods of making sea water drinkable. The victims were
deprived of all food and given only chemically processed sea water. Such
experiments caused great pain and suffering and resulted in serious
bodily injury to the victims.
SS-Untersturmführer Rascher about cooling experiments in Dachau,
September 10, 1942. ( Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg
Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953,
Vol. I, p. 220):
experimental subjects were placed in the water, dressed in complete
flying uniform, winter or summer combination, and with an aviator's
helmet. A life jacket made out of rubber kapok was to prevent submerging.
The experiments were carried out at water temperatures varying from from
2.5 to 12 Centigrade. In one experimental series, the occiput (brain
stem) protruded above the water, while in another series of experiments
the occiput (brain stem) and back of the head were submerged in water.
measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4 in the stomach and
26.5 in the rectum. Fatalities occurred only when the brain stem and the
back of the head were also chilled. Autopsies of of such fatal cases
always revealed large amounts of free blood, up to one-half litter, in
the cranial cavity."
Prof. Dr. Holzloehner, Dr. Rascher, and Dr. Finke, regarding
cooling experiments, October 10, 1942. (Trials of War Criminals
Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt.
Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 226-243):
the experimental subject was placed in the water under narcosis, one
observed a certain arousing effect. The subject began to groan and made
some defensive movements. In a few cases a state of excitation developed.
This was especially severe in the cooling of head and neck. But never
was a complete cessation of the narcosis observed.
The defensive movements ceased after about 5 minutes. There followed a
progressive rigor, which developed especially strongly in the arm
musculature; the arms were strongly flexed and pressed to the body. The
rigor increased with the continuation of the cooling, now and then
interrupted by tonic-clonic twitchings. With still more marked sinking
of the body temperature it suddenly ceased. These cases ended fatally,
without any successful results from resuscitation efforts."