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SS-Obersturmführer Johann Paul Kremer, M.D., Ph.D., professor at the University of Münster, arrived at Auschwitz on August 30, 1942, where he replaced a doctor who had fallen sick. He carried out assessments of prisoners attempting to gain admission to the hospital. 

Kremer ordered most of them killed by phenol injection. He selected prisoners who struck him as particularly good experimental material, and questioned them just before their deaths, as they lay on the autopsy table awaiting injection, about such personal details as their weight before arrest and any medicines they had used recently. In some cases, he ordered these prisoners photographed.

This is a testimony by Johann Kremer at a hearing on July 18, 1947. Quoted in The Good Old Days - E. Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess, The Free Press, NY, 1988, p. 258:

"I remember I once took part in the gassing of one of these groups of women. I cannot say how big the group was. when I got close to the bunker I saw them sitting on the ground. They were still clothed. As they were wearing worn-out camp clothing they were not left in the undressing hut but made to undress in the open air. I concluded from the behavior of these women that they had no doubt what fate awaited them, as they begged and sobbed to the SS men to spare them their lives. However, they were herded into the gas chambers and gassed.

As an anatomist I have seen a lot of terrible things: I had had a lot of experience with dead bodies, and yet what I saw that day was like nothing I had ever seen before. Still completely shocked by what I had seen I wrote on my diary on 5 September 1942: "The most dreadful of horrors. Hauptscharführer Thilo was right when he said to me today that this is the 'anus mundi', the anal orifice of the world". I used this image because I could not imagine anything more disgusting and horrific."

 

Letter from SS-Standartenführer Sievers to SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Brandt, November 2, 1942 (Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Vol. XX, p. 520):

"Dear Comrade Brandt,
As you know, the Reichsführer-SS has directed that SS-Hauptsturmführer Prof. Dr. Hirt be supplied with everything needed for his research work. For certain anthropological researches - I already reported to the Reichsführer-SS on them - 150 skeletons of prisoners, or rather Jews, are required, which are to be supplied by the KL Auschwitz."

 

Letter from SS-Sturmbannführer Brandt to SS-Obersturmbannführer Sievers, March 21, 1942. (Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 144):

"Reference is made to the sub atmospheric pressure experiments which are being carried out on concentration camp inmates in the Dachau camp by the air force. The Reich Leader-SS has approved the experiments under the conditions that SS-Untersturmführer Dr. Rascher who is an Obersturmführer in the air-force, will take part in them."

 

Letter from SS-Untersturmführer Rascher to Reichsführer-SS Himmler, April 5, 1942. (Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 144-147):

"Highly esteemed Reich Leader:
Enclosed is an interim report on the low-pressure experiments so far conducted in the concentration camp of Dachau ...

Only continuous experiments at altitudes higher than 10.5 Km resulted in death. These experiments showed that breathing stopped after about 30 minutes, while in two cases the electrocardiographically charted action of the heart continued for another 20 minutes.

The third experiment of this type took such an extraordinary course that I called an SS physician of the camp as a witness, since I had worked on these experiments all by myself. It was a continuous experiment without oxygen at a height of 12 Km. conducted on a 37-year old Jew in good general condition. Breathing continued up to 30 minutes. After 4 minutes the experimental subject began to perspire and to wiggle his head, after 5 minutes cramps occurred, between 6 and 10 minutes breathing increased in speed and the experimental subject became unconscious; from 11 to 30 minutes breathing slowed down to three breaths per minute, finally stopping altogether.

Severest cyanosis developed in between and foam appeared at the mouth...

Autopsy report
~~~~~~~~~~~~

One hour later after breathing had stopped, the spinal marrow was completely severed and the brain was removed. Thereupon the action of the auricle stopped for 40 seconds. In then renewed its action, coming to a complete standstill 8 minutes later. A heavy sub archnoid oedema was found in the brain. In the veins and arteries of the brain a considerable quantity of air was discovered."

 

Report by 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):

"The 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.

Electrical 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."

 

Report by 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):

"If 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."

 

Letter from SS-Untersturmführer Dr. Rascher to SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolph Brandt, October 3, 1942. ( Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 221-222):

"The Reich leader SS wants to be informed of the state of the experiments. I can announce that the experiments have been concluded, with the exception of those on warming with body heat. The final report will be ready in about 5 days. Prof. Holzloehner, for reasons I cannot fathom, does not himself want to make the report to the Reich Leader Himmler and has asked me to attend to it. This report must be made before 20 October, because the great Luftwaffe conference on freezing takes place on Nuremberg on 25 October. The report on the results of our research must be made there, to assure that they be used in time for the troops.

May I ask you to arrange for a decision from the Reich Leader regarding the final report to him, and the submission to him of the relevant material? Today I received your letter of 22 September 1942, in which the Reich Leader orders that the experiments on warming through body heat must absolutely be conducted. Because of incomplete address it was delayed.

Today I asked Obersturmbannführer Sievers to send a telegram to the camp commander immediately, to the effect that four Gypsy women be procured at once from another camp. Moreover, I asked SS Obersturmbannführer Sievers to take steps to have the low pressure chamber ready for use."

 

Medical Experiments

High-Altitude Experiments
to investigate the limits of human endurance and existence at extremely high altitudes. The victims were placed in the low-pressure chamber and thereafter the simulated altitude therein was raised. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered grave injury, torture, and ill-treatment.


Incendiary Bomb Experiments

to test the effect of various pharmaceutical preparations on phosphorous burns. These burns were inflicted on the victims with phosphorous matter taken from incendiary bombs, and caused severe pain, suffering, and serious bodily injury.

Freezing Experiments

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.

Sea-water Experiments
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.


Malaria Experiments

to investigate immunization for and treatment of malaria. The victims were infected by mosquitoes or by injections of extracts of the mucous glands of mosquitoes. After having contracted malaria the victims were treated with various drugs to test their relative efficacy. Over 1,000 victims were used in these experiments. Many died and others suffered severe pain and permanent disability.

Mustard Gas Experiments

to investigate the most effective treatment of wounds caused by Mustard gas. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the victims were infected with Mustard gas. Some of the victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered intense pain and injury.

Sulfanilamide Experiments
to investigate the effectiveness of sulfanilamide. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the victims were infected with bacteria such as streptococcus, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Circulation of blood was interrupted by tying off blood vessels at both ends of the wound to create a condition similar to that of a battlefield wound. Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfanilamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered serious injury and intense agony.


Spotted Fever (Typhus) Experiments

to investigate the effectiveness of spotted fever and other vaccines. Numerous victims were deliberately infected with spotted fever virus in order to keep the virus alive - over 90 percent of the victims died as a result.

Experiments with Poison

to investigate the effect of various poisons upon human beings. The poisons were secretly administered to the victims in their food. The victims died as a result of the poison or were killed immediately in order to permit autopsies. In or about September 1944 the victims were shot with poison bullets and suffered torture and death.

 

 


 

 

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