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Essay/Term paper: Nazi

Essay, term paper, research paper:  World War

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Sitting on an operating table, deep inside the corridors of

Azchwitz concentration camp, a man is listening to the Nazi

gun fire outside. He hears the innocent screams as

automatic weapons mow through crowds of families

deemed "unfit to live". Gradually silence falls, only to be

broken again by the solitary pops of a pistol, finishing of

those who did not die right off. It should be a sickening

feeling for this man, he should feel anger and hate, and

sadness for these newest additions to the Nazi stoves. But

this man can no longer feel such sadness, such grief.

Instead he feels only jealousy, jealousy for those who had

died quickly, with a bullet to the brain or the heart. No

doubt, considering what he's been through, and what he

will go through still, he considers the others to be the lucky

ones. They will not boil. They will not freeze. They will not

be diseased or hacked apart. They will not have their heads

explode in a pressurised chamber. They were the lucky

ones, not chosen to act as guinea pigs to further science by

dying a slow painful death at the hands of the most

gruesome members of the Nazi party, the "Nazi Doctors".

When World War two ended in 1945, over eleven

thousand people had been exterminated(p4 Freidman) in

the Nazis' effort to "racially purify" Germany and its'

territories. It seemed tat the vast majority of these killings

had taken place in concentration camps, by releasing

Zyklon-B(p68 Guthman) in gas chambers disguised as

showers. As the allies began holding the first war criminal

trials, however, it was quickly seen that a secret, genocide

far more hideous than was previously suspected, had taken

place. Worse still, the killers were not radical soldiers, but

respected members of the German scientificand Medical

community. The German government had given the

"Doctors of death" (p34, Gilbert) endless supplies of

subjects to experiment on in any way they pleased. Some

experiments were to benefit the army. They included high

altitude tests, as well as the bodies reactions to freezing

temperatures.(p2, Net) Other experiments were called for

by the nazis themselves, such as tests in genetic traits, mind

controlling drugs and mass sterilization.(p3-5, Net) There

were medicine tests and more commonly, tests using

diseases without any known cures. The most gruesome

tests however, were fabricated in the twisted minds of the

doctors themselves and are famous for their void of any

purposes at all. The high altitude tests were experiments

initiated by the nazi government and followed closely by

Heinrich Himmler.(p36, Gilbert) The experiments were

conducted in a low pressure chamber that could simulate

flight up to 68,000 feet above sea level.(p37, Gilbert) Their

point was to record the subjects reaction to flight in high

pressure areas, and in high and low oxygen areas. Through

a small window, the scientists could watch and record the

subjects exact point of death, usually from rupturing

lungs.(p2, Net) One eye witness claimed that men would

"tear their heads and faces off with finger nails"(p36,

Gilbert) in attempts to relive the pressure from their

eardrums. At least 200 prisoners are known to have died

from these experiments. The second experiments for army

use were the heating/freezing tests. These tests judged the

amount of time a person could be exposed to freezing

temperatures before they died.(p57, Guthman) The results

were meant to help determine how long Nazi soldiers could

remain in trenches throughout the Russian winter. Test

subjects were put naked into vats of 37 degree water. It

was gradually lowered to 25 degrees.(p55, Guthman) The

subjects body temperature was measured through the

stomach or rectum until he died, at which point his body

was analyzed to find the exact cause of death. It was

usually heart failure.(p57, Guthman) One particular story of

this torturous test was about two Russian POWs. In most

tests, the men would last for one hour before dying. The

two Russians were still living after two hours of freezing,

when one was about to ask the German officer to just

shoot them. To the idea, the second replied "Don't expect

any sympathy from this Fascist dog!"(p32, FReidman)

Instead, the men said their good-byes and awaited death. It

took a total of five hours to come.(p32, Freidman) Often,

when the cold tank was not usable, the experiment was

improvised by strapping naked subjects to stretchers and

set outside to brave the harsh winter night. At one hour

intervals, the subject was drenched with ice water until he

froze.(p18, Gilbert) Once frozen, the Nazis would test a

verity of methods to resuscitate him. These methods

included placing the subject under heat lamps, forcefully

irrigating his body with near- boiling water, forcing sexual

intercourse, and immersing him in a warm bath.(p4, Net)

Of these methods, the most successful was the warm bath.

(p4, Net) Some tests were called for by the Nazi party

itself, including genetic experimentation. The purpose of

these experiments was primarily to create propaganda as to

why non-Aryans were inferior.(p30, Freidman) The

secondary goal was to determine what caused these said

"defects". Hundreds upon hundreds of samples, and

measurements. were taken. Test results were bent to prove

that Jews, gypsies and homosexuals had a different type of

blood and were more prone to crime than straight Aryans.

(p31, Freidman) Of all the Nazi doctors who worked in the

field of genetics, no name is more infamous than Dr. Josef

Mengele. Before the war, Mengele had studied philosophy

and medicine. After being wounded in battle, he became

the head doctor at Auschwitz,(P21, Carste) where he

pursued an infatuation in the genetics of twins. He studied

and photographed them, probed and examined them. At

one point they were given a gastral intestinal examination

without anesthesia.(p17, Carste) Other times they had to

have all their body hair plucked out. After a three week

experiment, the twins were exterminated and dissected.

(p18, Carste) Another set of experiments devised by the

nazi party involved mind control. Subjects were issued

chemicals ranging from hallucinogens similar to LSD to

barbiturates similar to coffee suspected of crushing will

power.(p4, Net) Many of the drugs were experimental and

several test subjects died. Mass sterilization's were the last

subject Hitler wanted researched. He knew that even if all

the impure races were not wiped out during the holocaust,

he could still use sterilization to prevent the Jews from

bearing children. The most hyped method of sterilization

and castration used by the Nazis involved x-ray

radiation.(p5,Net) The victims of these experiments were

most often the mentally handicapped and

insane.(p34,Freidman) During World War two, much was

learned about various diseases by the Nazi doctors. Their

was always a hefty number of prisoners in the

concentration camp with any given disease. This was due

to the cramped and dirty living conditions. For instance,

when Dr. Klaus sought to study malaria at Dachau prison

camp, he brought in mosquitoes to infect 300

subjects.(p67, Gilbert) Within a few days, he had caused a

1000 man epidemic.(p67, Gilbert) Besides malaria, Nazi

test subjects were exposed to countless other diseases,

including typhoid and phlegmones.(p5, Net) These

particular diseases, for some reason, were tested heavily on

prisoners of religious vocations. Twelve preists are known

to have died and eigrt to have been tortured with

phlegmone membrane inflations.(p5, Net) The most

gruesome of all the Nazi medical experiments were those

conducted for no plausible rhyme or reason. In truth, the

only point they served was the sick satisfaction of the

doctors conducting them. The allies found the remains of

these experiments when they liberated Auchwitz. There

were vats and bins full of healthy amputated limbs.(p6,

Net) Some of the victims themselves still hobbled about.

One such woman testified at the Nuremberg trials. She told

the story of how her leg was sliced open to the bone for no

apparent reason several times over the course of a

year.(p67, Freidman) Others had had bones broken

several times over in the same manner. When the Germans

lost the war, most of the doctors knew their research

would soon become public and fled the country. Others

steadfastly denied any knowledge or involvement.(p46,

Carste) At the Nuremberg war criminal trials, only

twenty-three doctors were brought up on charges and of

them, only seven were sentenced to death.(p47, Carste)

Where did the rest of the mad scientists vanish to? Every

now and then one turns up, sometimes in some rather

surprising places. In 1993, Scientist Hubertus Strughold's

name was removed from The National Air Force library

and his mural removed from the "Medical Heroes" wall at

Ohio University. Known as "The father of US space

medicine", (p55 Carste)Strughold was recently discovered

to have been among the doctors who approved the water

and pressure chamber experiments during World War

Two. Fearing prosecution at Nuremberg, he fled to the US

in 1945 and began working with the space program.(p6,

Net) Had the Holocaust been run by space creatures or by

some cosmic or religious force, it would most likely lose its

unbelivability. It seems like an act man would be incapable

of, so much terror and gore that it easier to believe it was

not mans' doing at all. "Perhaps Hitler was Satan himself...."

one guesses. That would be easier to believe, that the devil

was running the war and his soldiers were disciples of hell.

But it is simply not true. Hitler was as much a man as the

next, as were his soldiers, his followers, and even his

doctors. This is that appalling, uncomprehendable fact.

What led these trusted men, men sworn to the helping of

others, to jovialy carve up innocent lives?. Was it fierce

nationalist pride and faith in Hitler's speeches? Or was it

something by far more frightening? That when left to their

own devices, unchecked and unbound by the everyday

courtesies of society, these doctors reverted back to the

most natural, basic tendencies of man. In doing so, they

might have discovered somthing far more unsettling than the

experiments themselves; that the essence of man, when

allowed to move freely, was uncomprimisingly evil.

Bibliography Carste, Edward. War Crimes. Meriweather

Printing. New York, 1993. Freidman, Ina. The Other

Victims. Houton Mifflin Company. Boston, 1990. Gilbert,

Norman. The Nazi Doctors. Altonbury Press, New York.

1982. Guthman,Israel. The Holocaust. .MacMillan

Publishing Company. London, 1990. Medical Experiments

of the Holocaust and Nazi Medicine.

http;//remember.org/educate/medexp.html. 5/31/98.  

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