The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-22/tgmwc-22-211.02


Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-22/tgmwc-22-211.02
Last-Modified: 2001/01/10

Q. Witness, will you kindly tell us now what you know about
the illegal experiments carried out on human beings by
German doctors? I would ask you to testify very briefly as
to these questions because they have already been
sufficiently gone into in the trial.

A. In the course of my duty I learned of a few things. In
1943, I believe it was in October, we had at the Military
Medical Academy a scientific meeting of qualified doctors,
so-called advisory doctors; and Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr.
Ding lectured to the bacteriology section, which comprised
about 30 gentlemen, on tests with typhus vaccine. The
lecture showed that this Dr. Ding had inoculated prisoners
with vaccines against typhus in the Buchenwald concentration
camp, and that some while after, I do not know how long it
was, he had artificially infected them with typhus by typhus-
infected lice, and that, whether these people contracted
typhus or not, he based his conclusions on the protection
which the vaccine had given or not given to the people in
question. Since vaccines of various qualities had been given
deaths occurred in several cases.

Q. Now, what was the scientific value of the experiments
carried out by this Dr. Ding?

A. In my opinion they had no scientific value at all. In the
course of the war we had gained much knowledge in this field
by empirical means and collected a great deal of experience.
We knew our vaccines very well, and there was no need for
these further tests. A number of the vaccines with which
Ding experimented were not used at all in the Wehrmacht and
were rejected.

Q. Please continue your statements regarding this question.

A. There was a second matter which came to my notice in the
course of my duties: The head of the hospital in
Hohenlychen, SS Gruppenfuehrer Professor Gebhardt, a
talented surgeon, had carried out head operations on Russian
prisoners of war and had killed the prisoners at certain
intervals in order to observe the pathological changes, the
progress of the bone changes on the basis of trepanation,
the results of the operations, and so forth. And thirdly I
attended

                                                   [Page 91]

here in Nuremberg a scientific meeting held by the High
Command of the Luftwaffe.

Q. When did this take place?

A. The meeting was some time in 1943, I cannot say exactly
when. I believe it was the autumn, but it may have been in
the summer. At this meeting, which was held in the hotel
near the station, two doctors, Dr. Kramer and Professor
Holzlehner, director of the Psychological Institute at the
University of Kiel, reported on experiments which they had
carried out on behalf of the High Command of the Luftwaffe
in Dachau on the inmates of the concentration camp. The
purpose of the experiments had been to obtain data for the
production of a new protective suit for airmen in the
English Channel. Many German airmen had been shot down in
the Channel and had, in a short time, met their death in the
cold water before the rescue plane could reach them. Now, it
was proposed to make a suit which would have some kind of
insulating effect and protect the body against cold. For
this purpose the persons on whom the experiments were
carried out had to be put in water of varying low
temperatures - ice-cold water, water at zero, water of more
than five degrees - I do not know exactly what all the
temperatures were; and measurements were taken showing the
fall of body temperature. It showed the falling off of body
temperature by a graph, the temperature at the point between
life and death. The subjects of the experiments had on
various suits, the ordinary ones, which were worn at that
time, and others. I recall one special suit which developed
a foam between the suit and the skin, that is, a layer of
air which had an immediate insulating effect, and death from
freezing could be postponed for a considerable time by this
suit. Of course, these experiments, which were undertaken
under narcosis, cost a number of subjects their lives.

Q. Please tell us what the defendant Goering had to do with
the experiments carried out at Dachau.

A. Stabsarzt Kramer said at the beginning of his lecture
that defendant Goering had ordered these experiments, and
that the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler had kindly made available
the subjects for the experiments.

Q. Do you yourself admit the possibility that similar
experiments could have been carried out without the
knowledge of the defendant Goering?

A. I cannot imagine that.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Mr. President, I have no further
questions to put to this witness.

CROSS-EXAMINATION

BY DR. LATERNSER:

Q. Witness, you were in a Russian prisoner-of-war camp?

A. Yes.

Q. Where?

A. Near Moscow.

Q. Did you hold any office in this camp?

A. No. I held no office in the prisoner-of-war camp.

Q. How did it come about that you made your statement on
10th April? Did you yourself take the initiative or were you
asked to do so?

A. I myself took the initiative. When I heard the report of
Dr. Kramer and Professor Holzlehner here in Nuremberg I was
deeply shocked at the obvious perversion of some of the
German doctors. Even at that time I had already spoken about
it to the Chief of the Army Medical Service -
Generaloberstabsarzt Handloser, who shared my opinion; and
when more and more such things were reported in the papers I
considered it my duty - as I said before - in the interest
of the future of the German medical profession, to clear
these things up once and for all.

                                                   [Page 92]

Q. What did you learn about such things?

A. What I said before.

Q. No, I mean what you learned in the prisoner-of-war camp.

A. From the papers which we received.

Q. What did you learn from the papers?

A. I learned -

Q. One moment, witness. Have you a piece of paper before
you?

A. Yes.

Q. What does it say?

A. "You can speak faster."

Q. One question: Your testimony in answer to the questions
of the Russian Prosecutor today, was it prepared?

A. I was examined, and what I said is in this statement.

Q. I ask you, witness, whether before the examination today
you were informed by the Russian examiner of what you were
to testify to? Was your testimony previously determined?

A. No, my statement was not previously determined, but I
knew that I would speak about "bacteriological warfare and
experiments on human beings."

Q. Now, to the statement; you have the statement before you?

A. Yes, here it is.

Q. At the end of that statement there is a note. Would you
please look at it?

A. Yes.

Q. Was this note put on this document in your presence?

A. No, I received this document here in this room a little
while ago.

Q. I mean something else; was your signature certified on
the original? Or did you send off the original before this
note, which now appears at the end, was added?

A. I gave my statement. No note was written on it in my
presence.

Q. Was any advantage promised to you for making this report?

A. No, you know that. I will not allow anybody to hold out
advantages to me.

Q. I do not know. That is why I asked you. Was the German
Army Medic Service at any time afraid that the Soviet Union
might use bacteria as a means of combat?

A. Not the Army Medical Inspectorate, but the General Staff.
In 1942, the General Staff inquired of the Army Medical
Inspectorate whether the enemy in the East might be expected
to use bacteria as a weapon. I myself wrote the answer. On
the basis of Intelligence reports, reports of the army
doctors on the Eastern front and the situation regarding
epidemics among our troops, we were able to say that this
fear was not justified. That opinion was given by me in
1942. It was a comprehensive opinion and was prepared by me
and signed by Generaloberstabsarzt Handloser. As early as
1939 an opinion about the same matter had been asked for,
and was drawn up on similar lines and signed by the
Generaloberstabsarzt Dr. Waltman.

Q. You stated that in 1943, after Stalingrad, an order to
make preparation for this bacteriological warfare against
Russia was issued. Do you know who issued the order to
prepare for this warfare?

A. Well, I -

Q. I ask you, do you know who issued this order? It is a
clear question. I ask you to answer it equally clearly.

A. It was not said at the conference who issued it.

Q. You do not know who issued the order?

A. No.

Q. Then, you do not know - or do you know the exact contents
of the order?

A. No. I did not receive any written order. The Chief of
Staff of the General Wehrmacht Office said that the Fuehrer
had given the Reichsmarschall full powers for carrying out
all the preparations.

                                                   [Page 93]

Q. So, what you said about it is hearsay? You do not know it
yourself?

A. I was told so officially at the conference, and therefore
it is not hearsay. At an official conference, we who were
assembled there were told that officially.

Q. When you were told that at this conference, what was your
position?

A. As I said before, I was a representative of the Army
Medical Inspectorate.

Q. When this proposal was made known, what did you do - you
yourself?

A. I pointed out that bacteria were an unreliable and
dangerous weapon. I did nothing else.

Q. You were an expert. Since 1942 you had been a professor?

A. Yes.

Q. And you said nothing else?

A. No, nothing else.

Q. Why did you not say anything else?

A. Because we were confronted with a fait accompli.

Q. Fait accompli? But you say the matter was to be
discussed.

A. We were told it. It was not discussed. We were told,
"This decision has been arrived at."

Q. But it was a fait accompli only if these bacteria were
actually to be used. It was only proposed to start the
preparations. A strong objection by a professor in such a
high position might have had some effect. You should have at
least tried it. Might it not have changed this opinion?

A. According to our experience, nothing could be done
against such a decision. As an expert I pointed out that it
was a dangerous and unreliable weapon.

Q. You could have got up and left the room or made some
strong protest.

A. It would have been better if I had done so.

Q. That is enough on that point. The working group was to
meet once a month in the rooms of the General Wehrmacht
Office in Berlin. Do you know how many meetings took place?

A. No. I cannot tell you.

Q. Do you know when the last meeting was?

A. I cannot say that either.

Q. Were any meetings held?

A. I beg your pardon?

Q. Were any meetings held?

A. Yes. Meetings were held.

Q. Do you know whether there are records of these meetings?

A. I assume so, certainly. Professor Klieve informed me from
time to time.

Q. Did you yourself belong to this working group?

A. No.

Q. When and in what way did Professor Blome receive powers
from Goering to make immediate arrangements for the medical
and technical sides of these preparations?

A. Immediately after this conference, perhaps on the very
same day or previously, because Blome's name was mentioned
at the conference. At least, it was said he had been
proposed, and two days later I was told, "Blome is the man."

Q. And who told you that?

A. My immediate superior. Generalarzt Schmidtbrucken.

Q. At what time did the spraying experiments from aeroplanes
take place?

A. I cannot tell you.

Q. What do you know about these spraying experiments?

A. The following: Bacterial emulsions with non-pathogenic
bacteria which could be easily found again - easily
determined culturally - were sprayed from Planes on an
experimental field near the institute at Posen.

Q. Did you yourself see such experiments?

A. No.

Q. How do you know that these experiments took place?

                                                   [Page 94]

A. Klieve spoke to me about these spraying experiments and
said that first, a dyestuff had been taken which had more or
less the same specific density bacterial emulsion. This had
been poured over the land, and then experiments were made
with samples.

Q. Did Klieve see these experiments himself?

A. I believe so.

Q. You cannot say for sure?

A. I would not like to swear to it, but it is extremely
probable.


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