Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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the Party’s Golden Badge for meritorious service — while remaining personally and professionally highly ambitious — and reached his rank of reserve SS Gruppenführer (lieutenant general) in 1940.8

That same year, a meeting with Himmler, arranged by a fellow SS officer, marked the beginning of a relationship based on a malignant blending of biomedical and political-racial ideologies — the initiative moving back and forth between the medical man and the SS leader, with the process culminating in “Clauberg’s block” in Auschwitz. At this meeting Clauberg told Himmler of his intention to set up a research institute for reproductive biology, which would investigate both the causes and the treatment of infertility and the development of a nonsurgical means of sterilization. Himmler had first learned of Clauberg’s work through the gynecologist’s successful treatment of infertility in a high-ranking SS officer’s wife. When Clauberg explained to the Reichsführer that such treatment required a preparation that could clear the fallopian tubes by softening any adhesions or substances blocking them, Himmler, whose real interest here was sterilization, was said to have suggested reversing that procedure by using agents that produce blocking. As a result of that conversation (whatever the sequence of who suggested what to whom), Clauberg redirected his research energies toward the explicit goal of finding an effective method of mass sterilization.

With financial support arranged by Himmler, Clauberg began animal experiments; found that a 5 to 10-percent solution of Formalin could produce the desired inflammation and blockage; sought out the highly viscous (resistant to flow) liquid that would, when containing Formalin, enable it to remain in the ovarian tubes after being introduced to the uterus; and worked on X-ray tracing techniques for monitoring effects.9

A year later Himmler summoned Clauberg to confer and suggested that he conduct sterilization experiments at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. But with the help of Grawitz, the chief SS doctor now involved in the matter, Clauberg eventually convinced Himmler that Auschwitz would be more practical because of its proximity to Königshütte, where Clauberg already had his clinical facilities. On 30 May 1942, three days after their second meeting, Clauberg wrote a letter to Himmler remarkable in its expression of the German physician’s active, indeed determined, effort to contribute to the deadly purposes of the Nazi biomedical, vision.

Clauberg makes clever obeisance not only to Himmler’s overall authority but to his “scientific“ concerns, by stating that he (Clauberg) had been told that “the one person in Germany today who would be particularly interested in these matters and who would be able to help me would be you, most honorable Reichsführer. ” By mentioning proposed work on “positive population policy,” Clauberg ingeniously alludes to the agricultural dimension so dear to Himmler (“The eventual or most probable importance of agriculture for the female capacity for propagation demands clarification”) and then gets to the real point — the question of the  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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