The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

THE PRESIDENT: Just a minute, please.

M. Dubost, you said you were going to call this witness upon
experiments. He is now giving us all the details of camp
life which we have already heard on several occasions.

M. DUBOST: So far nobody has spoken about the Dora camp, Mr.
President.

THE PRESIDENT: But every camp we have heard of has got the
same sort of brutalities, has it not, according to the
witnesses who have been called?

You were going to call this witness because he was going to
deal with experiments.

M. DUBOST: If the Tribunal is convinced that all the camps
had the same regime, then my point has been proved and the
witness will now testify to the experiments at the
Buchenwald camp. However, I wanted to show that in all
German camps where people were interned the regime was the
same. I think this has now been proved.

THE PRESIDENT: If you were going to prove that, you would
have to call a witness from every camp, and there are
hundreds of them.

M. DUBOST: This question has to be proved because it is the
uniformity of the system which establishes the culpability
of these defendants. In every camp there was one responsible
person who was the camp commander. We are not trying the
camp commander, but the defendants here in the dock and we
are trying them for ...

THE PRESIDENT: I have already pointed out to you that there
has been practically no cross-examination, and I have asked
you to confine this witness, so far as possible, to the
question of experiments.

M. DUBOST: The witness will then confine himself to
experiments at Buchenwald as this is the Tribunal's wish.
The Tribunal will consider the uniformity of treatment in
all German internment camps as proved.

BY M. DUBOST:

Q. Will you now testify to the criminal practices of the SS
Medical Corps in the camps, criminal practices in the form
of scientific experiments?

A. I was recalled to Buchenwald on the 1st of May, 1944, and
assigned to Block 50, which was, in fact, a factory for the
manufacture of vaccines against typhus. I was recalled from
Dora to Buchenwald, because, in the meantime the management
of the camp had learned that I was a specialist in this sort
of research, and consequently they wished to utilise my
services in Block 50 for the manufacture of vaccines.
However, I was unaware of it until the very last moment.

                                                  [Page 251]

I came to Block 50 on the 1st of May, 1944, and I stayed
there until the liberation of the camp on the 11 April,
1945.

Block 50 was the block where vaccines were manufactured
under Sturmbannfuehrer Schuler, who was a doctor with the
rank of Sturmbannfuehrer, equal to a Major. He was in charge
of the block and was responsible for the manufacture of
vaccines. This same SS Sturmbannfuehrer  Schuler was also in
charge of another block in the Buchenwald camp. This other
block was Block 46, the infamous block for experiments,
where the internees were utilised as guinea pigs.

Blocks 46 and 50 were both run by one office. There all
archives, index cards pertaining to the experiments, all
mail, all decisions concerning Block 46, the block for
experiments, as well as Block 50, were kept.

The secretary of Block 50 was an Austrian political
prisoner, my friend, Eugene Cogol. He and a few other
comrades had, consequently, opportunities for looking
through all the archives of which they had charge. Therefore
they could know, day by day, exactly what went on either in
Block 50, our block, or in Block 46. I myself was able to
get hold of most of the archives of Block 46 and even the
book in which the experiments were recorded has been saved.
It is in our possession, and has been forwarded to the
Psychological Department of the American Forces.

In this record book, all experiments were entered which were
made in Block 46. Block 46 was established in October 1941
by a supreme committee set up by the Health Division of the
Waffen SS, and we see as members of its Administrative
Council, a certain number of names, as this Block 46 came
under the Research Section No. 5 of Leipzig of the Supreme
Command of the Waffen SS. Inspector Bougrowski,
Obergruppenfuehrer  of the Waffen SS, was in charge of this
section. The Administrative Council which set up Block 46
was composed of the following members:

Dr. Genzken, Obergruppenfuehrer (the highest rank in the
Waffen SS), Dr. Poppendieck, Gruppenfuehrer of the Waffen
SS, and also Dr. Handlose of the Wehrmacht and of the
Military Academy of Berlin, who was also associated with the
establishment of experiments on human beings.

Thus, in the Administrative Council there were members of
the SS, and also Dr. Handlose. The experiments proper were
carried out by Sturmbannfuehrer Schuler, but all the orders
and directives concerning the different types of
experiments, which I shall speak about to you, were issued
by Leipzig, i.e., by the Research Section of the Waffen SS.
So there was no personal initiative on the part of Schuler
or the management of the camp.

As to the experiments, all orders came directly from the
Supreme Command in Berlin. Among these experiments, which we
could follow closely (at least some of them) on the basis of
the files, results, registration numbers of people admitted
to and discharged from Block 46, were: First, numerous
exanthematic typhus experiments. Second, experiments on
phosphorus burns. Third, experiments on sexual hormones.
Fourth, experiments on starvation oedema or avitaminosis.
Fifth, experiments in the field of forensic medicine. So we
have five different types of experiments.

Q. Were the people who were subjected to these experiments
volunteers or not?

A. The people subjected to experiments were recruited, not
only in the Buchenwald camp, but also from outside the camp.
They were not volunteers; in most cases they did not know
that they would be used for experiments until they entered
Block 46. The recruitment took place among the criminals, in
order to reduce their large numbers. But the recruitment was
also carried out among Russian political prisoners, and I
have to point out that among the political prisoners and
prisoners of war who were used for experimental purposes in
Block 46, the Russians were always in the majority, for the
following

                                                  [Page 252]


reason: of all the prisoners kept in concentration camps it
was the Russians who had the greatest physical resistance,
which was obviously superior to that of the French or other
people of Western Europe. They resisted hunger and ill-
treatment, and, generally speaking, showed physical
resistance in every respect. For this particular reason, the
Russian political prisoners were recruited in greater
numbers than others. However, there were people of other
nationalities among them, notably French. I should now like
to deal with details of the experiments.

Q. Do not go too much into detail, because we are not
specialists. It will suffice us to know that these
experiments were carried out without any regard to humanity
and under compulsion. Will you please describe to us the
atrocious methods of these experiments and their results.

A. The experiments carried out in Block 46 did, without
doubt, serve a medical purpose, but not, for the greater
part, a scientific one. Therefore, they can hardly be called
experiments. The victims were used for checking the effects
of drugs, poisons, bacterial cultures, etc. I take as an
example the use of vaccine against exanthematic typhus. To
manufacture this vaccine it is necessary to have bacterial
cultures of typhus. For experiments such as are carried out
at the Pasteur Institute and all other similar Institutes in
the world, it is not necessary to create these "sources" of
supply artificially, as typhus patients can always be found
for samples of infected blood. Here it was quite different.
From the records and the chart you have in hand, we could
ascertain in Block 46 twelve different "sources" of
typhus germs, designated by the letter BU, (meaning
Buchenwald) and numbered Buchenwald 1 to Buchenwald 12. A
constant supply of these twelve "sources" was kept in Block
46 through the contamination of healthy individuals by sick
ones. This was achieved by artificial inoculation of typhus
germs by means of intravenous injections of 0.5 to 1.00
cubic centimetres of virulent blood drawn from a patient at
the height of the crisis. Now, it is well known that
artificial inoculation of typhus by intravenous injection is
invariably fatal. Therefore all these men, who served as
living ground for bacterial cultures during the whole period
when germs were required (from October 1942 to the
liberation of the camp) died and we counted 600 victims
sacrificed for the sole purpose of "supplying" typhus germs.

Q. They were literally murdered to keep typhus germs alive?

A. They were literally murdered to keep typhus germs alive.
Apart from these, other experiments were made to the
efficacy of vaccines.

Q. What is this document?

A. This document contains a record of the typhus cultures.

Q. This document was taken by you from the camp?

A. Yes, I took this document from the camp, and its contents
were summarised by me in the experiment book of Block 46.

Q. Is this the document you handed to me?

A. We have actually made a more complete document - which is
in the possession of the American Psychological Division -
as we have the entire record, and this represents only one
page of it.

M. DUBOST: I ask the Tribunal to take note that the French
prosecution submits this document as Exhibit RF 334, as
appendix to the testimony of Dr. Balachowsky.

A. (continuing): In August 1944 experiments were also made
on the effects of vaccines. One hundred and fifty men lost
their lives in these experiments. The vaccines used by the
German Army were not only those manufactured in our Block
46, but also ones which came from Italy, Denmark and Poland,
and the Germans wanted to ascertain the value of these
different vaccines. Consequently, in August 1944 they began
experiments on 150 people who were locked up in Block 46.

                                                  [Page 253]

Here, I should like to tell you how this Block 46 was run.
It was entirely isolated and surrounded by barbed wire. The
internees had no roll call and no permission to go out. All
the windows were kept closed, the panes were of frosted
glass. No unauthorised person could enter the block. A
German political prisoner was in charge of the block. This
German political prisoner was Kapo Dietzsch, an asocial
individual who had been in prisons and camps for 20 years
and who worked for the SS. It was he who made the injections
and the inoculations and who executed people upon order.
Extraordinarily enough, there were arms in the block,
automatic pistols, and hand grenades, to quell any possible
uprisings whether from outside or inside the block. I can
also tell you that the order slip submitted for Block 46
sent to the office at Block 50 in January 1945 mentioned
three strait jackets to deal with those who refused to be
inoculated.

Now I come back to the typhus and vaccine experiment. You
can picture how they were carried out.

The 150 prisoners were divided into two groups: the
"controls" and the subjects. Only the latter received
(ordinary) injections of the different types of vaccines to
be tested. The "controls" did not get any injections. After
the vaccination of the subjects they inoculated (always by
means of intravenous injections) everybody selected for this
experiment, controls as well as subjects. The controls died
about two weeks after the inoculation - as such is
approximately the period required before the disease
develops to its fatal issue. As for the others, who received
different kinds of vaccines, their deaths were in proportion
to the efficacy of the vaccine administered to them. Some
vaccines had excellent results, with a very low death rate-
such was the case with the Polish vaccines. Some others had
a much higher death rate. After the conclusion of the
experiments, no survivors were to be left alive, according
to the custom prevailing in Block 46. All the survivors of
the experiment were "liquidated" and murdered in Block 46,
by the customary methods which some others of my comrades
have already described to you, i.e. intracardiac injections
of phenol. The intracardiac injection of 10 cubic
centimetres of pure phenol was the usual system in
Buchenwald.

THE PRESIDENT: The Russian translation is not coming
through. Can you repeat what you said about the survivors
being killed by intracardiac injections?

A. I repeat that those who did not die as a result of the
experiments in Block 46 were not allowed to survive,
according to the prevailing habits and customs. Once an
experiment was concluded, the survivors were murdered. They
were done away with by the methods customary at Buchenwald,
as already described by some of my comrades.

BY M. DUBOST:

Q. Will you go more slowly, please? I think the interpreters
are having difficulty.

A. In Buchenwald the liquidation was carried out by
intracardiac injections of pure phenol in doses of ten cubic
centimetres.

THE PRESIDENT: We are not really concerned here with the
proportion of the particular injections.

THE WITNESS: Will you repeat that please?

THE PRESIDENT: As I have said, we are not concerned with the
proportions in which these injections were given, and will
you kindly not deal with these details?

M. Dubost, you must try and confine the witness.

A. (continuing) Then I will speak of other details which may
interest you. They are experiments of a psychotherapeutic
nature, utilisation of chemical products to cure typhus, the
conditions in Block 46 being always the same. The German
industries co-operated in these experiments, notably the
I.G.

                                                  [Page 254]

Farben Industrie which supplied a certain number of drugs to
be used for experiments in Block 46. Among the professors
who supplied the drugs knowing that they would be used in
Block 46 for experimental purposes, was Professor
Lautenschlager of Frankfurt.

So much for the typhus question. I now come to experiments
with phosphorus, made particularly on internees of Russian
origin. These phosphorus burns were inflicted in Block 46 on
Russian internees for the following reason: certain bombs,
dropped in Germany by the Allied aviators, caused burns on
the civilians and soldiers, which were difficult to heal.
Consequently, the Germans tried to find a whole series of
suitable drugs to hasten the cicatrisation of the wounds and
sores caused by these burns. Thus, experiments were carried
out in Block 46, on Russian prisoners who were artificially
burned with phosphorus products, and then treated with
different drugs supplied by the German chemical industry.

Now as to experiments on sexual hormones.

BY M. DUBOST:

Q. What were the results of these experiments?

A. All these experiments resulted in death.

Q. Always in death? So each experiment is equivalent to a
murder for which the SS are collectively responsible?

A. For which are responsible those who established this
institution.

Q. That is the SS as a whole, and the German medical corps
in particular?

A. Definitely so, as the orders came from the research
Section No. 5. The SS were responsible, as the orders were
issued by this section at Leipzig and, therefore, came from
the Supreme Command of the Waffen SS.

Q. Thank you. What were the results of the experiments made
on sexual hormones?

A. They were less serious. Besides, these were ridiculous
experiments from the scientific point of view. There were,
at Buchenwald, a number of homosexuals, that is to say, men
who had been convicted by German tribunals for this vice.
These homosexuals were sent to concentration camps,
especially to Buchenwald, and were mixed with the other
prisoners.

Q. Especially with so-called political prisoners, who in
reality were patriots?

A. With all kinds of prisoners.

Q. All were in the company of these German inverts?

A. Yes. They were designated with a pink triangle.

Q. Was the wearing of this triangle a well-established
custom, or on the contrary, was there much confusion in the
classification?

A. At the very beginning, before my arrival, from what I
heard, there was some order with respect to triangular
badges, but when I arrived at Buchenwald, in January of
1944, there was the greatest confusion in the badges, and
many prisoners wore no badge at all.

Q. Or did they wear badges of a category different from
their own?

A. Yes, this was the case with many Frenchmen, who were sent
to Buchenwald because they were ordinary criminals, and who
finally wore the red triangle of political prisoners.

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