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  • A young Polish man named Simon Rozenkier has seen things a young man should never have

  • to see.

  • In the concentration camp where he's imprisoned, he witnessed Dr. Josef Mengele conduct a cold

  • experiment on a Jewish man.

  • The man did not survive his bath of ice.

  • On another day in the camp, he saw the aftermath of what happens when doctors removed the hump

  • from a hunchback.

  • Rozenkier could not believe what he was seeing.

  • But something he saw on many occasions was the Nazi sterilization experiments.

  • These programs encompassed hundreds and thousands of people, some of whom were subjected to

  • powerful x-rays in their genital region.

  • And then they came for him.

  • Rozenkier was brought to the clinic one day and told he was going to have vitamin supplements

  • injected into him.

  • When he asked one of the doctors what the reason for this was, he got the response,

  • These shots will give you muscles to work.”

  • The doctor then gave him a mean look and added, “Do you understand that, you redheaded dog!?”

  • It seems the doctor did not like Rozenkier's hair color, perhaps because it was thought

  • to be a Jewish trait for some people in Germany.

  • Maybe ginger wasn't seen as Aryan enough, although that's disputable.

  • Rozenkier survived the camp, and that's how we know about his story.

  • In the 1950s, he and his wife tried to have a child.

  • They couldn't, and they soon found out that he was sterile.

  • Many years later, he filed a lawsuit against the German pharmaceutical companies, Bayer

  • and Schering.

  • The lawsuit accused them of supplying drugs to the Nazis for sterilizations.

  • What they did to me is beyond right and wrong,” Rozenkier told the New York Times

  • in 2003.

  • He might have survived the Holocaust, but his parents and four of his siblings did not.

  • To understand the Nazi sterilization experiments, we have to look at what happened before the

  • war.

  • In 1933, theLaw for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspringwas passed.

  • This meant that if theGenetic Health Courtsaid a citizen had some kind of genetic disorder,

  • by law, they should be forcefully sterilized.

  • It was actually similar to the USA's “Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924”, which ruled

  • forceful sterilization was lawful on peopleafflicted with hereditary forms of insanity

  • that are recurrent, idiocy, imbecility, feeble-mindedness or epilepsy.”

  • This hasn't been a good look for the US, since it was later said the program targeted

  • minorities.

  • The New Yorker wrote the story in 2018, “How American Racism Influenced Hitler.”

  • Anyway, moving on, the German law covered many people, including the blind, the deaf,

  • and even folks suffering from alcoholism.

  • Then in 1935, after some amendments were made, it included Afro-Germans, whom the Nazis referred

  • to asRheinlandbastarde.”

  • Adolf Hitler often talked about what he consideredcontaminationof German blood.

  • As you'll see today, this is why the Nazis went to great lengths to stop many people

  • from having children.

  • Let's now look at a letter that was written by SS-Oberfuehrer Brack and addressed to Reichsfuehrer-SS

  • Himmler.

  • The date on the letter is June 23, 1942.

  • This is how it starts: “According to my impression there are at

  • least 2-3 million men and women well fit for work among the approx.

  • 10 million European Jews.

  • In consideration of the exceptional difficulties posed for us by the question of labor, I am

  • of the opinion that these 2-3 million should in any case be taken out and kept alive.”

  • Brack said that it goes without saying that those who are kept alive should not be able

  • to procreate.

  • But, he added, it was too expensive to sterilize people like they'd been doing for years

  • to folks whom the Nazis said had genetic defects.

  • He wrote, “Castration by means of X-rays, however, is not only relatively cheap, but

  • can be carried out on many thousands in a very short time.”

  • Himmler wrote back, saying, “I am positively interested in seeing the sterilization by

  • X-rays tried out at least once in one camp in a series of experiments.”

  • Soon after, a memorandum was written.

  • It contained this paragraph: “The Reich Leader SS has promised Brigadefuehrer

  • Professor Clauberg that Auschwitz concentration camp will be at his disposal for his experiments

  • on human beings and animals.

  • By means of some fundamental experiments, a method should be found which would lead

  • to sterilization of persons without their knowledge.”

  • On June 7, 1943, Professor Carl Clauberg wrote to Himmler, providing what he considered some

  • good news.

  • In the second paragraph, he wrote, “The method I contrived to achieve the sterilization

  • of the female organism without operation is as good as perfected.”

  • He meant of course that it worked, but his technique was barbaric.

  • We now know that he took women from the camps and told them he was going to give them a

  • routine gynecological examination.

  • He would first check to see if the fallopian tubes were open, and then he would inject

  • a “chemical irritant.”

  • This would cause swelling, and in time, the tubes would grow together, thereby blocking

  • them.

  • This swelling could lead to something called peritonitis, which every medical resource

  • on the web says if left untreated, can infect the blood and cause death by sepsis.

  • It can also infect the organs and lead to multiple organ failure and death.

  • “A website dedicated to the prisoners of Auschwitz wrote, “While some of Clauberg's

  • Jewish patients died in this way, others were deliberately put to death so that autopsies

  • could be carried out.”

  • It's said Clauberg sterilized 700 women this way, with many or most of them suffering

  • permanent damage to their organs if they survived.

  • The number is just an estimate, with some sources saying the number was much higher.

  • As well as Jewish women, Romani women were victims of Clauberg's sterilization.

  • After performing these simple but totally unethical procedures, Clauberg concluded in

  • a letter to Himmler: “One adequately trained physician in one

  • adequately equipped place, with perhaps 10 assistants (the number of assistants in conformity

  • with the speed desired) will most likely be able to deal with several hundred, if not

  • even 1,000 per day.”

  • Another man who sent and received letters talking about sterilization was Horst Schumann.

  • He sometimes worked alone, and sometimes with Dr. Clauberg.

  • We'll let the New York Times introduce him to you.

  • On September 24, 1970, the newspaper wrote this in its lead:

  • Dr. Horst Schumann, a Nazi concentration camp doctor, went on trial in Frankfurt today,

  • charged with the killing of 14,549 mental patients under Hitler's so-called euthanasia

  • program.”

  • Before we talk about his sterilization techniques, we should tell you a little about theAktion

  • T4” program.

  • The Nazis believed that some mentally ill people were uncurable.

  • Therefore, it was agreed that they should be subjected to involuntary euthanasia, which

  • basically meant killing someone.

  • Adolf Hitler referred to this as a “mercy death.”

  • Hitler wrote that some mentally ill people were beyond help.

  • He said some of thembedded on sawdust or sandandperpetually dirtied themselves”.

  • He said some of them evenput their own excrement into their mouths.”

  • This of course was a massive exaggeration and also a dangerous one.

  • It did not reflect at all on mentally disabled people, nor the physically disabled.

  • The mass culling wasn't about mercy at all.

  • It was about the Nazi's obsession with a master race and also about freeing up hospital

  • beds and having fewer mouths to feed.

  • It meant people who were sick, young and old, male and female, in Germany, Poland, and other

  • European nations, were put down like animals.

  • It's thought 300,000 people were killed in total.

  • Horst Schumann was one of many people involved in this program, but he's also notorious

  • for his sterilization techniques.

  • One of them was sterilization by radiation.

  • In 1942, he set up a radiation station at the women's hospital in the Auschwitz camp.

  • There, both men and women were told they were going to have an x-ray, although they were

  • not informed why.

  • Reports say they usually stood five to eight minutes where the machine was pointed at their

  • genital area.

  • The process would sometimes cause radiation burns to the genital area and other parts

  • of the body.

  • At times, they would have surgery after to remove a woman's ovaries or a man's genitals.

  • Some of them died, while the survivors if unfit for work would also usually be killed

  • soon after.

  • According to one report, “Roughly one thousand male and female prisoners were subjected to

  • X-ray sterilization with about two hundred of them undergoing follow-up extractive surgery.”

  • Another man who performed x-ray sterilizations was Viktor Brack.

  • Remember, he's one of the guys whose letters to Himmler survived.

  • They were used against him when he stood trial.

  • In one letter, translated from German, Brack says a high enough dosage of radiation can

  • make a man or a woman sterile.

  • He wrote, “Castration with all its consequenceswill occursince high x-ray dosages destroy

  • the internal secretion of the ovary, or of the testicles, respectively.

  • Lower dosages would only temporarily paralyze the procreative capacity.”

  • He wrote that men needed to be hit with 500 to 600r, and women, 300 to 350r, each for

  • about two minutes.

  • He said that there was a problem, though, in that the high dosage would cause burns.

  • Remember that the victims were not supposed to know what was happening to them, so the

  • burns obviously gave it away.

  • The Nazis did not want their enslaved workers to know just how awful things were for them

  • in this respect.

  • Brack wrote that he had one way to deal with this problem.

  • He said they should, “let the persons to be treated approach a counter where they could

  • be asked to answer some questions or to fill in forms, which would take them two or three

  • minutes.”

  • The person behind the counter was actually the operator of the radiation machine.

  • He or she would switch it on when the victim was filling in those questions.

  • Brack said he believed one such installation could sterilize 150 to 200 people per day,

  • but with 20 installations, that would be 3,000 to 4,000 per day.

  • The victims would not know what had happened to them, at the time at least.

  • Although, Brack wrote in another letter that in all likelihood, the victims wouldsooner

  • or later realize with certainty that they have been sterilized or castrated by x-rays.”

  • During the Nuremberg trials, Brack was asked, “You were very interested in the question

  • whether the people going to be sterilized would know whether they are sterilized or

  • not, would gain knowledge of this procedure; is that correct?”

  • He replied, “No, that was Himmler's wish.”

  • It seems that Brack had to concede back in the day that it was just not possible to perform

  • the secret x-rays without the person finding out at some point what had happened to them.

  • There are of course many survivors of the forced sterilizations like the man we mentioned

  • at the start of the show.

  • One very outspoken survivor is Klara Nowak, who became a nurse in Germany after the war.

  • She was also the activist behind the League of Victims of Compulsory Sterilization and

  • Euthanasia.

  • In 1991, she was asked how being sterilized had affected her in later life.

  • She said, “I still have many complaints as a result of it.

  • There were complications with every operation I have had since.

  • I had to take early retirement at the age of fifty-twoand the psychological pressure

  • has always remained.”

  • On top of that, she said it hurt all her life to see friends and neighbors talking about

  • their kids and grandkids when the Nazis had ensured that could never happen to her.

  • She said her union had 88,000 people in it who had suffered from sterilization and attempted

  • euthanasia.

  • Another victim was the writer and sculptor Dorothea Buck.

  • In 2019, she died aged 102, but many, many years before, when she was just 19, she became

  • a victim of Nazi sterilization.

  • She was the daughter of a German pastor, and while the Nazis didn't deem her to be essentially

  • non-German, she had a breakdown in her teens when she heard about the advent of another

  • war.

  • She was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

  • In an asylum, she was treated to what we now call torture, although back then, doctors

  • said they were curative measures.

  • This included drenching her daily with ice-cold water as if that would suddenly make her better.

  • One day she woke up with a scar on her abdomen, which she and her parents were told was from

  • an appendectomy.

  • She actually still had her appendix.

  • The doctors had cut into her and sterilized her.

  • This was terrible, but she could so easily have been a victim of euthanasia.

  • Ima Spanjaard also survived.

  • She talked with the BBC in 2005 when she was aged 80.

  • She said with little food and hard work, it was hard to survive for long in the camp.

  • In her own words, she said: “Auschwitz was an enormous terrain, 40km

  • on the ground, so you had to work there, building roads or barracks.

  • To do that for 10 hours a day and stand up for an hour in the morning and in the evening,

  • especially with the kind of food we ate, made it impossible to survive for longer than a

  • few weeks.”

  • She said she met many girls who were sterilized at her camp.

  • She called thembeautiful young Greek girls, virgins, whose ovaries were x-rayed.”

  • She said they all suffered burns, and she was the nurse who treated those burns.

  • Some of them died from their injuries, especially when radiation treatment was exchanged for

  • chemicals being injected into their ovaries.

  • She told the BBC, “Around 80 women were operated on like this.

  • I remember them well because I was told to administer their anesthetic.

  • At that moment, I was not so afraid to do this, but later on, after the war ended, I

  • thought to myself: 'What have I done?'”

  • It's now believed anywhere from 300,000 to 450,000 people were sterilized by the Nazis

  • from 1933 to 1945, although we can't be sure just how many people survived and how

  • many died.

  • Now you need to watch, “The WWII Nazi Breeding Plan.”

  • Or, have a look at, “The Nazi House of Shutters.”

A young Polish man named Simon Rozenkier has seen things a young man should never have

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Sterilization - Nazi Camp Experiments

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    Summer posted on 2021/09/19
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