Many Mengeles: Auschwitz Pseudomedical Experimentations
Josef Mengele (1911–79) became notorious for his experiments on children – mostly twins – in Auschwitz, but he was not alone. More than 30 SS-doctors conducted pseudo-medical experiments in the largest Nazi concentration and annihilation camp. Prisoners, deemed “racially inferior” by Nazi racial ideology, were deprived of the right to live and sacrificed in research projects in epidemiology, war surgery, air and space medicine, sea rescue, and the attempt to eradicate homosexuality, as well as racial biology/genetics.
Thousands of concentration camp prisoners suffered death or mutilation in unethical experiments. What motivated these physicians, how do we look at their results, and what did the world learn from the frightening experience of Nazi – Auschwitz – pseudo-medical experiments?
Therkel Stræde is Denmark’s leading Holocaust-scholar. He has published on the escape of the Danish Jews to Sweden in Oct. 1943, the Holocaust in Belarus and the history of Auschwitz and other Nazi camps. In 2018, he initiated the website www.danskejoederitheresienstadt.org (available in Swedish) about the experience of the Jewish deportees from Denmark in the Nazi ghetto. His internationally acknowledged course on ’Medicine in Nazi Germany’ and the ethical teachings of the Nazi medical crimes has been very popular with students at the Odense School of Medicine.
The talk is in English.