|AUSCHWITZ: THE RACIAL CURE
| 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 Claubergs 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.
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.