Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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[Schu…] mann knew that they [were] alive ... [on] Block 10, he would kill them straightaway.” They were known as “Schumann’s girls.”

The depth of these experimental victims’ sense of violation and mutilation was evident during interviews I had with some of them thirty-five years later. A Greek-Jewish woman described her terror as she saw in a reflection “the blood pouring out as they opened my belly”; and then, after the two operations, “pus — like a pit from an infected wound, and a high temperature, … pneumonia. My body swelled up, and there were marks when I pressed my arm [edema]. They gave me medicine. I was paralyzed …. I couldn't move. My whole body was swollen up.” In addition: “We knew we were like a tree without fruit …. The experiment was that they were destroying our organs …. We would cry together about this”; and “They took us because they didn't have rabbits.”

Schumann’s experiments with men had a parallel course, as described by Dr. Michael Z. in a written report: First, the rumor that “Jews were being sterilized with X-rays” by “an air-force lieutenant-physician”; then a visit by Schumann to a male medical ward during which he ordered them to prepare for forty inmates on whom they were to keep records of medical observations; the arrival of the experimental victims with burn erythemas [red areas] around the scrotum (“From their description, we recognized the X-ray machine”); the victims’ later accounts of their sperm being collected, their prostates brutally massaged with pieces of wood inserted into the rectum) their exposure to an operation removing one or two testicles and in some cases a second operation removing the remaining testicle (conducted with noticeable brutality and limited anesthesia patients screams were frightening to hear ) disastrous post-operative developments including hemorrhages, septicemia, absence of muscle tone from wounds, so that “many … would die rapidly, weakened morally and physically” and others would be sent to work “which would finish them.” But “their deaths mattered little since these guinea pigs have already served the function expected of them.”

Dr. Erich G. told of the psychological pain of experimental victims and of their questions to him (“Will I [be able to] be a father? Can I [have relations with] females?”) but admitted that at the time that was not the greatest emotional stress (“To survive was more important than to be mutilated or even castrated”); and the fear was that experimental victims would be killed (“It was impossible to believe that they would allow people to live after the war to be a witness”).

Schumann’s callousness was reflected (as Dr. Tadeusz S tells us) in the little device he constructed to insert into the rectum to stimulate the prostate and produce ejaculation, which was “painful and ... humiliating so that the patients suffered a great deal.” It also produced “terrible infections”: “For Schumann it was nothing . . . . He was testing the results of his work.”

One of the male victims told of the sequence from the X rays (“My genital organ, together with the scrotum, on a machine … the noise of  
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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