Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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“medical discovery” from research competitors. Even the camp commandant, Rudolf Höss, who took a great interest in the work and witnessed several injections, later wrote, “Clauberg informed me in detail on the performance of the operation, but never revealed to me the exact chemical composition of the substance he used." That substance is now believed to have been Formalin, sometimes injected together with Novocain.4*

The injection was done in three stages over a few months, though some women later described four or five injections. The goal of injecting the caustic substance was to create adhesions in the fallopian tubes that would cause them to be obstructed within a period of about six weeks, as would be demonstrated by subsequent X rays. Clauberg had a prisoner nurse, Sylvia Friedmann, observe the women after the injections for symptoms of any kind.

Despite the terror induced in women victims, Marie L., a French prisoner physician, stressed that many so feared being sent back to Birkenau (where one would be “awaiting death standing in frost, mud, and swamps … without water or care”) that they could view Block 10 as “a piece of luck and the possibility of survival.” Clauberg himself encouraged this hope by his reassurances that he planned not to send them back to Birkenau (meaning the gas chamber) but to take them to his private research clinic at Königshütte, just a few kilometers from Auschwitz. That could well have been true because Höss later reported that “after the successful experiment, … Clauberg planned that every one of the female prisoners at the end of a year undergo sexual intercourse with a male prisoner chosen especially for this purpose,” in order to carry out a practical test of Clauberg’s sterilization method. This test, however, was never performed “because of the course of the war.”5

Clauberg eventually had as many as three hundred women under his control on Block 10. The experiments were supposed to be highly secret, and there was an attempt to isolate women who had been injected from those who had not. Accounts differ about the fate of the women he experimented upon. Those who refused to be experimented upon, or who were considered for one reason or another unsuitable, were sent back to Birkenau and usually gassed — as were those women who became extremely debilitated. Most women experimented upon remained on Block 10, though a considerable number developed fever and various forms of peritoneal infection.

There was the constant fear of being killed because of knowing too much. They also feared both sterilization and artificial insemination. Clauberg is reported to have told prisoners he planned artificial-insemination experiments, and there is one report of his admitting to two assistants that he had future plans for experiments in both natural and artificial insemination.
* The formula was apparently developed by Clauberg and his assistant Dr. Johannes Goebel, chief chemist with the Schering pharmaceutical firm.   
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

Robert J. Lifton
ISBN 0-465-09094
© 1986
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