Dr Robert Jay Lifton THE NAZI DOCTORS:
                        Medical Killing and the
                            Psychology of Genocide ©
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The Experimental Impulse 
forearm.” Hirt himself disappeared at that time and is now known to have killed himself shortly afterward.45

This museum project is remarkable for its merging of Himmler’s racial vision with highly concrete, pseudo-scientific anthropological (Beger) and medical (Hirt) participation — all a logical outgrowth of the Nazi biological and political mentality.46  
The Hygienic Institute: Sanctuary and Taint 
What were perhaps the oddest and most benign of the experiments also took place on Block 10, in the section reserved for the work of the Hygienic Institute — and yet that institute hardly escaped Auschwitz evil.

Dr. Ernst B., whom I have frequently quoted concerning Auschwitz events and attitudes, confused prisoner doctors with his experiments relating dental infections to rheumatic and other bodily symptoms, and involving the injection of vaccines made from these infections in order to test a person’s sensitivity. Dr. Michael Z. thought Dr. B. lacked focus (“[He] started a new project almost every day”) and castigated him for having people’s teeth pulled as experimental treatment. Another prisoner doctor similarly thought that Dr. B. was “amusing himself” with these experiments. But Dr. Wanda J., who could observe these experiments closely because of her position on Block 10, dismissed what Dr. B. was doing as inconsequential “stupidity.” And referring to another aspect of his experiments, the rubbing of certain substances onto the skin, Dr. J. pointed out that it was easy to substitute plain water for the substance. More important, she went on to say, she was able to “choose girls” for these experiments instead of Clauberg’s; to relieve their fear, she would rub the substance (usually just water) on herself “to show the girls that it's nothing.”

Dr. B. made explicit his and his superior’s intent, in creating the experiments, to rescue specific women (usually wives and relatives of male prisoners who worked in the. Hygienic Institute) from Clauberg’s unit, where they were likely to be harmed by experiments and then sent to the gas chamber. Block 10 was generally Clauberg’s domain; and in order to be able to continue to occupy space there, the Hygienic Institute had to demonstrate to him that it was conducting “serious experiments.” For that purpose Dr. B. arranged to produce by injection large inflammations in the upper thighs of these women; he did his best to explain to them that it was benign and necessary, but he was at the same time aware that “this created the impression in the general camp that I was involved in dangerous, life-threatening experiments.” He confirmed that the experiments involved injection of vaccines made from tooth infections (of other people) in order to test for positive reactions; and when these were
Medical Killing and the
Psychology of Genocide

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