|AUSCHWITZ: THE RACIAL CURE
|found, to make dental X rays in the expectation of finding
tooth infections. And he claimed that the women were later smuggled out of the
block by means of a system that included declaring them dead and bribing the
brothel capo to let them make their exit with the group of
prostitutes who lived on Block 10 but left daily for work on other blocks. When
Dr. B. himself was on trial, women he had in this way experimented upon
testified to the life-saving nature of his actions, as did several prisoner
doctors, male and female.
Yet Ernst B. was candid enough to describe,
during our interview, the multiplicity of elements that motivated him to do the
experiments. There was the satisfaction of getting individual people out of
Claubergs ward and, thereby getting at Clauberg [whom he and his
chief hated]. Also, it meant helping a relative of one of the
inmates in my command with whom I was good friends. In addition, he had
heard that Claubergs experimental victims included physicians and
[other] highly qualified women. It helped to discover that the brothel
made it not so . . . difficult as we had thought to get them out.
But in addition to all that, Dr. B. had a motive similar to the motives
of many others doing experiments: These experiments
me. The opportunity to have available the necessary people for such
experiments "would have been most difficult
under any other
circumstances. In other words, he too was drawn to the experimental
opportunity Auschwitz provided an admission confirmed by his having worked with
male research subjects, who were in no danger from Clauberg.
shall discuss Dr. B. at greater length in chapter 16, we can say here that, for
Nazi doctors in Auschwitz and other camps, the impulse to experiment was
powerful and many-sided; and so extensive was the atmosphere of human
experimentation that expressions of it, feigned or partially feigned, could, at
least on rare occasions, be used for the specific purpose of saving lives.
|The Hygienic Institutes small unit on Block 10 was a
source of further contradiction. It was generally thought of as a haven
no selections, pleasant working conditions, and real medical duties having to
do with bacteriological and hematological problems. To some extent that unit
extended the generally benign atmosphere of the Hygienic Institutes
central Auschwitz location in Raisko, a town on the outskirts of Auschwitz.
Thus Dr. Marie L. could commend the very competent medical staff, Jewish
men and women work[ing] there as "a great help to us because they were
always ready to do secretly the analyses needed by which she meant
submitting reports, usually negative, that helped patients. And considerable
makework, very large numbers of blood and urine analyses and fecal, saliva, and
throat cultures, was carried on in the Block 10 unit.