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Title: Trials of War Criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10 (Oct 1946-Apr 1949) (Vol. 1)

Date of first publication: 1949

Author: anonymous

Date first posted: June 4, 2017

Date last updated: June 4, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20170609

This ebook was produced by: Larry Harrison, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net



TRIALS

OF

WAR  CRIMINALS

BEFORE  THE

NUERNBERG  MILITARY  TRIBUNALS

UNDER

CONTROL  COUNCIL  LAW  No.  10

 

 

 

 

VOLUME  I

 

 

NUERNBERG

OCTOBER 1946-APRIL 1949

 


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington 25, D. C. — Price $2.75 (Buckram)


 

PREFACE

In April 1949, judgment was rendered in the last of the series of 12 Nuernberg war crimes trials which had begun in October 1946 and were held pursuant to Allied Control Council Law No. 10. Far from being of concern solely to lawyers, these trials are of especial interest to soldiers, historians, students of international affairs, and others. The defendants in these proceedings, charged with war crimes and other offenses against international penal law, were prominent figures in Hitler’s Germany and included such outstanding diplomats and politicians as the State Secretary of the Foreign Office, von Weizsaecker, and cabinet ministers von Krosigk and Lammers; military leaders such as Field Marshals von Leeb, List, and von Kuechler; SS leaders such as Ohlendorf, Pohl, and Hildebrandt; industrialists such as Flick, Alfried Krupp, and the directors of I. G. Farben; and leading professional men such as the famous physician Gerhard Rose, and the jurist and Acting Minister of Justice, Schlegelberger.

In view of the weight of the accusations and the far-flung activities of the defendants, and the extraordinary amount of official contemporaneous German documents introduced in evidence, the records of these trials constitute a major source of historical material covering many events of the fateful years 1933 (and even earlier) to 1945, in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

The Nuernberg trials under Law No. 10 were carried out under the direct authority of the Allied Control Council, as manifested in that law, which authorized the establishment of the Tribunals. The judicial machinery for the trials, including the Military Tribunals and the Office, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, was prescribed by Military Government Ordinance No. 7 and was part of the occupation administration for the American zone, the Office of Military Government (OMGUS). Law No. 10, Ordinance No. 7, and other basic jurisdictional or administrative documents are printed in full hereinafter.

The proceedings in these trials were conducted throughout in the German and English languages, and were recorded in full by stenographic notes, and by electrical sound recording of all oral proceedings. The 12 cases required over 1,200 days of court proceedings and the transcript of these proceedings exceeds 330,000 pages, exclusive of hundreds of document books, briefs, etc. Publication of all of this material, accordingly, was quite unfeasible. This series, however, contains the indictments, judgments, and other important portions of the record of the 12 cases, and it is believed that these materials give a fair picture of the trials, and as full and illuminating a picture as is possible within the space available. Copies of the entire record of the trials are available in the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and elsewhere.

In some cases, due to time limitations, errors of one sort or another have crept into the translations which were available to the Tribunal. In other cases the same document appears in different trials, or even at different parts of the same trial, with variations in translation. For the most part these inconsistencies have been allowed to remain and only such errors as might cause misunderstanding have been corrected.

Volume I and part of Volume II of this series are dedicated to the first of the twelve cases, United States vs. Karl Brandt, et al. (Case No. 1). This trial has become known as the Medical Case, because 20 of the 23 defendants were doctors, and the charges related principally to medical experimentation on human beings. The remainder of Volume II is devoted to the trial of former Field Marshal Erhard Milch, who was also charged with criminal responsibilities for medical experimentation on human beings (of which charge he was acquitted), and with responsibility for the deportation to forced labor of numerous civilians, in violation of the laws of war (of which charge he was convicted).


CONTENTS

    
Prefaceiii
Trials of War Criminals before Nuernberg Military Tribunalsvii
Declaration on German Atrocitiesviii
Executive Order 9547ix
London Agreement of 8 August 1945ix
Charter of The International Military Tribunalxi
Control Council Law No. 10xvi
Executive Order 9679xx
General Orders Number 301, Hq. USFET, 24 October 1946xx
Military Government—Germany, United States Zone, Ordinance No. 7xxi
Military Government—Germany, Ordinance No. 11xxvi
Officials of the Office of the Secretary Generalxxviii
    
The Medical Case
    
Introduction3
Order Constituting Tribunal I5
Members of the Tribunal6
Prosecution Counsel7
Defense Counsel7
I.  Indictment8
II.  Arraignment18
III.  Statement of the Tribunal on the Order of Trial and Rules of Procedure, 9 December 194624
IV.  Opening Statement of the Prosecution by Brigadier General Telford Taylor, 9 December 194627
V.  Introductory Statement on the Presentation of Evidence Made by the Prosecution, 10 December 194675
VI.  Organization of the German Medical Services81
VII.  Extracts from Argumentation and Evidence of Prosecution and Defense92
A. Medical Experiments92
1.High-altitude Experiments92
2.Freezing Experiments198
3.Malaria Experiments278
4.Lost (Mustard) Gas Experiments314
5.Sulfanilamide Experiments354
6.Bone, Muscle and Nerve Regeneration, and Bone Transplantation Experiments391
7.Sea-water Experiments418
8.Epidemic Jaundice Experiments494
9.Typhus and Other Vaccine Experiments508
10.Experiments with Poison631
11.Incendiary Bomb Experiments639
12.Phlegmon Experiments653
13.Polygal Experiments669
14.Gas Oedema (Phenol) Experiments684
15.Experiments for Mass Sterilization694
B. Jewish Skeleton Collection738
C. Project to kill Tubercular Polish Nationals759
D. Euthanasia794
E. Selections from Photographic Evidence of the Prosecution897
VIII.  Evidence and Arguments on Important Aspects of the Case909
A. Applicability of Control Council Law No. 10, to offenses against Germans During the War909
B. Responsibility of Superiors for Acts of Subordinates925
C. Responsibility of Subordinates for Acts Carried Out under Superior Orders957
D. Status of Occupied Poland under International Law974
E. Voluntary Participation of Experimental Subjects980
(Sec. VIII continued in Vol. II)
    
    
    
Volume II
    
VIII.  Evidence and Arguments on Important Aspects of the Case
F. Necessity
G. Subjection to Medical Experimentation as Substitute for Penalties
H. Usefulness of the Experiments
I. Medical Ethics
1.General
2.German Medical Profession
3.Medical Experiments in other Countries
IX.  Ruling of the Tribunal on Count One of the Indictment
X.  Final Plea for Defendant Karl Brandt by Dr. Servatius
XI.  Final Statements of the Defendants, 19 July 1947
XII.  Judgment
       Sentences
XIII.  Petitions
XIV.  Affirmation of Sentences by the Commander of the U. S. Zone of Occupation
XV.  Supreme Court of the United States Denial of Writs of Habeas Corpus
Appendix
    Table of Comparative Ranks
    List of Witnesses in Case I
Index

TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS

Case
No.United States againstPopular NameVolume No.
 1Karl Brandt, et al.Medical CaseI and II
 2Erhard MilchMilch CaseII
 3Josef Altstoetter, et al.Justice CaseIII
 4Oswald Pohl, et al.Pohl CaseV
 5Friedrich Flick, et al.Flick CaseVI
 6Carl Krauch, et al.I. G. Farben CaseVII and VIII
 7Wilhelm List, et al.Hostage CaseXI
 8Ulrich Greifelt, et al.RuSHA CaseIV and V
 9Otto Ohlendorf, et al.Einsatzgruppen CaseIV
10Alfred Krupp, et al.Krupp CaseIX
11Ernst von Weizsaecker, et al.Ministries CaseXII, XIII, and XIV
12Wilhelm von Leeb, et al.High Command CaseX and XI
ProcedureXV

DECLARATION ON GERMAN ATROCITIES

[Moscow Declaration]

Released November 1, 1943

THE UNITED KINGDOM, the United States and the Soviet Union have received from many quarters evidence of atrocities, massacres and cold-blooded mass executions which are being perpetrated by the Hitlerite forces in the many countries they have overrun and from which they are now being steadily expelled. The brutalities of Hitlerite domination are no new thing and all the peoples or territories in their grip have suffered from the worst form of government by terror. What is new is that many of these territories are now being redeemed by the advancing armies of the liberating Powers and that in their desperation, the recoiling Hitlerite Huns are redoubling their ruthless cruelties. This is now evidenced with particular clearness by monstrous crimes of the Hitlerites on the territory of the Soviet Union which is being liberated from the Hitlerites, and on French and Italian territory.

Accordingly, the aforesaid three allied Powers, speaking in the interests of the thirty-two [thirty-three] United Nations, hereby solemnly declare and give full warning of their declaration as follows:

At the time of the granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for, or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres, and executions, will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free governments which will be created therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries having regard especially to the invaded parts of the Soviet Union, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece, including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, France and Italy.

Thus, the Germans who take part in wholesale shootings of Italian officers or in the execution of French, Dutch, Belgian, or Norwegian hostages or of Cretan peasants, or who have shared in the slaughters inflicted on the people of Poland or in territories of the Soviet Union which are now being swept clear of the enemy, will know that they will be brought back to the scene of their crimes and judged on the spot by the peoples whom they have outraged. Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three allied Powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done.

The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major criminals, whose offences have no particular geographical localisation and who will be punished by the joint decision of the Governments of the Allies.

[Signed]
Roosevelt
Churchill
Stalin

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9547

Providing for Representation of the United States in Preparing and Prosecuting Charges of Atrocities and War Crimes Against the Leaders of the European Axis Powers and Their Principal Agents and Accessories

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President and as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, under the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

1. Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson is hereby designated to act as the Representative of the United States and as its Chief of Counsel in preparing and prosecuting charges of atrocities and war crimes against such of the leaders of the European Axis powers and their principal agents and accessories as the United States may agree with any of the United Nations to bring to trial before an international military tribunal. He shall serve without additional compensation but shall receive such allowance for expenses as may be authorized by the President.

2. The Representative named herein is authorized to select and recommend to the President or to the head of any executive department, independent establishment, or other federal agency necessary personnel to assist in the performance of his duties hereunder. The head of each executive department, independent establishment, and other federal agency is hereby authorized to assist the Representative named herein in the performance of his duties hereunder and to employ such personnel and make such expenditures, within the limits of appropriations now or hereafter available for the purpose, as the Representative named herein may deem necessary to accomplish the purposes of this order, and may make available, assign, or detail for duty with the Representative named herein such members of the armed forces and other personnel as may be requested for such purposes.

3. The Representative named herein is authorized to cooperate with, and receive the assistance of, any foreign Government to the extent deemed necessary by him to accomplish the purposes of this order.

Harry S. Truman

The White House,

May 2, 1945.

(F. R. Doc. 45-7256; Filed, May 3, 1945; 10:57 a. m.)


LONDON AGREEMENT OF 8 AUGUST 1945

AGREEMENT by the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis

Whereas the United Nations have from time to time made declarations of their intention that War Criminals shall be brought to justice;

And whereas the Moscow Declaration of the 30th October 1943 on German atrocities in Occupied Europe stated that those German Officers and men and members of the Nazi Party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in atrocities and crimes will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free Governments that will be created therein;

And whereas this Declaration was stated to be without prejudice to the case of major criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical location and who will be punished by the Joint decision of the Governments of the Allies;

Now therefore the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (hereinafter called “the Signatories”) acting in the interests of all the United Nations and by their representatives duly authorized thereto have concluded this Agreement.

Article 1. There shall be established after consultation with the Control Council for Germany an International Military Tribunal for the trial of war criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical location whether they be accused individually or in their capacity as members of organizations or groups or in both capacities.

Article 2. The constitution, jurisdiction and functions of the International Military Tribunal shall be those set out in the Charter annexed to this Agreement, which Charter shall form an integral part of this Agreement.

Article 3. Each of the Signatories shall take the necessary steps to make available for the investigation of the charges and trial the major war criminals detained by them who are to be tried by the International Military Tribunal. The Signatories shall also use their best endeavors to make available for investigation of the charges against and the trial before the International Military Tribunal such of the major war criminals as are not in the territories of any of the Signatories.

Article 4. Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice the provisions established by the Moscow Declaration concerning the return of war criminals to the countries where they committed their crimes.

Article 5. Any Government of the United Nations may adhere to this Agreement by notice given through the diplomatic channel to the Government of the United Kingdom, who shall inform the other signatory and adhering Governments of each such adherence.

Article 6. Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice the jurisdiction or the powers of any national or occupation court established or to be established in any allied territory or in Germany for the trial of war criminals.

Article 7. This agreement shall come into force on the day of signature and shall remain in force for the period of one year and shall continue thereafter, subject to the right of any Signatory to give, through the diplomatic channel, one month’s notice of intention to terminate it. Such termination shall not prejudice any proceedings already taken or any findings already made in pursuance of this Agreement.

In witness whereof the Undersigned have signed the present Agreement.

Done in quadruplicate in London this 8th day of August 1945 each in English, French and Russian, and each text to have equal authenticity.

For the Government of the United States of America

Robert H. Jackson

For the Provisional Government of the French Republic

Robert Falco

For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Jowitt, C.

For the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

I. Nikitchenko

A. Trainin


CHARTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL

I. CONSTITUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL

Article 1. In pursuance of the Agreement signed on the 8th day of August 1945 by the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, there shall be established an International Military Tribunal (hereinafter called “the Tribunal”) for the just and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis.

Article 2. The Tribunal shall consist of four members, each with an alternate. One member and one alternate shall be appointed by each of the Signatories. The alternates shall, so far as they are able, be present at all sessions of the Tribunal. In case of illness of any member of the Tribunal or his incapacity for some other reason to fulfill his functions, his alternate shall take his place.

Article 3. Neither the Tribunal, its members nor their alternates can be challenged by the prosecution, or by the Defendants or their Counsel. Each Signatory may replace its member of the Tribunal or his alternate for reasons of health or for other good reasons, except that no replacement may take place during a Trial, other than by an alternate.

Article 4.

(a) The presence of all four members of the Tribunal or the alternate for any absent member shall be necessary to constitute the quorum.

(b) The members of the Tribunal shall, before any trial begins, agree among themselves upon the selection from their number of a President, and the President shall hold office during that trial, or as may otherwise be agreed by a vote of not less than three members. The principle of rotation of presidency for successive trials is agreed. If, however, a session of the Tribunal takes place on the territory of one of the four Signatories, the representative of that Signatory on the Tribunal shall preside.

(c) Save as aforesaid the Tribunal shall take decisions by a majority vote and in case the votes are evenly divided, the vote of the President shall be decisive: provided always that convictions and sentences shall only be imposed by affirmative votes of at least three members of the Tribunal.

Article 5. In case of need and depending on the number of the matters to be tried, other Tribunals may be set up; and the establishment, functions, and procedure of each Tribunal shall be identical, and shall be governed by this Charter.

II. JURISDICTION AND GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Article 6. The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of International treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

(c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.[1]

Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

Article 7. The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.

Article 8. The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires.

Article 9. At the trial of any individual member of any group or organization the Tribunal may declare (in connection with any act of which the individual may be convicted) that the group or organization of which the individual was a member was a criminal organization.

After receipt of the Indictment the Tribunal shall give such notice as it thinks fit that the prosecution intends to ask the Tribunal to make such declaration and any member of the organization will be entitled to apply to the Tribunal for leave to be heard by the Tribunal upon the question of the criminal character of the organization. The Tribunal shall have power to allow or reject the application. If the application is allowed, the Tribunal may direct in what manner the applicants shall be represented and heard.

Article 10. In cases where a group or organization is declared criminal by the Tribunal, the competent national authority of any Signatory shall have the right to bring individuals to trial for membership therein before national, military or occupation courts. In any such case the criminal nature of the group or organization is considered proved and shall not be questioned.

Article 11. Any person convicted by the Tribunal may be charged before a national, military or occupation court, referred to in Article 10 of this Charter, with a crime other than of membership in a criminal group or organization and such court may, after convicting him, impose upon him punishment independent of and additional to the punishment imposed by the Tribunal for participation in the criminal activities of such group or organization.

Article 12. The Tribunal shall have the right to take proceedings against a person charged with crimes set out in Article 6 of this Charter in his absence, if he has not been found or if the Tribunal, for any reason, finds it necessary, in the interests of justice, to conduct the hearing in his absence.

Article 13. The Tribunal shall draw up rules for its procedure. These rules shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter.

III. COMMITTEE FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF
MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS

Article 14. Each Signatory shall appoint a Chief Prosecutor for the investigation of the charges against and the prosecution of major war criminals.

The Chief Prosecutors shall act as a committee for the following purposes:

(a) to agree upon a plan of the individual work of each of the Chief Prosecutors and his staff,

(b) to settle the final designation of major war criminals to be tried by the Tribunal,

(c) to improve the Indictment and the documents to be submitted therewith,

(d) to lodge the Indictment and the accompanying documents with the Tribunal,

(e) to draw up and recommend to the Tribunal for its approval draft rules of procedure, contemplated by Article 13 of this Charter. The Tribunal shall have power to accept, with or without amendments, or to reject, the rules so recommended.

The Committee shall act in all the above matters by a majority vote and shall appoint a Chairman as may be convenient and in accordance with the principle of rotation: provided that if there is an equal division of vote concerning the designation of a Defendant to be tried by the Tribunal, or the crimes with which he shall be charged, that proposal will be adopted which was made by the party which proposed that the particular Defendant be tried, or the particular charges be preferred against him.

Article 15. The Chief Prosecutors shall individually, and acting in collaboration with one another, also undertake the following duties:

(a) investigation, collection, and production before or at the Trial of all necessary evidence,

(b) the preparation of the Indictment for approval by the Committee in accordance with paragraph (c) of Article 14 hereof,

(c) the preliminary examination of all necessary witnesses and of the Defendants,

(d) to act as prosecutor at the Trial,

(e) to appoint representatives to carry out such duties as may be assigned to them,

(f) to undertake such other matters as may appear necessary to them for the purposes of the preparation for and conduct of the Trial.

It is understood that no witness or Defendant detained by any Signatory shall be taken out of the possession of that Signatory without its assent.

IV. FAIR TRIAL FOR DEFENDANTS

Article 16. In order to ensure fair trial for the Defendants, the following procedure shall be followed:

(a) The Indictment shall include full particulars specifying in detail the charges against the Defendants. A copy of the Indictment and of all the documents lodged with the Indictment, translated into a language which he understands, shall be furnished to the Defendant at a reasonable time before the Trial.

(b) During any preliminary examination or trial of a Defendant he shall have the right to give any explanation relevant to the charges made against him.

(c) A preliminary examination of a Defendant and his Trial shall be conducted in, or translated into, a language which the Defendant understands.

(d) A defendant shall have the right to conduct his own defense before the Tribunal or to have the assistance of Counsel.

(e) A defendant shall have the right through himself or through his Counsel to present evidence at the Trial in support of his defense, and to cross-examine any witness called by the Prosecution.

V. POWERS OF THE TRIBUNAL AND CONDUCT OF THE TRIAL

Article 17. The Tribunal shall have the power

(a) to summon witnesses to the Trial and to require their attendance and testimony and to put questions to them,

(b) to interrogate any Defendant,

(c) to require the production of documents and other evidentiary material,

(d) to administer oaths to witnesses,

(e) to appoint officers for the carrying out of any task designated by the Tribunal including the power to have evidence taken on commission.

Article 18. The Tribunal shall

(a) confine the Trial strictly to an expeditious hearing of the issues raised by the charges,

(b) take strict measures to prevent any action which will cause unreasonable delay, and rule out irrelevant issues and statements of any kind whatsoever,

(c) deal summarily with any contumacy, imposing appropriate punishment, including exclusion of any Defendant or his Counsel from some or all further proceedings, but without prejudice to the determination of the charges.

Article 19. The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and non-technical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value.

Article 20. The Tribunal may require to be informed of the nature of any evidence before it is offered so that it may rule upon the relevance thereof.

Article 21. The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take Judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military or other Tribunals of any of the United Nations.

Article 22. The permanent seat of the Tribunal shall be in Berlin. The first meetings of the members of the Tribunal and of the Chief Prosecutors shall be held at Berlin in a place to be designated by the Control Council for Germany. The first trial shall be held at Nuremberg, and any subsequent trials shall be held at such places as the Tribunal may decide.

Article 23. One or more of the Chief Prosecutors may take part in the prosecution at each Trial. The function of any Chief Prosecutor may be discharged by him personally, or by any person or persons authorized by him.

The function of Counsel for a Defendant may be discharged at the Defendant’s request by any Counsel professionally qualified to conduct cases before the Courts of his own country, or by any other person who may be specially authorized thereto by the Tribunal.

Article 24. The proceedings at the Trial shall take the following course:

(a) The Indictment shall be read in court.

(b) The Tribunal shall ask each Defendant whether he pleads “guilty” or “not guilty”.

(c) The Prosecution shall make an opening statement.

(d) The Tribunal shall ask the Prosecution and the Defense what evidence (if any) they wish to submit to the Tribunal, and the Tribunal shall rule upon the admissibility of any such evidence.

(e) The witnesses for the Prosecution shall be examined and after that the witnesses for the Defense. Thereafter such rebutting evidence as may be held by the Tribunal to be admissible shall be called by either the Prosecution or the Defense.

(f) The Tribunal may put any question to any witness and to any Defendant, at any time.

(g) The Prosecution and the Defense shall interrogate and may cross-examine any witnesses and any Defendant who gives testimony.

(h) The Defense shall address the court.

(i) The Prosecution shall address the court.

(j) Each Defendant may make a statement to the Tribunal.

(k) The Tribunal shall deliver judgment and pronounce sentence.

Article 25. All official documents shall be produced, and all court proceedings conducted, in English, French and Russian, and in the language of the Defendant. So much of the record and of the proceedings may also be translated into the language of any country in which the Tribunal is sitting, as the Tribunal considers desirable in the interests of justice and public opinion.

VI. JUDGMENT AND SENTENCE

Article 26. The judgment of the Tribunal as to the guilt or the innocence of any Defendant shall give the reasons on which it is based, and shall be final and not subject to review.

Article 27. The Tribunal shall have the right to impose upon a Defendant, on conviction, death or such other punishment as shall be determined by it to be just.

Article 28. In addition to any punishment imposed by it, the Tribunal shall have the right to deprive the convicted person of any stolen property and order its delivery to the Control Council for Germany.

Article 29. In case of guilt, sentences shall be carried out in accordance with the orders of the Control Council for Germany, which may at any time reduce or otherwise alter the sentences, but may not increase the severity thereof. If the Control Council for Germany, after any Defendant has been convicted and sentenced, discovers fresh evidence which, in its opinion, would found a fresh charge against him, the Council shall report accordingly to the Committee established under Article 14 hereof, for such action as they may consider proper, having regard to the interests of justice.

VII. EXPENSES

Article 30. The expenses of the Tribunal and of the Trials, shall be charged by the Signatories against the funds allotted for maintenance of the Control Council for Germany.


PROTOCOL

Whereas an Agreement and Charter regarding the Prosecution of War Criminals was signed in London on the 8th August 1945, in the English, French, and Russian languages.

And whereas a discrepancy has been found to exist between the originals of Article 6, paragraph (c), of the Charter in the Russian language, on the one hand, and the originals in the English and French languages, on the other, to wit, the semi-colon in Article 6, paragraph (c), of the Charter between the words “war” and “or”, as carried in the English and French texts, is a comma in the Russian text.

and whereas it is desired to rectify this discrepancy:

Now, therefore, the undersigned, signatories of the said Agreement on behalf of their respective Governments, duly authorized thereto, have agreed that Article 6, paragraph (c), of the Charter in the Russian text is correct, and that the meaning and intention of the Agreement and Charter require that the said semi-colon in the English text should be changed to a comma, and that the French text should be amended to read as follows:

(c) Les Crimes Contre L’Humanite: c’est à dire l’assassinat, l’extermination, la réduction en esclavage, la déportation, et tout autre acte inhumain commis contre toutes populations civiles, avant ou pendant la guerre, ou bien les persécutions pour des motifs politiques, raciaux, ou réligieux, lorsque ces actes ou persécutions, qu’ils aient constitué ou non une violation du droit interne du pays où ils ont été perpétrés, ont été commis à la suite de tout crime rentrant dans la compétence du Tribunal, ou en liaison avec ce crime.

In witness whereof the Undersigned have signed the present Protocol.

Done in quadruplicate in Berlin this 6th day of October, 1945, each in English, French, and Russian, and each text to have equal authenticity.

For the Government of the United States of America

Robert H. Jackson

For the Provisional Government of the French Republic

François de Menthon

For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Hartley Shawcross

For the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

R. Rudenko


[1] See proctocol p. XV for correction of this paragraph.


CONTROL COUNCIL LAW NO. 10

PUNISHMENT OF PERSONS GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST PEACE AND AGAINST HUMANITY

In order to give effect to the terms of the Moscow Declaration of 30 October 1943 and the London Agreement of 8 August 1945, and the Charter issued pursuant thereto and in order to establish a uniform legal basis in Germany for the prosecution of war criminals and other similar offenders, other than those dealt with by the International Military Tribunal, the Control Council enacts as follows:

Article I

The Moscow Declaration of 30 October 1943 “Concerning Responsibility of Hitlerites for Committed Atrocities” and the London Agreement of 8 August 1945 “Concerning Prosecution and Punishment of Major War Criminals of the European Axis” are made integral parts of this Law. Adherence to the provisions of the London Agreement by any of the United Nations, as provided for in Article V of that Agreement, shall not entitle such Nation to participate or interfere in the operation of this Law within the Control Council area of authority in Germany.

Article II

1. Each of the following acts is recognized as a crime:

(a) Crimes against Peace. Initiation of invasions of other countries and wars of aggression in violation of international laws and treaties, including but not limited to planning, preparation, initiation or waging a war of aggression, or a war of violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.

(b) War Crimes. Atrocities or offences against persons or property constituting violations of the laws or customs of war, including but not limited to, murder, ill treatment or deportation to slave labour or for any other purpose, of civilian population from occupied territory, murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against Humanity. Atrocities and offences, including but not limited to murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, rape, or other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds whether or not in violation of the domestic laws of the country where perpetrated.

(d) Membership in categories of a criminal group or organization declared criminal by the International Military Tribunal.

2. Any person without regard to nationality or the capacity in which he acted, is deemed to have committed a crime as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article, if he was (a) a principal or (b) was an accessory to the commission of any such crime or ordered or abetted the same or (c) took a consenting part therein or (d) was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or (e) was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime or (f) with reference to paragraph 1 (a), if he held a high political, civil or military (including General Staff) position in Germany or in one of its Allies, co-belligerents or satellites or held high position in the financial, industrial or economic life of any such country.

3. Any person found guilty of any of the Crimes above mentioned may upon conviction be punished as shall be determined by the tribunal to be just. Such punishment may consist of one or more of the following:

(a) Death.

(b) Imprisonment for life or a term of years, with or without hard labour.

(c) Fine, and imprisonment with or without hard labour, in lieu, thereof.

(d) Forfeiture of property.

(e) Restitution of property wrongfully acquired.

(f) Deprivation of some or all civil rights.

Any property declared to be forfeited or the restitution of which is ordered by the Tribunal shall be delivered to the Control Council for Germany, which shall decide on its disposal.

4. (a) The official position of any person, whether as Head of State or as a responsible official in a Government Department, does not free him from responsibility for a crime or entitle him to mitigation of punishment.

(b) The fact that any person acted pursuant to the order of his Government or of a superior does not free him from responsibility for a crime, but may be considered in mitigation.

5. In any trial or prosecution for a crime herein referred to, the accused shall not be entitled to the benefits of any statute of limitation in respect of the period from 30 January 1933 to 1 July 1945, nor shall any immunity, pardon or amnesty granted under the Nazi regime be admitted as a bar to trial or punishment.

Article III

1. Each occupying authority, within its Zone of occupation,

(a) shall have the right to cause persons within such Zone suspected of having committed a crime, including those charged with crime by one of the United Nations, to be arrested and shall take under control the property, real and personal, owned or controlled by the said persons, pending decisions as to its eventual disposition.

(b) shall report to the Legal Directorate the names of all suspected criminals, the reasons for and the places of their detention, if they are detained, and the names and location of witnesses.

(c) shall take appropriate measures to see that witnesses and evidence will be available when required.

(d) shall have the right to cause all persons so arrested and charged, and not delivered to another authority as herein provided, or released, to be brought to trial before an appropriate tribunal. Such tribunal may, in the case of crimes committed by persons of German citizenship or nationality against other persons of German citizenship or nationality, or stateless persons, be a German Court, if authorized by the occupying authorities.

2. The tribunal by which persons charged with offenses hereunder shall be tried and the rules and procedure thereof shall be determined or designated by each Zone Commander for his respective Zone. Nothing herein is intended to, or shall impair or limit the jurisdiction or power of any court or tribunal now or hereafter established in any Zone by the Commander thereof, or of the International Military Tribunal established by the London Agreement of 8 August 1945.

3. Persons wanted for trial by an International Military Tribunal will not be tried without the consent of the Committee of Chief Prosecutors. Each Zone Commander will deliver such persons who are within his Zone to that committee upon request and will make witnesses and evidence available to it.

4. Persons known to be wanted for trial in another Zone or outside Germany will not be tried prior to decision under Article IV unless the fact of their apprehension has been reported in accordance with Section 1 (b) of this Article, three months have elapsed thereafter, and no request for delivery of the type contemplated by Article IV has been received by the Zone Commander concerned.

5. The execution of death sentences may be deferred by not to exceed one month after the sentence has become final when the Zone Commander concerned has reason to believe that the testimony of those under sentence would be of value in the investigation and trial of crimes within or without his Zone.

6. Each Zone Commander will cause such effect to be given to the judgments of courts of competent jurisdiction, with respect to the property taken under his control pursuant hereto, as he may deem proper in the interest of justice.

Article IV

1. When any person in a Zone in Germany is alleged to have committed a crime, as defined in Article II, in a country other than Germany or in another Zone, the government of that nation or the Commander of the latter Zone, as the case may be, may request the Commander of the Zone in which the person is located for his arrest and delivery for trial to the country or Zone in which the crime was committed. Such request for delivery shall be granted by the Commander receiving it unless he believes such person is wanted for trial or as a witness by an International Military Tribunal, or in Germany, or in a nation other than the one making the request, or the Commander is not satisfied that delivery should be made, in any of which cases he shall have the right to forward the said request to the Legal Directorate of the Allied Control Authority. A similar procedure shall apply to witnesses, material exhibits and other forms of evidence.

2. The Legal Directorate shall consider all requests referred to it, and shall determine the same in accordance with the following principles, its determination to be communicated to the Zone Commander.

(a) A person wanted for trial or as a witness by an International Military Tribunal shall not be delivered for trial or required to give evidence outside Germany, as the case may be, except upon approval of the Committee of Chief Prosecutors acting under the London Agreement of 8 August 1945.

(b) A person wanted for trial by several authorities (other than an International Military Tribunal) shall be disposed of in accordance with the following priorities:

(1) If wanted for trial in the Zone in which he is, he should not be delivered unless arrangements are made for his return after trial elsewhere;

(2) If wanted for trial in a Zone other than that in which he is, he should be delivered to that Zone in preference to delivery outside Germany unless arrangements are made for his return to that Zone after trial elsewhere;

(3) If wanted for trial outside Germany by two or more of the United Nations, of one of which he is a citizen, that one should have priority;

(4) If wanted for trial outside Germany by several countries, not all of which are United Nations, United Nations should have priority;

(5) If wanted for trial outside Germany by two or more of the United Nations, then, subject to Article IV 2 (b) (3) above, that which has the most serious charges against him, which are moreover supported by evidence, should have priority.

Article V

The delivery, under Article IV of this Law, of persons for trial shall be made on demands of the Governments or Zone Commanders in such a manner that the delivery of criminals to one jurisdiction will not become the means of defeating or unnecessarily delaying the carrying out of justice in another place. If within six months the delivered person has not been convicted by the Court of the zone or country to which he has been delivered, then such person shall be returned upon demand of the Commander of the Zone where the person was located prior to delivery.

Done at Berlin, 20 December 1945.

Joseph T. McNarney

General

B. L. Montgomery

Field Marshal

L. Koeltz

General de Corps d’Armée

for P. Koenig

General d’Armée

G. Zhukov

Marshal of the Soviet Union


EXECUTIVE ORDER 9679

Amendment of Executive Order No. 9547 of May 2, 1945, Entitled “Providing for Representation of the United States in Preparing and Prosecuting Charges of Atrocities and War Crimes Against the Leaders of the European Axis Powers and Their Principal Agents and Accessories”

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, under the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

1. In addition to the authority vested in the Representative of the United States and its Chief of Counsel by Paragraph 1 of Executive Order No. 9547 of May 2, 1945, to prepare and prosecute charges of atrocities and war crimes against such of the leaders of the European Axis powers and their accessories as the United States may agree with any of the United Nations to bring to trial before an international military tribunal, such Representative and Chief of Counsel shall have the authority to proceed before United States military or occupation tribunals, in proper cases, against other Axis adherents, including but not limited to cases against members of groups and organizations declared criminal by the said international military tribunal.

2. The present Representative and Chief of Counsel is authorized to designate a Deputy Chief of Counsel, to whom he may assign responsibility for organizing and planning the prosecution of charges of atrocities and war crimes, other than those now being prosecuted as Case No. 1 in the international military tribunal, and, as he may be directed by the Chief of Counsel, for conducting the prosecution of such charges of atrocities and war crimes.

3. Upon vacation of office by the present Representative and Chief of Counsel, the functions, duties, and powers of the Representative of the United States and its Chief of Counsel, as specified in the said Executive Order No. 9547 of May 2, 1945, as amended by this order, shall be vested in a Chief of Counsel for War Crimes to be appointed by the United States Military Governor for Germany or by his successor.

4. The said Executive Order No. 9547 of May 2, 1945, is amended accordingly.

Harry S. Truman

The White House,

January 16, 1946.

(F. R. Doc. 46-893; Filed, Jan. 17, 1946; 11:08 a. m.)


HEADQUARTERS

US FORCES, EUROPEAN THEATER

General Orders}24 October 1946
No. 301}
  
Office of Chief of Counsel for War CrimesI
Chief ProsecutorII
Announcement of AssignmentsIII

I——OFFICE OF CHIEF OF COUNSEL FOR WAR CRIMES. Effective this date, the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes is transferred to the Office of Military Government for Germany (US). The Chief of Counsel for War Crimes will report directly to the Deputy Military Governor and will work in close liaison with the Legal Adviser of the Office of Military Government for Germany and with the Theater Judge Advocate.

II——CHIEF PROSECUTOR. Effective this date, the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes will also serve as Chief Prosecutor under the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, established by the Agreement of 8 August 1945.

III——ANNOUNCEMENT OF ASSIGNMENTS. Effective this date, Brigadier General Telford Taylor, USA, is announced as Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, in which capacity he will also serve as Chief Prosecutor for the United States under the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, established by the Agreement of 8 August 1945.

By command of GENERAL McNARNEY:

C. R. HUEBNER

Major General, GSC,

Chief of Staff

Official:

  GEORGE F. HERBERT

  Colonel, AGD

  Adjutant General

Distribution: D


MILITARY GOVERNMENT—GERMANY
UNITED STATES ZONE
ORDINANCE NO. 7

ORGANIZATION AND POWERS OF CERTAIN MILITARY TRIBUNALS

Article I

The purpose of this Ordinance is to provide for the establishment of military tribunals which shall have power to try and punish persons charged with offenses recognized as crimes in Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, including conspiracies to commit any such crimes. Nothing herein shall prejudice the jurisdiction or the powers of other courts established or which may be established for the trial of any such offenses.

Article II

(a) Pursuant to the powers of the Military Governor for the United States Zone of Occupation within Germany and further pursuant to the powers conferred upon the Zone Commander by Control Council Law No. 10 and Articles 10 and 11 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal annexed to the London Agreement of 8 August 1945 certain tribunals to be known as “Military Tribunals” shall be established hereunder.

(b) Each such tribunal shall consist of three or more members to be designated by the Military Governor. One alternate member may be designated to any tribunal if deemed advisable by the Military Governor. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Article, all members and alternates shall be lawyers who have been admitted to practice, for at least five years, in the highest courts of one of the United States or its territories or of the District of Columbia, or who have been admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court.

(c) The Military Governor may in his discretion enter into an agreement with one or more other zone commanders of the member nations of the Allied Control Authority providing for the joint trial of any case or cases. In such cases the tribunals shall consist of three or more members as may be provided in the agreement. In such cases the tribunals may include properly qualified lawyers designated by the other member nations.

(d) The Military Governor shall designate one of the members of the tribunal to serve as the presiding judge.

(e) Neither the tribunals nor the members of the tribunals or the alternates may be challenged by the prosecution or by the defendants or their counsel.

(f) In case of illness of any member of a tribunal or his incapacity for some other reason, the alternate, if one has been designated, shall take his place as a member in the pending trial. Members may be replaced for reasons of health or for other good reasons, except that no replacement of a member may take place, during a trial, other than by the alternate. If no alternate has been designated, the trial shall be continued to conclusion by the remaining members.

(g) The presence of three members of the tribunal or of two members when authorized pursuant to subsection (f) supra shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. In the case of tribunals designated under (c) above the agreement shall determine the requirements for a quorum.

(h) Decisions and judgments, including convictions and sentences, shall be by majority vote of the members. If the votes of the members are equally divided, the presiding member shall declare a mistrial.

Article III

(a) Charges against persons to be tried in the tribunals established hereunder shall originate in the Office of the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, appointed by the Military Governor pursuant to paragraph 3 of the Executive Order Numbered 9679 of the President of the United States dated 16 January 1946. The Chief of Counsel for War Crimes shall determine the persons to be tried by the tribunals and he or his designated representative shall file the indictments with the Secretary General of the tribunals (see Article XIV, infra) and shall conduct the prosecution.

(b) The Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, when in his judgment it is advisable, may invite one or more United Nations to designate representatives to participate in the prosecution of any case.

Article IV

In order to ensure fair trial for the defendants, the following procedure shall be followed:

(a) A defendant shall be furnished, at a reasonable time before his trial, a copy of the indictment and of all documents lodged with the indictment, translated into a language which he understands. The indictment shall state the charges plainly, concisely and with sufficient particulars to inform defendant of the offenses charged.

(b) The trial shall be conducted in, or translated into, a language which the defendant understands.

(c) A defendant shall have the right to be represented by counsel of his own selection, provided such counsel shall be a person qualified under existing regulations to conduct cases before the courts of defendant’s country, or any other person who may be specially authorized by the tribunal. The tribunal shall appoint qualified counsel to represent a defendant who is not represented by counsel of his own selection.

(d) Every defendant shall be entitled to be present at his trial except that a defendant may be proceeded against during temporary absences if in the opinion of the tribunal defendant’s interests will not thereby be impaired, and except further as provided in Article VI (c). The tribunal may also proceed in the absence of any defendant who has applied for and has been granted permission to be absent.

(e) A defendant shall have the right through his counsel to present evidence at the trial in support of his defense, and to cross examine any witness called by the prosecution.

(f) A defendant may apply in writing to the tribunal for the production of witnesses or of documents. The application shall state where the witness or document is thought to be located and shall also state the facts to be proved by the witness or the document and the relevancy of such facts to the defense. If the tribunal grants the application, the defendant shall be given such aid in obtaining production of evidence as the tribunal may order.

Article V

The tribunals shall have the power

(a) to summon witnesses to the trial, to require their attendance and testimony and to put questions to them;

(b) to interrogate any defendant who takes the stand to testify in his own behalf, or who is called to testify regarding another defendant;

(c) to require the production of documents and other evidentiary material;

(d) to administer oaths;

(e) to appoint officers for the carrying out of any task designated by the tribunals including the taking of evidence on commission;

(f) to adopt rules of procedure not inconsistent with this Ordinance. Such rules shall be adopted, and from time to time as necessary, revised by the members of the tribunal or by the committee of presiding judges as provided in Article XIII.

Article VI

The tribunals shall

(a) confine the trial strictly to an expeditious hearing of the issues raised by the charges;

(b) take strict measures to prevent any action which will cause unreasonable delay, and rule out irrelevant issues and statements of any kind whatsoever;

(c) deal summarily with any contumacy, imposing appropriate punishment, including the exclusion of any defendant or his counsel from some or all further proceedings, but without prejudice to the determination of the charges.

Article VII

The tribunals shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. They shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and non-technical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which they deem to have probative value. Without limiting the foregoing general rules, the following shall be deemed admissible if they appear to the tribunal to contain information of probative value relating to the charges: affidavits, depositions, interrogations, and other statements, diaries, letters, the records, findings, statements and judgments of the military tribunals and the reviewing and confirming authorities of any of the United Nations, and copies of any document or other secondary evidence of the contents of any document, if the original is not readily available or cannot be produced without delay. The tribunal shall afford the opposing party such opportunity to question the authenticity or probative value of such evidence as in the opinion of the tribunal the ends of justice require.

Article VIII

The tribunals may require that they be informed of the nature of any evidence before it is offered so that they may rule upon the relevance thereof.

Article IX

The tribunals shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. They shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of any of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military or other tribunals of any of the United Nations.

Article X

The determinations of the International Military Tribunal in the judgments in Case No. 1 that invasions, aggressive acts, aggressive wars, crimes, atrocities or inhumane acts were planned or occurred, shall be binding on the tribunals established hereunder and shall not be questioned except insofar as the participation therein or knowledge thereof by any particular person may be concerned. Statements of the International Military Tribunal in the judgment in Case No. 1 constitute proof of the facts stated, in the absence of substantial new evidence to the contrary.

Article XI

The proceedings at the trial shall take the following course:

(a) The tribunal shall inquire of each defendant whether he has received and had an opportunity to read the indictment against him and whether he pleads “guilty” or “not guilty.”

(b) The prosecution may make an opening statement.

(c) The prosecution shall produce its evidence subject to the cross examination of its witnesses.

(d) The defense may make an opening statement.

(e) The defense shall produce its evidence subject to the cross examination of its witnesses.

(f) Such rebutting evidence as may be held by the tribunal to be material may be produced by either the prosecution or the defense.

(g) The defense shall address the court.

(h) The prosecution shall address the court.

(i) Each defendant may make a statement to the tribunal.

(j) The tribunal shall deliver judgment and pronounce sentence.

Article XII

A Central Secretariat to assist the tribunals to be appointed hereunder shall be established as soon as practicable. The main office of the Secretariat shall be located in Nuernberg. The Secretariat shall consist of a Secretary General and such assistant secretaries, military officers, clerks, interpreters and other personnel as may be necessary.

Article XIII

The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Military Governor and shall organize and direct the work of the Secretariat. He shall be subject to the supervision of the members of the tribunals, except that when at least three tribunals shall be functioning, the presiding judges of the several tribunals may form the supervisory committee.

Article XIV

The Secretariat shall:

(a) Be responsible for the administrative and supply needs of the Secretariat and of the several tribunals.

(b) Receive all documents addressed to tribunals.

(c) Prepare and recommend uniform rules of procedure, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance.

(d) Secure such information for the tribunals as may be needed for the approval or appointment of defense counsel.

(e) Serve as liaison between the prosecution and defense counsel.

(f) Arrange for aid to be given defendants and the prosecution in obtaining production of witnesses or evidence as authorized by the tribunals.

(g) Be responsible for the preparation of the records of the proceedings before the tribunals.

(h) Provide the necessary clerical, reporting and interpretative services to the tribunals and its members, and perform such other duties as may be required for the efficient conduct of the proceedings before the tribunals, or as may be requested by any of the tribunals.

Article XV

The judgments of the tribunals as to the guilt or the innocence of any defendant shall give the reasons on which they are based and shall be final and not subject to review. The sentences imposed may be subject to review as provided in Article XVII, infra.

Article XVI

The tribunal shall have the right to impose upon the defendant, upon conviction, such punishment as shall be determined by the tribunal to be just, which may consist of one or more of the penalties provided in Article II, Section 3 of Control Council Law No. 10.

Article XVII

(a) Except as provided in (b) infra, the record of each case shall be forwarded to the Military Governor who shall have the power to mitigate, reduce or otherwise alter the sentence imposed by the tribunal, but may not increase the severity thereof.

(b) In cases tried before tribunals authorized by Article II (c), the sentence shall be reviewed jointly by the zone commanders of the nations involved, who mitigate, reduce or otherwise alter the sentence by majority vote, but may not increase the severity thereof. If only two nations are represented, the sentence may be altered only by the consent of both zone commanders.

Article XVIII

No sentence of death shall be carried into execution unless and until confirmed in writing by the Military Governor. In accordance with Article III, Section 5 of Law No. 10, execution of the death sentence may be deferred by not to exceed one month after such confirmation if there is reason to believe that the testimony of the convicted person may be of value in the investigation and trial of other crimes.

Article XIX

Upon the pronouncement of a death sentence by a tribunal established thereunder and pending confirmation thereof, the condemned will be remanded to the prison or place where he was confined and there be segregated from the other inmates, or be transferred to a more appropriate place of confinement.

Article XX

Upon the confirmation of a sentence of death the Military Governor will issue the necessary orders for carrying out the execution.

Article XXI

Where sentence of confinement for a term of years has been imposed the condemned shall be confined in the manner directed by the tribunal imposing sentence. The place of confinement may be changed from time to time by the Military Governor.

Article XXII

Any property declared to be forfeited or the restitution of which is ordered by a tribunal shall be delivered to the Military Governor, for disposal in accordance with Control Council Law No. 10, Article II (3).

Article XXIII

Any of the duties and functions of the Military Governor provided for herein may be delegated to the Deputy Military Governor. Any of the duties and functions of the Zone Commander provided for herein may be exercised by and in the name of the Military Governor and may be delegated to the Deputy Military Governor.

This Ordinance becomes effective 18 October 1946.

By order of Military Government.


MILITARY GOVERNMENT—GERMANY
ORDINANCE NO. 11

AMENDING MILITARY GOVERNMENT ORDINANCE NO. 7 OF 18 OCTOBER 1946, ENTITLED “ORGANIZATION AND POWERS OF CERTAIN MILITARY TRIBUNALS”

Article I

Article V of Ordinance No. 7 is amended by adding thereto a new subdivision to be designated “(g)”, reading as follows:

“(g) The presiding judges, and, when established, the supervisory committee of presiding judges provided in Article XIII shall assign the cases brought by the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes to the various Military Tribunals for trial.”

Article II

Ordinance No. 7 is amended by adding thereto a new article following Article V to be designated Article V-B, reading as follows:

“(a) A joint session of the Military Tribunals may be called by any of the presiding judges thereof or upon motion, addressed to each of the Tribunals, of the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes or of counsel for any defendant whose interests are affected, to hear argument upon and to review any interlocutory ruling by any of the Military Tribunals on a fundamental or important legal question either substantive or procedural, which ruling is in conflict with or is inconsistent with a prior ruling of another of the Military Tribunals.

“(b) A joint session of the Military Tribunals may be called in the same manner as provided in subsection (a) of this Article to hear argument upon and to review conflicting or inconsistent final rulings contained in the decisions or judgments of any of the Military Tribunals on a fundamental or important legal question, either substantive or procedural. Any motion with respect to such final ruling shall be filed within ten (10) days following the issuance of decision or judgment.

“(c) Decisions by joint sessions of the Military Tribunals, unless thereafter altered in another joint session, shall be binding upon all the Military Tribunals. In the case of the review of final rulings by joint sessions, the judgments reviewed may be confirmed or remanded for action consistent with the joint decision.

“(d) The presence of a majority of the members of each Military Tribunal then constituted is required to constitute a quorum.

“(e) The members of the Military Tribunals shall, before any joint session begins, agree among themselves upon the selection from their number of a member to preside over the joint session.

“(f) Decisions shall be by majority vote of the members. If the votes of the members are equally divided, the vote of the member presiding over the session shall be decisive.”

Article III

Subdivisions (g) and (h) of Article XI of Ordinance No. 7 are deleted; subdivision (i) is re-lettered “(h)”; subdivision (j) is relettered “(i)”; and a new subdivision, to be designated “(g)”, is added, reading as follows:

“(g) The prosecution and defense shall address the court in such order as the Tribunal may determine.”

This Ordinance becomes effective 17 February 1947.

By order of the Military Government.


OFFICIALS OF THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL

Secretaries General

Mr. Charles E. SandsFrom 25 October 1946 to 17 November 1946.
Mr. George M. ReadFrom 18 November 1946 to 19 January 1947.
Mr. Charles E. SandsFrom 20 January 1947 to 18 April 1947.
Colonel John E. RayFrom 19 April 1947 to 9 May 1948.
Dr. Howard H. RussellFrom 10 May 1948 to 1 December 1949.

Deputy and Executive Secretaries General

Mr. Charles E. SandsDeputy from 18 November 1946 to 10 January 1947.
Judge Richard D. DixonActing Deputy from 25 November 1946 to 5 March 1947.
Mr. Henry A. HendryDeputy from 6 March 1947 to 9 May 1947.
Mr. Homer B. MillardExecutive Secretary General from 3 March 1947 to 5 October 1947.
Lieutenant Colonel Herbert N. HolstenExecutive Secretary General from 6 October 1947 to 30 April 1949.

Assistant Secretaries General

[Since many trials were being held simultaneously, an Assistant Secretary General was designated by the Secretary General for each case. Assistant Secretaries General are listed with the members of each tribunal.]

Marshals of Military Tribunals

Colonel Charles W. MaysFrom 4 November 1946 to 5 September 1947.
Colonel Samuel L. MetcalfeFrom 7 September 1947 to 29 August 1948.
Captain Kenyon S. JenckesFrom 30 August 1948 to 30 April 1949.

Court Archives

Mrs. Barbara S. MandellaurChief from 21 February 1947 to 30 April 1949.

Defense Information Center

Mr. Lambertus WartenaDefense Administrator from 3 March 1947 to 16 September 1947.
Lieutenant Colonel Herbert N. HolstenDefense Administrator from 17 September 1947 to 19 October 1947.
Major Robert G. SchaeferDefense Administrator from 20 October 1947 to 30 April 1949.

“The Medical Case”

 

MILITARY TRIBUNAL NO. 1

 

CASE 1

 

The United States of America

 

—against—

Karl Brandt, Siegfried Handloser, Paul Rostock, Oskar Schroeder, Karl Genzken, Karl Gebhardt, Kurt Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Joachim Mrugowsky, Helmut Poppendick, Wolfram Sievers, Gerhard Rose, Siegfried Ruff, Hans Wolfgang Romberg, Viktor Brack, Hermann Becker-Freyseng, Georg August Weltz, Konrad Schaefer, Waldemar Hoven, Wilhelm Beiglboeck, Adolf Pokorny, Herta Oberheuser, and Fritz Fischer, Defendants


INTRODUCTION

The “Doctors Trial” or “Medical Case”—officially designated United States of America vs. Karl Brandt, et al. (Case No. 1)—was tried at the Palace of Justice in Nuernberg before Military Tribunal I. The Tribunal convened 139 times, and the duration of the trial is shown by the following schedule:

Indictment filed25October 1946
Indictment served5November 1946
Arraignment21November 1946
Prosecution opening statement9December 1946
Defense opening statement29January 1947
Prosecution closing statement14July 1947
Defense closing statements14-18July 1947
Judgment19August 1947
Sentences20August 1947
Affirmation of sentences by Military Commander of the United States Zone of Occupation25November 1947
Order of the United States Supreme Court denying writ of habeas corpus16February 1948

The death sentences imposed on Karl Brandt, Rudolf Brandt, Karl Gebhardt, Joachim Mrugowsky, Viktor Brack, Wolfram Sievers, and Waldemar Hoven were put into execution on 2 June 1948.

The English transcript of the Court proceedings runs to 11,538 mimeographed pages. The prosecution introduced into evidence 570 written exhibits (some of which contained several documents), and the defense 901 written exhibits. The Tribunal heard oral testimony of 32 witnesses called by the prosecution and of 30 witnesses, excluding the defendants, called by the defense. Each of the 23 defendants testified in his own behalf, and each was subject to examination on behalf of other defendants. The exhibits offered by both the prosecution and defense contained documents, photographs, affidavits, interrogatories, letters, maps, charts, and other written evidence. The prosecution introduced 49 affidavits; the defense introduced 535 affidavits. The prosecution called 3 defense affiants for cross-examination; the defense called 13 prosecution affiants for cross-examination. The case-in-chief of the prosecution took 25 court days and the case for the 23 defendants took 107 court days. The Tribunal was in recess between 18 and 27 January 1947 to give the defense additional time to prepare its case. A further recess was taken from 3 to 14 July 1947 to allow both prosecution and defense time for the preparation of their closing arguments.

The members of the Tribunal and prosecution and defense counsel are listed on the ensuing pages. Prosecution counsel were assisted in preparing the case by Walter Rapp (Chief of the Evidence Division), Fred Rodell, Norbert Barr, and Herbert Meyer, interrogators, and Henry Sachs, Eleanor Anspacher, Nancy Fenstermacher, and Olga Lang, research and documentary analysts.


Selection and arrangement of the “Medical Case” material published herein was accomplished principally by Arnost Horlik-Hochwald, working under the general supervision of Drexel A. Sprecher, Deputy Chief Counsel and Director of Publications, Office U. S. Chief of Counsel for War Crimes. Catherine W. Bedford, Henry Buxbaum, Emilie Evand, Gertrude Ferencz, Paul H. Gantt, Constance Gavares, Olga Lang, Helga Lund, Gwendoline Niebergall, Johanna K. Reischer, Hans Sachs, and Enid M. Standring assisted in selecting, compiling, editing, and indexing the numerous papers.

John H. E. Fried, Special Legal Consultant to the Tribunals, reviewed and approved the selection and arrangement of the material as the designated representative of the Nuernberg Tribunals.

Final compilation and editing of the manuscript for printing was administered by the War Crimes Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, under the direct supervision of Richard A. Olbeter, Chief, Special Projects Branch, with Alma Soller as editor and John W. Mosenthal as research analyst.


ORDER CONSTITUTING TRIBUNAL I

OFFICE OF MILITARY GOVERNMENT FOR GERMANY (U. S.)

APO 742

General Orders}
No. 68}26 October 1946

Pursuant to Military Government Ordinance No. 7

1. Pursuant to Military Government Ordinance No. 7, 24 October 1946, entitled “Organization and Powers of Certain Military Tribunals”, there is hereby constituted, Military Tribunal I.

2. The following are designated as members of Military Tribunal I:

Walter B. BealsPresiding Judge
Harold L. SebringJudge
Johnson Tal CrawfordJudge
Victor C. SwearingenAlternate Judge

3. The Tribunal shall convene at Nuernberg, Germany, to hear such cases as may be filed by the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes or by his duly designated representative.

4. This order is effective as of 25 October 1946.

By command of LIEUTENANT GENERAL CLAY:

C. K. Gailey

  Brigadier General, USA

  Chief of Staff

Official:

G. H. Garde

Lieutenant Colonel, AGD

Adjutant General

Distribution: “B” plus

2-NRU USFET


MEMBERS OF THE TRIBUNAL

Judge Walter B. Beals, Presiding Judge.

    Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington.

Judge Harold L. Sebring, Member.

    Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.

Judge Johnson T. Crawford, Member.

    Formerly Judge of a District Court of the State of Oklahoma.

Judge Victor C. Swearingen, Alternate Member.

    Formerly Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States.

ASSISTANT SECRETARIES GENERAL

Mr. Dehull N. TravisFrom 21 November 1946 to 6 June 1947
Major Mills C. HatfieldFrom 17 June 1947 to 14 July 1947
Miss M. A. RoyceFrom 15 July 1947 to 20 August 1947

TRIBUNAL I—CASE ONE.
Left to Right: Harold L. Sebring; Walter B. Beals, Presiding;
Johnson Tal Crawford; Victor C. Swearingen, Alternate.

General view of courtroom on opening day of trial. Upper left: Court reporter and translators. Left: Defendants and defense counsel. At rostrum: Brigadier General Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes Right: Judges and court clerks of Tribunal I. Foreground: Members of the prosecution staff with Mr. James McHaney, Chief Prosecutor, and Mr. Alexander Hardy, Associate Prosecutor, seated at table directly behind Brigadier General Taylor.

View of the defendants and defense council, 9th December 1946. The defendants are, left to right: (front row) Karl Brandt, Siegfried Handloser, Paul Rostock, Oskar Schroeder, Karl Genzken, Karl Gerbhardt, Kurt Blome, Joachim Mrugowsky, Rudolph Brandt, Helmut Poppendick, Wolfram Sievers; (back row) Gerhard Rose, Siegfried Ruff, Viktor Brack, Hans Wolfgang Romberg, Hermann Becker-Freyseng, Georg August Weltz, Konrad Schaeffer, Waldemar Haven, Wilhelm Beiglboeck, Adolf Pokorny, Herta Oberheuser, Fritz Fischer.

The defendant Gerhard Rose at work in his cell on his defense material.


PROSECUTION COUNSEL

Chief of Counsel:

    Brigadier General Telford Taylor

 

Chief Prosecutor:

    Mr. James M. McHaney

 

Associate Counsel:

    Mr. Alexander G. Hardy

    Mr. Arnost Horlik-Hochwald

 

Assistant Counsel:

    Mr. Glen J. Brown

    Miss Esther J. Johnson

    Mr. Jack W. Robbins

    Mr. Daniel J. Shiller

DEFENSE COUNSEL

DefendantsDefense CounselAssociate Defense Counsel
Brandt, KarlDr. Robert ServatiusDr. Rudolf Schmidt
Handloser, SiegfriedDr. Otto Nelte
Rostock, PaulDr. Hans Pribilla
Schroeder, OskarDr. Hanns MarxDr. Walter Dehner
Genzken, KarlDr. Rudolf MerkelDr. Alfred Brenner
Gehardt, KarlDr. Alfred SeidlDr. Georg Gierl
Blome, KurtDr. Fritz Sauter
Brandt, RudolfDr. Kurt Kauffmann
Mrugowsky, JoachimDr. Fritz Flemming
Poppendick, HelmutDr. Georg BoehmDr. Helmut Duerr
Sievers, WolframDr. Josef WeisgerberDr. Erich Bergler
Rose, GerhardDr. Hans Fritz
Ruff, SiegfriedDr. Fritz Sauter
Romberg, Hans WolfgangDr. Bernd Vorwerk
Brack, ViktorDr. Georg Froeschmann
Becker-Freyseng, HermannDr. Hanns MarxDr. Walter Dehner
Weltz, Georg AugustDr. Siegfried Wille
Schaefer, KonradDr. Horst Pelckmann
Hoven, WaldemarDr. Hans Gawlik Dr. Gerhard Klinnert
Beiglboeck, WilhelmDr. Gustav Steinbauer
Pokorny, AdolfDr. Karl HoffmannDr. Hans-Gunther Seraphim
Oberheuser, HertaDr. Alfred SeidlDr. Georg Gierl
Fischer, FritzDr. Alfred SeidlDr. Georg Gierl

I. INDICTMENT

The United States of America, by the undersigned Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, duly appointed to represent said Government in the prosecution of war criminals, charges that the defendants herein participated in a common design or conspiracy to commit and did commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, as defined in Control Council Law No. 10, duly enacted by the Allied Control Council on 20 December 1945. These crimes included murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhumane acts, as set forth in counts one, two, and three of this indictment. Certain defendants are further charged with membership in a criminal organization, as set forth in count four of this indictment.

The persons accused as guilty of these crimes and accordingly named as defendants in this case are—

Karl Brandt—Personal physician to Adolf Hitler; Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant (Major General) in the Waffen SS; Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation (Reichskommissar fuer Sanitaets- und Gesundheitswesen); and member of the Reich Research Council (Reichsforschungsrat).

Siegfried Handloser—Generaloberstabsarzt (Lieutenant General, Medical Service); Medical Inspector of the Army (Heeressanitaetsinspekteur); and Chief of the Medical Services of the Armed Forces (Chef des Wehrmachtsanitaetswesens).

Paul Rostock—Chief Surgeon of the Surgical Clinic in Berlin; Surgical Adviser to the Army; and Chief of the Office for Medical Science and Research (Amtschef der Dienststelle Medizinische Wissenschaft und Forschung) under the defendant Karl Brandt, Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation.

Oskar Schroeder—Generaloberstabsarzt (Lieutenant General Medical Service); Chief of Staff of the Inspectorate of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe (Chef des Stabes, Inspekteur des Luftwaffe-Sanitaetswesens); and Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe (Chef des Sanitaetswesens der Luftwaffe).

Karl Genzken—Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant (Major General) in the Waffen SS; and Chief of the Medical Department of the Waffen SS (Chef des Sanitaetsamts der Waffen SS).

Karl Gerhardt—Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant (Major General) in the Waffen SS; personal physician to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler; Chief Surgeon of the Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police (Oberster Kliniker, Reichsarzt SS und Polizei); and President of the German Red Cross. Kurt Blome—Deputy [of the] Reich Health Leader (Reichsgesundheitsfuehrer); and Plenipotentiary for Cancer Research in the Reich Research Council.

Rudolf Brandt—Standartenfuehrer (Colonel); in the Allgemeine SS; Personal Administrative Officer to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler (Persoenlicher Referent von Himmler); and Ministerial Counsellor and Chief of the Ministerial Office in the Reich Ministry of the Interior.

Joachim Mrugowsky—Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel) in the Waffen SS; Chief Hygienist of the Reich Physician SS and Police (Oberster Hygieniker, Reichsarzt SS und Polizei); and Chief of the Hygienic Institute of the Waffen SS (Chef des Hygienischen Institutes der Waffen SS).

Helmut Poppendick—Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel) in the SS; and Chief of the Personal Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police (Chef des Persoenlichen Stabes des Reichsarztes SS und Polizei).

Wolfram Sievers—Standartenfuehrer (Colonel) in the SS; Reich Manager of the “Ahnenerbe” Society and Director of its Institute for Military Scientific Research (Institut fuer Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung); and Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board of Directors of the Reich Research Council.

Gerhard Rose—Generalarzt of the Luftwaffe (Brigadier General, Medical Service of the Air Force); Vice President, Chief of the Department for Tropical Medicine, and Professor of the Robert Koch Institute; and Hygienic Adviser for Tropical Medicine to the Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe.

Siegfried Ruff—Director of the Department for Aviation Medicine at the German Experimental Institute for Aviation (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fuer Luftfahrt).

Hans Wolfgang Romberg—Doctor on the Staff of the Department for Aviation Medicine at the German Experimental Institute for Aviation.

Viktor Brack—Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel) in the SS and Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) in the Waffen SS; and Chief Administrative Officer in the Chancellery of the Fuehrer of the NSDAP (Oberdienstleiter, Kanzlei des Fuehrers der NSDAP).

Hermann Becker-Freyseng—Stabsarzt in the Luftwaffe (Captain, Medical Service of the Air Force); and Chief of the Department for Aviation Medicine of the Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe.

Georg August Weltz—Oberfeldarzt in the Luftwaffe (Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Service of the Air Force); and Chief of the Institute for Aviation Medicine in Munich (Institut fuer Luftfahrtmedizin). Konrad Schaefer—Doctor on the Staff of the Institute for Aviation Medicine in Berlin.

Waldemar Hoven—Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain) in the Waffen SS; and Chief Doctor of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Wilhelm Beiglboeck—Consulting Physician to the Luftwaffe.

Adolf Pokorny—Physician, Specialist in Skin and Venereal Diseases.

Herta Oberheuser—Physician at the Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp; and Assistant Physician to the defendant Gebhardt at the Hospital at Hohenlychen.

Fritz Fischer—Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) in the Waffen SS; and Assistant Physician to the defendant Gebhardt at the Hospital at Hohenlychen.

COUNT ONE—THE COMMON DESIGN OR CONSPIRACY

1. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein, acting pursuant to a common design, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly did conspire and agree together and with each other and with divers other persons, to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, as defined in Control Council Law No. 10, Article II.

2. Throughout the period covered by this indictment all of the defendants herein, acting in concert with each other and with others, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

3. All of the defendants herein, acting in concert with others for whose acts the defendants are responsible, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly participated as leaders, organizers, investigators, and accomplices in the formulation and execution of the said common design, conspiracy, plans, and enterprises to commit, and which involved the commission of, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

4. It was a part of the said common design, conspiracy, plans, and enterprises to perform medical experiments upon concentration camp inmates and other living human subjects, without their consent, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed the murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts, more fully described in counts two and three of this indictment.

5. The said common design, conspiracy, plans, and enterprises embraced the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as set forth in counts two and three of this indictment, in that the defendants unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly encouraged, aided, abetted, and participated in the subjection of thousands of persons, including civilians, and members of the armed forces of nations then at war with the German Reich, to murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts.

COUNT TWO—WAR CRIMES

6. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving medical experiments without the subjects’ consent, upon civilians and members of the armed forces of nations then at war with the German Reich and who were in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts. Such experiments included, but were not limited to, the following:

(A) High-Altitude Experiments. From about March 1942 to about August 1942 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, for the benefit of the German Air Force, to investigate the limits of human endurance and existence at extremely high altitudes. The experiments were carried out in a low-pressure chamber in which the atmospheric conditions and pressures prevailing at high altitude (up to 68,000 feet) could be duplicated. The experimental subjects were placed in the low-pressure chamber and thereafter the simulated altitude therein was raised. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered grave injury, torture, and ill-treatment. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Ruff, Romberg, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(B) Freezing Experiments. From about August 1942 to about May 1943 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, primarily for the benefit of the German Air Force, to investigate the most effective means of treating persons who had been severely chilled or frozen. In one series of experiments the subjects were forced to remain in a tank of ice water for periods up to 3 hours. Extreme rigor developed in a short time. Numerous victims died in the course of these experiments. After the survivors were severely chilled, rewarming was attempted by various means. In another series of experiments, the subjects were kept naked outdoors for many hours at temperatures below freezing. The victims screamed with pain as parts of their bodies froze. The defendants Karl Brand, Handloser, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(C) Malaria Experiments. From about February 1942 to about April 1945 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp in order to investigate immunization for and treatment of malaria. Healthy concentration-camp inmates were infected by mosquitoes or by injections of extracts of the mucous glands of mosquitoes. After having contracted malaria the subjects were treated with various drugs to test their relative efficacy. Over 1,000 involuntary subjects were used in these experiments. Many of the victims died and others suffered severe pain and permanent disability. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Gebhardt, Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, and Sievers are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(D) Lost (Mustard) Gas Experiments. At various times between September 1939 and April 1945 experiments were conducted at Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler, and other concentration camps for the benefit of the German Armed Forces to investigate the most effective treatment of wounds caused by Lost gas. Lost is a poison gas which is commonly known as mustard gas. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the subjects were infected with Lost. Some of the subjects died as a result of these experiments and others suffered intense pain and injury. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Blome, Rostock, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, and Sievers are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(E) Sulfanilamide Experiments. From about July 1942 to about September 1943 experiments to investigate the effectiveness of sulfanilamide were conducted at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp for the benefit of the German Armed Forces. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the experimental subjects were infected with bacteria such as streptococcus, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Circulation of blood was interrupted by tying off blood vessels at both ends of the wound to create a condition similar to that of a battlefield wound. Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfanilamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness. Some subjects died as a result of these experiments and others suffered serious injury and intense agony. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Genzken, Gebhardt, Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Becker-Freyseng, Oberheuser, and Fischer are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(F) Bone, Muscle, and Nerve Regeneration and Bone Transplantation Experiments. From about September 1942 to about December 1943 experiments were conducted at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp, for the benefit of the German Armed Forces, to study bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration, and bone transplantation from one person to another. Sections of bones, muscles, and nerves were removed from the subjects. As a result of these operations, many victims suffered intense agony, mutilation, and permanent disability. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Oberheuser, and Fischer are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(G) Sea-water Experiments. From about July 1944 to about September 1944 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, for the benefit of the German Air Force and Navy, to study various methods of making sea-water drinkable. The subjects were deprived of all food and given only chemically processed sea-water. Such experiments caused great pain and suffering and resulted in serious bodily injury to the victims. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Becker-Freyseng, Schaefer, and Beiglboeck are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(H) Epidemic Jaundice Experiments. From about June 1943 to about January 1945 experiments were conducted at the Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler concentration camps, for the benefit of the German Armed Forces, to investigate the causes of, and inoculations against, epidemic jaundice. Experimental subjects were deliberately infected with epidemic jaundice, some of whom died as a result, and others were caused great pain and suffering. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Rose, and Becker-Freyseng are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(I) Sterilization Experiments. From about March 1941 to about January 1945 sterilization experiments were conducted at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck concentration camps, and other places. The purpose of these experiments was to develop a method of sterilization which would be suitable for sterilizing millions of people with a minimum of time and effort. These experiments were conducted by means of X-ray, surgery, and various drugs. Thousands of victims were sterilized and thereby suffered great mental and physical anguish. The defendants Karl Brandt, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Brack, Pokorny, and Oberheuser are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(J) Spotted Fever (Fleckfieber)[2] Experiments. From about December 1941 to about February 1945 experiments were conducted at the Buchenwald and Natzweiler concentration camps, for the benefit of the German Armed Forces, to investigate the effectiveness of spotted fever and other vaccines. At Buchenwald numerous healthy inmates were deliberately infected with spotted fever virus in order to keep the virus alive; over 90 percent of the victims died as a result. Other healthy inmates were used to determine the effectiveness of different spotted fever vaccines and of various chemical substances. In the course of these experiments 75 percent of the selected number of inmates were vaccinated with one of the vaccines or nourished with one of the chemical substances and, after a period of 3 to 4 weeks, were infected with spotted fever germs. The remaining 25 percent were infected without any previous protection in order to compare the effectiveness of the vaccines and the chemical substances. As a result, hundreds of the persons experimented upon died. Experiments with yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, paratyphus[3] A and B, cholera, and diphtheria were also conducted. Similar experiments with like results were conducted at Natzweiler concentration camp. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Genzken, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Rose, Becker-Freyseng, and Hoven are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(K) Experiments with Poison. In or about December 1943, and in or about October 1944, experiments were conducted at the Buchenwald concentration camp to investigate the effect of various poisons upon human beings. The poisons were secretly administered to experimental subjects in their food. The victims died as a result of the poison or were killed immediately in order to permit autopsies. In or about September 1944 experimental subjects were shot with poison bullets and suffered torture and death. The defendants Genzken, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(L) Incendiary Bomb Experiments. From about November 1943 to about January 1944 experiments were conducted at the Buchenwald concentration camp to test the effect of various pharmaceutical preparations on phosphorous burns. These burns were inflicted on experimental subjects with phosphorous matter taken from incendiary bombs, and caused severe pain, suffering, and serious bodily injury. The defendants Genzken, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

7. Between June 1943 and September 1944 the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Sievers unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder of civilians and members of the armed forces of nations then at war with the German Reich and who were in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control. One hundred twelve Jews were selected for the purpose of completing a skeleton collection for the Reich University of Strasbourg. Their photographs and anthropological measurements were taken. Then they were killed. Thereafter, comparison tests, anatomical research, studies regarding race, pathological features of the body, form and size of the brain, and other tests, were made. The bodies were sent to Strasbourg and defleshed.

8. Between May 1942 and January 1944[4] the defendants Blome and Rudolf Brandt unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder and mistreatment of tens of thousands of Polish nationals who were civilians and members of the armed forces of a nation then at war with the German Reich and who were in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control. These people were alleged to be infected with incurable tuberculosis. On the ground of insuring the health and welfare of Germans in Poland, many tubercular Poles were ruthlessly exterminated while others were isolated in death camps with inadequate medical facilities.

9. Between September 1939 and April 1945 the defendants Karl Brandt, Blome, Brack, and Hoven unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the execution of the so-called “euthanasia” program of the German Reich in the course of which the defendants herein murdered hundreds of thousands of human beings, including nationals of German-occupied countries. This program involved the systematic and secret execution of the aged, insane, incurably ill, of deformed children, and other persons, by gas, lethal injections, and diverse other means in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums. Such persons were regarded as “useless eaters” and a burden to the German war machine. The relatives of these victims were informed that they died from natural causes, such as heart failure. German doctors involved in the “euthanasia” program were also sent to Eastern occupied countries to assist in the mass extermination of Jews.

10. The said war crimes constitute violations of international conventions, particularly of Articles 4, 5, 6, 7, and 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, and of Articles 2, 3, and 4 of the Prisoner-of-War Convention (Geneva, 1929), the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and of Article II of Control Council Law No. 10.

COUNT THREE—CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

11. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving medical experiments, without the subjects’ consent, upon German civilians and nationals of other countries, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts. The particulars concerning such experiments are set forth in paragraph 6 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

12. Between June 1943 and September 1944 the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Sievers unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder of German civilians and nationals of other countries. The particulars concerning such murders are set forth in paragraph 7 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

13. Between May 1942 and January 1944[5] the defendants Blome and Rudolf Brandt unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder and mistreatment of tens of thousands of Polish nationals. The particulars concerning such murder and inhuman treatment are set forth in paragraph 8 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

14. Between September 1939 and April 1945 the defendants Karl Brandt, Blome, Brack, and Hoven unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the execution of the so-called “euthanasia” program of the German Reich, in the course of which the defendants herein murdered hundreds of thousands of human beings, including German civilians, as well as civilians of other nations. The particulars concerning such murders are set forth in paragraph 9 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

15. The said crimes against humanity constitute violations of international conventions, including Article 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and of Article II of Control Council Law No. 10.

COUNT FOUR—MEMBERSHIP IN CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION

16. The defendants Karl Brandt, Genzken, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Brack, Hoven, and Fischer are guilty of membership in an organization declared to be criminal by the International Military Tribunal in Case No. 1, in that each of the said defendants was a member of the SCHUTZSTAFFELN DER NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHEN DEUTSCHEN ARBEITERPARTEI (commonly known as the “SS”) after 1 September 1939. Such membership is in violation of paragraph I (d), Article II of Control Council Law No. 10.

Wherefore, this indictment is filed with the Secretary General of the Military Tribunals and the charges herein made against the above-named defendants are hereby presented to MILITARY TRIBUNAL NO. I.

TELFORD TAYLOR

Brigadier General, USA

Chief of Counsel for War Crimes

Acting on Behalf of the United States of America

Nuernberg, 25 October 1946


[2] It was definitely ascertained in the course of the proceedings, by both prosecution and defense, that the correct translation of “Fleckfieber” is typhus. A finding to this effect is contained in the judgment. A similar initial inadequate translation occurred in the case of “typhus” and “paratyphus” which should be rendered as typhoid and paratyphoid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Indictment originally read “January 1943” but was amended by a motion filed with the Secretary General. See Arraignment, p. 18.

[5] Ibid.


II. ARRAIGNMENT

Extract from the official Transcript of Military Tribunal I in the matter of the United States of America vs. Karl Brandt et al., defendants, sitting at Nuernberg, Germany, on 21 November 1946, Judge Beals presiding.

Presiding Judge Beals: We will now proceed to arraign the defendants on the cause now pending before this Tribunal. As the names of the defendants are called each defendant will stand, and will remain standing until told to be seated. Mr. Secretary General of the Tribunal will call the roll of the defendants.

The Secretary General: Karl Brandt, Siegfried Handloser, Paul Rostock, Oskar Schroeder, Karl Genzken, Karl Gebhardt, Kurt Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Joachim Mrugowsky, Helmut Poppendick, Wolfram Sievers, Gerhard Rose, Siegfried Ruff, Hans Wolfgang Romberg, Viktor Brack, Hermann Becker-Freyseng, Georg August Weltz, Konrad Schaefer, Waldemar Hoven, Wilhelm Beiglboeck, Adolf Pokorny, Herta Oberheuser, Fritz Fischer. (As their names are called, the defendants rise.)

If the Honorable Tribunal please, all of the defendants are in the dock.

Presiding Judge Beals: The defendants will be seated.

The counsel for the prosecution will now proceed with the arraignment of the defendants.

[Here Brigadier General Taylor read the indictment in full. See pp. 8-17.]

Presiding Judge Beals: I shall now call upon the defendants to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against them. Each defendant, as his name is called, will stand and speak into the microphone. At this time there will be no arguments, speeches, or discussion of any kind. Each defendant will simply plead either guilty or not guilty to the offenses with which he is charged by the indictment.

Karl Brandt.

Dr. Pelckmann: Mr. Chairman, before the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty, may I say a word? I am defense counsel for the defendant Schaefer, number 18.

Presiding Judge Beals: For which defendant?

Dr. Pelckmann: Schaefer, number 18.

Presiding Judge Beals: We are now receiving the plea of the defendant Karl Brandt. You do not represent him as counsel, do you?

Dr. Pelckmann: No.

Presiding Judge Beals: Then I see no reason for counsel for another defendant making any remarks at this time.

Dr. Pelckmann: May I speak before the defendant Schaefer speaks? A formal objection.

Presiding Judge Beals: When the name of the defendant Schaefer is called, you may address the Court.

Karl Brandt, are you represented by counsel in this proceeding?

Defendant Karl Brandt: Yes.

Presiding Judge Beals: How do you plead to the charges and specifications and each thereof set forth in the indictment against you, guilty or not guilty?

Defendant Handloser: Yes.

Presiding Judge Beals: Be seated.

Siegfried Handloser, are you represented by counsel in this cause?

Defendant Handloser: No, I have no counsel yet.

Presiding Judge Beals: Do you desire that the Tribunal appoint counsel for you?

Defendant Handloser: I hope that today or tomorrow I may receive an affirmative answer from a defense counsel.

Presiding Judge Beals: Are you at this time ready to plead to the indictment, guilty or not guilty?

Defendant Handloser: Yes.

Presiding Judge Beals: How do you plead to the charges and specifications and each thereof set forth in the indictment against you, guilty or not guilty?

Defendant Handloser: Not guilty.

Presiding Judge Beals: Be seated.

[At this point the defendants Paul Rostock, Oskar Schroeder, Karl Genzken, Karl Gebhardt, Kurt Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Joachim Mrugowsky, Helmut Poppendick, Wolfram Sievers, Gerhard Rose, Siegfried Ruff, Hans Wolfgang Romberg, Viktor Brack, Hermann Becker-Freyseng and Georg August Weltz were arraigned. All were represented by counsel. All pleaded not guilty to the indictment.]

Dr. Pelckmann: Your Honor, may I speak?

Presiding Judge Beals: What is the purpose of the remarks you desire to make?

Dr. Pelckmann: I should like to object to the indictment. I should like to say that in my opinion, as far as Schaefer is concerned, the indictment does not conform to Ordinance No. 7. I can explain that.

Presiding Judge Beals: How much time do you desire to present your argument?

Dr. Pelckmann: Three minutes.

Presiding Judge Beals: You may proceed. First, have you filed in the proceeding any written notice of the objection to the indictment and served it upon the prosecutor?

Dr. Pelckmann: I have not had the indictment long enough. I have just had the written material for 2 days. What I have to say I could submit in writing later. Because of the brief time, I ask to be allowed to make a brief statement now.

Presiding Judge Beals: You may make a brief statement and submit argument in support of your objection within 5 days.

Dr. Pelckmann: Very well. May I now say something?

Presiding Judge Beals: You may proceed for 3 minutes.

Dr. Pelckmann: Ordinance No. 7, in Article IV (a), prescribes the following according to the English text: “The indictment shall state the charges plainly, concisely and with sufficient particulars to inform defendant of the offenses charged.” Schaefer is charged only on one count, count two (G). Experiments with sea-water in Dachau are charged against 12 defendants. In two sentences the indictment goes on to say that the 12 persons who are then named are charged with special responsibility for these crimes and participation in them. I am of the opinion that this does not contain sufficient particulars. “Responsibility” and “participation” are legal concepts. There is no evidence of “sufficient particulars,” which implies details.

The indictment, in my opinion, must give facts to indicate how and why each one of these 12 defendants who, ostensibly, participated in these experiments, is responsible and participated. My client cannot tell what the nature of his participation is supposed to have been.

The indictment says, in count one, number 2, that all defendants were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Those also are only legal concepts.

Presiding Judge Beals: You may file a written brief in support of your position.

Dr. Pelckmann: I should like to add, without the knowledge of the indictment, my client is not ready to answer the question as to whether he is guilty or not guilty.

Presiding Judge Beals: You will serve a copy of your brief upon the prosecution and file it with the Secretary General.

Dr. Pelckmann: Very well, your Honor.

Presiding Judge Beals: In connection with this matter, General Taylor, do you desire to make any remarks or suggestions?

Brigadier General Taylor: Your Honor, needless to say, we have no objection to the making of this motion or the filing of this brief. It is needless to say, also, that we think the indictment quite adequately specifies the date, place, and type of experiment charged. The defendant’s connection with it is better known to the defendant than to anyone else. There is no reason why he should not enter his plea at this time.

Judge Sebring: That would not go to the jurisdictional aspect of the indictment, but it would go to the question of particulars. The consideration is whether or not upon the showing of the motion, more particulars as to the charges specified, should be included. Do you understand my point?

Brigadier General Taylor: Yes, your Honor. That is what I understood. The prosecution will consider the motion, and if need be, submit particulars, although we think the indictment is adequate enough. We think there is no challenge of the jurisdiction. The defendant should be required to promptly plead.

Judge Crawford: How do you plead to the charges against you?

Defendant Schaefer: Not guilty.

Presiding Judge Beals: Be seated.

[At this point the balance of the defendants: Waldemar Hoven, Wilhelm Beiglboeck, Adolf Pokorny, Herta Oberheuser and Fritz Fischer were arraigned. All were represented by counsel. All pleaded not guilty to the indictment.]

Dr. Servatius: Servatius for the defendant Karl Brandt. Your Honor, may I make an application regarding the submission of documents by the prosecution?

Presiding Judge Beals: You may state your application.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honor, I ask the Tribunal to instruct the prosecution that the documents be submitted to the defense in time, the documents on which the charge is based. This would make the proceedings easier and give the defense an opportunity to examine the documents in time, and to obtain counterproof.

In the first trial before the International Military Tribunal, we were given a list of documents with the indictment; although these documents were not enclosed, we could look at them and we could work on them. Up to now we have nothing on which we can build our defense. In other words, on the 9th of December, we will have proceeded no further than today, and we will not be able to advise our clients.

Presiding Judge Beals: You may be seated and we will hear from the prosecution, Brigadier General Telford Taylor.

Brigadier General Taylor: Your Honor, the counsel for the defense who has just spoken is thoroughly familiar with the procedures used in the prior case. The prosecution in this case plans to follow the same procedures and give the defense counsel the same opportunities and, if possible, more. The Defense Information Center, which is the place where the documents have in the past been made available, will be supplied in advance with copies of the documents on which our evidence is based. I would suggest, your Honor, that after all counsel for the defense are here that it would be most useful if there be a meeting between representatives of the prosecution and the defense so that procedures can be developed. But at the moment only half of the counsel for the defense are here and it would be economical if these matters could be arranged after they are all present.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honor, may I ask one question? May I add one thing, that the documents be given to us in German. In the previous trial, there was difficulty at the beginning because we got them in English.

Presiding Judge Beals: I believe if counsel for the defense will refer to the rules promulgated by this Tribunal on 2 November 1946, you will see that a requirement is made that all such matters be submitted in a language that is understood by each of the defendants.

Dr. Servatius: Yes, but for technical reasons that was not always done. There were great difficulties. The conferences with the prosecution will make it possible to eliminate the difficulties. If it is not possible, I will address the Court again.

Presiding Judge Beals: Do you have anything further, General Taylor?

Brigadier General Taylor: Your Honor, the prosecution merely wishes to note that it has filed with the Secretary General a motion to amend the indictment in paragraph 8 of count two and paragraph 13 of count three, by changing 1943 to 1944. The motion has been filed with the Secretary General and copies of the motion are in German and are in the hands of defense counsel.

Presiding Judge Beals: How many of the defendants are concerned with the amendment to the indictment? My point is that if the—

Mr. McHaney: If the Tribunal please, the amendment occurs first in paragraph 8 on page 14 of the indictment and it affects only two of the defendants; namely, Blome and Rudolf Brandt. The amendment is also made in paragraph 13 because the same facts are there charged as a crime against humanity. In paragraph 13 only the same two defendants are involved; that is, defendants Blome and Rudolf Brandt.

Presiding Judge Beals: What are the particulars of the amendment?

Mr. McHaney: The only change made by the amendment is to say the date January 1944 for the date January 1943; in other words, it extends the period covered by the crime for 1 year. The date 1943 was inserted by mistake in the indictment as filed with the Tribunal.

Presiding Judge Beals: Are these two defendants represented by counsel here present this morning?

Mr. McHaney: I think that Rudolf Brandt answered “Yes”.

Defendant Blome: Yes, your Honor.

Presiding Judge Beals: Has this motion been served upon counsel for these two defendants?

Mr. McHaney: Your Honor, my understanding is that the motion for amendment was filed with the Secretary General. If we understand the rules correctly, the Secretary General then serves it upon the defendants.

Presiding Judge Beals: I was just asking for information whether they had received copies of the motion.

Mr. McHaney: That I don’t know. Yes, the counsel for these defendants say “Yes”.

Presiding Judge Beals: Does counsel for defendant Blome raise any objection to the amendment of the indictment?

Dr. Sauter: No.

Dr. Kauffmann: Kauffmann for Rudolf Brandt. I have no objection to the change.

Presiding Judge Beals: You represent Rudolf Brandt?

Dr. Kauffmann: Yes.

Presiding Judge Beals: Well, the other defendant affected is defendant Blome, I understand. Is he represented here?

Dr. Sauter: Dr. Sauter for the defendant Blome. We don’t have any objection.

Presiding Judge Beals: The indictment will be amended in accordance with the motion.

Is it agreeable to counsel for these two defendants that the arraignment as to them upon this count which has just been amended be considered as pleas to the count as amended now—their pleas of “Not Guilty”?

Dr. Sauter: Yes.

Dr. Kauffmann: Yes.

Presiding Judge Beals: These matters will appear in the records of the Tribunal. The pleas of the defendants will all be entered in the minutes of the Tribunal.


III. STATEMENT OF THE TRIBUNAL ON THE ORDER OF TRIAL AND RULES OF PROCEDURE, 9 DECEMBER 1946[6]

Presiding Judge Beals: I have a statement which I desire to make for the benefit of the prosecution, defendants, and all concerned: Before opening the trial of Case No. 1, The United States of America against Karl Brandt, et al., there are certain matters which the Tribunal desires to call to the attention of the counsel for the prosecution and the counsel for the defendants.

1. The prosecution may be allowed, for the purpose of making the opening statement in this case, time not to exceed one trial day. This time may be allocated by the chief prosecutor, between himself and any of his assistants, as he desires.

2. When the prosecution has rested its case, defense counsel will be allowed two trial days in which to make their opening statements, and which will comprehend the entire theory of their respective defenses. The time allocated will be divided between the different defense counsel, as they may themselves agree. In the event the defense counsel cannot agree, the Tribunal will allocate the time, not to exceed 30 minutes to each defendant.

3. The prosecution shall, not less than 24 hours before it desires to offer any record or document or writing in evidence as part of its case-in-chief, file with the Defense Information Center not less than one copy of such record, document, or writing for each of the counsel for defendants, such copies to be in the German language. The prosecution shall also deliver to the Defense Information Center at least four copies thereof in the English language.

4. When the prosecution or any defendant offers a record, document, or any other writing, or a copy thereof, in evidence, there shall be delivered to the Secretary General in addition to the original document or other instrument in writing so offered for admission in evidence, six copies of the document. If the document is written or printed in a language other than English there shall also be filed with the copies of the document above referred to six copies of an English translation of the document. If such document is offered by any defendant, suitable facilities for procuring English translations of that document shall be made available.

5. At least 24 hours before a witness is called to the stand, either by the prosecution or by any defendant, the party who desires to interrogate the witness shall deliver to the Secretary General an original and six copies of a memorandum which shall disclose: (1) the name of the witness; (2) his nationality; (3) his residence or station; (4) his official rank or position; (5) whether he is called as an expert witness or as a witness to testify to facts, and if the latter, a prepared statement of the subject matter on which the witness will be interrogated. When the prosecution prepares such a statement in connection with the witness whom it desires to call, at the time of the filing of this statement, two additional copies thereof shall be delivered to the Defense Information Center. When a defendant prepares such a statement concerning a witness whom it desires to call, the defendant shall at the same time as the copies are filed with the Secretary General deliver one additional copy to the prosecution.

6. When either the prosecution or a defendant desires the Tribunal to take judicial notice of any official Government documents or reports of the United Nations, including any action, ruling or regulation of any committee, board, or counsel, heretofore established by or in the Allied Nations for the investigation of war crimes, or any record made by, or the findings of, any military or other tribunal, this Tribunal may refuse to take judicial notice of such documents, rules, or regulations, unless the party proposing asks this Tribunal to notice such documents, rules, or regulations judicially, and places a copy thereof in writing before the Tribunal.

This Tribunal has learned with satisfaction of the procedure adopted by the prosecution with the intention of furnishing to the defense counsel information concerning the writings or documents which the prosecution expects to offer in evidence for the purpose of affording the defense counsel information to help them prepare their respective defense to the indictments. The desire of the Tribunal is that this be made available to the defendants so as to aid them in the presentation of their respective defense.

The United States of America having established this Military Tribunal I, pursuant to law, through properly empowered military authorities, and the defendants having been brought before Military Tribunal I pursuant to the indictment filed 25 October 1946 in the Office of the Secretary General of the Military Tribunal at Nuernberg, Germany by an officer of the United States Army, regularly designated as Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, acting on behalf of the United States of America, pursuant to appropriate military authority, and the indictment having been served upon each defendant for more than 30 days prior to this date, and a copy of the indictment in the German language having been furnished to each defendant and having been in his possession more than 30 days and each defendant having had ample opportunity to read the indictment, and having regularly entered his plea of “not guilty” to the indictment, the Tribunal is ready to proceed with the trial.

This Tribunal will conduct the trial in accordance with controlling laws, rules, and regulations, and with due regard to appropriate precedents in a sincere endeavor to insure both to the prosecution and to each and every defendant an opportunity to present all evidence of an appropriate value bearing upon the issues before the Tribunal; to this end, that under law and pending regulations impartial justice may be accomplished.

The trial, of course, will be a public trial, not one behind closed doors; but, because of limited facilities available, the Tribunal must insist that the number of spectators be limited to the seating capacity of the courtroom. Passes will therefore be issued by the appropriate authorities to those who may enter the courtroom. The Tribunal will insist that good order be at all times maintained, and appropriate measures will be taken to see that this rule is strictly enforced.

For the information of all concerned, the Tribunal announces that hearings will be held each day this week commencing at 9:30 o’clock through Friday. The Tribunal will reconvene at 9:30 o’clock, Monday, 16 December 1946, and will hold sessions every day of that week including Saturday, on which day, however, the Tribunal will recess until 9:30 o’clock, Thursday, 2 January 1947, when the Tribunal will convene at the usual time.


[6] Tr. pp. 9-11.


IV. OPENING STATEMENT OF THE PROSECUTION BY
BRIGADIER GENERAL TELFORD TAYLOR,
9 DECEMBER 1946.[7]

The defendants in this case are charged with murders, tortures, and other atrocities committed in the name of medical science. The victims of these crimes are numbered in the hundreds of thousands. A handful only are still alive; a few of the survivors will appear in this courtroom. But most of these miserable victims were slaughtered outright or died in the course of the tortures to which they were subjected.

For the most part they are nameless dead. To their murderers, these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals. They were 200 Jews in good physical condition, 50 gypsies, 500 tubercular Poles, or 1,000 Russians. The victims of these crimes are numbered among the anonymous millions who met death at the hands of the Nazis and whose fate is a hideous blot on the page of modern history.

The charges against these defendants are brought in the name of the United States of America. They are being tried by a court of American judges. The responsibilities thus imposed upon the representatives of the United States, prosecutors and judges alike, are grave and unusual. It is owed, not only to the victims and to the parents and children of the victims, that just punishment be imposed on the guilty, but also to the defendants that they be accorded a fair hearing and decision. Such responsibilities are the ordinary burden of any tribunal. Far wider are the duties which we must fulfill here.

These larger obligations run to the peoples and races on whom the scourge of these crimes was laid. The mere punishment of the defendants, or even of thousands of others equally guilty, can never redress the terrible injuries which the Nazis visited on these unfortunate peoples. For them it is far more important that these incredible events be established by clear and public proof, so that no one can ever doubt that they were fact and not fable; and that this Court, as the agent of the United States and as the voice of humanity, stamp these acts, and the ideas which engendered them, as barbarous and criminal.

We have still other responsibilities here. The defendants in the dock are charged with murder, but this is no mere murder trial. We cannot rest content when we have shown that crimes were committed and that certain persons committed them. To kill, to maim, and to torture is criminal under all modern systems of law. These defendants did not kill in hot blood, nor for personal enrichment. Some of them may be sadists who killed and tortured for sport, but they are not all perverts. They are not ignorant men. Most of them are trained physicians and some of them are distinguished scientists. Yet these defendants, all of whom were fully able to comprehend the nature of their acts, and most of whom were exceptionally qualified to form a moral and professional judgment in this respect, are responsible for wholesale murder and unspeakably cruel tortures.

It is our deep obligation to all peoples of the world to show why and how these things happened. It is incumbent upon us to set forth with conspicuous clarity the ideas and motives which moved these defendants to treat their fellow men as less than beasts. The perverse thoughts and distorted concepts which brought about these savageries are not dead. They cannot be killed by force of arms. They must not become a spreading cancer in the breast of humanity. They must be cut out and exposed, for the reason so well stated by Mr. Justice Jackson in this courtroom a year ago—

“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated.”

To the German people we owe a special responsibility in these proceedings. Under the leadership of the Nazis and their war lords, the German nation spread death and devastation throughout Europe. This the Germans now know. So, too, do they know the consequences to Germany: defeat, ruin, prostration, and utter demoralization. Most German children will never, as long as they live, see an undamaged German city.

To what cause will these children ascribe the defeat of the German nation and the devastation that surrounds them? Will they attribute it to the overwhelming weight of numbers and resources that was eventually leagued against them? Will they point to the ingenuity of enemy scientists? Will they perhaps blame their plight on strategic and military blunders by their generals?

If the Germans embrace those reasons as the true cause of their disaster, it will be a sad and fatal thing for Germany and for the world. Men who have never seen a German city intact will be callous about flattening English or American or Russian cities. They may not even realize that they are destroying anything worthwhile, for lack of a normal sense of values. To reestablish the greatness of Germany they are likely to pin their faith on improved military techniques. Such views will lead the Germans straight into the arms of the Prussian militarists to whom defeat is only a glorious opportunity to start a new war game. “Next time it will be different.” We know all too well what that will mean.

This case, and others which will be tried in this building, offer a signal opportunity to lay before the German people the true cause of their present misery. The walls and towers and churches of Nuernberg were, indeed, reduced to rubble by Allied bombs, but in a deeper sense Nuernberg had been destroyed a decade earlier, when it became the seat of the annual Nazi Party rallies, a focal point for the moral disintegration in Germany, and the private domain of Julius Streicher. The insane and malignant doctrines that Nuernberg spewed forth account alike for the crimes of these defendants and for the terrible fate of Germany under the Third Reich.

A nation which deliberately infects itself with poison will inevitably sicken and die. These defendants and others turned Germany into an infernal combination of a lunatic asylum and a charnel house. Neither science, nor industry, nor the arts could flourish in such a foul medium. The country could not live at peace and was fatally handicapped for war. I do not think the German people have as yet any conception of how deeply the criminal folly that was nazism bit into every phase of German life, or of how utterly ravaging the consequences were. It will be our task to make these things clear.

These are the high purposes which justify the establishment of extraordinary courts to hear and determine this case and others of comparable importance. That murder should be punished goes without the saying, but the full performance of our task requires more than the just sentencing of these defendants. Their crimes were the inevitable result of the sinister doctrines which they espoused, and these same doctrines sealed the fate of Germany, shattered Europe, and left the world in ferment. Wherever those doctrines may emerge and prevail, the same terrible consequences will follow. That is why a bold and lucid consummation of these proceedings is of vital importance to all nations. That is why the United States has constituted this Tribunal.

STATE MEDICAL SERVICES OF THE THIRD REICH

I pass now to the facts of the case in hand. There are 23 defendants in the box. All but three of them—Rudolf Brandt, Sievers, and Brack—are doctors. Of the 20 doctors, all but one—Pokorny—held positions in the medical services of the Third Reich. To understand this case, it is necessary to understand the general structure of these state medical services, and how these services fitted into the over-all organization of the Nazi State.

Chart Showing German State Medical Services

To assist the Court in this regard the prosecution has prepared a short expository brief [not introduced into evidence] which is already in the hands of the Court and which has been made available to defense counsel in German and English. The brief includes a glossary of the more frequent German words or expressions which will occur in this trial—most of them from the vocabulary of military, medical, or governmental affairs. It also includes a table of equivalent ranks [App. Vol. II] between the American Army and the German Army and the SS, and of the medical ranks used in the German Armed Forces and the SS. Finally, it includes a chart [see p. 30] showing the subordination of the several German medical services within the general framework of the German State. This chart has been enlarged and is displayed at the front of the courtroom.

Following this opening statement Mr. McHaney, in opening the presentation of evidence on behalf of the prosecution, will offer in evidence a series of detailed charts of the various German medical services, which have been certified as accurate by the defendants Handloser, Schroeder, Karl Brandt, Mrugowsky, and Brack. The chart to which I am now directing the attention of the Tribunal is a composite chart based upon those which Mr. McHaney will offer in evidence. The chart in the front of the courtroom to which I now refer will not be offered in evidence; it is intended merely as a convenient guide to the Court and to defense counsel to enable them to follow the opening statement and to comprehend the over-all structure of the German medical services.

All power in the Third Reich derived from Adolf Hitler, who was at one and the same time the head of the government, the leader of the Nazi Party, and the commander in chief of the armed forces. His title as head of the government was Reich Chancellor. He was the “Fuehrer” of the Nazi Party, and the “Supreme Commander” of the Wehrmacht. Immediately subordinate to Hitler were the chiefs of the armed forces, the principal cabinet ministers in the government, and the leading officials of the Nazi Party. The only defendant in the dock who was directly responsible to Hitler himself is the defendant Karl Brandt.

The Court will observe that the defendants fall into three main groups. Eight of them were members of the medical service of the German Air Force. Seven of them were members of the medical service of the SS. The remaining eight include the defendants Karl Brandt and Handloser, who occupied top positions in the medical hierarchy; it included the three defendants who are not doctors; the defendant Rostock, who was an immediate subordinate of Karl Brandt; the defendant Blome, a medical official of the Nazi Party; and the defendant Pokorny, whom we have grouped under the SS for reasons which will appear later.

I will deal first with the military side of the case. Hitler, as Supreme Commander of the German Armed Forces, exercised his authority through a staff called the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, better known by its German initials, OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht). The chief of this staff, throughout the period with which this case will concern itself, was Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel.

Under the OKW came the High Commands of the three branches of the Wehrmacht: the Navy (OKM), the Army (OKH) and the Air Force (OKL). Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was the Commander in Chief of the German Navy until 1943, when he was succeeded by Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz. Prior to the outbreak of the war, the Commander in Chief of the German Army was Field Marshal von Brauchitsch. In December 1941 Brauchitsch was relieved and Hitler himself took this position. Hermann Goering was the Commander in Chief of the German Air Force with the rank of Reich Marshal, until the very last month of the war.

Each of the three branches of the Wehrmacht had its own medical service. For purposes of this case, the medical service of the Navy is not of much importance. During most of the war the defendant Handloser was the Chief of the Medical Service of the German Army; in 1944 he was succeeded in this capacity by Dr. Walter. The Chief of the Medical Service of the German Air Force until 1943 was Dr. Erich Hippke; from January 1944 until the end of the war, it was the defendant Schroeder. Subordinate to the defendant Schroeder are seven other defendants from the Air Force Medical Service, whose functions I will briefly describe later on.

I turn now to the second principal group of defendants—those affiliated with the SS. The SS was nominally a part of the Nazi Party, and came under Hitler in his capacity as Fuehrer of the NSDAP. In fact, during the years of the Nazi regime, the SS expanded into a vast complex of military, police, and intelligence organizations. The head of this extraordinary combine was Heinrich Himmler, with the title of Reich Leader SS. The SS had its own medical service, headed by Grawitz, who bore the title Reich Physician SS.

The SS in turn was divided into many departments, of which one of the most important was the Armed or Waffen SS. The members of the Waffen SS were trained and equipped as regular troops, were formed into regular military formations, and fought at the front side by side with the troops of the Wehrmacht. By the end of the war there were some 30 SS divisions in the line. The head of the Medical Service of the Waffen SS was the defendant Genzken.

Six other defendants were members of the SS Medical Service and therefore subordinated to Grawitz.

The German civilian medical services derived their authority both from the German Government and from the Party. The medical chief on the civilian side was Dr. Leonardo Conti, who committed suicide in October 1945. Dr. Conti occupied the position of State Secretary for Health in the Reich Ministry of the Interior. In this capacity Conti was a subordinate of the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Wilhelm Frick, until 1943, and thereafter to Heinrich Himmler who assumed the additional duties of Minister of the Interior in that year.

Conti also held the title in the Nazi Party of Reich Health Leader. His deputy in this capacity was the defendant Blome. As Reich Health Leader, Conti was subordinate to the Nazi Party Chancellery, the chief of which was Martin Bormann.

As the Court will see from the chart,[8] the three principal people in the hierarchy of German state health and medicine are the defendants Karl Brandt and Handloser, and the deceased Dr. Conti. In July 1942, Hitler issued a decree, a copy of which will later be read before the Court, which established the defendant Handloser as Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht. Shown on the chart here Handloser’s name appears in this capacity. Handloser was given supervisory and professional authority over the medical services of all three branches of the Wehrmacht. Inasmuch as the Waffen SS came to constitute an important part of the armed forces, Handloser’s supervisory authority also extended to the defendant Genzken, Chief of the Medical Service of the Waffen SS. In this position Handloser was charged with the coordination of all common tasks of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS. He thus became the principal figure in German military medicine, just as Dr. Conti was the central figure in the field of civilian medicine.

Handloser and Conti, as will be seen from the chart, were not directly responsible to Hitler himself. Handloser’s responsibility ran to Hitler through the OKW, and Conti’s through the Ministry of the Interior and the chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery.

In 1942 Hitler for the first time established a medical and health official under his direct control. This official was the defendant Karl Brandt. A Hitler decree of July 1942 (NO-080) gave Brandt the title Plenipotentiary for Health and Medical Services, and empowered him to carry out special tasks and negotiations with reference to the requirements for doctors, hospitals, medical supplies, etc., between the military and civilian sectors of the health and sanitation systems. Brandt’s role, therefore, was to coordinate the requirements of the military and civilian agencies in the field of medicine and public health.

Dr. Karl Brandt had been the personal physician to Hitler since 1934. He was only 38 years old at the time he assumed the important duties conferred by the 1942 decree. His rise continued.

In September 1943 Hitler issued another decree which gave Brandt the title of General Commissioner for Sanitation and Health and empowered him to coordinate and direct the problems and activities of the entire administration for sanitation and health. (NO-081.) This authority was explicitly extended to the field of medical science and research.

Finally, in August 1944, Hitler appointed Dr. Brandt Reich Commissioner for Sanitation and Health, and stated that in this capacity Brandt’s office ranked as the “highest Reich authority.” (NO-082.) Brandt was authorized to issue instructions to the medical offices and organizations of the government, to the party, and the armed forces, in the field of sanitation and health.

Karl Brandt, as the supreme medical authority in the Reich, appointed the defendant Paul Rostock as his immediate subordinate to head the Office for Scientific and Medical Research. Rostock’s position reached into the activities of the medical societies, the medical colleges, and the Reich Research Council. Brandt also appointed Admiral Fikentscher, who had theretofore been the chief medical officer of the German Navy, as his subordinate to head the Office for Planning and Production. In this field, Fikentscher dealt with the principal labor authorities, the Ministry of Economics, and the Ministry for Armament and War Production.

As chief of the Medical Service of the German Air Force, the defendant Schroeder also held one of the most important positions in the German medical hierarchy. He and the defendant Handloser both held the rank of Generaloberstabsarzt, the highest rank in the German medical service and the equivalent of lieutenant general in the American Army. I do not propose to go into detail concerning the positions held by the seven defendants who were under Schroeder, inasmuch as Mr. McHaney will introduce charts which show in great detail the structure of the German Air Force Medical Service, and which have been authenticated by the defendant Schroeder himself. The defendant Rose held a high rank in the Air Force Medical Service equivalent to that of a brigadier general in the American Army and was appointed special adviser to Schroeder on matters pertaining to tropical medicine, held a chair at one of the most important German medical institutes, and is one of the most distinguished scientists in the dock. The defendant Becker-Freyseng headed Schroeder’s department for aviation medicine. The defendant Weltz was chief of the Institute for Aviation Medicine at Munich. The particular functions of the defendants Ruff, Romberg, Schaefer, and Beiglboeck will appear as we proceed with the presentation of the evidence.

I will likewise pass over very briefly the detailed functions of the six SS physicians who were shown on the chart as the subordinates of Grawitz. Detailed charts of the SS Medical Service, authenticated by the defendant Mrugowsky, will shortly be introduced in evidence. The defendant Gebhardt was Himmler’s personal physician and he held a rank in the SS equivalent to that of a major general in the American Army. He became the president of the German Red Cross. He was the chief surgeon on Grawitz’s staff, and also headed the hospital at Hohenlychen, in which capacity the defendants Oberheuser and Fischer were his assistants. The defendant Poppendick was the chief of Grawitz’s personal staff. The defendant Mrugowsky was Grawitz’s chief hygienist and also headed the Hygienic Institute of the Waffen SS. The defendant Hoven was the chief doctor of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

The defendant Pokorny is a private physician who had no official connection with the governmental medical service. We have shown him on the chart underneath the group of SS physicians for reasons which will appear in the course of presenting the evidence concerning sterilization experiments (par. 6 (I) of the indictment).

The three defendants who are not doctors are shown in the top right-hand corner of the chart. Two of them—Rudolf Brandt and Brack—are administrative officers. Rudolf Brandt had the rank of colonel in the SS, was sort of personal adjutant, and held an administrative office both in the SS and the Ministry of the Interior. Viktor Brack was the chief administrative officer in Hitler’s personal chancellery [Chancellery of the Fuehrer], the head of which was Philipp Bouhler.

The defendant Sievers, who held the rank of colonel in the SS, is a special case. He was a direct subordinate of Heinrich Himmler in the latter’s capacity as president of the so-called Ahnenerbe Society. The name of this society literally means “ancestral heritage”, and it was originally devoted to scientific and psuedo-scientific researches concerning the anthropological and cultural history of the German race. Later on an Institute for Military Scientific Research was set up within the Ahnenerbe Society. Sievers was the manager of the society and the director of the Institute for Military Scientific Research.

This concludes the general description of the German state medical services under the Nazi regime, and of the positions which the defendants occupied in the scheme of things. It is convenient at this point to refer to count four of the indictment, which charges that 10 of the defendants were members of an organization declared to be criminal by the International Military Tribunal, and that such membership is in violation of paragraph 1 (d) of Article II of Control Council Law No. 10. The organization in question is the SS.

This count concerns the defendant Karl Brandt, six of the defendants who were affiliated with the Medical Service of the SS, and three defendants who are not doctors. It does not concern any of the nine defendants on the military side, nor the defendants Rostock, Blome, Oberheuser, or Pokorny.

The International Military Tribunal’s declaration of criminality applies to all persons who had been officially accepted as members of any branch of the SS, and who remained members after 1 September 1939. The prosecution will show that all 10 defendants charged in count four were officially accepted as members of the SS and remained so after that date. The defendants Karl Brandt, Genzken, and Gebhardt held ranks in both the General or Allgemeine SS and the Waffen SS equivalent to that of a major general in the American Army. The defendants Mrugowsky, Hoven, Poppendick, and Fischer all held officer rank in the SS or Waffen SS, and all four of them, together with the defendants Genzken and Gebhardt, held positions in the SS Medical Service. The defendant Rudolf Brandt held the rank of colonel in the General (Allgemeine) SS, and was a personal assistant to Himmler in Himmler’s capacity as Reich Leader SS. The defendant Brack held officer rank in both the SS and the Waffen SS. The defendant Sievers held the rank of colonel in the SS, and was manager of the Ahnenerbe Society, which was attached to the SS Main Office.

The declaration of criminality by the International Military Tribunal does not apply when it appears that a member of the SS was drafted into membership in such a way as to give him no choice in the matter. Nor does it apply if it appears that the member had no knowledge that the organization was being used for the commission of criminal acts. For purposes of this case, these questions, the prosecution believes, will be academic. All of the defendants charged in count four held officer rank in the SS, and most of them held senior rank. They were moving spirits and personal participants in murder and torture on a large scale, and in a variety of other crimes. In this connection we respectfully invite the Tribunal’s attention to two statements by the International Military Tribunal which, under Article X of Ordinance No. 7, constitute proof in the absence of substantial new evidence to the contrary. In setting forth the criminal acts committed by the SS, the International Military Tribunal stated:[9]

“Also attached to the SS main offices was a research foundation known as the Experiments Ahnenerbe. The scientists attached to this organization are stated to have been mainly honorary members of the SS. During the war an institute for military scientific research became attached to the Ahnenerbe which conducted extensive experiments involving the use of living human beings.”

And again it was stated:[10]

“In connection with the administration of the concentration camps, the SS embarked on a series of experiments on human beings which were performed on prisoners of war or concentration camp inmates. These experiments included freezing to death and killing by poison bullets. The SS was able to obtain an allocation of Government funds for this kind of research on the grounds that they had access to human material not available to other agencies.”

CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE GUISE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

(Counts two and three, pars. 6, 7, 11, and 12)

I turn now to the main part of the indictment and will outline at this point the prosecution’s case relating to those crimes alleged to have been committed in the name of medical or scientific research. The charges with respect to “euthanasia” and the slaughter of tubercular Poles obviously have no relation to research or experimentation and will be dealt with later. What I will cover now comprehends all the experiments charged as war crimes in paragraph 6 and as crimes against humanity in paragraph 11 of the indictment, and the murders committed for so-called anthropological purposes which are charged as war crimes in paragraph 7 and as crimes against humanity in paragraph 12 of the indictment.

Before taking up these experiments one by one, let us look at them as a whole. Are they a heterogeneous list of horrors, or is there a common denominator for the whole group?

A sort of rough pattern is apparent on the face of the indictment. Experiments concerning high altitude, the effect of cold, and the potability of processed sea-water have an obvious relation to aeronautical and naval combat and rescue problems. The mustard gas and phosphorous burn experiments, as well as those relating to the healing value of sulfanilamide for wounds, can be related to air-raid and battlefield medical problems. It is well known that malaria, epidemic jaundice, and typhus were among the principal diseases which had to be combated by the German Armed Forces and by German authorities in occupied territories.

To some degree, the therapeutic pattern outlined above is undoubtedly a valid one, and explains why the Wehrmacht, and especially the German Air Force, participated in these experiments. Fanatically bent upon conquest, utterly ruthless as to the means or instruments to be used in achieving victory, and callous to the sufferings of people whom they regarded as inferior, the German militarists were willing to gather whatever scientific fruit these experiments might yield.

But our proof will show that a quite different and even more sinister objective runs like a red thread through these hideous researches. We will show that in some instances the true object of these experiments was not how to rescue or to cure, but how to destroy and kill. The sterilization experiments were, it is clear, purely destructive in purpose. The prisoners at Buchenwald who were shot with poisoned bullets were not guinea pigs to test an antidote for the poison; their murderers really wanted to know how quickly the poison would kill. This destructive objective is not superficially as apparent in the other experiments, but we will show that it was often there.

Mankind has not heretofore felt the need of a word to denominate the science of how to kill prisoners most rapidly and subjugated people in large numbers. This case and these defendants have created this gruesome question for the lexicographer. For the moment we will christen this macabre science “thanatology,” the science of producing death. The thanatological knowledge, derived in part from these experiments, supplied the techniques for genocide, a policy of the Third Reich, exemplified in the “euthanasia” program and in the wide-spread slaughter of Jews, gypsies, Poles, and Russians. This policy of mass extermination could not have been so effectively carried out without the active participation of German medical scientists.

I will now take up the experiments themselves. Two or three of them I will describe more fully, but most of them will be treated in summary fashion, as Mr. McHaney will be presenting detailed proof of each of them.

A. High-Altitude Experiments

The experiments known as “high-altitude” or “low-pressure” experiments were carried out at the Dachau concentration camp in 1942. According to the proof, the original proposal that such experiments be carried out on human beings originated in the spring of 1941 with a Dr. Sigmund Rascher. Rascher was at that time a captain in the medical service of the German Air Force, and also held officer rank in the SS. He is believed now to be dead.

The origin of the idea is revealed in a letter which Rascher wrote to Himmler in May 1941 at which time Rascher was taking a course in aviation medicine at a German Air Force headquarters in Munich. According to the letter, this course included researches into high-altitude flying and

“considerable regret was expressed at the fact that no tests with human material had yet been possible for us, as such experiments are very dangerous and nobody volunteers for them.” (1602-PS.)

Rascher, in this letter, went on to ask Himmler to put human subjects at his disposal and baldly stated that the experiments might result in death to the subjects but that the tests theretofore made with monkeys had not been satisfactory.

Rascher’s letter was answered by Himmler’s adjutant, the defendant, Rudolf Brandt, who informed Rascher that—

“* * * Prisoners will, of course, gladly be made available for the high-flight researches.” (1582-PS.)

Subsequently Rascher wrote directly to Rudolf Brandt asking for permission to carry out the experiments at the Dachau concentration camp, and he mentioned that the German Air Force had provided “a movable pressure chamber” in which the experiments might be made. Plans for carrying out the experiments were developed at a conference late in 1941, or early in 1942, attended by Dr. Rascher and by the defendants Weltz, Romberg, and Ruff, all of whom were members of the German Air Force Medical Service. The tests themselves were carried out in the spring and summer of 1942, using the pressure chamber which the German Air Force had provided. The victims were locked in the low-pressure chamber, which was an airtight ball-like compartment, and then the pressure in the chamber was altered to simulate the atmospheric conditions prevailing at extremely high altitudes. The pressure in the chamber could be varied with great rapidity, which permitted the defendants to duplicate the atmospheric conditions which an aviator might encounter in falling great distances through space without a parachute and without oxygen.

The reports, conclusions, and comments on these experiments, which were introduced here and carefully recorded, demonstrate complete disregard for human life and callousness to suffering and pain. These documents reveal at one and the same time the medical results of the experiments, and the degradation of the physicians who performed them. The first report by Rascher was made in April 1942, and contains a description of the effect of the low-pressure chamber on a 37-year-old Jew. (1971-A-PS.) I quote:

“The third experiment of this type took such an extraordinary course that I called an SS physician of the camp as witness, since I had worked on these experiments all by myself. It was a continuous experiment without oxygen at a height of 12 kilometers conducted on a 37-year-old Jew in good general condition. Breathing continued up to 30 minutes. After 4 minutes the experimental subject began to perspire and wiggle his head, after 5 minutes cramps occurred, between 6 and 10 minutes breathing increased in speed and the experimental subject became unconscious; from 11 to 30 minutes breathing slowed down to three breaths per minute, finally stopping altogether.

“Severest cyanosis developed in between and foam appeared at the mouth.

“At 5 minute intervals electrocardiograms from three leads were written. After breathing had stopped Ekg (electrocardiogram) was continuously written until the action of the heart had come to a complete standstill. About ½ hour after breathing had stopped, dissection was started.”

Rascher’s report also contains the following record of the “autopsy”:

“When the cavity of the chest was opened the pericardium was filled tightly (heart tamponade). Upon opening of the pericardium, 80 cc. of clear yellowish liquid gushed forth. The moment the tamponade had stopped, the right auricle of the heart began to beat heavily, at first at the rate of 60 actions per minute, then progressively slower. Twenty minutes after the pericardium had been opened, the right auricle was opened by puncturing it. For about 15 minutes, a thin stream of blood spurted forth. Thereafter, clogging of the puncture wound in the auricle by coagulation of the blood and renewed acceleration of the action of the right auricle occurred.

“One hour after breathing had stopped, the spinal marrow was completely severed and the brain removed. Thereupon, the action of the auricle of the heart stopped for 40 seconds. It then renewed its action, coming to a complete standstill 8 minutes later. A heavy subarachnoid oedema was found in the brain. In the veins and arteries of the brain, a considerable quantity of air was discovered. Furthermore, the blood vessels in the heart and liver were enormously obstructed by embolism.” (1971-A-PS.)

After seeing this report Himmler ironically ordered that if a subject should be brought back to life after enduring such an experiment, he should be “pardoned” to life imprisonment in a concentration camp. Rascher’s reply to this letter, dated 20 October 1942, reveals that up to the time the victims of these experiments had all been Poles and Russians, that some of them had been condemned to death, and Rascher inquired whether Himmler’s benign mercy extended to Poles and Russians. (1971-D-PS.) A teleptyped reply from the defendant, Rudolf Brandt, confirmed Rascher’s belief that Poles and Russians were beyond the pale and should be given no amnesty of any kind. (1971-E-PS.)

The utter brutality of the crimes committed in conducting this series of experiments is reflected in all the documents. A report written in May 1942 reflects that certain of these tests were carried out on persons described therein as “Jewish professional criminals.” In fact, these Jews had been condemned for what the Nazis called “Rassenschande,” which literally means “racial shame.” The crime consisted of marriage or intercourse between Aryans and non-Aryans. The murder and torture of these unfortunate Jews is eloquently reflected in the following report:

“Some of the experimental subjects died during a continued high-altitude experiment; for instance, after one-half hour at a height of 12 kilometers. After the skull had been opened under water, an ample amount of air embolism was found in the brain vessels and, in part, free air in the brain ventricles.

“In order to find out whether the severe psychic and physical effects, as mentioned under No. 3, are due to the formation of embolism, the following was done: After relative recuperation from such a parachute descending test had taken place, however before regaining consciousness, some experimental subjects were kept under water until they died. When the skull and cavities of the breast and of the abdomen were opened under water, an enormous amount of air embolism was found in the vessels of the brain, the coronary vessels, and the vessels of the liver and the intestines.” (NO-220.)

The victims who did not die in the course of such experiments, surely wished that they had. A long report written in July 1942 by Rascher, and by the defendants Ruff and Romberg, describes an experiment on a former delicatessen clerk, who was given an oxygen mask and raised in the chamber to an atmospheric elevation of over 47,000 feet, at which point the mask was removed and a parachute descent was simulated. The report describes the victim’s reactions—“spasmodic convulsions,” “agonal convulsive breathing,” “clonic convulsions, groaning,” “yells aloud,” “convulses arms and legs,” “grimaces, bites his tongue,” “does not respond to speech,” “gives the impression of someone who is completely out of his mind.” (NO-402.)

The evidence which we will produce will establish that the defendants Ruff and Romberg personally participated with Rascher in experiments resulting in death and torture; that the defendant Sievers watched the experiments for an entire day and made an oral report to Himmler on his observations; that the defendant Rudolf Brandt was the agent of Himmler in providing the human subjects for these experiments and in making many other facilities available to Rascher and rendering him general assistance; and that the defendant Weltz, in his official capacity, repeatedly insisted on supervision over and full responsibility and credit for the experiments. The higher authorities of both the German Air Force and the SS were fully informed concerning what was going on. Extensive correspondence will be introduced, for example, concerning the availability of the low-pressure chamber which the German Air Force furnished at Dachau, and concerning the availability of Rascher, who was an officer in the Air Force Medical Service, to conduct the experiments. Knowledge of, participation in, and responsibility for these atrocious crimes on the part of the defendants here charged will be clearly shown by the evidence.

B. Freezing Experiments

The deep interest of the German Air Force in capitalizing on the availability of inmates of concentration camps for experimental purposes is even more apparent in the case of the freezing experiments. These, too, were conducted at Dachau. They began immediately after the high-altitude experiments were completed and they continued until the spring of 1943. Here again, the defendant Weltz was directly in charge of the experiments, with Rascher as his assistant, as is shown in a letter written in May 1942 by Field Marshal Erhard Milch, the Inspector General of the German Air Force, to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, one of Heinrich Himmler’s principal subordinates, and this letter specifically requested that the freezing experiments be carried out at Dachau under Weltz’s supervision. (343-A-PS.)

The purpose of these experiments was to determine the most effective way of rewarming German aviators who were forced to parachute into the North Sea. The evidence will show that in the course of these experiments, the victims were forced to remain outdoors without clothing in freezing weather from 9 to 14 hours. In other cases, they were forced to remain in a tank of iced water for 3 hours at a time. The water experiments are described in a report by Rascher written in August 1942. (1618-PS.) I quote:

“Electrical measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4° in the stomach and 26.5° in the rectum. Fatalities occurred only when the brain stem and the back of the head were also chilled. Autopsies of such fatal cases always revealed large amounts of free blood, up to ½ liter, in the cranial cavity. The heart invariably showed extreme dilation of the right chamber. As soon as the temperature in those experiments reached 28°, the experimental subjects died invariably, despite all attempts at resuscitation.”

Other documents set forth that from time to time the temperature of the water would be lowered by 10° Centigrade and a quart of blood would be taken from an artery in the subject’s throat for analysis. The organs of the victims who died were extracted and sent to the Pathological Institute at Munich.

Rewarming of the subjects was attempted by various means, most commonly and successfully in a very hot bath. In September, Himmler personally ordered that rewarming by the warmth of human bodies also be attempted, and the inhuman villains who conducted these experiments promptly produced four gypsy women from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. When the women had arrived, rewarming was attempted by placing the chilled victim between two naked women.

A voluminous report on the freezing experiments conducted in tanks of ice water, written in October 1942, contains the following (NO-428):

“If the experimental subject were placed in the water under narcosis, one observed a certain arousing effect. The subject began to groan and made some defensive movements. In a few cases, a state of excitation developed. This was especially severe in the cooling of the head and neck. But never was a complete cessation of the narcosis observed. The defensive movements ceased after about 5 minutes. There followed a progressive rigor, which developed especially strongly in the arm musculature; the arms were strongly flexed and pressed to the body. The rigor increased with the continuation of the cooling, now and then interrupted by tonic-clonic twitching. With still more marked sinking of the body temperature, it suddenly ceased. These cases ended fatally, without any successful results from resuscitation efforts.


“Experiments without narcosis showed no essential differences in the course of cooling. Upon entry into the water, a severe cold shuddering appeared. The cooling of the neck and back of the head was felt as especially painful, but already after 5 to 10 minutes, a significant weakening of the pain sensation was observable. Rigor developed after this time in the same manner as under narcosis, likewise the tonic-clonic twitchings. At this point, speech became difficult because the rigor also affected the speech musculature.

“Simultaneously with the rigor, a severe difficulty in breathing set in with or without narcosis. It was reported that, so to speak, an iron ring was placed about the chest. Objectively, already at the beginning of this breathing difficulty, a marked dilatation of the nostrils occurred. The expiration was prolonged and visibly difficult. This difficulty passed over into a rattling and snoring breathing. * * *” [Emphasis not shown.]

During the winter of 1942 and 1943, experiments with “dry” cold were conducted. And Rascher reported on these in another letter to Himmler (1616-PS):

“Up to now, I have cooled off about 30 people stripped in the open air during nine to fourteen hours at 27° to 29°. After a time, corresponding to a trip of 1 hour, I put these subjects in a hot bath. Up to now, every single patient was completely warmed up within 1 hour at most, although some of them had their hands and feet frozen white.”

The responsibility among the defendants for the freezing experiments is substantially the same as for the high-altitude tests. The results were, if anything, ever more widely known in German medical circles. In October 1942, a medical conference took place here in Nuernberg at the Deutscher Hof Hotel, at which one of the authors of the report from which I have just quoted spoke on the subject “Prevention and Treatment of Freezing”, and the defendant Weltz spoke on the subject “Warming up after Freezing to the Danger Point.” Numerous documents which we will introduce show the widespread responsibility among the defendants, and in the highest quarters of the German Air Force, for these sickening crimes.

C. Malaria Experiments

Another series of experiments carried out at the Dachau concentration camp concerned immunization for and treatment of malaria. Over 1,200 inmates of practically every nationality were experimented upon. Many persons who participated in these experiments have already been tried before a general military court held at Dachau, and the findings of that court will be laid before this Tribunal. The malaria experiments were carried out under the general supervision of a Dr. Schilling, with whom the defendant Sievers and others in the box collaborated. The evidence will show that healthy persons were infected by mosquitoes or by injections from the glands of mosquitoes. Catholic priests were among the subjects. The defendant Gebhardt kept Himmler informed of the progress of these experiments. Rose furnished Schilling with fly eggs for them, and others of the defendants participated in various ways which the evidence will demonstrate.

After the victims had been infected, they were variously treated with quinine, neosalvarsan, pyramidon, antipyrin, and several combinations of these drugs. Many deaths occurred from excessive doses of neosalvarsan and pyramidon. According to the findings of the Dachau court, malaria was the direct cause of 30 deaths and 300 to 400 others died as the result of subsequent complications.

D. Mustard Gas Experiments

The experiments concerning mustard gas were conducted at Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler, and other concentration camps and extended over the entire period of the war. Wounds were deliberately inflicted on the victims, and the wounds were then infected with mustard gas. Other subjects were forced to inhale the gas, or to take it internally in liquid form, and still others were injected with the gas. A report on these experiments written at the end of 1939 described certain cases in which wounds were inflicted on both arms of the human guinea pigs and then infected, and the report states: “The arms in most of the cases are badly swollen and pains are enormous.”

The alleged purpose of these experiments was to discover an effective treatment for the burns caused by mustard gas. In 1944 the experiments were coordinated with a general program for research into gas warfare. A decree issued by Hitler in March 1944 ordered the defendant Karl Brandt to push medical research in connection with gas warfare. The defendant Rudolf Brandt sent copies of this decree to the defendant Sievers, to Grawitz, and others, and transmitted Hitler’s request that they confer soon with the defendant Karl Brandt “on account of the urgency of the order given him by the Fuehrer.” Subsequently, Sievers, who was thoroughly familiar with the mustard gas experiments being carried on in the concentration camps, reported the details of these experiments to the defendant Karl Brandt.

E. and F. Ravensbrueck Experiments Concerning Sulfanilamide and Other Drugs; Bone, Muscle, and Nerve Regeneration and Bone Transplantation

The experiments conducted principally on the female inmates of Ravensbrueck concentration camp were perhaps the most barbaric of all. These concerned bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration and bone transplantation, and experiments with sulfanilamide and other drugs. They were carried out by the defendants Fischer and Oberheuser under the direction of the defendant Gebhardt.

In one set of experiments, incisions were made on the legs of several of the camp inmates for the purpose of simulating battle-caused infections. A bacterial culture, or fragments of wood shavings, or tiny pieces of glass were forced into the wound. After several days, the wounds were treated with sulfanilamide. Grawitz, the head of the SS Medical Service, visited Ravensbrueck and received a report on these experiments directly from the defendant Fischer. Grawitz thereupon directed that the wounds inflicted on the subjects should be even more severe so that conditions similar to those prevailing at the front lines would be more completely simulated.

Bullet wounds were simulated on the subjects by tying off the blood vessels at both ends of the incision. A gangrene-producing culture was then placed in the wounds. Severe infection resulted within 24 hours. Operations were then performed on the infected areas and the wounds were treated with sulfanilamide. In each of the many sulfanilamide experiments, some of the subjects were wounded and infected but were not given sulfanilamide, so as to compare their reactions with those who received treatment.

Bone transplantation from one person to another and the regeneration of nerves, muscles, and bones were also tried out on the women at Ravensbrueck. The defendant Gebhardt personally ordered that bone transplantation experiments be carried out, and in one case the scapula of an inmate at Ravensbrueck was removed and taken to Hohenlychen Hospital and there transplanted. We will show that the defendants did not even have any substantial scientific objective. These experiments were senseless, sadistic, and utterly savage.

The defendant Oberheuser’s duties at Ravensbrueck in connection with the experiments were to select young and healthy inmates for the experiments, to be present at all of the surgical operations, and to give the experimental subjects post-operative care. We will show that this care consisted chiefly of utter neglect of nursing requirements, and cruel and abusive treatment of the miserable victims.

Other experiments in this category were conducted at Dachau to discover a method of bringing about coagulation of the blood. Concentration camp inmates were actually fired upon, or were injured in some other fashion in order to cause something similar to a battlefield wound. These wounds were then treated with a drug known as polygal in order to test its capacity to coagulate the blood. Several inmates were killed. Sulfanilamide was also administered to some and withheld from other inmates who had been infected with the pus from a phlegmon-diseased person. Blood poisoning generally ensued. After infection, the victims were left untreated for 3 or 4 days, after which various drugs were administered experimentally or experimental surgical operations were performed. Polish Catholic priests were used for these tests. Many died and others became invalids.

As a result of all of these senseless and barbaric experiments, the defendants are responsible for manifold murders and untold cruelty and torture.

G. Sea-Water Experiments

For the sea-water experiments we return to Dachau. They were conducted in 1944 at the behest of the German Air Force and the German Navy in order to develop a method of rendering sea-water drinkable. Meetings to discuss this problem were held in May 1944, attended by representatives of the Luftwaffe, the Navy, and I. G. Farben. The defendants Becker-Freyseng and Schaefer were among the participants. It was agreed to conduct a series of experiments in which the subjects, fed only with shipwreck emergency rations, would be divided into four groups. One group would receive no water at all; the second would drink ordinary sea-water; the third would drink sea-water processed by the so-called “Berka” method, which concealed the taste but did not alter the saline content; the fourth would drink sea-water treated so as to remove the salt.

Since it was expected that the subjects would die, or at least suffer severe impairment of health, it was decided at the meeting in May 1944 that only persons furnished by Himmler could be used. Thereafter in June 1944 the defendant Schroeder set the program in motion by writing to Himmler, and I quote from his letter (NO-185):

“Earlier you made it possible for the Luftwaffe to settle urgent medical matters through experiments on human beings. Today I again stand before a decision which, after numerous experiments on animals and also on voluntary human subjects, demands final solution: The Luftwaffe has simultaneously developed two methods for making sea-water drinkable. The one method, developed by a medical officer, removes the salt from the sea-water and transforms it into real drinking water; the second method, suggested by an engineer, only removes the unpleasant taste from the sea-water. The latter method, in contrast to the first, requires no critical raw material. From the medical point of view this method must be viewed critically, as the administration of concentrated salt solutions can produce severe symptoms of poisoning.

“As the experiments on human beings could thus far only be carried out for a period of 4 days, and as practical demands require a remedy for those who are in distress at sea up to 12 days, appropriate experiments are necessary.

“Required are 40 healthy test subjects, who must be available for 4 whole weeks. As it is known from previous experiments that necessary laboratories exist in the Dachau concentration camp, this camp would be very suitable.


“Due to the enormous importance which a solution of this question has for soldiers of the Luftwaffe and Navy who have become shipwrecked, I would be greatly obliged to you, my dear Reich Minister, if you would decide to comply with my request.”

Himmler passed this letter to Grawitz who consulted Gebhardt and other SS officials. A typical and nauseating Nazi discussion of racial questions ensued. One SS man suggested using quarantined prisoners and Jews; another suggested gypsies. Grawitz doubted that experiments on gypsies would yield results which were scientifically applicable to Germans. Himmler finally directed that gypsies be used with three others as a check.

The tests were actually begun in July 1944. The defendant Beiglboeck supervised the experiments, in the course of which the gypsy subjects underwent terrible suffering, became delirious or developed convulsions, and some died.

H. Epidemic Jaundice

The epidemic jaundice experiments, which took place at Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler concentration camps, were instigated by the defendant Karl Brandt. A letter written in 1943 by Grawitz stresses the enormous military importance of developing an inoculation against epidemic jaundice, which had spread extensively in the Waffen SS and the German Army, particularly in southern Russia. In some companies, up to 60 percent casualties from epidemic jaundice had occurred. Grawitz further informed Himmler that, and I quote:

“The General Commissioner of the Fuehrer, SS Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Brandt, has approached me with the request to help him obtain prisoners to be used in connection with his research on the causes of Epidemic Jaundice which has been furthered to a large degree by his efforts. * * * In order to enlarge our knowledge, so far based only on inoculation of animals with germs taken from human beings, it would not be necessary to reverse the procedure and inoculate human beings with germs cultivated in animals. Casualties (Todesfaelle) must be anticipated.”

Grawitz also had been doing research: on this problem with the assistance of a Dr. Dohmen, a medical officer attached to the Army Medical Inspectorate. Himmler made the following reply to the Grawitz letter (NO-011):

“I approve that eight criminals condemned in Auschwitz (eight Jews of the Polish Resistance Movement condemned to death) should be used for these experiments.”

Other evidence will indicate that the scope of these experiments was subsequently enlarged and that murder, torture, and death resulted from them.

I. Sterilization Experiments

In the sterilization experiments conducted by the defendants at Auschwitz, Ravensbrueck, and other concentration camps, the destructive nature of the Nazi medical program comes out most forcibly. The Nazis were searching for methods of extermination, both by murder and sterilization, of large population groups, by the most scientific and least conspicuous means. They were developing a new branch of medical science which would give them the scientific tools for the planning and practice of genocide. The primary purpose was to discover an inexpensive, unobtrusive, and rapid method of sterilization which could be used to wipe out Russians, Poles, Jews, and other people. Surgical sterilization was thought to be too slow and expensive to be used on a mass scale. A method to bring about an unnoticed sterilization was thought desirable.

Medicinal sterilizations were therefore carried out. A Dr. Madaus had stated that caladium seguinum, a drug obtained from a North American plant, if taken orally or by injection, would bring about sterilization. In 1941 the defendant Pokorny called this to Himmler’s attention, and suggested that it should be developed and used against Russian prisoners of war. I quote one paragraph from Pokorny’s letter written at that time (NO-035):

“If, on the basis of this research, it were possible to produce a drug which after a relatively short time, effects an imperceptible sterilization on human beings, then we would have a powerful new weapon at our disposal. The thought alone that the 3 million Bolsheviks, who are at present German prisoners, could be sterilized so that they could be used as laborers but be prevented from reproduction, opens the most far-reaching perspectives.”

As a result of Pokorny’s suggestion, experiments were conducted on concentration camp inmates to test the effectiveness of the drug. At the same time efforts were made to grow the plant on a large scale in hothouses.

At the Auschwitz concentration camp sterilization experiments were also conducted on a large scale by a Dr. Karl Clauberg, who had developed a method of sterilizing women, based on the injection of an irritating solution. Several thousand Jewesses and gypsies were sterilized at Auschwitz by this method.

Conversely, surgical operations were performed on sexually abnormal inmates at Buchenwald in order to determine whether their virility could be increased by the transplantation of glands. Out of 14 subjects of these experiments, at least 2 died.

The defendant Gebhardt also personally conducted sterilizations at Ravensbrueck by surgical operation. The defendant Viktor Brack, in March 1941, submitted to Himmler a report on the progress and state of X-ray sterilization experiments. Brack explained that it had been determined that sterilization with powerful X-rays could be accomplished and that castration would then result. The danger of this X-ray method lay in the fact that other parts of the body, if they were not protected with lead, were also seriously affected. In order to prevent the victims from realizing that they were being castrated, Brack made the following fantastic suggestion in his letter written in 1941 to Himmler, from which I quote (NO-203):

“One way to carry out these experiments in practice would be to have those people who are to be treated line up before a counter. There they would be questioned and a form would be given them to be filled out, the whole process taking 2 or 3 minutes. The official attendant who sits behind the counter can operate the apparatus in such a manner that he works a switch which will start both tubes together (as the rays have to come from both sides). With one such installation with two tubes about 150 to 200 persons could be sterilized daily, while 20 installations would take care of 3,000 to 4,000 persons daily. In my opinion the number of daily deportations will not exceed this figure.”

In this same report the defendant Brack related that, and I quote (NO-203):

“* * * the latest X-ray technique and research make it easily possible to carry out mass sterilization by means of X-rays. However, it appears to be impossible to take these measures without having those who were so treated finding out sooner or later that they definitely had been either sterilized or had been castrated by X-rays.”

Another letter from Brack to Himmler, in June 1942, laid the basis for X-ray experiments which were subsequently carried out at Auschwitz. The second paragraph of this letter forms a fitting conclusion to this account of Nazi depravity, and I quote (NO-205):

“Among 10 millions of Jews in Europe there are, I figure, at least 2 to 3 millions of men and women who are fit enough to work. Considering the extraordinary difficulties the labor problem presents us with, I hold the view that these 2 to 3 millions should be specially selected and preserved. This can, however, only be done if at the same time they are rendered incapable to propagate. About a year ago I reported to you that agents of mine have completed the experiments necessary for this purpose. I would like to recall these facts once more. Sterilization, as normally performed on persons with hereditary diseases, is here out of the question because it takes too long and is too expensive. Castration by X-rays, however, is not only relatively cheap but can also be performed on many thousands in the shortest time. I think that at this time it is already irrelevant whether the people in question become aware of having been castrated after some weeks or months, once they feel the effects.”

J. Typhus (Fleckfieber) and Related Experiments

From December 1941, until near the end of the war, a large program of medical experimentation was carried out upon concentration camp inmates at Buchenwald and Natzweiler to investigate the value of various vaccines. This research involved a variety of diseases—typhus, yellow fever, smallpox, paratyphoid A and B, cholera, and diphtheria. A dozen or more of the defendants were involved in these experiments which were characterized by the most cynical disregard of human life. Hundreds of persons died. The experiments concerning typhus—known in Germany as Fleckfieber or “spot fever”, but is not to be confused with American spotted fever—were particularly appalling.

The typhus experiments at Natzweiler were conducted by Dr. Eugen Haagen, an officer in the Air Force Medical Service and a professor at the University of Strasbourg. In the fall of 1943, through the defendant Sievers, Haagen obtained 100 concentration camp prisoners for experiments with typhus vaccines. Two hundred more prisoners were furnished in the summer of 1944. These experiments caused many fatalities among the prisoners.

The general pattern of these typhus experiments was as follows. A group of concentration camp inmates, selected from the healthier ones who had some resistance to disease, were injected with an anti-typhus vaccine, the efficacy of which was to be tested. Thereafter, all the persons in the group would be infected with typhus. At the same time, other inmates who had not been vaccinated were also infected for purposes of comparison—these unvaccinated victims were called the “control” group. But perhaps the most wicked and murderous circumstance in this whole case is that still other inmates were deliberately infected with typhus with the sole purpose of keeping the typhus virus alive and generally available in the bloodstream of the inmates.

The typhus murders at Buchenwald were carried out in 1942 and 1943 under the direction of the defendants Genzken and Mrugowsky. Requests for the human guinea pigs were turned over to, and filled by, the defendant Hoven. The bulk of the actual work was done by an infamous physician known as Dr. Ding, who committed suicide after the war. But Dr. Ding’s professional diary has survived.

The first entry in Ding’s diary, for 29 December 1941, reveals that here again the impetus for these murderous researches came from the Wehrmacht. This entry describes a conference sponsored by the defendant Handloser and Dr. Conti, respective heads of the military and civilian medical services of the Reich, which was also attended by the defendant Mrugowsky. Typhus had been making serious inroads on the German troops fighting in Russia. The account of this conference relates that, and I quote (NO-265):

“Since tests on animals are not of sufficient value, tests on human beings must be carried out.”

Other entries in the Ding diary quoted below are typical of those made over a period of 3 years, and give some idea of the mortality among the victims. (NO-265.)

10 Jan 42: Preliminary test B: Preliminary test to establish a sure means of infection: Much as in smallpox vaccination, 5 persons were infected with virus through 2 superficial and 2 deeper cuts in the upper arm. All of the humans used for this test fell ill with true typhus. Incubation period up to 6 days.

20 Feb 42: Chart of the case history of the preliminary tests to establish a sure means of infection were sent to Berlin. One death out of five sick.

17 Mar 42: Visit of Prof. Gildemeister and Prof. Rose (department head for tropical medicine of the Robert Koch Institute) at the experimental station. All persons experimented on fell sick with typhus, except two, who, the fact was established later, already had been sick with typhus during an epidemic at the police prison in Berlin.

9 Jan 43: By order of the surgeon general of the Waffen SS, SS Gruppenfuehrer and Major General of the Waffen SS, Dr. Genzken, the hitherto existing typhus research station at the concentration camp Buchenwald becomes the ‘Department for Typhus and Virus Research’. The head of the department will be SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ding. During his absence, the station medical officer of the Waffen SS, Weimar, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Hoven will supervise the production of vaccines.

13 and 14 Apr 43: Unit of SS Sturmbannfeuhrer Dr. Ding ordered to I. G. Farbenindustrie A. G., Hoechst. Conference with Prof. Lautenschlaeger, Dr. Weber and Dr. Fussgaenger about the experimental series ‘Acridine Granulate and Rutenol’ in the concentration camp Buchenwald. Visit to Geheimrat Otto and Prof. Prigge in the institute for experimental therapeutics in Frankfurt-on-Main.

24 Apr 1943: Therapeutic experiments Acridine Granulate (A-GR2) and Rutenol (R-2) to carry out the therapeutic experiments Acridine Granulate and Rutenol, 30 persons (15 each) and 9 persons for control were infected by intravenous injection of 2 cc. each of fresh blood of a typhus sick person. All experimental persons got very serious typhus.

1 Jun 1943: Charts of case history completed. The experimental series was concluded with 21 deaths; of these, 8 were in Buchenwald, 8 with Rutenol and 5 control.

7 Sep 1943: Chart and case history completed. The experimental series was concluded with 53 deaths.

8 Mar-18 Mar 1944: It is suggested by Colonel of this air corps, Prof. Rose, the vaccine ‘Kopenhagen’, produced from mouse liver by the National Serum Institute in Kopenhagen, be tested for its compatibility on humans. Twenty persons were vaccinated for immunization by intramuscular injection. * * * Ten persons were contemplated for control and comparison.

16 Apr 1944: The remaining experimental persons were infected on 16 April by subcutaneous injection of 1/20 cc. typhus sick fresh blood. The following feel sick: 17 persons immunized: 9 medium, 8 seriously. Nine persons from the control: 2 medium, 7 seriously.

13 Jun 1944: Chart and case history completed and sent to Berlin. Six deaths (3 ‘Kopenhagen’) (3 control).

4 Nov 1944: Chart and case history completed. Twenty-four deaths.”

Copies of each of Dr. Ding’s official reports went to the defendants Mrugowsky and Poppendick as well as to the I. G. Farben laboratories at Hoechst. Nowhere will the evidence in this case reveal a more wicked and murderous course of conduct by men who claimed to practice the healing art than in the entries of Dr. Ding’s diary relating to the typhus experiments.

K. Poison Experiments

Here again the defendants were studying how to kill, and the scene is Buchenwald. Poisons were administered to Russian prisoners of war in their food, and German doctors stood behind a curtain to watch the reactions of the prisoners. Some of the Russians died immediately, and the survivors were killed in order to permit autopsies.

The defendant Mrugowsky, in a letter written in September 1944, has provided us with a record of another experiment in which the victims were shot with poisoned bullets, and I quote (NO-201):

“In the presence of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ding, Dr. Widmann and the undersigned, experiments with aconitin nitrate projectiles were conducted on 11 September 1944 on 5 persons who had been condemned to death. The projectiles in question were of a 7.65 mm. caliber, filled with crystallized poison. The experimental subjects, in a lying position, were each shot in the upper part of the left thigh. The thighs of two of them were cleanly shot through. Afterwards, no effect of the poison was to be observed. These two experimental subjects were therefore exempted.


“During the first hour of the experiment the pupils did not show any changes. After 78 minutes the pupils of all three showed a medium dilation, together with a retarded light reaction. Simultaneously, maximum respiration with heavy breathing inhalations set in. This subsided after a few minutes. The pupils contracted again and their reaction improved. After 65 minutes the patellar and achilles tendon reflexes of the poisoned subjects were negative. The abdominal reflexes of two of them were also negative. After approximately 90 minutes, one of the subjects again started breathing heavily; this was accompanied by an increasing motor unrest. Then the heavy breathing changed into a flat, accelerated respiration, accompanied by extreme nausea. One of the poisoned persons tried in vain to vomit. To do so he introduced four fingers of his hand up to the knuckles into his throat, but nevertheless could not vomit. His face was flushed.

“The other two experimental subjects had already early shown a pale face. The other symptoms were the same. The motor unrest increased so much that the persons flung themselves up and then down, rolled their eyes and made meaningless motions with their hands and arms. Finally the agitation subsided, the pupils dilated to the maximum, and the condemned lay motionless. * * * Death occurred 121, 123, and 129 minutes after entry of the projectile.”

L. Incendiary Bomb Experiments

These experiments were likewise carried out at Buchenwald, and the Ding diary gives us the facts. In November 1943 five persons were deliberately burned with phosphorous material taken from an English incendiary bomb. The victims were permanently and seriously injured.

M. Jewish Skeleton Collection

I come now to charges stated in paragraphs 7 and 11 of the indictment. These are perhaps the most utterly repulsive charges in the entire indictment. They concern the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Sievers. Sievers and his associates in the Ahnenerbe Society were completely obsessed by all the vicious and malignant Nazi racial theories. They conceived the notion of applying these nauseous theories in the field of anthropology. What ensued was murderous folly.

In February 1942, Sievers submitted to Himmler, through Rudolf Brandt, a report from which the following is an extract (NO-085):

“We have a nearly complete collection of skulls of all races and peoples at our disposal. Only very few specimens of skulls of the Jewish race, however, are available with the result that it is impossible to arrive at precise conclusions from examining them. The war in the East now presents us with the opportunity to overcome this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of the Jewish-Bolshevik Commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive, but characteristic subhuman, we have the chance now to obtain a palpable, scientific document.

“The best, practical method for obtaining and collecting this skull material could be handled by directing the Wehrmacht to turn over alive all captured Jewish-Bolshevik Commissars to the Field Police. They in turn are to be given special directives to inform a certain office at regular intervals of the number and place of detention of these captured Jews and to give them special close attention and care until a special delegate arrives. This special delegate, who will be in charge of securing the ‘material’ has the job of taking a series of previously established photographs, anthropological measurements, and in addition has to determine, as far as possible, the background, date of birth, and other personal data of the prisoner. Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head should not be damaged, the delegate will separate the head from the body and will forward it to its proper point of destination in a hermetically sealed tin can, especially produced for this purpose and filled with a conserving fluid.

“Having arrived at the laboratory, the comparison tests and anatomical research on the skull, as well as determination of the race membership of pathological features of the skull form, the form and size of the brain, etc., can proceed. The basis of these studies will be the photos, measurements, and other data supplied on the head, and finally the tests of the skull itself.”

After extensive correspondence between Himmler and the defendants Sievers and Rudolf Brandt, it was decided to procure the skulls from inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp instead of at the front. The hideous program was actually carried out, as is shown by a letter from Sievers written in June 1943, which states in part (NO-087):

“I wish to inform you that our associate, Dr. Beger, who was in charge of the above special project, has interrupted his experiments in the concentration camp Auschwitz because of the existing danger of epidemics. Altogether 115 persons were worked on, 79 were Jews, 30 were Jewesses, 2 were Poles, and 4 were Asiatics. At the present time these prisoners are segregated by sex and are under quarantine in the two hospital buildings of Auschwitz.”

After the death of these wretched Jews had been “induced” their corpses were sent to Strasbourg. A year elapsed, and the Allied armies were racing across France and were nearing Strasbourg where this monstrous exhibit of the culture of the master race reposed. Alarmed, Sievers sent a telegram to Rudolf Brandt in September 1944, from which I quote:

“According to the proposal of 9 February 1942, and your approval of 23 February 1942, Professor Dr. Hirt has assembled a skeleton collection which has never been in existence before. Because of the vast amount of scientific research that is connected with this project, the job of reducing the corpses to skeletons has not yet been completed. Since it might require some time to process 80 corpses, Hirt requested a decision pertaining to the treatment of the collection stored in the morgue of the Anatomy, in case Strasbourg should be endangered. The collection can be defleshed and rendered unrecognizable. This, however, would mean that the whole work had been done for nothing—at least in part—and that this singular collection would be lost to science, since it would be impossible to make plaster casts afterwards. The skeleton collection, as such is inconspicuous. The flesh parts could be declared as having been left by the French at the time we took over the Anatomy and would be turned over for cremating. Please advise me which of the following three proposals is to be carried out:

(1) The collection as a whole is to be preserved.

(2) The collection is to be dissolved in part.

(3) The collection is to be completely dissolved.”

The final chapter of this barbaric enterprise is found in a note in Himmler’s files addressed to Rudolf Brandt stating that:

“During his visit at the Operational Headquarters on 21 November 1944, Sievers told me that the collection in Strasbourg had been completely dissolved in conformance with the directive given him at the time. He is of the opinion that this arrangement is for the best in view of the whole situation.”

These men, however, reckoned without the hand of fate. The bodies of these unfortunate people were not completely disposed of, and this Tribunal will hear the testimony of witnesses and see pictorial exhibits depicting the charnel house which was the Anatomy Institute of the Reich University of Strasbourg.

I have now completed the sketch of some of the foul crimes which these defendants committed in the name of research. The horrible record of their degradation needs no underlining. But German medical science was in past years honored throughout the world, and many of the most illustrious names in medical research are German. How did these things come to pass? I will outline briefly the historical evidence which we will offer and which, I believe, will show that these crimes were the logical and inevitable outcome of the prostitution of German medicine under the Nazis.

GERMAN MEDICAL ORGANIZATION
Before 1933

Two years after the reconstitution of the German Reich, in 1871, the German Medical Association (Deutscher Aerztevereinsbund) was created, which tied together the older local medical associations. This society existed until it was abolished by the Nazi Government. Its structure was democratic, and its interests included problems of hygiene and public health, and to an increasing extent, socio-medical problems especially in the field of sickness and disability insurance.

Bismarck’s legislation of 1881 established compulsory sickness insurance for workmen. In the course of the ensuing years, the vast bulk of the workmen were insured, and consequently most of the ordinary physician’s patients came to be insured patients. There were lists of physicians authorized to treat insured patients, and it was a matter of vital moment to every practicing physician to be listed. To protect their interest with respect to listing, fees, and other such problems, the German doctors founded a voluntary association for the defense of their economic interests known as the Hartmann Bund.

Questions of professional ethics, medical malpractice, etc., were handled in Germany in two distinct sets of medical boards or “Courts.” An entirely unofficial and voluntary system was established by the German Medical Association. The other, which was endowed with semi-official status, was called the Reich Chamber of Physicians. These chambers were elected by vote of the members and were supported by an assessment.

In addition to these organizations, there existed in Germany purely professional societies of doctors, where papers concerning scientific and practical problems were read and discussed, and which established connections with similar societies abroad. The German Government agencies which supervised the certification and licensing of physicians as well as their professional activities were the Ministry of Education and the Reich Health Office (Reichsgesundheitsamt) in the Ministry of the Interior. The latter supervised medical practice and licensing through the channels of the Ministries of the Interior of the various German states, although licensing was a federal function rather than a state function.

Medical education and training were rather standardized but good. The students spent 5 or 6 years at one of several of the medical universities; they took a final examination covering their clinical studies and then spent a year at an authorized hospital under supervision. Thereafter the interns were licensed and permitted to establish a practice. After two more years they became eligible to treat insurance patients, and, after submitting a thesis, could obtain the degree of doctor from a university.

Immediate Impact of Nazism on German Medicine

In the years immediately preceding the Third Reich, physicians’ organizations devoted to Party politics sprang up. One of these was the National Socialist Physicians’ Society, founded in 1929, in which Conti played a leading role. There was a rival association of Social Democratic Physicians, and a Socialist Society of Physicians. These societies proposed candidates for election to the Physicians’ Chambers, and thus the National Socialist Physicians’ Society and the Socialist associations came to compete with each other.

The notorious “boycott day” in Berlin, 1 April 1933, was a day of disgrace for German medicine. Members of the National Socialist Physicians’ Society, who knew the membership lists of the Socialist societies and the lists of Jewish physicians, broke into the apartments of their Socialist and Jewish colleagues in the early morning hours, pulled them out of their beds, beat them and brought them to the exhibition area near the Berlin Lehrter Station. There, all of them, including men up to 70 years old, were forced to run around the garden, as in a hippodrome, and they were shot at with pistols or beaten with sticks. There they had to stay for several days without sufficient food, and then were handed over to the SA which carried part of them to the cellars at the Hedemannstrasse jail for further tortures.

Thereafter, the members of the Socialist Society of Physicians were barred from all insurance practice because of “Communist and subversive activities.” In the subsequent listings of physicians issued by the insurance companies, the Jewish physicians were included in a separate list headed “Enemies of the State or Jews.” Soon, the insurance companies, even private ones, were no longer permitted to pay fees to the Jewish physicians. Immediately thereafter, Jewish physicians were excluded from all professional and scientific societies. At first, those who were war veterans were nominally allowed to carry on their insurance practice, but patients who kept going to them were threatened and exposed to all kinds of unpleasantness on the part of the insurance officials.

After the war began, certification and licensing were withdrawn from all Jewish physicians and they were degraded to the status of lay therapists. These physicians were forced to wear a blue shield with the Star of David and had to add a middle name such as “Sarah” or “Israel.” Their prescriptions likewise had to bear the Star of David, which exposed their patients to all kinds of unpleasantness when filling them at pharmacies, most of which had signs in their windows reading “Jews not wanted.”

At first, the Aryan physicians were allowed to treat Jewish patients, but finally they were prohibited from doing so. Hospitals refused admission to Jewish patients, apart from a few courageous ones who admitted them in defiance of the law. Jews were admitted to mental institutions in separate wards, but usually were quickly transported elsewhere for extermination.

In the early summer of 1943, Conti instigated and directed a wholesale persecution of doctors who were either foreigners or persons of so-called mixed blood and those related by marriage to Jews. At first, they were removed from their practice and sent off to posts under inferior Party doctors. In 1944, Conti went a step further and forbade these physicians to practice. They were drafted into the Speer organization, in which they were employed solely at manual labor, their living conditions being little better than those of concentration camp inmates.

Prostitution of German Medicine Under National Socialism

The totalitarian structure of the Nazi State demanded fundamental subordination of all principles of medicine to National Socialist population policy and racial concepts. The most emphatic and repelling expression of those new aims and goals came from the Nazi Director of Public Health in the Ministry of the Interior, Dr. Arthur Guett, who took office in 1933. In a book published in 1935 entitled “The Structure of Public Health in the Third Reich,” Guett announced that “the ill-conceived ‘love of thy neighbor’ has to disappear, especially in relation to inferior or asocial creatures. It is the supreme duty of a national state to grant life and livelihood only to the healthy and hereditarily sound portion of the people in order to secure the maintenance of a hereditarily sound and racially pure folk for all eternity. The life of an individual has meaning only in the light of that ultimate aim, that is, in the light of his meaning to his family and to his national state.”

The entire public health policy of the Third Reich was put in line with this pronouncement of principles. The Minister of the Interior, Frick, reorganized the Health Department in his ministry in such a way that police, public health, welfare administration and social services were all coordinated in pursuit of these goals. The beginnings of this reorganization started already in the summer of 1933 and were substantially completed by 1936. All these activities were concentrated under Dr. Guett, who was thus enabled to coordinate the practical application of his policy with his theoretical principles. Even psychiatric social service agencies, which did thorough and well-organized work prior to 1933, were reduced to mere screening stations for hereditary and racial selection.

All government-employed physicians had to take a special new course lasting 18 months and had to be Party members. The German Red Cross was likewise drawn into the orbit of the Nazi Party and the SS, in view of Dr. Grawitz’ appointment as president of the Red Cross. In 1945, after Grawitz’ suicide, the defendant Gebhardt succeeded him.

The Third Reich also completely reorganized the professional medical societies. The German Medical Association and the Hartmann Bund were abolished. All German physicians were reorganized through an organization derived from the Reich Physicians’ Chamber. This National Physicians’ Chamber was placed directly under a medical “fuehrer” with the title of “Reichsaerztefuehrer.” This position was also held by Conti. All doctors except those on active military duty were subordinate to him. His regional deputies were selected from the ranks of active National Socialists who terrorized the district branch societies. These deputies, who usually strutted about in SA or SS uniforms, were recruited mainly from the early members of the National Socialist Medical Association. It was their job to bring pressure on physicians to join and take part in various party organizations, such as the SA and SS.

A command performance, especially for younger physicians, was attendance at the so-called Fuehrer-School of German Physicians at Altrehse in Mecklenburg, which had been organized by the defendant Blome. There physicians were indoctrinated in the National Socialist point of view and way of life. The so-called comradely association and sports activity were merely window dressing for political spying. These courses finally became compulsory and had to be attended for several months annually.

The general respect, in which doctors were held, sunk in view of the decreasing level of general education and ability of the doctors. This was partly due to the constant occupation of the physicians’ time with Party functions, especially the time-consuming Party formations and marches which made it impossible for young physicians to develop scientific interests, so that recent graduates increasingly lost understanding and inclination for serious scientific study and long-range research.

Medical School and Medical Training Under the Nazis

On paper, medical training under the Nazis differed little from that of the pre-Nazi era. However, its fundamental spirit was ruinously distorted and medical standards suffered a dismal decline.

Medical students had to be “Aryan,” and were required to belong to the National Socialist Students’ League. The students’ entire course of studies was constantly interrupted by the demands of the various party organizations to which they were forced to belong. A student whose knowledge of the racial theories and Nuernberg laws was not sufficient would fail his medical examinations.

Chairs in the universities were filled in many cases by Nazi so-called “professors” who might or might not have a scientific background. The true scientific societies under the Nazi regime became less and less active, and the Nazi professors in the universities devoted more time and interest to their SA or SS organizations than to the teaching of medicine. These Nazi professors would don their brown SA or black SS uniforms on all possible occasions, exchanging them proudly for their academic gowns at all academic celebrations and meetings.

The worst Nazi politicians, like Streicher, were given the free run of university clinics, such as at Erlangen. This submissiveness to lay politicians led to a general decline of respect for German academic medicine not only on the part of their own public and abroad but even on the part of the very same politicians before whom they kowtowed. This went so far that Streicher, when addressing a full faculty meeting at the University of Erlangen in 1936, called the assembled professors “complete idiots” to their faces. This was by no means an isolated occurrence.

Particularly deplorable was the degradation of psychiatry. Psychiatric university teaching declined to the level of a mere rehashing of the Nuernberg and sterilization laws. The modern techniques of psychotherapy had been abandoned, and treatment deteriorated to pep talks full of Nazi indoctrination admonitions and threats. No wonder that these methods backfired against the best interest of the German war effort which they were foolishly intended to serve. The lack of proper understanding and treatment of German soldiers who developed combat fatigue or neuroses, on the part of their own medical personnel, drove many of them to surrender to the enemy; efforts to rehabilitate them and restore them to duty were frustrated by the ruinous infusion of Nazi doctrine.

Summary

The general decline of German medical conduct and the poisoning of German medical ethics which the Nazis brought about laid the basis for the atrocious experiments of which the defendants are accused.

Many of these were experiments in name only; we will show them to have been senseless and clumsy and of no real value to medicine as a healing art. The Nazi medical world was flooded with preposterous and wicked notions about superior and inferior races and developed a perverted moral outlook in which cruelty to subjugated races and peoples was praiseworthy. Training in SA and SS formations was hardly calculated to develop physicians who could comprehend even the bare elements of the doctor-patient relationship. In this noxious garden of lies, the seeds of the experiments were planted. In the climate of Nazi Germany, they grew with horrible rapidity.

CRIMES OF MASS EXTERMINATION; MURDER OF
POLISH NATIONALS

From the preaching of Guett and others sprang the notions which underlie the crimes to which we will now turn. Here we leave behind all semblance, however fictitious, of science and research. Under these teachings, life and livelihood became the birthright of no one. The weak and the physically handicapped are in the way and must be pushed aside. Inferior peoples are born to be exterminated by the Herrenvolk.

The charges in paragraphs 8 and 13 of the indictment concern the defendants Blome and Rudolf Brandt. The original impetus for this terrible mass murder came from a fiend named Greiser, who was the German Governor of the northwest portions of Poland, which had been absorbed into the Reich under the name “Wartheland.” Early in 1942, Greiser was in the process of exterminating thousands of Jews in his territory, and he decided to turn his attention next to Poles infected with tuberculosis. I call the Tribunal’s special attention to the German word “Sonderbehandlung.” In the next document, as will be shown, it occurs frequently in Nazi correspondence and was used by them to mean extermination. In May 1942, Greiser wrote to Himmler as follows (NO-246):

“The special treatment [Sonderbehandlung] of about 100,000 Jews in the territory of my district approved by you in agreement with the Chief of the Reich Security Main Office, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, can be completed within the next 2 to 3 months. I ask you for permission to rescue the district immediately after the measures are taken against the Jews, from a menace, which is increasing week by week, and to use the existing and efficient special commandos for that purpose.

“There are about 230,000 people of Polish nationality in my district who were diagnosed to suffer from tuberculosis. The number of persons infected with open tuberculosis is estimated at about 35,000. This fact has led in an increasing frightening measure to the infection of Germans, who came to the Warthegau perfectly healthy. In particular, reports are received with ever-increasing effect of German children in danger of infection. A considerable number of well-known leading men, especially of the police, have been infected lately and are not available for the war effort because of the necessary medical treatment. The ever-increasing risks were also recognized and appreciated by the deputy of the Reich Leader for Public Health (Reichsgesundheitsfuehrer) Comrade Professor Dr. Blome as well as by the leader of your X-ray battalion SS Standartenfuehrer Professor Dr. Hohlfelder.

“Though in Germany proper it is not possible to take appropriate draconic steps against this public plague, I think I could take responsibility for my suggestion to have cases of open TB exterminated among the Polish race here in the Warthegau. Of course only a Pole should be handed over to such an action, who is not only suffering from open tuberculosis, but whose incurability is proved and certified by a public health officer.

“Considering the urgency of this project I ask for your approval in principle as soon as possible. This would enable us to make the preparations with all necessary precautions now to get the action against the Poles suffering from open tuberculosis under way, while the action against the Jews is in its closing stages.”

Greiser’s proposal was supported in a letter from one, Koppe, the SS and police leader in that region, to the defendant Rudolf Brandt, to which Brandt replied stating that the matter was under consideration and that the final decision would rest with Hitler. Late in June, Himmler sent a “favorable” reply to Greiser cautioning him, however, that the exterminations should be carried out inconspicuously. Thereafter, consultations as to how to carry out the measure occurred between Greiser, Dr. Hohlfelder, and the defendant Blome. The views of Blome are embodied in a letter from him to Greiser written in November 1942. This letter contains an indescribably brutal analysis of the situation, in which Blome expresses agreement with the view that extermination of the tubercular Poles is the simplest and most logical solution, and expresses doubt as to its desirability only in that it would be difficult to keep such widespread slaughter secret, and that Hitler might think the program politically inexpedient if the facts should ever come out.

I quote from the letter of defendant Blome (NO-250):

“It was calculated that in 1939 there were among the Poles about 35,000 persons suffering from open tuberculosis and, besides this number, about 120,000 other consumptives in need of treatment. * * *

“With the settlement of Germans in all parts of the Gau an enormous danger has arisen for them. A number of cases of infection of settled children and adults occurs daily.


“Therefore, something basic must be done soon. One must decide the most efficient way in which this can be done. There are three ways to be taken into consideration:

1. Special treatment [Sonderbehandlung] of the seriously ill persons.

2. Most rigorous isolation of the seriously ill persons.

3. Creation of a reservation for all TB patients.

“For the planning, attention must be paid to different points of view of a practical, political, and psychological nature. Considering it most soberly, the simplest way would be the following: Aided by the X-ray battalion [Roentgen Sturmbann] we could reach the entire population, German and Polish, of the Gau during the first half of 1943. As to the Germans, the treatment and isolation are to be prepared and carried out according to the regulations for Tuberculosis Relief [Tuberkulosehilfe].

“The approximately 35,000 Poles who are incurable and infectious will be ‘specially treated’ [sonderbehandelt]. All other Polish consumptives will be subjected to an appropriate cure in order to save them for work and to avoid their causing contagion.

“According to your request I made arrangements with the offices in question, in order to start and carry out this radical procedure within half a year. You told me, that the competent office agreed with you as to this ‘special treatment’ and promised support. Before we definitely start the program, I think it would be correct if you would make sure once more that the Fuehrer will really agree to such a solution.


“There can be no doubt that the intended program is the most simple and most radical solution. If absolute secrecy could be guaranteed, all scruples—regardless of what nature—could be overcome. But I consider maintaining secrecy impossible. Experience has taught us that this assumption is true. Should those sick persons, having been brought, as planned, to the old Reich supposedly to be treated or healed, and they actually never return, the relatives of those sick persons in spite of the greatest secrecy would some day notice ‘that something was not quite right’.


“Therefore, I think it necessary to explain all those points of view to the Fuehrer before undertaking the program, as, in my opinion he is the only one able to view the entire complex and to come to a decision.”

The prosecution will introduce evidence to show that the program was in fact carried out at the end of 1942 and the beginning of 1943, and that as a result of the suggestions made by Blome and Greiser, many Poles were ruthlessly exterminated and that others were taken to isolated camps, utterly lacking in medical facilities, where thousands of them died.

EUTHANASIA

On 1 September 1939, the very day of the German attack on Poland, and after a great deal of discussion between Dr. Karl Brandt, Dr. Leonardo Conti, Philipp Bouhler, the Chief of the Chancellery of the Fuehrer, and others, Hitler issued the following authority to the defendant Karl Brandt (630-PS):

“Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr. Brandt, M. D., are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such a manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death.

[Signed] Adolf Hitler

After the receipt of this order, an organization was set up to execute this program, Karl Brandt headed the medical section and Philipp Bouhler, the administrative section. The defendant Hoven, as chief surgeon of the Buchenwald concentration camp, took part in the program and personally ordered the transfer of at least 300 to 400 Jewish inmates of different nationalities, mostly non-German, to their death in the euthanasia station at Bernburg. The defendants Brack and Blome participated in their capacities as assistants to Bouhler and Conti.

Questionnaires were forwarded to the Ministry of the Interior from the various institutes and were then submitted to Karl Brandt and his staff for an expert opinion in order to determine the status of each patient. Then each of those experts indicated his opinion as to the eventual disposition of the patient; that is, whether or not the patient should be transferred to a killing station. The questionnaires were supposedly returned to the Ministry of the Interior, which, in turn, sent lists of the doomed patients to the different insane asylums, ordering the directors of the asylums to hand over the patients to a thing called the General Sick Transport Corporation for transfer to the particular stations where the killings took place. This Transport Corporation was not a real organization, but one of the code names used to disguise the true nature of the activities. The patients were then transferred to the station where they were immediately killed. This entire procedure took place without the consent of the relatives, but the relatives did receive a death certificate on which the cause of death was falsified.

The Euthanasia Program was an open secret in top Nazi circles. However, every possible effort had been made to keep it from the public in order to avoid intervention by the churches. In spite of all these precautions, it became commonly known in Germany as early as the summer of 1940 that these killings were going on and church authorities, as well as various legal officials, tried in vain to stop the killings.

Typical of the letters reaching the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Interior is the following:

Addressed to The Reich Minister of Justice:

“I have a schizophrenic son in a Wuerttemberg mental institution. I am shocked about the following absolutely reliable information.

“Since some weeks insane persons are being taken from the institutions allegedly on the grounds of military evacuation. The directors of the institutions are enjoined to absolute secrecy. Shortly afterwards the relatives are informed that the sick person has died of encephalitis. The ashes are available if so desired. This is plain murder just as in the concentration camps. This measure uniformly emanates from the SS in Berlin. The institutions dare not inform the authorities. Inquire at once at Rottenmuenster, Schassenried, Winzertal, all in Wuerttemberg. Have the lists of 2 months ago examined and submitted to you, check upon the inmates who are there now and ask where the missing persons went to. For 7 years now this gang of murderers have defiled the German name. If my son is murdered, woe! I shall take care that these crimes will be published in all foreign newspapers. The SS may deny it as they always do. I shall demand prosecution by the public prosecutor.

“I cannot give my name nor the institution where my son is, otherwise I, too, won’t live much longer.

Heil Hitler

Oberregierungsrat N.”

If this program had stayed within the bounds set forth in Hitler’s letter to Karl Brandt, it would have been bad enough. We may pass over as quite irrelevant any such question as whether mercy killing may not in some circumstances be desirable, and whether a statute authorizing mercy killings under proper safeguards would be valid.

Such questions may be debatable, but they do not confront us here. No German law authorizing mercy killings was ever adopted. Hitler’s memorandum to Brandt and Bouhler was not a law, not even a Nazi law. It was not intended to be a law or regarded as such even by the top Nazi officials. That is why the program was carried out with the utmost secrecy. The program was known to be utterly illegal by those who were in charge of it; they knew it was nothing but murder.

This is brought out very clearly in a letter from Himmler to the defendant Brack in December 1940 (NO-018):

“Dear Brack:

“I hear there is great excitement on the Alb because of the institution Grafeneck.

“The population recognizes the gray automobile of the SS and think they know what is going on at the constantly smoking crematory. What happens there is a secret and yet is no longer one. Thus the worst feeling has arisen there, and in my opinion there remains only one thing, to discontinue the use of the institution in this place and in any event disseminate information in a clever and sensible manner by showing motion pictures on the subject of inherited and mental diseases in just that locality.

“May I ask for a report as to how the difficult problem was solved.”

But there are more fundamental matters here. The program did not stay even within the bounds of the secret Hitler authority. Euthanasia became merely a polite word for the systematic slaughter of Jews and many other categories of persons useless or unfriendly to the Nazi regime. The evidence before the International Military Tribunal proved this clearly, and the judgment states, and I quote:[11]

“Reference should also be made to the policy which was in existence in Germany by the summer of 1940, under which all aged, insane, and incurable people, ‘useless eaters’, were transferred to special institutions where they were killed, and their relatives informed that they had died from natural causes. The victims were not confined to German citizens, but included foreign laborers, who were no longer able to work, and were therefore useless to the German war machine. It has been estimated that at least some 275,000 people were killed in this manner in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums, which were under the jurisdiction of the defendant Frick, in his capacity as Minister of the Interior. How many foreign workers were included in this total it has been quite impossible to determine.”

I quote one more paragraph from the decision:[12]

“During the war nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums in which euthanasia was practiced as described elsewhere in this judgment, came under Frick’s jurisdiction. He had knowledge that insane, sick and aged people, ‘useless eaters’, were being systematically put to death. Complaints of these murders reached him, but he did nothing to stop them. A report of the Czechoslovak War Crimes Commission estimated that 275,000 mentally deficient and aged people, for whose welfare he was responsible, fell victim to it.”

As stated in the indictment, the defendants involved in the euthanasia program sent their subordinates to the eastern occupied territories to assist in the mass extermination of Jews. This will be shown by abundant evidence, including the following excerpt from a letter from the defendant Brack to Himmler in 1942 from which I quote a paragraph:

“On the instructions of Reichsleiter Bouhler I placed some of my men at the disposal of Brigadefuehrer Globocnik to execute his special mission. On his renewed request I have now transferred additional personnel. On this occasion Brigadefuehrer Globocnik stated his opinion that the whole Jewish action should be completed as quickly as possible so that one would not get caught in the middle of it one day if some difficulties should make a stoppage of the action necessary. You yourself, Reich Leader, have already expressed your view, that work should progress quickly for reasons of camouflage alone.”

Protesting the lawless slaughter which even Himmler sought to “camouflage”, the Bishop of Limburg in 1941 foresaw that such insane carnage spelled the downfall of the Third Reich. (615-PS.) He wrote:

“And if anybody says that Germany cannot win the war, if there is yet a just God, these expressions are not the result of lack of love for the Fatherland but of a deep concern for our people. * * * High authority as a moral concept has suffered a severe shock as a result of these happenings.”

SUMMARY

I have outlined the particular charges against the defendants under count two, three, and four of the indictment; and I have sketched the general nature of the evidence which we will present. But we must not overlook that the medical experiments were not an assortment of unrelated crimes. On the contrary, they constituted a well-integrated criminal program in which the defendants planned and collaborated among themselves and with others.

We have here, in other words, a conspiracy and a common design, as is charged in count one of the indictment, to commit the criminal experiments set forth in paragraphs 6 and 11 thereof. There was a common design to discover, or improve, various medical techniques. There was a common design to utilize for this purpose the unusual resources which the defendants had at their disposal, consisting of numberless unfortunate victims of Nazi conquest and Nazi ideology. The defendants conspired and agreed together to utilize these human resources for nefarious and murderous purposes, and proceeded to put their criminal design into execution. Numbered among the countless victims of the conspiracy and the crimes are Germans, and nationals of countries overrun by Germany, and gypsies, and prisoners of war, and Jews of many nationalities. All the elements of a conspiracy to commit the crimes charged in paragraphs 6 and 11 are present and all will be clearly established by the proof.

There were many co-conspirators who are not in the dock. Among the planners and leaders of this plot were Conti and Grawitz, and Hippke whose whereabouts is unknown. Among the actual executioners, Dr. Ding is dead and Rascher is thought to be dead. There were many others.

Final judgment as to the relative degrees of guilt among those in the dock must await the presentation of the proof in detail. Nevertheless, before the introduction of evidence, it will be helpful to look again at the defendants and their part in the conspiracy. What manner of men are they, and what was their major role?

The 20 physicians in the dock range from leaders of German scientific medicine, with excellent international reputations, down to the dregs of the German medical profession. All of them have in common a callous lack of consideration and human regard for, and an unprincipled willingness to abuse their power over the poor, unfortunate, defenseless creatures who had been deprived of their rights by a ruthless and criminal government. All of them violated the Hippocratic commandments which they had solemnly sworn to uphold and abide by, including the fundamental principles never to do harm—“primum non nocere.”

Outstanding men of science, distinguished for their scientific ability in Germany and abroad, are the defendants Rostock and Rose. Both exemplify, in their training and practice alike, the highest traditions of German medicine. Rostock headed the Department of Surgery at the University of Berlin and served as dean of its medical school. Rose studied under the famous surgeon, Enderlen, at Heidelberg and then became a distinguished specialist in the fields of public health and tropical diseases. Handloser and Schroeder are outstanding medical administrators. Both of them made their careers in military medicine and reached the peak of their profession. Five more defendants are much younger men who are nevertheless already known as the possessors of considerable scientific ability, or capacity in medical administration. These include the defendants Karl Brandt, Ruff, Beiglboeck, Schaefer, and Becker-Freyseng.

A number of the others such as Romberg and Fischer are well trained, and several of them attained high professional position. But among the remainder few were known as outstanding scientific men. Among them at the foot of the list is Blome who has published his autobiography entitled “Embattled Doctor” in which he sets forth that he eventually decided to become a doctor because a medical career would enable him to become “master over life and death.”

The part that each of these 20 physicians and their 3 lay accomplices played in the conspiracy and its execution corresponds closely to his professional interests and his place in the hierarchy of the Third Reich as shown in the chart. The motivating force for this conspiracy came from two principal sources. Himmler, as head of the SS, a most terrible machine of oppression with vast resources, could provide numberless victims for the experiments. By doing so, he enhanced the prestige of his organization and was able to give free rein to the Nazi racial theories of which he was a leading protagonist and to develop new techniques for the mass exterminations which were dear to his heart. The German military leaders, as the other main driving force, caught up the opportunity which Himmler presented them with and ruthlessly capitalized on Himmler’s hideous overtures in an endeavor to strengthen their military machine.

And so the infernal drama was played just as it had been conceived in the minds of the authors. Special problems which confronted the German military or civilian authorities were, on the orders of the medical leaders, submitted for solution in the concentration camps. Thus we find Karl Brandt stimulating the epidemic jaundice experiments, Schroeder demanding “40 healthy experimental subjects” for the sea-water experiments, Handloser providing the impetus for Ding’s fearful typhus researches, and Milch and Hippke at the root of the freezing experiments. Under Himmler’s authority, the medical leaders of the SS—Grawitz, Genzken, Gebhardt, and others—set the wheels in motion. They arranged for the procurement of victims through other branches of the SS, and gave directions to their underlings in the SS medical service such as Hoven and Fischer. Himmler’s administrative assistants, Sievers and Rudolf Brandt, passed on the Himmler orders, gave a push here and a shove there, and kept the machinery oiled. Blome and Brack assisted from the side of the civilian and party authorities.

The Wehrmacht provided supervision and technical assistance for those experiments in which it was most interested. A low-pressure chamber was furnished for the high-altitude tests, the services of Weltz, Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher for the high-altitude and freezing experiments, and those of Becker-Freyseng, Schaefer, and Beiglboeck for sea-water. In the important but sinister typhus researches, the eminent Dr. Rose appeared for the Luftwaffe to give expert guidance to Ding.

The proper steps were taken to insure that the results were made available to those who needed to know. Annual meetings of the consulting physicians of the Wehrmacht held under Handloser’s direction were favored with lectures on some of the experiments. The report on the high-altitude experiment was sent to Field Marshal Milch, and a moving picture about them was shown at the Air Ministry in Berlin. Weltz spoke on the effects of freezing at a medical conference in Nuernberg, the same symposium at which Rascher and others passed on their devilish knowledge.

There could, we submit, be no clearer proof of conspiracy. This was the medical service of the Third Reich at work. Among the defendants in the box sit the surviving leaders of that service. We will ask the Tribunal to determine that neither scientific eminence nor superficial respectability shall shield them against the fearful consequences of the orders they gave.

I intend to pass very briefly over matters of medical ethics, such as the conditions under which a physician may lawfully perform a medical experiment upon a person who has voluntarily subjected himself to it, or whether experiments may lawfully be performed upon criminals who have been condemned to death. This case does not present such problems. No refined questions confront us here.

None of the victims of the atrocities perpetrated by these defendants were volunteers, and this is true regardless of what these unfortunate people may have said or signed before their tortures began. Most of the victims had not been condemned to death, and those who had been were not criminals, unless it be a crime to be a Jew, or a Pole, or a gypsy, or a Russian prisoner of war.

Whatever book or treatise on medical ethics we may examine, and whatever expert on forensic medicine we may question, will say that it is a fundamental and inescapable obligation of every physician under any known system of law not to perform a dangerous experiment without the subject’s consent. In the tyranny that was Nazi Germany, no one could give such a consent to the medical agents of the State; everyone lived in fear and acted under duress. I fervently hope that none of us here in the courtroom will have to suffer in silence while it is said on the part of these defendants that the wretched and helpless people whom they froze and drowned and burned and poisoned were volunteers. If such a shameless lie is spoken here, we need only remember the four girls who were taken from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp and made to lie naked with the frozen and all but dead Jews who survived Dr. Rascher’s tank of ice water. One of these women, whose hair and eyes and figure were pleasing to Dr. Rascher, when asked by him why she had volunteered for such a task, replied, “rather half a year in a brothel than half a year in a concentration camp.”

Were it necessary, one could make a long list of the respects in which the experiments which these defendants performed departed from every known standard of medical ethics. But the gulf between these atrocities and serious research in the healing art is so patent that such a tabulation would be cynical.

We need look no further than the law which the Nazis themselves passed on the 24th of November 1938 for the protection of animals. This law states explicitly that it is designed to prevent cruelty and indifference of man towards animals and to awaken and develop sympathy and understanding for animals as one of the highest moral values of a people. The soul of the German people should abhor the principle of mere utility without consideration of the moral aspects. The law states further that all operations or treatments which are associated with pain or injury, especially experiments involving the use of cold, heat, or infection, are prohibited, and can be permitted only under special exceptional circumstances. Special written authorization by the head of the department is necessary in every case, and experimenters are prohibited from performing experiments according to their own free judgment. Experiments for the purpose of teaching must be reduced to a minimum. Medico-legal tests, vaccinations, withdrawal of blood for diagnostic purposes, and trial of vaccines prepared according to well-established scientific principles are permitted, but the animals have to be killed immediately and painlessly after such experiments. Individual physicians are not permitted to use dogs to increase their surgical skill by such practices. National Socialism regards it as a sacred duty of German science to keep down the number of painful animal experiments to a minimum.

If the principles announced in this law had been followed for human beings as well, this indictment would never have been filed. It is perhaps the deepest shame of the defendants that it probably never even occurred to them that human beings should be treated with at least equal humanity.

This case is one of the simplest and clearest of those that will be tried in this building. It is also one of the most important. It is true that the defendants in the box were not among the highest leaders of the Third Reich. They are not the war lords who assembled and drove the German military machine, nor the industrial barons who made the parts, nor the Nazi politicians who debased and brutalized the minds of the German people. But this case, perhaps more than any other we will try, epitomizes Nazi thought and the Nazi way of life, because these defendants pursue the savage premises of Nazi thought so far. The things that these defendants did, like so many other things that happened under the Third Reich, were the result of the noxious merger of German militarism and Nazi racial objectives. We will see the results of this merger in many other fields of German life; we see it here in the field of medicine.

Germany surrendered herself to this foul conjunction of evil forces. The nation fell victim to the Nazi scourge because its leaders lacked the wisdom to foresee the consequences and the courage to stand firm in the face of threats. Their failure was the inevitable outcome of that sinister undercurrent of German philosophy which preaches the supreme importance of the state and the complete subordination of the individual. A nation in which the individual means nothing will find few leaders courageous and able enough to serve its best interests.

Individual Germans did indeed give warning of what was in store, and German doctors and scientists were numbered among the courageous few. At a meeting of Bavarian psychiatrists held in Munich in 1931, when the poisonous doctrines of the Nazis were already sweeping Germany, there was a discussion of mercy killings and sterilization, and the Nazi views on these matters, with which we are now familiar, were advanced. A German professor named Oswald Bumke rose and made a reply more eloquent and prophetic than anyone could have possibly realized at the time. He said:

“I should like to make two additional remarks. One of them is, please for God’s sake leave our present financial needs out of all these considerations. This is a problem which concerns the entire future of our people, indeed, one may say without being over-emotional about it, the entire future of humanity. One should approach this problem neither from the point of view of our present scientific opinion nor from the point of view of the still more ephemeral economic crises. If by sterilization we can prevent the occurrence of mental disease then we should certainly do it, not in order to save money for the government but because every case of mental disease means infinite suffering to the patient and to his relatives. But to introduce economic points of view is not only inappropriate but outright dangerous because the logical consequence of the thought that for financial reasons all these human beings, who could be dispensed with for the moment, should be exterminated, is a quite monstrous logical conclusion; we would then have to put to death not only the mentally sick and the psychopathic personalities but all the crippled including the disabled veterans, all old maids who do not work, all widows whose children have completed their education, and all those who live on their income or draw pensions. That would certainly save a lot of money but the probability is that we will not do it.

“The second point of advice is to use utmost restraint, at least until the political atmosphere here in this country shall have improved, and scientific theories concerning heredity and race can no longer be abused for political purposes. Because, if the discussion about sterilization today is carried into the arena of political contest, then pretty soon we will no longer hear about the mentally sick but, instead, about Aryans and non-Aryans, about the blonde Germanic race and about inferior people with round skulls. That anything useful could come from that is certainly improbable; but science in general and genealogy and eugenics in particular would suffer an injury which could not easily be repaired again.”

I said at the outset of this statement that the Third Reich died of its own poison. This case is a striking demonstration not only of the tremendous degradation of German medical ethics which Nazi doctrine brought about, but of the undermining of the medical art and thwarting of the techniques which the defendants sought to employ. The Nazis have, to a certain extent, succeeded in convincing the peoples of the world that the Nazi system, although ruthless, was absolutely efficient; that although savage, it was completely scientific; that although entirely devoid of humanity, it was highly systematic—that “it got things done.” The evidence which this Tribunal will hear will explode this myth. The Nazi methods of investigation were inefficient and unscientific, and their techniques of research were unsystematic.

These experiments revealed nothing which civilized medicine can use. It was, indeed, ascertained that phenol or gasoline injected intravenously will kill a man inexpensively and within 60 seconds. This and a few other “advances” are all in the field of thanatology. There is no doubt that a number of these new methods may be useful to criminals everywhere and there is no doubt that they may be useful to a criminal state. Certain advance in destructive methodology we cannot deny, and indeed from Himmler’s standpoint this may well have been the principal objective.

Apart from these deadly fruits, the experiments were not only criminal but a scientific failure. It is indeed as if a just deity had shrouded the solutions which they attempted to reach with murderous means. The moral shortcomings of the defendants and the precipitous ease with which they decided to commit murder in quest of “scientific results”, dulled also that scientific hesitancy, that thorough thinking-through, that responsible weighing of every single step which alone can insure scientifically valid results. Even if they had merely been forced to pay as little as two dollars for human experimental subjects, such as American investigators may have to pay for a cat, they might have thought twice before wasting unnecessary numbers, and thought of simpler and better ways to solve their problems. The fact that these investigators had free and unrestricted access to human beings to be experimented upon misled them to the dangerous and fallacious conclusion that the results would thus be better and more quickly obtainable than if they had gone through the labor of preparation, thinking, and meticulous preinvestigation.

A particularly striking example is the sea-water experiment. I believe that three of the accused—Schaefer, Becker-Freyseng, and Beiglboeck—will today admit that this problem could have been solved simply and definitively within the space of one afternoon. On 20 May 1944 when these accused convened to discuss the problem, a thinking chemist could have solved it right in the presence of the assembly within the space of a few hours by the use of nothing more gruesome than a piece of jelly, a semi-permeable membrane and a salt solution, and the German Armed Forces would have had the answer on 21 May 1944. But what happened instead? The vast armies of the disenfranchised slaves were at the beck and call of this sinister assembly; and instead of thinking, they simply relied on their power over human beings rendered rightless by a criminal state and government. What time, effort, and staff did it take to get that machinery in motion! Letters had to be written, physicians, of whom dire shortage existed in the German Armed Forces whose soldiers went poorly attended, had to be taken out of hospital positions and dispatched hundreds of miles away to obtain the answer which should have been known in a few hours, but which thus did not become available to the German Armed Forces until after the completion of the gruesome show, and until 42 people had been subjected to the tortures of the damned, the very tortures which Greek mythology had reserved for Tantalus.

In short, this conspiracy was a ghastly failure as well as a hideous crime. The creeping paralysis of Nazi superstition spread through the German medical profession and, just as it destroyed character and morals, it dulled the mind.

Guilt for the oppressions and crimes of the Third Reich is widespread, but it is the guilt of the leaders that is deepest and most culpable. Who could German medicine look to to keep the profession true to its traditions and protect it from the ravaging inroads of Nazi pseudo-science? This was the supreme responsibility of the leaders of German medicine—men like Rostock and Rose and Schroeder and Handloser. That is why their guilt is greater than that of any of the other defendants in the dock. They are the men who utterly failed their country and their profession, who showed neither courage nor wisdom nor the vestiges of moral character. It is their failure, together with the failure of the leaders of Germany in other walks of life, that debauched Germany and led to her defeat. It is because of them and others like them that we all live in a stricken world.


[7] Tr. pp. 12-74.

[8] This chart is contained in Section VI, Organization of the German Medical Service, NO-645, Pros. Ex. 3, p. 91.

[9] Trial of the Major War Criminals, vol. I, p. 269, Nuremberg, 1947.

[10] Ibid., p. 271.

[11] Trial of the Major War Criminals, vol I, p. 247, Nuremberg, 1947.

[12] Ibid., p. 301.


V. INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT ON THE PRESENTATION
OF EVIDENCE MADE BY THE PROSECUTION,
10 DECEMBER 1946[13]

Mr. McHaney: May it please the Tribunal:

Before any evidence is presented, it is my purpose to show the process whereby documents have been procured and processed in order to be presented in evidence by the United States. I shall also describe and illustrate the plan of presenting documents to be followed by the prosecution in this case.

When the United States Army entered German territory it had specialized military personnel whose duties were to capture and preserve enemy documents, records, and archives.

Such documents were assembled in temporary document centers. Later each Army established fixed document centers in the United States Zone of Occupation where their documents were assembled and the slow process of indexing and cataloging was begun. Certain of these document centers in the United States Zone of Occupation have since been closed and the documents assembled there sent to other document centers.

When the International Military Tribunal was set up, field teams under the direction of Major William H. Coogan were organized and sent out to the various document centers. Great masses of German documents and records were screened and examined. Those selected were sent to Nuernberg to be processed. These original documents were then given trial identification numbers in one of five series designated by the letters: “PS”, “L”, “R”, “C”, and “EC”, indicating the means of acquisition of the documents. Within each series, documents were listed numerically.

The prosecution in this case shall have occasion to introduce in evidence documents processed under the direction of Major Coogan. Some of these documents were introduced in evidence before the IMT and some were not. As to those which were, this Tribunal is required by Article XX of Ordinance No. 7 to take judicial notice thereof. However, in order to simplify the procedure, we will introduce photostatic copies of documents used in Case No. 1 before the IMT to which will be attached a certificate by Mr. Fred Niebergall, the Chief of our Document Control Branch, certifying that such document was introduced in evidence before the IMT and that the photostat is a true and correct copy thereof. Such documents have been and will be made available to defendants just as in the case of any other document.

As to those documents processed under the direction of Major Coogan which were not used in the case before the IMT, they are authenticated by the affidavit of Major Coogan dated 19 November 1945. This affidavit served as the basis of authentication of substantially all documents used by the Office of Chief of Counsel before the IMT. It was introduced in that trial as USA Exhibit 1. Since we will use certain documents processed for the IMT trial, I would now like to introduce as Prosecution Exhibit 1 the Coogan affidavit,[14] in order to authenticate such documents. This affidavit explains the manner in and means by which captured German documents were processed for use in war crimes trials. I shall not burden the court with reading it as it is substantially the same as the affidavit of Mr. Niebergall to which I shall come in a moment.

I have thus far explained the manner of authenticating documents to be used in this case which were processed under the direction of Major Coogan. I now come to the authentication of documents processed not for the IMT trial, but for subsequent trials such as this one. These documents are authenticated by the affidavit of Mr. Niebergall which I offer in evidence as Prosecution Exhibit 2. Since this affidavit explains the procedure of processing documents by the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, I shall read it in full:

“I, Fred Niebergall, AGO, D-150636, of the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, do hereby certify as follows:

1. I was appointed Chief of the Document Control Branch, Evidence Division, Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes (hereinafter referred to as ‘OCC’) on 2 October 1946.

2. I have served in the U. S. Army for more than 5 years, being discharged as a 1st Lieutenant, Infantry, on 29 October 1946. I am now a Reserve officer with the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Army of the United States of America. Based upon my experience as a United States Army officer, I am familiar with the operation of the United States Army in connection with seizing and processing captured enemy documents. I served as Chief of Translations for OCC from 29 July 1945 until December 1945, when I was appointed liaison officer between Defense Counsel and Translation Division of OCC as assistant to the executive officer of the Translation Division. In my capacity as Chief of the Document Control Branch, Evidence Division, OCC, I am familiar with the processing, filing, translation, and photostating of documentary evidence for the United States Chief of Counsel.

3. As the Army overran German occupied territory and then Germany itself, certain specialized personnel seized enemy documents, records and archives. Such documents were assembled in temporary centers. Later fixed document centers were established in Germany and Austria where these documents were assembled and the slow process of indexing and cataloging was begun. Certain of these document centers have since been closed and the documents assembled there sent to other document centers.

4. In preparing for the trial before the International Military Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as ‘IMT’) a great number of original documents, photostats, and microfilms were collected at Nuernberg, Germany. Major Coogan’s affidavit of 19 November 1945 describes the procedures followed. Upon my appointment as Chief of the Document Control Branch, Evidence Division, OCC, I received custody, in the course of official business, of all these documents except the ones which were introduced into evidence in the IMT trial and are now in the IMT Document Room in Nuernberg. Same have been screened, processed, and registered in accordance with Major Coogan’s affidavit. The unregistered documents remaining have been screened, processed, and registered for use in trials before Military Tribunals substantially in the same way as described below.

5. In preparing for trials subsequent to the IMT trial personnel thoroughly conversant with the German language were given the task of searching for and selecting captured enemy documents which disclosed information relating to the prosecution of Axis war criminals. Lawyers and research analysts were placed on duty at various document centers and also dispatched on individual missions to obtain original documents or certified photostats thereof. The documents were screened by German speaking analysts to determine whether or not they might be valuable as evidence. Photostatic copies were then made of the original documents and the original documents returned to the files in the document centers. These photostatic copies were certified by the analysts to be true and correct copies of the original documents. German-speaking analysts either at the document center or in Nuernberg, then prepared a summary of the document with appropriate references to personalities involved, index headings, information as to the source of the document, and the importance of the documents to a particular division of OCC.

6. Next, the original document or certified photostatic copy was forwarded to the Document Control Branch, Evidence Division, OCC. Upon receipt of these documents, they were duly recorded and indexed and given identification numbers in one of six series designated by the letters ‘NO,’ ‘NI,’ ‘NM,’ ‘NOKW,’ ‘NG,’ and ‘NP,’ indicating the particular Division of OCC which might be most interested in the individual documents. Within each series documents were listed numerically.

7. In the case of the receipt of original documents, photostatic copies were made. Upon return from the photostat room, the original documents were placed in envelopes in fireproof safes in the document room. In the case of the receipt of certified photostatic copies of documents, the certified photostatic copies were treated in the same manner as original documents.

8. All original documents or certified photostatic copies treated as originals are now located in safes in the document room, where they will be secured until they are presented by the prosecution to a court during the progress of a trial.

9. Therefore, I certify in my official capacity as hereinabove stated, that all documentary evidence relied upon by OCC is in the same condition as when captured by military forces under the command of the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces; that they have been translated by competent qualified translators; that all photostatic copies are true and correct copies of the originals, and that they have been correctly filed, numbered, and processed as above outlined.

[Signed] Fred Niebergall.”

The Niebergall affidavit is in substance the same as the Coogan affidavit which was accepted by the International Military Tribunal as sufficient authentication of documents used in Case No. 1. However, in addition to these affidavits, the prosecution in this case will attach to each document submitted in evidence, other than self-proving documents such as affidavits signed by the defendants, a certificate signed by an employee of the Evidence Division of the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, reading, for example, as follows:

“I, Donald Spencer, of the Evidence Division of the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, hereby certify that the attached document, consisting of one photostated page and entitled, ‘Letter from John Doe to Richard Rod, dated 19 June 1943,’ is the original of a document which was delivered to me in my above capacity, in the usual course of official business, as a true copy of a document found in German archives, records, and files captured by military forces under the command of the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces.

“To the best of my knowledge, information, and belief, the original document is at the Berlin Document Center.”

So much for the authentication of documents to be presented in this trial. I turn now briefly to the distribution of documents which we will use. The prosecution made available to the Defendants’ Information Center approximately a week ago three photostatic copies of the great bulk of the documents which will be used in our case-in-chief. These documents are of course in German. In addition, the prosecution has prepared document books in both German and English which contain, for the most part, mimeographed copies of the documents, arranged substantially in the order in which they will be presented in this court. Each document book contains an index giving the document number, description, and page number. A space is also provided for writing in the index number.

Twelve official copies of the German document books will be filed in the Defendants’ Information Center at least 24 hours prior to the time that particular material will be introduced in court. In addition, defense counsel will receive seven so-called unofficial German document books, which will contain mimeographed copies prepared primarily for the German Press. Six official copies of the German document books will be presented to the Tribunal—one for each of the Justices on the bench and one for the Secretary General. Two of such document books will contain photostatic copies in order that the Tribunal may from time to time refer to the original. Document books will also be made available to the German interpreters and court reporters.

The English document books will contain certified translations of the documents in the German document books. The documents will be numbered and indexed identically in both the English and German versions. The Defendants’ Information Center will receive four copies of the English document books at the same time the corresponding German document book is delivered. A representative group of the defense attorneys have agreed that four of the English document books are sufficient to meet their needs.

The Tribunal will receive six English document books and sufficient copies will also be made available to the interpreters and court reporters. Copies of all documents introduced in evidence will thereafter be made available to the press.

The prosecution will sometimes have occasion to use documents which have just been discovered and are not in document books. In such cases we will try to have copies in the Defendants’ Information Center a reasonable time in advance of their use in court. Now, I must point out to your Honors, and I do so without any embarrassment, that there will surely be some instances during the course of this trial when the prosecution fails to comply with one or the other of the court’s rulings in view of the fact that few of our personnel here were able to obtain experience and training in the technicalities in the course of Case No. 1 before the International Military Tribunal, but be that as it may, we shall constantly endeavor to present our case as fairly, as clearly, and as expeditiously as is humanly possible.

The prosecution, when presenting a document in Court, will physically hand the original, or the certified photostatic copy serving as the original, to the clerk of the Tribunal, and give the document a prosecution exhibit number.

In the IMT trial, the usual practice, to which there were many exceptions, was that only those documents or portions of documents which had been read aloud in Court were considered to be in evidence and part of the record. Now this was due to the fact that the IMT trial was conducted in four languages and only through that method were translations in all four languages ordinarily available. However, the IMT ruled several times, for example on 17 December 1945, that documents which had been translated into all four languages and made available to defense counsel in the Defendants’ Information Center were admissible in evidence without being read in full.

The prosecution believed that, under the circumstances of this trial, which will be conducted in German and English only, and with all the prosecution’s documents translated into German, it will be both expeditious and fair to dispense with the reading in full of all documents or portions of documents. The prosecution will read some documents in full, particularly in the early stages of the trial, but will endeavor to expedite matters by summarizing documents when possible, or otherwise calling the attention of the Tribunal to such passages therein as are deemed important and relevant.

With respect to the order of trial, the prosecution intends to follow, to a large degree, the order in which the various experiments are set forth in the indictment. There will be some exceptions to that; for instance, we will present the sea-water experiments, the proof of sea-water experiments following the malaria experiments, which will be third in order, and in time we will move to the proof of reading the Lost gas experiments because of the overlapping of the testimony of certain witnesses. Insofar as possible, we will endeavor to present all of the evidence relating to a particular experiment at the same time. This will be impossible, of course, where the testimony of a witness overlaps several experiments.


[13] Tr. pp. 75-83.

[14] Trial of the Major War Criminals, vol. II, pp. 157-160, Nuremberg, 1947.


VI. ORGANIZATION OF THE GERMAN MEDICAL SERVICES

a. Introduction

The opening statement of the prosecution (pp. 27-74) deals rather extensively with the organization of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht, the Medical Service of the SS, and the Civilian Health Service. The Ahnenerbe Society and the Institute for Military Scientific Research, which was set up within the Ahnenerbe, are also mentioned.

Evidence concerning the positions which the prosecution alleged the defendants held is contained in its document book number one. Selections from this document book are set forth on pages 81-91.

b. Evidence

Pros.
Doc. No.Ex. No.Description of DocumentPage
NO-080 5Fuehrer Decree, 28 July 1942, concerning the Medical and Health Services.81
NO-081 6Second Fuehrer Decree, 5 September 1943, concerning the Medical and Health Services.83
NO-082 7Fuehrer Decree, 25 August 1944, concerning the appointment of a Reich Commissioner for Medical and Health Services.83
NO-22711Fuehrer Decree of 7 August 1944, concerning the reorganization of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht.84
NO-30332Table of Organization of the “Ahnenerbe” from the files of the Ahnenerbe Society.88
NO-42233Letter from Himmler to Sievers, 7 July 1942, concerning the establishment of an “Institute for Military Scientific Research” within the Ahnenerbe Society.89
NO-89438Fuehrer Decree, 9 June 1942, concerning the Reich Research Council.90
NO-645 3Table of organization of the Reich Commissioner for Health and Medical Services, drawn by the defendant Karl Brandt.91

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-080

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 5.

FUEHRER DECREE, 28 JULY 1942, CONCERNING THE MEDICAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

1942 REICHSGESETZBLATT, PART 1, PAGE 515

Fuehrer Decree of 28 July 1942, Concerning the Medical and Health Services

The utilization of personnel and material in the field of medical and health matters demands a coordinated and planned direction. Therefore, I order the following:

1. For the Wehrmacht I commission the Medical Inspector of the Army, in addition to his present duties, with the coordination of all tasks common to the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS, and the organizations and units subordinate or attached to the Wehrmacht, as Chief of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht.

The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht is to represent the Wehrmacht before the civilian authorities in all common medical problems arising in the various branches of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS, and organizations and units subordinate or attached to the Wehrmacht, and will protect the interests of the Wehrmacht in all medical measures taken by the civilian authorities.

For the purpose of coordinated treatment of these problems, a medical officer of the Navy and a medical officer of the Luftwaffe will be assigned to work under him, the latter in the capacity of chief of staff. Fundamental problems pertaining to the Medical Service of the Waffen SS will be worked out in agreement with the Medical Inspectorate of the Waffen SS.

2. In the field of the Civilian Health Service, the State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior and Reich Chief for Public Health, Dr. Conti, is responsible for coordinated measures. For this purpose he has at his disposal the competent departments of the highest Reich authorities and their subordinate offices.

3. I empower Prof. Dr. Karl Brandt, subordinate only to me personally and receiving his instructions directly from me, to carry out special tasks and negotiations to readjust the requirements for doctors, hospitals, medical supplies, etc., between the military and the civilian sectors of the health and medical services.

4. My plenipotentiary for health and medical services is to be kept informed about the fundamental events in the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht and in the Civilian Health Service. He is authorized to intervene in a responsible manner.

Fuehrer Headquarters, 28 July 1942

The Fuehrer

Adolf Hitler

The Chief of the OKW

Keitel

The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery

Dr. Lammers

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-081

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 6

SECOND FUEHRER DECREE, 5 SEPTEMBER 1943, CONCERNING THE MEDICAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

1943 REICHSGESETZBLATT, PART 1, PAGE 533

Second Fuehrer Decree of 5 September 1943, Concerning the Medical and Health Services

In amplification of my decree concerning the Medical and Health Services of 28 July 1942 (RGBL. I, p. 515) I order:

The Plenipotentiary for the Medical and Health Services, General Commissioner Professor Dr. med. Brandt is charged with centrally coordinating and directing the problems and activities of the entire Medical and Health Services according to instructions. In this sense this order applies also to the field of Medical Science and Research, as well as to the organizational institutions concerned with the manufacture and distribution of medical material.

The Plenipotentiary for the Medical and Health services is authorized to appoint and commission special deputies for his spheres of action.

Fuehrer Headquarters, 5 September 1943

The Fuehrer

Adolf Hitler

The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery

Dr. Lammers

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-082

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 7

FUEHRER DECREE, 25 AUGUST 1944, CONCERNING THE APPOINTMENT OF A REICH COMMISSIONER FOR MEDICAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

1944 REICHSGESETZBLATT, PART 1, PAGE 185

Fuehrer Decree of 25 August 1944, Concerning the Appointment of a Reich Commissioner for Medical and Health Services

I hereby appoint the General Commissioner for Medical and Health matters, Professor Dr. Brandt, Reich Commissioner for Sanitation and Health [Reich Commissioner for Medical and Health Services] as well, for the duration of this war. In this capacity his office ranks as highest Reich Authority.

The Reich Commissioner for Medical and Health Services is authorized to issue instructions to the offices and organizations of the State, Party, and Wehrmacht which are concerned with the problems of the medical and health services.

Fuehrer Headquarters, 25 August 1944

The Fuehrer

Adolf Hitler

The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery

Dr. Lammers

The Head of the Party Chancellery

M. Bormann

The Chief of the OKW

Keitel

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-227

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT II

FUEHRER DECREE OF 7 AUGUST 1944, CONCERNING THE REORGANIZATION OF THE MEDICAL SERVICES OF THE WEHRMACHT

Copy

The Fuehrer

and

Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht

Fuehrer Headquarters, 7 August 1944

Chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht [Chief OKW]

Ops. Staff of the Wehrmacht (WFSt)

Org. (I) No. 5008/44g

To obtain a better concentration of powers in the field of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht, I order in extension of my decree of 28 July 1942:

1. The Chief of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht will direct, as far as the special field is concerned, the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht and the organizations and services installed within the framework of the Wehrmacht. He is authorized to issue orders, within the special field of his jurisdiction.

2. I approve the service regulation for the Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht issued by the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht. It will replace the one of 28 July 1942, which was in effect up to now.

3. The personal union of the Chief of Medical Services of the Wehrmacht and the Chief of the Medical Service of the Army/Army Physician [Heeressanitaetsinspekteur/Heeresarzt] is herewith cancelled as of September 1944.

[Signed] Adolf Hitler

The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht

Reference No. 5008/44 secret

Fuehrer Headquarters, 7 August 1944

SERVICE REGULATION

for the Chief of the Medical Services of the

Wehrmacht[15] [Chef W San]

I
Subordination and Powers

1. The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht will be directly under the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht. He will have the position of an office chief [Amtschef] and the disciplinary power according to paragraph 18 of the Wehrmacht Regulation for Disciplinary Action (WDSTO) and the other powers of a Commanding General.

2. He has authority according to No. 1 of the Fuehrer Decree over the following:

a. The Chief of the Army Medical Service, the Chief of the Navy Medical Service, the Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe, the Chief of the Medical Service of the Waffen SS, and the medical chiefs of the organizations and services employed within the framework of the Wehrmacht while they are acting in the area of command of the Wehrmacht.

b. All scientific medical institutes, academies, and other medical institutions of the services of the Wehrmacht and of the Waffen SS.

II
Duties

1. The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht is the adviser of the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht in all questions concerning the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht and of its health guidance,

2. The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht will direct all the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht[16] as far as the special field is concerned, with regard for the military instructions of the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces and the general rules of the Fuehrer’s Commissioner General for the Medical and Health Departments.

[page 2 of original]

3. The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht will inform the Fuehrer’s Commissioner General about basic events in the field of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht.

He will represent the Wehrmacht to the civilian authorities in all mutual medical affairs and he will protect their interests in connection with the health measures of the civilian administrative authorities.

He will represent the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht to the medical services of foreign powers.

4. Other duties of the Chief of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht will be:

a. In the medical-scientific field:

Uniform measures in the field of health guidance, research and the combating of epidemics, and all medical measures which require a uniform ruling within the Wehrmacht. Evaluation of medical experiences.

Medical matters of the recruiting system, of welfare and maintenance and of prisoners of war.

The presidency of the Scientific Senate of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht.

b. In the organization and training system:

Uniform and planned direction of the allocation of persons and material.

Unification of the tables of organization and the tables of equipment of the medical troops and the equal provision of the forces with medical personnel.[17]

Direction of a uniform development of the medical equipment.[A1]

Unification in the sphere of hospital matters, balanced planning, and allocation of hospitals.

Direction of the distribution of wounded and sick soldiers to the hospital installations of the Wehrmacht.

Direction of the voluntary sick-nursing within the Wehrmacht.

Assimilation of the organization and of the training of the new generation of medical officers. Balancing of the proportion according to the requirements of the services. Supervision of the ideological and political training of the new generation of medical officers during the course of their studies in cooperation with the Reich Student Leader. Training and advanced training of medical officers.

Direction of a uniform training of the medical subaltern personnel.[A2]

c. In the field of matériel:

Centralized procurement and direction of fresh supplies of medical matériel of all kinds for the Wehrmacht.

d. General and fundamental pharmaceutical matters.

III
Special Powers

1. The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht is entitled to request from the services all records necessary for the performance of his assignments.

2. He is entitled to express his view on the appointment of medical officers or medical leaders in the Wehrmacht and also in the units of the Waffen SS which are subordinated to the Wehrmacht—if the position is that of a Generalarzt or a higher position. Before filling these positions, his opinion has to be heard.

3. He is entitled to inspect the medical service, the medical units, the medical troops and installations of the Wehrmacht after having informed the high command of the service concerned or the headquarters of the units concerned. He is entitled to give orders on the spot in the field of medical service, if these are necessary for the removal of emergencies and do not disagree with fundamental orders of the services. He has to inform the high commands of the services concerned about the results of the inspections and about the issued orders.

4. Fundamental changes in the organization of the medical service, in the subordination of medical officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted men and of the officials and employees of the medical service require the consent of the Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht.

5. Deputy of the Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht shall be the senior Medical Inspector or the Medical Chief of one of the services. The Chief of Staff will act as his deputy for routine duties.

6. The Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht issues orders necessary for the performance of his assignments under the name:

“Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht, Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht.”

As far as necessary the services will execute his orders and requests through army channels.

7. For the Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht the new table of organization of 1 April 1944 is taking effect.

The necessary personnel are to be taken from the services, etc., above all from their medical inspectorates or offices.

[Signed] Keitel

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-303

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 32

TABLE OF ORGANIZATION OF THE “AHNENERBE” FROM THE FILES OF THE AHNENERBE SOCIETY

“THE AHNENERBE”

The President

The Reich Leader SS H. Himmler

 

Trustee

SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Walther Wuest

 

The Reich Business Manager

SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Wolfram Sievers

 

Reich Business Management

 

Deputy Reich Business Manager

SS Obersturmfuehrer Herbert Menz

 

Consultant Secretary

Dr. Gisela Schmitz-Kahlmann

 

The Special Commissioner of the Reich Leader SS

Sturmbannfuehrer Bruno Galke

 

Administration

SS Untersturmbannfuehrer Hans-Ulrich Huehne

 

Graduate of a Business College Alfons Eben

The task of the Research and Instruction Group “The Ahnenerbe” is investigation of space, spirit, accomplishments, and heritage of the Indo-Germanic peoples of Nordic race, the vivification of the results of their research and their transmission to the people.

Realization

Establishment of instruction and research centers

Assignment of research work and conduct of research expeditions

Publication of scientific works

Support of scientific work

Organization of scientific congresses

The Ahnenerbe Foundation

The purpose of the Foundation is to further the endeavors of “The Ahnenerbe”, registered society, by donations from the proceeds of the capital of the Foundation and from the capital itself. To interest people who declare themselves willing to put certain contributions either once or at fixed intervals at the disposal of the Foundation.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-422

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 33

LETTER FROM HIMMLER TO SIEVERS, 7 JULY 1942, CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN “INSTITUTE FOR MILITARY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH” WITHIN THE AHNENERBE SOCIETY

The Reich Leader SSFuehrer Headquarters, 7 July 1942
AR 48/6/42

[Stamp]

1.Personal Staff Reich Leader SS
Archives, File No. AR/22/21

SECRET!

1.To the Reich Manager of the Ahnenerbe
SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers
Berlin-Dahlem

I request the Ahnenerbe

1. to establish an Institute for Military Scientific Research,

2. to support in every possible way the research carried out by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Prof. Dr. Hirt, and to promote all corresponding research and undertakings,

3. to make available the required apparatus, equipment, accessories and assistants, or to procure them,

4. to make use of the facilities available in Dachau,

5. to contact the Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office [Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt] with regard to the costs, which can be borne by the Waffen SS.

[Signed] H. H. [Heinrich Himmler]

2. Copy forwarded to the Chief of the Economic and Administrative Main Office,

SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl

Berlin—Lichterfelde—West

  with the request to take note.

By order,

[Signed] Brandt

SS Obersturmbannfuehrer

M. 7.7.

Certified True Copy:

Signed M.

SS Obersturmfuehrer

7.7.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-894

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 38

FUEHRER DECREE, 9 JUNE 1942, CONCERNING THE REICH RESEARCH COUNCIL

1942 REICHSGESETZBLATT, PART 1, PAGE 389

Fuehrer Decree of 9 June 1942 Concerning the Reich Research Council

The necessity to expand all available forces to highest efficiency in the interest of the state requires, not only in peace time but also, and especially, in war time, the concentrated effort of scientific research and its channellization toward the goal to be aspired.

Therefore, I commission the Reich Marshal Hermann Goering to establish as an independent entity a Reich Research Council, which is to serve this purpose, to take over its chairmanship himself and to give it a charter.

Leading men of science above all are to make research fruitful for warfare by working together in their special fields. The hitherto existing Reich Research Council which was under the Reich Minister for Science and Education [Wissenschaft, Erziehung und Volksbildung] is to be absorbed by the new organization.

The means needed for research purposes are to be established in the Reich budget as far as they will not be raised from contributions (for research) of circles interested in research.

Fuehrer Headquarters, 9 June 1942

The Fuehrer

Adolf Hitler

The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery

Dr. Lammers

Table of Organization of the Reich Commissioner for Health and Medical Service, drawn by the defendant Karl Brandt


[15] To Wehrmacht in this connection belong: Army, Navy, Luftwaffe, the Waffen SS units under orders of the Wehrmacht and the organizations and services engaged within the framework of the Wehrmacht. [Footnote in original document.]

[16] Same as Footnote 15 above.

[17] As to the Navy these rules will not apply or will apply with restrictions only to personnel on board. [Footnote in original document.]


VII. EXTRACTS FROM ARGUMENTATION AND EVIDENCE OF PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE

A. Medical Experiments

1. HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS

a. Introduction

The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Ruff, Romberg, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz were charged with special responsibility for and participation in criminal conduct involving high-altitude experiments (par. 6 (A) of the indictment). During the course of the trial, the prosecution withdrew this charge in the cases of Karl Brandt, Handloser, Poppendick, and Mrugowsky. Only the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Sievers were convicted on this charge.

The prosecution’s summation of the evidence on the high-altitude experiments is contained in its closing brief against the defendants Ruff, Romberg, and Weltz. An extract from this brief is set forth below on pages 92 to 113. A corresponding summation of the evidence by the defense on these experiments has been selected from the closing briefs for the defendants Ruff and Sievers. It appears below on pages 114 to 140. This argumentation is followed by selections from the evidence on pages 140 to 198.

b. Selection From the Argumentation of the Prosecution

EXTRACTS FROM THE CLOSING BRIEF AGAINST DEFENDANTS RUFF, ROMBERG, AND WELTZ

Early in the war it was deemed necessary to conduct research in the field of high altitudes because of the higher ceilings reached by the Allied fighter planes. This created the problem of availability of human experimental subjects, inasmuch as animal experimentation was considered inadequate. The heights involved were 12,000 meters to over 20,000 meters, hence it goes without saying that such experiments were very dangerous and, as indicated by the evidence, volunteers were not to be had. This difficulty was overcome by the use of concentration camp inmates without their consent. The first indication of this criminal plan appears in a letter from Dr. Sigmund Rascher, a Luftwaffe physician, in a letter to the Reich Leader SS dated 15 May 1941:

“For the time being, I have been assigned to the Luftgau Kommando VII, Munich, for a medical selection course. During this course, where research on high-altitude flying plays a prominent part, determined by the somewhat higher ceiling of the English fighter planes, considerable regret was expressed that no experiments on human beings have so far been possible for us because such experiments are very dangerous, and nobody is volunteering. I therefore put the serious question: is there any possibility that two or three professional criminals can be made available for these experiments?” [Emphasis supplied.] (1602, PS, Pros. Ex. 44.)

It further appears in this Rascher letter of 15 May 1941 that Rascher had conferred with another Luftwaffe physician and that a tentative agreement had been reached wherein it was determined that the experiments on the concentration camp inmates, in which the experimental subjects were expected to die, would be performed at the “Bodenstaendige Pruefstelle fuer Hoehenforschung der Luftwaffe” at Munich:

“The experiments are being performed at the Ground Station for High-Altitude Experiments of the Luftwaffe [Bodenstaendige Pruefstelle fuer Hoehenforschung der Luftwaffe] at Munich. The experiments, in which the experimental subject of course may die, would take place with my collaboration. They are absolutely essential for the research on high-altitude flying and cannot, as it had been tried until now, be carried out on monkeys, because monkeys offer entirely different test conditions. I had an absolutely confidential talk with the representative of the Luftwaffe physician who is conducting these experiments. He also is of the opinion that the problems in question can only be solved by experiments on human beings.” (1602-PS, Pros. Ex. 44.)


Weltz testified that a meeting took place in the summer of 1941 on the occasion of a visit by Generaloberstabsarzt Hippke to Luftgau VII. (Tr. p. 7056.) In a discussion between Weltz, Kottenhoff, and Hippke, Hippke gave his approval in principle to the experiments if they were deemed necessary. (Tr. p. 7065.) In the course of the summer of 1941, Rascher went to Weltz and proposed the slow-ascent experiments, but Weltz turned them down as unnecessary. (Tr. p. 7176.) This testimony of the defendant Weltz clearly indicates the jurisdiction Weltz had over Rascher’s activities. This refusal to permit the performance of slow-ascent experiments bears out the contention of the prosecution that the defendant Weltz had the power and the authority to intervene at any time. Weltz’ actions throughout the entire development of the plans for the experiments were not merely negative. He was in full accord with the entire enterprise and he realized that Rascher did not possess the necessary qualifications to conduct these experiments without the assistance of a specialist in this particular field of aviation medicine. Furthermore, although Rascher was attached to Weltz’ Institute he had no other definite work. (Tr. pp. 7078 and 7187.) To find a specialist to collaborate with Weltz and Rascher proved to be a difficult task. Weltz first approached members of his own institute, namely Lutz and Wendt, men of considerable reputation in this field, but to no avail. Wolfgang Lutz appeared before this Tribunal and testified that Weltz requested his assistance, as well as the assistance of Wendt, but that they both refused on moral grounds. (Tr. p. 269.) Weltz did not deny this, but contended that his questions to Lutz were purely rhetorical. (Tr. p. 7069.)

The inability to interest a specialist in the field of high-altitude research to collaborate with Rascher explains the cause for the lapse of time between the date of the authorization by Himmler and the actual date of the commencement of the experiments, viz, July 1941 to February 1942. Weltz was not a specialist in high-altitude research. Kottenhoff was transferred to Romania, and Rascher was comparatively a novice in this field.

The next step taken by Weltz, which led to the completion of the plans to conduct the high-altitude experiments on human beings at the Dachau concentration camp, was his invitation to the defendants Ruff and Romberg to collaborate with Rascher. These two men were experts in this field and were interested in further research in altitudes exceeding 12,000 meters. Weltz testified that he made a trip to Berlin and that Ruff accepted his invitation to collaborate with Rascher. (Tr. p. 7188.) The evidence shows that Weltz approached Ruff and Romberg as he needed expert assistance. (NO-437, Pros. Ex. 42; NO-263, Pros. Ex. 47; NO-191, Pros. Ex. 43.) The defendant Ruff stated that he first heard of the plan to carry out research on inmates of the Dachau concentration camp from the defendant Weltz and that Weltz desired collaboration between Romberg and Rascher and between Weltz’ Institute and Ruff’s Institute. (Tr. p. 6653.) Furthermore, Ruff testified that Weltz stated:

“It is, of course, best if you or Romberg take part in these experiments because Romberg had already carried out such parachute descent experiments and is therefore the man who knows about the whole problem of rescue from high altitudes.” (Tr. pp. 6654-5.) Ruff further testified that Weltz suggested that a new series of experiments in parachute descents from great heights should be carried out at Dachau on prisoners. (Tr. p. 6653.)

From this moment on, the experimental program started to move as a mutual undertaking. This is better stated by the defendant Weltz:

“This was to be a mutual undertaking, during which Ruff was to detail Romberg and I was to detail Rascher. Ruff naturally was to be chief of Romberg and I, as a matter of course, was to be Rascher’s chief. Ruff couldn’t give any orders to Rascher. Rascher was a captain in the Medical Corps and Ruff was a civilian. I couldn’t give any orders to Romberg because Romberg was a civilian while I was a soldier. Naturally, this is how the distribution was. It had to be that way. Furthermore, it was clear that I couldn’t in any way retire. I could not just leave Rascher to Ruff. It was quite clear that I had to participate in these experiments by exercising supervision, but not by actively participating.” (Tr. p. 7079.)

This evidence certainly rebuts Weltz’ vague contention that he was not in search of specialists in high-altitude research to collaborate with him and Rascher. Without the efforts of Weltz the experiments could never have taken place. In brief, to conduct these experiments at altitudes exceeding 12,000 meters Weltz found it necessary to secure the assistance of experts in the field, as well as a low-pressure chamber which would meet his needs. Ruff and Romberg possessed both, and in the above manner Weltz skillfully engineered the whole plan.

Immediately after Weltz had completed his negotiations with Ruff, he called a meeting at his institute in Munich, wherein discussions of a technical nature concerning the experiments were held. At this meeting, Ruff, Romberg, Rascher, and Weltz were in attendance. This meeting was at Weltz’ Institute and Weltz presided over the meeting. It was further decided that a second meeting was to be held at Dachau a few days later in order to make the necessary arrangements with the camp commander. This trip took place in order to discuss technical preparations with the camp commander, and to arrange details concerning the selection of the experimental subjects. Again, Weltz, Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher were in attendance, in addition to Piorkowski, the camp commander, and Schnitzler of the staff of the Reichsfuehrung SS. (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40; NO-437, Pros. Ex. 42; NO-263, Pros. Ex. 47; Tr. pp. 7086-7.)

After the arrangements with the camp authorities at Dachau had been completed, the shipment of the low-pressure chamber from Berlin was the next problem to overcome. As pointed out earlier, Weltz desired the low-pressure chamber which was possessed by Ruff and Romberg for use in the experiments at Dachau. It is interesting to note that Weltz had had a low-pressure chamber available in his own institute from 1938 on (Tr. p. 7178.), and that Weltz testified that volunteers from his student body or from the Luftwaffe were available. (Tr. pp. 7180-83.) Despite this, it was necessary to resort to the concentration camp for inmates and, in order to conduct the experiments, a mobile pressure chamber had to be brought down from the Ruff Institute in Berlin, as the low-pressure chamber in the Weltz Institute was not mobile. The mobile low-pressure chamber from Ruff’s Institute at Berlin was driven to Weltz’ Institute in Munich and arrived in the late afternoon. This chamber was driven to Munich by employees of the DVL and turned over to Weltz. On the following day, SS drivers came from Dachau, received the keys to the chamber and drove it to the concentration camp. (Tr. p. 7199.) The purpose in camouflaging this activity was to deceive the employees of the DVL because Weltz and Ruff did not want them to know that the low-pressure chamber was to be used in an experimental program at a concentration camp. This is borne out by the fact that a completely new set of drivers came from the concentration camp to take the chamber to Dachau. This particular action of secrecy is noticeable when it is considered that Dachau is merely 12 kilometers from Munich and actually the DVL drivers had to go out of their way to deliver the chamber to the Weltz Institute. Ruff testified that the secrecy in the transfer of the chamber to Dachau was for security reasons. (Tr. p. 6550.)

From the evidence thus far summarized, and indeed from Weltz’ own admission, it is clear that he must be found guilty of the high-altitude crimes committed in Dachau. This was a criminal undertaking from its inception. It was known to all concerned that the proposed experiments were certain to result in deaths and that they were to be performed on nonvolunteers. That is proved by the very first letter to Himmler. Weltz supported the ambition of his subordinate, Rascher, to perform the experiments on behalf of the Weltz Institute. He secured the collaboration of Ruff and Romberg. He obtained the consent of Hippke and a research assignment from the Referat for Aviation Medicine under Anthony and Becker-Freyseng. He took care of the technical arrangements and participated in conferences with Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher which decided on the experiments to be performed. Weltz did more in having the experiments performed than anyone else. His guilt is clearly established on this evidence alone. It is not disputed that Rascher was subordinated to him until February 1942. Weltz’ main defense is that he had Rascher transferred from his institute late in February 1942 and, hence, cannot be held responsible for what happened thereafter. Even if true, this is no defense. Weltz had long since participated in the criminal enterprise. He cannot be heard to say that “Yes, I did all that, but I’m not responsible for the actual consequences which my acts were expected to bring about.” The deaths which occurred in these experiments were foreseeable from the beginning. Weltz does not escape responsibility for those deaths, even if it were true that Rascher was not subordinated to him when they occurred. But that is not true, as the evidence proves.

The actual date of the commencement of the experiments at Dachau was 22 February 1942, which was recalled by the witness Neff because it was his birthday. (Tr. p. 606.) From this point on, the defendant Weltz takes the position that he had no knowledge of the work and that, in fact, Rascher was relieved from his command. Weltz admitted that it was his obligation to supervise Rascher and that the existing arrangement between Ruff and Weltz was that this was to be a joint undertaking. Ruff exercised supervision over Romberg, and Weltz was to exercise supervision over Rascher. Weltz conceded that he was Rascher’s disciplinary superior and was responsible for the scientific programs to which he assigned Rascher. (Tr. p. 7088.) Despite this chain of command and working agreement, Weltz takes the position that Rascher endeavored to work independently and that he did not desire to report to Weltz. (Tr. pp. 7088-9.) It became necessary for Weltz to order Rascher to report to him twice a week and, as a result of this order, Weltz alleges that Rascher came to him in the middle of February and that they had their first conversation since the meeting in Dachau and on that occasion, Rascher informed Weltz that the experiments had not even started yet and that he had nothing to report. (Tr. p. 7089.)

Weltz testified that Anthony, under whom Becker-Freyseng worked in the Luftwaffe Medical Inspectorate, in Berlin, telephoned him to inquire how the Dachau experiments were progressing and that he could only reply that nothing had been reported to him. Rascher reported to him for the second time, whereupon Weltz informed Rascher that a telephone call had come through from Berlin and that he wanted to have some clarification as to how things stood at Dachau. Rascher did not want to report anything to Weltz at the second conversation, and Weltz maintains that he told Rascher that he was going to Berlin to clear up the situation and obtain a clear decision whether or not Rascher was to report to him. Then, on the occasion of the third visit from Rascher, Weltz, expecting a sharp argument, asked Wendt of his office to come into the room, and on that occasion he confronted Rascher with the alternative either to report to him or to leave the institute. Weltz asserts that at that time Rascher showed him a telegram from Himmler, which read: “Experiments are to be kept secret from everyone.” (Tr. p. 7089.) Thereupon, Weltz maintains that he ordered Rascher from his institute and that he then composed a letter, together with Wendt, to the Luftgau and asked for Rascher’s immediate transfer and that within a few days Rascher’s assignment had ended. (Tr. p. 7090.)

The memorandum of Nini Rascher to Himmler of 24 February 1942 shows that at that time Rascher was still subordinate to Weltz. (NO-263, Pros. Ex. 47.) She reviewed the history of the experiments and pointed out that on 24 July 1941 Rascher, Kottenhoff, and Weltz were to be in charge. Kottenhoff was transferred to Romania in August and thereby excluded from the group. She stated that it was Weltz’s task to initiate the technical execution of the experiments. Apparently because of a fear of moral objections on the part of Hippke, Weltz had postponed the beginning of the experiments but had finally secured Ruff and Romberg to collaborate with Rascher. A conference took place in Dachau between Piorkowski, Schnitzler, Weltz, Rascher, Romberg, and Ruff. Weltz had given the assurance that he would take care of the authorization for Rascher. Mrs. Rascher complained that on 18 February, after Rascher had carried out all the preparatory work, Weltz stated: “Now that you have removed all obstacles from the path of Romberg with the SS, the authorization must be handled differently.” Mrs. Rascher stated that both Romberg and Rascher agreed that Weltz was not needed anymore and that both opposed his attempts to oust Rascher in favor of himself.

Weltz contended that the truth of the matter was that he wished to get rid of Rascher, and that Mrs. Rascher had misrepresented this to Himmler so that it would appear that he was trying to eliminate Rascher in order to keep the work exclusively to himself. (Tr. p. 7099.) There can be no question that Mrs. Rascher was quite correct in her analysis of the situation. What possible reason could Weltz have for desiring, just before the experiments began, to eliminate Rascher unless he wished to participate himself personally and thus secure a larger share of the scientific credit? Certainly he had supported Rascher from the very inception of the proposal to perform the experiments. Be that as it may, the proof shows that Rascher continued to participate in the experiments as a subordinate of Weltz. This is clearly proved by a file memorandum of Schnitzler of the SS office in Munich, dated 28 April 1942. (NO-264, Pros. Ex. 60.) This memorandum shows that Rascher was still subordinated to Weltz, and that Weltz was insisting on active participation in the experiments and full responsibility. The RLM [Reich Air Ministry] had inquired of Weltz how long the experiments would last, and whether it was justifiable to detail a medical officer for so long. Rascher, who was chafing under his subordination to Weltz, requested that his assignment be changed to the DVL [German Aviation Research Institute], Dachau Branch.

Weltz’ only reaction to this document was that the date was wrong and should read 28 February 1942 instead of 28 April 1942. (Tr. p. 7099 ff.) Weltz conceded on cross-examination that, assuming the date 28 April 1942 was correct, then of course Rascher was still his subordinate at that time. (Tr. p. 7232.) The file memorandum of Sievers dated 3 May 1942 settled this question beyond any doubt. This memorandum reads as follows:

“SS Untersturmfuehrer Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher reported in Munich on 29 April 1942 about the result of the conference with Oberstabsarzt Dr. Weltz. Weltz requested that Dr. Rascher be withdrawn if by Friday, 1 May 1942 he (Weltz) were not taken into consultation regarding the experiments. The Reich Leader SS was informed accordingly. He ordered SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff on 30 April 1942 to send a telegram to Field Marshal Milch requesting that Dr. Rascher be ordered to the German Aviation Research Institute [Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fuer Luftfahrt], Dachau Branch, and there to be at the disposal of the Reich Leader SS.” (NO-1359, Pros. Ex. 493.)

After having been confronted with this document Weltz in effect conceded that his previous testimony about the transfer of Rascher had been, to say the least of it, incorrect. He said:

“Yes, now the entire matter looks somewhat different. If I had this file note of Sievers in addition to my other documents, I would have known that the note of Schnitzler was correct, and that there must be another possibility to explain Mrs. Nini Rascher’s letter. This letter, on the other hand, cannot be explained now. I can only try to reconstruct the dates from the documents which were available here, since I no longer know them today.” (Tr. p. 7239.)

On redirect examination by his defense counsel, Weltz was asked again to clarify the situation with respect to Rascher’s subordination, and he replied:

“Since my first attempt to clarify this contradiction came to naught, I should not like to try again. I simply can see no way to clarify it on the basis of the material before me.” (Tr. p. 7251.)

In a letter of 20 May 1942 from Milch to Wolff it is again made evident beyond any doubt that Rascher was subordinate to Weltz:

“In reference to your telegram of 12 May our medical inspector reports to me that the altitude experiments carried out by the SS and Air Force at Dachau have been finished. Any continuation of these experiments seems essentially unreasonable. However, the carrying out of experiments of some other kind, in regard to perils at high sea, would be important. These have been prepared in immediate agreement with the proper offices; Major (M. C.) Weltz will be charged with the execution and Captain (M. C.) Rascher will be made available until further orders in addition to his duties within the Medical Corps of the Air Corps.” (343-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 62.)

Thus it is clear that Weltz must be held responsible for the numerous murders which resulted during the high-altitude experiments in Dachau. Not only did he participate in plans and enterprises involving the commission of these experiments, but he also was the direct superior of Rascher who, together with Ruff and Romberg, actually executed the experiments.

Status of Prisoners Used in the Experiments

After Weltz had successfully secured the collaboration of Ruff and Romberg, he held a meeting at his institute in Munich late in December 1941, or early in January 1942. (Tr. p. 6657; Tr. p. 7086.) Ruff, Romberg, Weltz, and Rascher attended this meeting primarily to lay the groundwork for the technical arrangements necessary to perform the work at Dachau. It is alleged by all the defendants that the question regarding the status of the prisoners to be used was discussed and that Rascher had assured them that the subjects would be exclusively volunteers. (Tr. p. 7086; Tr. p. 6232; Tr. p. 6869.) In fact, the defendants state that Rascher exhibited a communication from Himmler which provided that the subjects must be volunteers under all circumstances. (Tr. p. 6869.) Unfortunately, this letter has not been produced by the defense. Needless to say, the defendants take the position that such experiments were to be performed on habitual and condemned criminals and that considerations were to be offered to said “volunteers” in the event of their surviving the experiments. As a matter of fact, Romberg explicitly states that he saw the “Himmler letter” and he was able to observe the words “criminal” and “volunteer” therein. (Tr. p. 6870.)

The assertion on the part of the defendants that Himmler had ordered that the criminals used be volunteers is ridiculous and incredible when one considers that Himmler instructed Rascher to pardon these unfortunate inmates only if they could be recalled to life after having been subjected to the type of experiments outlined in Rascher’s first interim report, wherein it is shown that the experimental subjects had stopped breathing altogether and their chests had been cut open, i. e., autopsy had been actually performed on them. (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49.)

In this instance, Himmler graciously stated:

“3. Considering the long-continued action of the heart, the experiments should be specifically exploited in such a manner as to determine whether these men could be recalled to life. Should such an experiment succeed, then, of course, the person condemned to death shall be pardoned to concentration camp for life.” (1971-B-PS, Pros. Ex. 51.)

It is absurd to give any weight to the allegation that Himmler provided that the subjects were to be volunteers. These men knew that volunteers could not be secured and that was the very reason for going to Himmler. This is shown in the letter from Rascher to Himmler requesting that criminals be made available due to the fact that “nobody is volunteering.”

The defendant Ruff admitted on the stand that the experiments conducted on themselves and colleagues in Berlin concerned altitudes up to 12,000 meters and that the question of what would happen between 12,000 and 20,000 meters was subsequently investigated at Dachau. (Tr. p. 6679.) It is obvious, therefore, that Ruff, Romberg, Weltz, and Rascher were unwilling to perform such investigations on themselves.

The evidence has proved that the subjects used in the high-altitude experiments were not, with a few minor exceptions, volunteers. The inmates were simply selected at random in the camp and forced to undergo the experiments. Russians, Poles, Jews of various nationalities, and Germans were used. Russian prisoners of war were included, as were many political prisoners. Approximately 180 to 200 inmates were experimented on, about 70 to 80 being killed as a result. Not more than 40 of these had been “condemned to death.” Among those killed were political prisoners. (Tr. pp. 613-18; also Tr. p. 432.) This testimony of Neff, who was the inmate assistant in the experiments and who identified Ruff, Romberg, and Weltz, is corroborated by Rascher’s cable asking if Himmler’s amnesty rule applied to Russians and Poles who had been extensively used in the experiments. (1971-D-PS, Pros. Ex. 52.) The nationality and status of inmates were easily discernible from the badges worn on their uniforms. Ruff and Romberg could have told from these that foreign nationals and political prisoners were being used. (Tr. pp. 616-7.)

The witness Neff’s testimony reveals that approximately 10 prisoners were selected as permanent, experimental subjects, but they were not volunteers. (Tr. pp. 611, 622, and 430.) There were, however, a few “volunteers” according to Neff. He stated that “there were certain volunteers for these experiments, because Rascher promised certain persons that they would be released from the camp if they underwent these experiments.” (Tr. p. 614.) Neff clearly pointed out that in view of the way the prisoner subjects were selected and used it was not possible to know who were volunteers, if any, and who were not volunteers. (Tr. pp. 606-26.) They were not brought in and used as a separate group. Moreover, the evidence shows that these promises were not kept. (Tr. p. 615.) The only evidence of a release is the case of Sabota, as outlined by Neff, and in that case he was sent to an undesirable special SS commando group. No death sentences were commuted.

The defense claims for Ruff and Romberg that the experiments at Dachau were divided into two groups. The first group, the so-called Ruff-Romberg-Rascher experiments, was noncriminal, while the second group, the Rascher experiments, encompassed all the crimes. They contend that the Ruff-Romberg-Rascher experiments were conducted independently of the Rascher experiments and that the 10 original subjects mentioned by Neff and Vieweg were used exclusively for the Ruff-Romberg-Rascher experiments. Despite the testimony of the witnesses and the weight of the documentary evidence, they would have the Tribunal believe that by a wondrous working of fate these were all volunteers and no crimes occurred. This defense is of course inapplicable to Weltz. Rascher was subordinated to and subject to his orders.

It should be noted that Romberg and Rascher who tested themselves in the altitude chamber at Dachau with an air pressure equivalent to 12,500 and 13,500 meters altitude respectively, for 30 to 40 minutes, discontinued these experiments on themselves because of intense pain. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) Yet, these men proceeded, as proved by their own joint report, to conduct experiments on prisoners which they would not perform on themselves.

The experimenters took no responsibility or even interest in seeing to it that the alleged promises made to the subjects to induce them to “volunteer” were kept. (Tr. p. 6993.) Although Romberg said he had no channel to Himmler, he also admitted he visited Himmler with Rascher in July 1942. (Tr. pp. 7015-6.)

In this connection, we must consider the convenient line of the defense. By limiting the Ruff-Romberg-Rascher experiments to the 10 subjects, we find that they further allege that no deaths occurred in those experiments as opposed to a considerable number of deaths in the Rascher work. But the witness Neff, in describing the first day of the experiments, emphatically stated that the first series of experiments was not carried out on volunteers. Furthermore, the defendant Ruff was also present during these experiments. (Tr. p. 622.) The defendants’ contention that the experiments were in two groups is explicitly denied by Neff. He testified that Romberg not only experimented with Rascher on the original 10 subjects, but also on a large number of other prisoners. The distinction fabricated by the defendants cannot possibly be credited in the light of Neff’s testimony. On being asked the question whether Romberg experimented only on the 10 original subjects, Neff replied:

“Experiments were conducted not only with these ten persons but, for example, in a series of experiments which Romberg also conducted on a large number of other prisoners. The distinction which the defense counsel tries to make between experiments included in the report to the Luftgau or of death—it is impossible for me to make this distinction and to distinguish between those which fell into one category or the other.” (Tr. p. 691.)

Which is to be believed, the testimony of Neff, plus one’s common sense, or the self-serving statements of the defendants? This is a question the Tribunal must answer. There is no such thing as half a murderer. These defendants are responsible for those murders or they are not responsible. There is not one scintilla of evidence to support the ridiculous contention that a group of volunteers, segregated for use by Romberg, wore different colored shirts so he could tell them apart and were treated with the greatest deference. But that is just what Ruff and Romberg ask the Tribunal to find. It is absolutely impossible in the face of the record.

This, alleged disassociation of Ruff and Romberg from the “crimes committed exclusively by Rascher” is in complete contradiction to the acts of these defendants during the experiments, which after all speak much louder than their present testimony. Neff testified that Romberg personally witnessed at least five deaths during the experiments, and that he made no effort to stop them nor did he even protest after the event. (Tr. p. 619.) Romberg admitted seeing three deaths and that he knew that five to ten other murders took place in his absence. (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40.) The first death Romberg saw, he said, occurred in April. He reported this to Ruff. Yet the experiments were not discontinued. They went on to the end of June and still more deaths occurred which Romberg saw. To say the least of it, these defendants made themselves a party to murder by continuing the experiments. This is true no matter how innocent they may have been up to the first death. They were duty bound to stop the experiments immediately, remove the chamber, and force a court martial of Rascher. They did none of these simple and obvious things. They did not for the very reason that deaths were expected from the very beginning and were a part of the experimental plan. Romberg saw these men die and did absolutely nothing. It was within his power to save them at the time. He said he was operating the electrocardiograph. He knew precisely by their heart action when the subjects were in danger of dying. He also knew this from his knowledge of reaction to high altitudes. He could see and read the pressure gauges. He could have turned the pressure down and saved their lives by simply moving the gauge which was within arm’s reach. He was a bigger man than Rascher. Force could have been used if necessary. Not only did he do nothing while the helpless victims died before his very eyes, but he assisted in the autopsies.

After all these murders had occurred and were known to them, Ruff and Romberg still went on. They issued a joint report on the experiments in the name of Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher in July 1942. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) They were still collaborating with this admitted murderer and gave him the cover of their scientific reputation. Romberg received a medal for his work in the experiments on the recommendation of Rascher. (1607-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 65.) Romberg was still supporting Rascher in September 1942 and was to have made an oral report to Milch on the experiments with Rascher. He wrote a memorandum on Rascher’s behalf explaining that the report was not given because Milch was unable to receive them at the scheduled time. This same memorandum, signed by Romberg, proves that he was anxious to continue high-altitude experiments with Rascher and asked for Milch’s permission.

He wrote:

“Oberstarzt Kalk stated that he was willing to report to the State Secretary (Milch) our wishes concerning the distribution of the report and the continuation of the experiments. * * * Oberstarzt Kalk had transmitted, still on 11 September, our wishes concerning distribution and confirmation of the experiments to the State Secretary. The State Secretary had approved the distribution schedule, and said that a continuation of the experiment was not urgent.” (NO-224, Pros. Ex. 76.)

In the meantime, the murderous freezing experiments had been started with the Luftwaffe team of Holzloehner, Finke, and Rascher. Ruff, Romberg, and Weltz all heard the report of those experiments in Nuernberg in October 1942. (NO-401, Pros. Ex. 93.) Hippke himself wrote his special thanks to Himmler on 8 October 1942, and said: “When the work will need once more your sympathetic assistance, may I be allowed to get in touch with you again through Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher?” (NO-289, Pros. Ex. 72.)


Analysis of the Experiments

The experiments at Dachau in the field of high-altitude research were conducted to determine human reactions to altitudes above 12,000 meters. The defendant Romberg stated that four series of experiments were conducted (a) slow descent without oxygen, (b) slow descent with oxygen, (c) falling without oxygen, and (d) falling with oxygen. (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40.) The first two tests were designed to simulate descent with parachute open while the latter two a free fall from an airplane before the parachute opens. As pointed out in Dr. Rascher’s first interim report on the experiments, an additional problem was to be solved, namely, the determination whether the theoretically established norms pertaining to the length of life of human beings breathing air with only a small portion of oxygen and subjected to low pressure correspond with the results obtained by practical experience. This interim report of Rascher’s states as follows:

“2. Experiments testing the length of life of a human being above the normal breathing limits (4, 5, 6 km.) have not been conducted at all, since it has been a foregone conclusion that the human experimental subject (Versuchsperson-VP) would suffer death.”

The experiments conducted by myself and Dr. Romberg proved the following:

“Experiments on parachute jumps proved that the lack of oxygen and the low atmospheric pressure at 12 or 13 km. altitude did not cause death. Altogether 15 extreme experiments of this type were carried out in which none of VP died. Very severe bends together with unconsciousness occurred, but completely normal functions of the senses returned when a height of 7 km. was reached on descent. Electrocardiograms registering during the experiments did show certain irregularities, but by the time the experiments were over the curves had returned to normal and they did not indicate any abnormal changes during the following days. The extent to which deterioration of the organism may occur due to continuously repeated experiments can only be established at the end of the series of experiments. The extreme fatal experiments will be carried out on specially selected VP’s otherwise it would not be possible to exercise the rigid control so extraordinarily important for practical purposes.” [Emphasis supplied.] (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49.)

Thus, it is clear that the experiments were planned and executed with the intention that some were to terminate fatally. This report covered the period up to the first week in April and mention of deaths and autopsies is made. This quite obviously was the instance when Romberg says he saw his first death and autopsy, although he tends to place the date as the latter part of April. (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40.) If the experiments had been stopped there the lives of many subjects would have been saved.

The defendants argue that, while the experiments may have killed persons, they did not involve torture and pain. This is on the theory that the subjects lost consciousness before any sensation of pain. This anomalous defense is completely disproved by the photographic exhibits showing the expressions of pain of the subjects. (NO-610, Pros. Ex. 41.) as well as the defendants’ own report on the experiments. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) The reaction of one subject was described in terms such as “severe altitude sickness, spasmodic convulsions”. In a self-experiment by Romberg and Rascher, the latter’s reactions were described as follows:

“After 10 minutes stay at this altitude, pains began on the right side with a spastic paralytic condition of the right leg which increased continually as though Ra’s [Rascher’s] whole right side were being crushed between two presses. At the same time there were most severe headaches as though the skull were being burst apart. The pains became continually more severe so that at last the discontinuation of the experiment became necessary.” (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.)

There is no case on record where an experiment on an inmate was discontinued because of pain.

Ruff and Romberg take the position that they would be most unwilling to kill prisoners in the course of an experiment. They insist that their experiments with Rascher were concerned with the problem of explosive decompression and on parachute descent from high altitudes, whereas Rascher alone worked on sojourn or a more prolonged stay at high altitudes, and that it was in Rascher’s experiments that prisoners were killed. This again is the artificial division of the experiments into the criminal and noncriminal which has already been proved to be spurious. But here again, the two self-experiments which Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher included in their joint final report as mentioned above were experiments on prolonged stay at high altitude, a subject which they now claim was exclusively Rascher’s. The only reason that this experiment did not end fatally was the fact that it was interrupted in time because of intense pain. Moreover, on page 11 of the final report by Ruff, Romberg, and Weltz the following is said: “This is worthy of special attention because in this case a person has fully recovered mentally at an altitude of 8.3 km. (27,230 ft.), after 3 minutes of the most severe lack of oxygen, while in altitude endurance experiments at this altitude severe altitude sickness sets in after about 3 minutes.” [Emphasis supplied.] (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) Here, again, it is proved from their own report that Ruff and Romberg, as well as Rascher, were concerned with sojourn at high altitudes.

Experiments, in which prisoners were killed, are reported in Rascher’s report to Himmler of 11 May 1942. (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61.) Some prisoners were killed by keeping them at 12,000 meters without oxygen for 30 minutes; one was killed at 20,000 meters when exposed there for about 6 minutes without oxygen. These prisoners were autopsied to ascertain if bubbles of gas, called air embolism in Rascher’s report of 11 May 1942, were present in the blood vessels of the brain and other organs when dissected under water. Some “Jewish professional criminals” who had committed “Rassenschande” (race pollution)[18] were killed for another reason:

“To find out whether the severe psychic and physical effects, as mentioned under No. 3, are due to the formation of embolism, the following was done: After relative recuperation from such a parachute descending test had taken place, however before regaining consciousness, some VP’s were kept under water until they died. When the skull and the cavities of the breast and of the abdomen had been opened under water, an enormous amount of air embolism was found in the vessels of the brain, the coronary vessels and the vessels of the liver and the intestines, etc.” (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61.)

It should be noted that these murders were committed in connection with the parachute descending tests, not prolonged stay at high altitudes, and this was the very subject being studied by Ruff and Romberg. Romberg testified that he was present at the death of three of these prisoners, one in April and two in May 1942, and witnessed an autopsy of one, in which gas bubbles were present in the blood vessels of the brain. He reported these deaths to Ruff. (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40.) Neff testified Romberg was present in five cases where fatalities occurred (Tr. pp. 619, 692.) and Romberg admitted that he knew that five to ten other experimental subjects were killed while he was not present. (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40.) Neff stated that Romberg actively participated in the majority of the experiments. He observed the experiments, took notes, and studied the electrocardiogram and thus was able to determine when an experimental subject in the chamber was about to die. (Tr. p. 651.)

It is incredible that Dr. Ruff was not informed regarding the finding of bubbles in the blood vessels of the brain since such observations in human beings who have died following too rapid atmospheric decompression is a very, very unique event, though bubbles had been observed many times prior to 1942 in the blood vessels of laboratory animals. It is inconceivable that Dr. Ruff, or anyone else in the field of aviation medicine, had not heard of the bubble theory of the cause of joint pains, coughing, blindness, or paralysis, or the symptoms of the pressure drop sickness, which may occur on exposure to high altitude, since this theory was well known in literature and text books of aviation medicine available since 1938. How else would Rascher have had occasion to look for the bubbles? He either learned of the theory during a course in aviation medicine or was told about it by Ruff and Romberg, who knew much more than Rascher about aviation medicine.

It is fantastic that Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher did not have in mind the observations of bubbles in the blood vessels of the murdered prisoners, when, in the final joint report of 28 July 1942, they wrote:

“In spite of the relatively large number of experiments, the actual cause of the severe mental disturbances and bodily failures (paralysis, blindness, etc.) attendant upon post-hypoxemic twilight state remains something of a riddle. It appeared often as though the phenomena of pressure drop sickness had combined with the results of severe oxygen lack”. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.)

It has been the theory for some time that the symptoms associated with decompression or pressure-drop sickness may be due to the formation of gas bubbles (air embolism) in the blood vessels of the brain or in the regions of the joints or in the blood vessels of the lungs. When the bubbles collect in the blood vessels of the brain, they are supposed to cause a physical or mental disturbance or paralysis. When the gas bubbles collect in the region of the joints, they are supposed to cause pain in the region of the joints. When the bubbles collect in the blood vessels in the lungs, they are supposed to cause the chokes or attacks of coughing. That has been a theory that has been held for some 15 or 20 years, and an expert in the field of aviation medicine could not have been unaware of it. (Tr. pp. 9098-9.) Since Rascher had observed bubbles as is described in his report of 11 May 1942, and since Ruff and Romberg had complete knowledge of the deaths, obviously these important findings of Rascher on air embolism did not escape the attention of Ruff and Romberg. It can only be concluded that these findings, which resulted from intentioned deaths, form the basis of the paragraph quoted above from the final report. Because of the nature of the subject matter, and a prior knowledge of the observations in the autopsies in the experiments, the ideas expressed in the paragraph quoted above cannot be separated from those in the Rascher report of 11 May. So testified the expert witness Dr. A. C. Ivy. (Tr. p. 9151.) All of this proves again that the testimony of Ruff and Romberg to the effect they had nothing to do with the so-called “Rascher experiments” is completely false. Even though deaths are not specifically mentioned in the joint report of 28 July, it is clear from Dr. Ivy’s testimony that the findings in the death cases form the basis for a part of that report.

Ruff and Romberg would have the Tribunal believe that the experiments were completed and the chamber removed from Dachau by 20 May 1942. Since Romberg knew of and reported on the deaths to Ruff in April, there clearly was no excuse whatever to leave the chamber in Dachau for even another day. But according to their own story, it stayed until 20 May and Romberg saw two more men killed. They attempted to gloss over their criminal participation in these later murders by saying that the chamber could not be moved without orders from the Luftwaffe Medical Inspector. Be that as it may, such a technical violation of moving the chamber without orders is hardly comparable to the crime of leaving the chamber for further experiments by a man whom they admit they knew to have been a murderer. Indeed, any decent superior who was not himself a party to the crime, as they actually were, would undoubtedly have court-martialed Ruff and Romberg for leaving the chamber there, not to speak of Rascher.

But it is not true that the chamber left Dachau on 20 May 1942 as they perjuriously stated. They seized upon this date from Milch’s letter to Wolff stating that the chamber was needed elsewhere. (343-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 62.) There clearly was an intention to transfer the chamber, but it was not in fact moved and this was undoubtedly due to the joint efforts of Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher. Romberg was anxious to continue his criminal work with Rascher in September 1942 as has been pointed out above. In any event, on 4 June 1942, Milch authorized retention of the chamber in Dachau for two more months. (NO-261, Pros. Ex. 63.) On 25 June this order was passed on to Rascher by Heckenstaller, adjutant to Wolff, reference being made to a letter of 5 June from Rascher. (NO-284, Pros. Ex. 64.) These documents prove beyond doubt that the chamber remained in Dachau until July 1942.

The testimony of Neff not only proves that the experiments continued until July 1942 but also that Romberg was presented with a remarkable opportunity to discontinue the experiments without any trouble whatever. Neff stated that Romberg told him in the latter part of May that the chamber was to be transferred (undoubtedly as a result of Milch’s letter of 20 May which was later countermanded) and, under the impression that Romberg might not be in favor of any continuation of the experiments, he sabotaged the chamber by breaking a glass barometer in order to make sure the chamber would be sent away. Instead of seizing this opportunity for stopping the experiments by removing the damaged chamber, Romberg rushed to Berlin, obtained spare parts, and in a matter of 2 weeks had the chamber functioning again for more murderous experiments. (Tr. pp. 623-4.) The chamber was used for another 3 weeks after it was repaired and five persons were killed on the last day of the experiments. (Tr. p. 624.) Although the defense attacked Neff on cross-examination concerning the sabotage of the chamber (Tr. p. 663), by the time Romberg took the stand they admitted the chamber was damaged but moved the whole incident to the month of May instead of June. (Tr. p. 6905.) This was obviously done on the theory that the Tribunal could be deceived into believing that very few experiments could have been conducted in May since they contend the chamber was moved on 20 May. But the documents and Neff’s testimony clearly established that the chamber was there until July. Moreover, it matters little whether the chamber was damaged in May or June. Romberg in no event took the opportunity to stop the experiments on the ground of unavailable spare parts, although this opportunity would not have been needed if he really wanted to discontinue them. He need have done nothing more complex than to have sent the chamber away or left himself.

Ruff’s and Romberg’s guilt is beyond doubt when we consider that they did not take the opportunity to withdraw after the first death of an experimental subject in April 1942. Romberg admitted his presence at the death of this first subject. (Tr. p. 6924.) He was studying the electrocardiogram at the time of the experiments (NO-476, Pros. Ex. 40), but he would have the Tribunal find that he was an innocent bystander who was privileged to do nothing. This was just another “SS experiment” according to Romberg. But Romberg admitted that he was working the electrocardiogram and was studying the point of light that follows the heart. When he saw that the critical point had been reached, he said he spoke to Rascher (Tr. p. 6927), but to no avail as Rascher continued the experiment until death resulted. This testimony of assumed impotence when a man was slowly killed before his eyes is an insult to one’s intelligence. Romberg was the senior scientist and was fully aware of the fact that the danger zone had been reached as he was thoroughly familiar with the equipment being used. He has outlined for the Tribunal the proximity of the electrocardiogram to the controls of the chamber (Tr. p. 6929), and it is inconceivable that Romberg could not have taken the necessary action to have spared this experimental subject’s life if he had so desired. The inescapable fact is that these deaths were part of the plan and Romberg not only had no desire to interfere but was very much interested in the cause of death through air embolism.

Assuming that Romberg was opposed to this fatal experiment, it is impossible to understand why he did not take the appropriate action to have Rascher prosecuted for this premeditated murder. The fact of the matter is that Romberg merely reported this death to Ruff (Tr. p. 6932), and no appropriate action was taken by Ruff either. Although alleging an objection to this fatality, Romberg admits participation in the autopsy of the unfortunate victim. This autopsy clearly bore out the fact that air embolism was the cause of death. When asked if he participated in this autopsy, Romberg answered, “Yes, I watched one autopsy. That was my duty.” (Tr. p. 6924.) Romberg testified that he saw two other deaths and that air embolism also caused those. (Tr. pp. 6925-6.)

Ruff and Romberg lay great stress on the point that deaths are not mentioned in the joint report of 28 July 1942 of Romberg, Ruff, and Rascher. This, of course, is a very understandable omission, but it in no way proves that they are not responsible for those murders. Indeed, the joint report of 28 July 1942 (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66) is identical with Rascher’s report of 11 May 1942 (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61) except for the specific mentioning of the deaths. For example, paragraph 3 of the Rascher report is a summary of part III-1, pages 3 to 18, and part III-2, pages 18 to 19 of the joint final report. Paragraph 4 of Rascher’s report contains results set out in part III-4, pages 21 to 22, of the joint final report. Paragraph 5 of Rascher’s report is identical with part III-3, pages 19 to 21, of the joint final report. Paragraph 6 of the Rascher report where the pervitin experiments are mentioned is alluded to in the pervitin data in the joint final report on page 18. Paragraph 7 of the Rascher report contains the conclusions incorporated in the joint final report and gives details on the gas bubble data which are referred to on pages 16 to 18 of the joint final report, but from which is omitted reference to the autopsy results of the murdered prisoners. These various passages were compared by the witness Ivy and he concluded that they refer to the same subject matter. (Tr. p. 9097.)

Ruff attempts to explain the omission of mention of deaths in the final report on the ground that the deaths did not occur as a result of their experiments on rescue from high altitudes (i. e., parachute descending tests), but rather in Rascher’s own experiments with which they had nothing to do (i. e., prolonged stay at high altitudes). (Tr. p. 6592.) It has already been proved that the basic premise to this spurious argument is completely false, since Ruff and Romberg themselves were not interested in sojourn at high altitudes. The self-experiments of Romberg and Rascher were just such tests and they are specifically mentioned in the final report. These involved a stay of 30 to 40 minutes at altitudes between 12 and 13.5 kilometers (39,400 to 44,290 feet). But so also is the minor premise wrong. Deaths were deliberately brought about in the course of the parachute descending tests. In these tests it had been noted that the subjects suffered from spasmodic and clonic convulsions together with paralysis. This is reported in paragraph 3 of Rascher’s memorandum of 11 May 1942 on the experiments and also on pages 13 through 18 of the final report. In his memorandum, Rascher stated:

“To find out whether the severe psychic and physical effects, as mentioned under No. 3, are due to the formation of embolism, the following was done: After relative recuperation from such a parachute descending test had taken place, however before regaining consciousness, some VP’s were kept under water until they died. When the skull and the cavities of the breast and of the abdomen had been opened under water, an enormous amount of air embolism was found in the vessels of the brain, the coronary vessels, and the vessels of the liver and the intestines, etc.” [Emphasis supplied.] (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61.)

This proves beyond any doubt that murders were committed in the parachute descending tests of Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher. Ruff again tried to deceive the Tribunal by testifying that it was substantially impossible for air embolism to form in parachute descending tests. This is obviously disproved by the statement of Rascher quoted above and by the reference in the final report, already mentioned above, which alludes to this same problem. But the lie was also squarely nailed by the expert witness Ivy, who testified that it was possible for air embolism to form in subjects who were at altitudes above 12,000 meters (39,400 feet) only 3 minutes, that is to say, subjects who bailed out at 15,000 meters. Bubbles may form as low as 30,000 feet. (Tr. p. 9102.) Thus, the defense that no deaths occurred during the experiments concerning rescue from high altitudes is completely spurious.

Moreover, it should be noted that while the joint final report does not describe any of the death cases, it also does not deny that deaths occurred. On page 25 of the original, it says: “In conclusion, we must make it particularly clear that, in view of the extreme experimental conditions in this whole experimental series, no fatality and no lasting injury due to oxygen lack occurred.” (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) The deaths described in Rascher’s report quoted above were not due to lack of oxygen but were deliberate killings to investigate air embolism.

But even the experiments which Ruff, Romberg, and Weltz admit were planned and performed under their responsibility were highly dangerous to the life and health of the subjects. Both Ruff and Romberg agreed that 12,000 meters was the upper limit of safety and that experiments of the type they performed above that altitude were hazardous. The description of the reaction of the subjects as set forth in the final report proves that the subject suffered severe convulsions and prolonged periods of disorientation. The expert witness Ivy pointed out that the experiments described in the final report of Ruff, Romberg, and Weltz were highly dangerous for the following reasons:

“I consider them to be dangerous because of the prolonged period of unconsciousness to which the subjects were exposed. For example, they were unconscious for periods of around twenty minutes, and they were disoriented for periods of around thirty to ninety minutes. That is a dangerous period of oxygen lack to which to expose the brain. I agree that * * * the electrocardiogram demonstrates that the heart of these subjects was not momentarily affected or significantly affected by this prolonged exposure to oxygen lack. But these experiments do not show, or the results do not show that the cells of the brain were not injured. One of the higher faculties of the brain is learning, and we know that the learning process is rather sensitive to oxygen lack, and the only way to check against the possibility of damage of the learning mechanism by prolonged exposure to oxygen lack would have been to have determined the I. Q. of these subjects or the ability of these subjects to learn before and after the subjects were exposed to such a prolonged period of oxygen lack.” (Tr. p. 9036.)

Dr. Ivy testified that the experiments described in the final report had reached the physiological limit and that work was being done in a very dangerous and hazardous zone as far as the welfare of the experimental subjects was concerned. He said that he should be reluctant to perform such experiments even on himself and that he would prefer to depend upon that degree of accuracy which could be obtained from calculations of the results of animal experiments. (Tr. pp. 9081, 9112, and 9197.)

Finally it should be noted that the experiments were neither necessary nor a scientific success. “Necessity of the State” has been much used by the defendants as if it were a defense. This is clearly unfounded even though necessity, military or otherwise, be assumed. It is to be supposed that each defendant thought there was some necessity to what he was doing. This is no defense. Rascher thought the same thing. It was deemed necessary to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of persons in concentration camps. It was deemed necessary to murder millions of Jews. The slave labor policy was bottomed on necessity. If that is a defense, then these trials lose all meaning. But, on the other hand if it is proved that these experiments were not necessary, not of scientific value, then it makes the guilty even more guilty. The brutal sacrifice of human life was to no avail. And such was the case here. Hippke, Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe, when writing his thanks to Himmler on 8 October 1942 said the following:

“It is true that no conclusions as to the practice of parachuting can be drawn for the time being, as a very important factor, namely, cold has so far not yet been taken into consideration; it places an extraordinary excess burden on the entire body and its vital movements, so that the results in actual practice will very likely prove to be far more unfavorable than in the present experiments.” (NO-289, Pros. Ex. 72.)

When asked his opinion concerning the necessity for the typical experiment described on page 13 of the final report of Ruff, Romberg, and Rascher, the witness Ivy testified:

“I do not believe that it was necessary to do this experiment in order to determine the equipment to supply aviators who have to bail out of an airplane at high altitude.” (Tr. p. 9035.)

The witness Ivy stated further that the information which was obtained by these experiments on concentration camp inmates could have been obtained from animals as indicated by the results of Lutz’ and Wendt’s animal work referred to in the final report. The differences in the reactions of human subjects and animals, as reported by Lutz and Wendt, were not sufficient to warrant the carrying out of these hazardous experiments on human beings. (Tr. p. 9036.)


c. Selections From the Argumentation of the Defense

EXTRACTS FROM THE CLOSING BRIEF FOR DEFENDANT RUFF[19]


Certainly Dr. Ruff gave his agreement and approval to high-altitude tests with a low-pressure chamber of the Reich Air Ministry being performed by his collaborator of many years, Dr. Romberg, together with Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher, in a concentration camp, using concentration camp inmates as experimental subjects. He agreed after the performance of urgent experiments in the Dachau concentration camp had already been agreed upon in principle and approved by Professor Dr. Hippke and Professor Dr. Weltz.

Therefore, the question arises whether these high-altitude experiments were already illegal for the reason that they were performed on concentration camp inmates.

This question must be denied for only such inmates were used for the experiments as had volunteered for them, or who at least were regarded by Ruff as volunteers and could be regarded as such in view of the whole situation, and no one could reproach him for having erred in this respect because other persons had perhaps deceived him about these facts.

There are, however, some witnesses who apparently maintain that the prisoners used in the Ruff-Romberg experiments were not volunteers. Above all the witnesses Vieweg and Neff are of this opinion.

During his direct examination on 13 December 1946 the witness Vieweg mentioned a series of various experiments which were performed at the Dachau concentration camp. Referring in particular to the high-altitude experiments there, which alone can be considered in the indictment against Dr. Ruff, he states firstly that high-altitude experiments with the low-pressure chamber were performed on 10 patients; “for these experiments frequently patients and also male nurses were used who during the experiments were seen in the corridor of the adjacent hospital ward.”

By this Vieweg apparently wanted to point out that these “patients” and “also the nurses” were not volunteers. These 10 “official experimental subjects” had been well fed and supplied with smokes, but in addition to these 10 so-called “exhibition patients”, a large number of people had been selected from the camp who were again and again sent to the high-altitude experiment institute. That happened to a block leader who probably had pneumonia a few hours later and ended in the sick bay mortuary. The same happened in the malaria department of the witness Vieweg. One day a patient who had some differences with Zill, the leader of the camp, concerning protective custody, was sent to the experimental institute, and he (Vieweg) found him in the mortuary the next day. He (Vieweg) knows by hearsay that, “a great number of patients who took part in these experiments died, and ended up in the sick bay mortuary.” (German Tr. p. 476.)

Between the lines of this rather obscure and vague statement one may read that, according to Vieweg’s statement, these further experimental subjects, and especially those who had died during the experiments, did not belong to the 10 “official experimental subjects” and had not been volunteers. However, in the direct examination by the prosecution the witness Vieweg did not express himself explicitly about this alleged compulsion of the so-called experimental subjects.

During the cross-examination by the defense counsel of Dr. Romberg, the witness Vieweg explained his expression, the “10 exhibition patients”. (German Tr. p. 485.) The 10 selected patients who were used for the high-altitude tests had been accommodated in a special room and had been well nourished; they had been exhibited, and they had been presented to Himmler during one of his visits. Himmler made them big promises; if they survived, they would be set free * * * these 10 patients had been drawn into the experiments * * * they had told him (Vieweg) that they were very exhausted by the whole affair, but as far as he could remember “they all survived” (German Tr. pp. 486, 489). On being questioned the witness Vieweg repeatedly stated (German Tr. pp. 486, 487, 489), that as far as he could remember Dr. Rascher had carried out the experiments himself. The only thing Vieweg could state about participation of “Luftwaffe officers” in these high-altitude experiments, was that some Luftwaffe officers “had also been there”. But he could not say anything about the actual participation of the Luftwaffe officers. From the description on page 501 (German Transcript) these two gentlemen of the Luftwaffe certainly were not identical with Buff and Romberg. He himself (Vieweg) had only talked with these 10 official experimental subjects, the so-called “exhibition patients”, but not with any of the other experimental subjects. He himself had never observed that these other prisoners were used for high-altitude tests, but he had been told about it frequently. Vieweg repeatedly stated that the 10 official experimental subjects had still been alive at the end of the experiments (German Tr. p. 489), that no deaths had occurred among them.

So much for the statement of the witness Vieweg. It is, of course, unreliable because it does not establish a clear distinction between the high-altitude experiments authorized by Ruff and carried out with the cooperation of Dr. Romberg, and other experiments in the low-pressure chamber which Rascher undertook by order of Himmler, without the authorization or previous knowledge of Dr. Ruff and without the cooperation of Dr. Romberg. This distinction, which is of decisive importance in judging this case, only appears in Vieweg’s statement insofar as the 10 official experimental subjects (the so-called “exhibition patients”) were exclusively used for the first experiments (Ruff-Romberg-Rascher), whereas other prisoners were used for the other experiments (by Rascher alone). Of course, the significance of this distinction was not clear to Vieweg at that time and could not be observed by him because Vieweg did not know anything at all about Dr. Ruff’s activity and since he did not know anything at all about the agreements which had been reached between Dr. Ruff and Dr. Rascher.

Apart from these obscurities one has to regard the statement of the witness Vieweg with the greatest reserve for another reason. Vieweg is the witness who, with unusual unscrupulousness, committed plain perjury in the sessions of 13 and 16 December 1946. He tried first (German Tr. p. 474) to give the impression that he had been sent to the concentration camp without any reason, that he had been committed for “political protective security”. This representation of the witness Vieweg is completely in accordance with his previous behavior, because formerly he had generally pretended to be politically persecuted—an innocent man who had been thrown into a concentration camp without ever having learned the reason. Under this false pretense he offered himself as witness for this trial, and because of this misrepresentation he was presented as a witness by the prosecution whom he had deceived. However, during cross-examination, Vieweg had to admit that in 1934 he was sentenced to 4 and to 6 years’ penal servitude for forgery of documents and fraud, that is to say for common crimes which, as a rule, have nothing to do with politics. On repeated questioning the witness Vieweg stated again and again (German Tr. pp. 483 ff.) that he could not remember having received any other previous conviction in addition to those 4 and 6 years’ penal servitude. He insisted on this statement, even though he had been repeatedly reminded that he was under oath. His stereotype phrase was, he could not remember; he even emphasized that he had deposed to this or that under oath (German Tr. p. 484), and he continued to insist on his statement, even though he was told that his previous convictions could be determined without difficulty since his files had been sent for.

Now, let us compare the testimony given under oath with the list of convictions of the witness Vieweg, which was submitted as Document Ruff 24.

Besides the 4 and 6 years of penal servitude which he admitted, the witness Vieweg received in reality not less than 6 prison terms prior to 1934, among them 5 years’ penal servitude and 5 years’ loss of civil rights for repeated grave thefts.

This extract from the penal register shows why the witness Vieweg had such a “bad memory”. He never was politically persecuted, as he pretended to be, but he is the type of incorrigible professional criminal who could not be changed or educated even by the most severe penalty. If anybody deserved to be sent to a concentration camp it was this Vieweg. But even the 5 years he spent in the concentration camp did not help. For now he is again in prison, in Bamberg, where charges were brought against him on 5 March 1947 at the District Court for forgery of documents and fraud, as well as for five cases of repeated theft, for attempted abortion, for active bribery, and for black market dealings.

This incorrigible professional criminal allowed himself to be presented here as a star witness for the prosecution against an honorable, blameless citizen, as which Dr. Ruff emerged in the course of this trial. Can the Court base its verdict on the statements of a person like Vieweg, who on top of everything shamelessly lied to the Tribunal and committed the worst possible perjury.

The other witness presented by the prosecution for the Dachau experiments is Walter Neff.[20] He is at present in the Dachau camp for war criminals and will soon have to stand trial himself before the American Tribunal, for experiments in which he took an active part. This witness Neff, who not only continuously participated in the successful experiments of Dr. Romberg, but also in the inhuman freezing experiments, in the deadly “severe experiments” of Rascher, and who cooperated in many other cruelties, is, I think the last who should appear as a witness against a man like Dr. Ruff, or condemn him.

Let us recall what this witness said about himself at the close of his testimony. According to his own admission, he produced three prisoners (a certain Robert Wagner, a prisoner named Hutterer, and a man named Sammendinger) for deadly experiments, on his own initiative without being ordered to do so. According to his own testimony, he delivered these three people over to a violent death; he murdered them. It is characteristic of his ethics that he even boasted of this act here in the courtroom! (German Tr. pp. 737-739.) That does not trouble his conscience, as he himself declared under oath (German Tr. p. 737); he is just the type of those inmates who, to quote his own words “were often worse than the SS in their cruelty and brutality”. (German Tr. p. 737.) That is the second witness who was presented against Dr. Ruff by the prosecution. The one, an unscrupulous swindler, an incorrigible habitual criminal, an old jailbird; and the other a murderer many times over whose hands are stained with much blood—a murderer who boasts that he has no conscience. Is the Court to lend credence to such people? These witnesses quite obviously believed they would be able to elude the hangman’s noose by saddling other defendants with untrue, fabricated statements.

All those facts are a warning that Neff’s testimony, too, must be regarded with considerable caution. At any rate, his testimony has a certain importance for Dr. Ruff inasmuch as Neff (German Tr. p. 652) confirms that Dr. Ruff was in Dachau only on one single occasion during the high-altitude experiments. Thus the truth of Dr. Ruff’s own testimony has been established. Furthermore, the witness Neff, states in his testimony of 17 December 1946 that “10 prisoners, designated as permanent experimental subjects, were taken to the station and told that nothing would happen to them; they were especially assured of this”. (German Tr. p. 711.) The witness Neff then told of the killing of the 16 Russians who were sentenced to death and who were murdered by Dr. Rascher. However, according to Dr. Neff, this act was carried out by Dr. Rascher together with the two members of the SS, while Dr. Romberg was not even present on that day. (German Tr. pp. 654, 656.) Special importance must be attached to the witness Neff’s further assertion regarding a Jewish tailor who worked in the sick bay. Neff called Dr. Romberg’s attention to the fact that this man was not sentenced to death, and Romberg thereupon immediately went to Rascher with Neff in order “to set matters straight”. Upon intervention by Dr. Romberg, Rascher then actually sent the tailor back; when the accompanying SS man again threatened the Jew, Rascher again intervened and “immediately had the man (the tailor) brought to safety in the bunker”. (German Tr. p. 655.) Again, in the case of a second inmate, a Czech, who wrongly and without his consent had been brought in for the experiments, Dr. Romberg, according to Neff’s report, intervened on behalf of the prisoner, with the result that Dr. Rascher entered a complaint against the criminal SS man with the camp commander, Piorkowski. Thereupon, the SS man was immediately transferred to Lublin. In that way the Czech was saved from certain death by Dr. Romberg.

This testimony of the witness Neff plays an important part in answering the question whether or not the experimental subjects used were volunteers, and also, what Dr. Romberg, and therefore Dr. Ruff, knew about them and what Dr. Romberg’s attitude was toward this question. In this connection, Neff said: “Romberg, Ruff’s deputy, therefore, did not want any dangerous experiments. He tolerated no murder and considered only experiments with volunteers.”

However, the further assertions of the witness Neff suffer from the same shortcomings as those of the witness Vieweg; for Neff also did not know that only part of the high-altitude experiments in Dachau were carried out with the approval of Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg; nor did Neff have any knowledge of the agreements made by the participating physicians, and he therefore treated all high-altitude experiments equally, without distinguishing whether or not Dr. Ruff had agreed to them that there “were 180 to 200 inmates who participated in high-altitude experiments” (German Tr. p. 656) and that “during the altitude flight experiments, 70 to 80 people lost their lives.” These figures may be correct, but they refer to the whole of the Dachau low-pressure chamber experiments; that is, they also include the experiments which Dr. Rascher made on his own authority, without the prior knowledge of Dr. Ruff, and in which alone all the fatalities occurred; while in the legitimate experiments—that is, those approved by Dr. Ruff—no fatality occurred at all. Of course, Neff could not know all this. As he said himself it was impossible for him to distinguish “from whom the order came for the individual experiment, and in whose interest the experiment was made.” (German Tr. p. 715.)

The same shortcoming is demonstrated by Neff’s testimony with regard to the nationality of the experimental subjects (German Tr. pp. 656, 657) and the manner of their “selection”. However, Neff’s testimony does show that the selection of the experimental subjects was carried out in two different ways: For the “dangerous experiments” Rascher ordered the subjects through the local headquarters, and they were produced by the SS; they were therefore people condemned to death (German Tr. p. 663), for the “serial experiments”. On the other hand, and “for most of the other experiments which took place, the people were brought to the experimental station from the blocks, that is, from the camp” (German Tr. p. 657) by the block leaders. (German Tr. p. 663.) These “serial experiments” were obviously the experiments approved by Ruff, and Neff expressly establishes that “volunteers reported for these experiments”! (German Tr. pp. 657, 712.) He even gives the reasons why the prisoners volunteered: As Rascher, and Himmler too, had promised various inmates that, “if they, participated in the experiments, they would be given a better labor assignment”, and as Himmler promised that they might even be released, volunteers reported to Rascher on their own initiative as he went through the camp, without any special efforts being necessary to find volunteers (German Tr. p. 657).

There can be no doubt that these volunteers, estimated by Neff to number about 10, are identical with the 10 “official experimental subjects” or “exhibition patients” mentioned already by the witness Vieweg, and it is noteworthy that Dr. Ruff, too, in his testimony always spoke of 10 or 12, or at the most 15 persons from the very beginning (of course he did not count them himself), who were regularly called in for the high-altitude experiments, and whom he saw himself when he was once present to observe and check the experiments in Dachau. This number Dr. Ruff had mentioned at a time when Neff’s and Vieweg’s testimony was not yet available. He therefore could not have anticipated that these witnesses would confirm his figures as correct.

To be sure, the witness Neff testified in another place (German Tr. p. 666) that the first 10 experimental subjects were not volunteers. But this statement is obviously in direct contradiction to his other testimony which, in the last analysis implied—and could not be interpreted otherwise—that the so-called “10 official experimental subjects” were those prisoners who had voluntarily offered themselves, who were given all possible privileges in return, who were promised rewards for their service by Rascher as well as by Himmler, and who were repeatedly reassured that nothing would happen to them during the experiments. This whole presentation would be incomprehensible if one were to assume that these 10 persons were involuntary subjects as well, that they were simply ordered to take part in the experiments, forced to participate, for them all this would not have been necessary at all, since at that time nobody in a concentration camp would have thought of troubling himself about these people, if they had been forced against their will to take part in the experiments.

In a concentration camp, according to the opinion of Himmler and his men, 1,000 people were of no consequence. Therefore, if efforts were made to obtain these inmates for the experiments, and to get them willingly, if even a Himmler found kind words to say to them and promised them rewards, then as we know today, this can only be explained by the assumption that even in concentration camps, for some reason, it was desirable to obtain voluntary subjects for the experiments and to induce them to go through the experiments voluntarily. This assumption is not refuted by the contrary assertion of Neff (German Tr. p. 666). For 1½ days, during his examination on 17 and 18 December 1947, Neff did not know that these first 10 experimental subjects had not been volunteers. For 1½ days he did not dare to make such an assertion here in the witness box, and only during the cross-examination did he finally go so far as to make this assertion, thereby completely overthrowing his previous statements.

This allegation of the multiple murderer Neff now stands, however, completely isolated. There can be no doubt that, if these statements by Neff were true, it would have been easy for the office of the public prosecutor to produce numerous other witnesses who, likewise, had been inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau, who had perhaps experienced these experiments themselves, or who had spoken to subjects of these experiments or had even observed the experiments. However, not a single outsider, not a single incontestable witness has been produced, although half a year has elapsed since the days when, here in the courtroom, one could not fail to realize to what an unreliable and untrustworthy class persons of the caliber of Vieweg and Neff belong. This fact very strongly indicates that obviously no other witnesses are available, or could be made available, who could confirm that the experimental subjects who were used in the Ruff-Romberg altitude tests were not volunteers. Let the fact be mentioned here, for the sake of comparison, that in the case of the Gebhardt sulfanilamide operations for example, half a dozen incriminating witnesses were brought from Poland and Russia and were interrogated here as witnesses. Why was not a single trustworthy witness produced from among the Dachau experimental subjects and placed in the witness box? Because no one could be found, who could confirm the untrue allegations of a Vieweg and a Neff. On the other hand, during the trial, a whole series of persons who deserve a great deal more belief than Vieweg and Neff affirmed with certainty that all the experimental subjects in the Ruff-Romberg experiments were volunteers, and that from the very beginning the indispensable condition which was demanded and assured was that the subjects would be voluntary.

The witness Dr. Lutz for example, who was introduced by the office of the public prosecutor and therefore recognized by it as a credible witness, confirmed here on oath, “it was a tacit assumption that the criminals would volunteer”; and he added that he could almost say that, in a way, a favor was being conferred upon the criminals, because “they were given a chance of pardon by participating in the experiments,” and it is significant that this witness deposed further: “subsequently, we were very much surprised when, probably during the later stages of the experiments, as far as I recall now, no further mention was made of it,” namely, of the fact that only volunteers were to be used for the altitude experiments (German Tr. p. 320).

These depositions by the witness Dr. Lutz conform in every respect with the general impression received from all the pertinent descriptions. At first, only the altitude experiments approved by Dr. Ruff regarding the problem of “rescue from high altitudes” were carried out. These experiments were not dangerous as proved by their successful outcome; the inmates volunteered for them. Gradually, however, Rascher misused more and more the presence of the chamber in order to conduct his arbitrary experiments on Himmler’s orders for entirely different problems, namely, to conduct his notorious “difficult experiments” which had numerous fatal results. These were Rascher’s more cruel, painful experiments; naturally, no more volunteers reported for these because word was passed quickly through the camp that the experiments which Rascher himself conducted were dangerous, while the mere presence and cooperation of Dr. Romberg gave assurance to the inmates that his experiments were conscientiously conducted and were not dangerous.

Other witnesses also, not named by Dr. Ruff, have confirmed that the experimental subjects for the Ruff-Romberg high-altitude experiments were voluntary, namely, the witness Dr. Hielscher (German Tr. pp. 6025-26, 6041, 6062). Testimony on similar lines is given by the codefendant Sievers (German Tr. pp. 5471, 5881); and Dr. Hippke (German Tr. p. 793) “Prisoners who might volunteer”; (German Tr. p. 795) “these persons had to volunteer for the experiments.” Also the witness Karl Wolff, (Ruff 21, Ruff Ex. 20) “volunteer concentration camp inmates who were to be given compensatory privileges * * * the inmates, about 10 in number, appeared quite relaxed and, in their turn, willingly entered the low-pressure chamber which had been driven up * * * the inmates reported to Himmler, in my presence, that in this manner they could at least voluntarily * * * give a proof of their genuine good will * * * I never learned through Himmler, nor, as far as I remember, by any other means that later low-pressure chamber experiments * * * took place on a nonvoluntary basis * * * I only knew about voluntarily low-pressure chamber experiments and these were made, without doubt, on a voluntary basis.” Finally, the witness Herbert Wilschewske (Ruff 11, Ruff Ex. 9).

While the previous witness Wolff was only present for 1 day during the experiments, the witness Wilschewske, during the 2 years he spent in the concentration camp, spoke repeatedly to inmates who “had volunteered for the medical experiments”, and who, by reason of his repeated conversations with the prisoners, could give the following as reason for the willingness to volunteer for experiments “they could earn thereby their own liberty and rehabilitation as well as privileges for their family.” The witness Wilschewske is certainly an absolutely reliable witness with regard to his statements. He is a Polish Communist, served 2 years in Dachau concentration camp for this, and was proved to be only a political prisoner.

If one considers all these statements by witnesses, which certify that the experimental subjects in the Dachau high-altitude experiments of Drs. Ruff and Romberg were volunteers, it cannot be doubted that the concordant statements by Dr. Ruff, Dr. Romberg, and Dr. Weltz were absolutely true. They are defendants, it is true; but from all sides testimony is given of their irreproachable professional integrity. Although they are now sitting in the dock, their precise and clear statements deserve far more belief than the changing and contradictory statements of a habitual criminal who has committed downright perjury in this Court, or of a murderer who is actually more deserving of a place in this dock than these defendants are.

The correctness of this conception is confirmed again on the one hand by the fact—already mentioned in another connection—that Dr. Romberg, as has been proved repeatedly, actively intervened and prevented the use of experimental subjects for experiments by Rascher when he could see that nonvoluntary experimental subjects were to be used, and on the other hand, it was known that in the high-altitude experiments which Dr. Ruff had carried out with Dr. Romberg only voluntary experimental subjects could be used, and only with voluntary experimental subjects could the experiments succeed. The whole idea of this type of high-altitude experiment (the Ruff-Romberg method) was based on the theory that the experimental subject, immediately on recovering from the state of unconsciousness—the “high-altitude malady”—reaches up with his arm and pulls down the handle of the parachute, which in practice reduces the speed of the fall, insuring the flier of a smooth landing on the ground. All this necessitated active cooperation on the part of the experimental subject; one was absolutely dependent on his cooperation, otherwise each of these experiments would have been useless right from the start. Naturally, Dr. Ruff knew this, as did Dr. Romberg, and therefore for them the first and most important condition for each experiment of this type was that the experimental subject should be voluntary (see Ruff’s statement in German Tr. pp. 6638-40). There are therefore also important inherent reasons why the statements by Ruff and Romberg are correct.

Actually the high-altitude experiments carried out in Dachau were successful. They were of considerable help in clarifying the problem of “rescue from great heights”, and this was only possible when the experimental subjects themselves cooperated when they took part in the experiments voluntarily and took an interest in them. This was, by the way, also the reason why this type of high-altitude experiment could not be made with animals as experimental subjects, a fact which, for example, Ruff and Romberg pointed out in their summary report of 28 July 1942. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.)

I come, therefore, to the following conclusion: There can be no doubt that the experimental subjects for the Dachau high-altitude experiments were volunteers, at least as far as the experiments authorized by Ruff are concerned. Whether volunteers reported for the special experiments continued by Dr. Rascher or whether the prisoners were forced into the experiments by Dr. Rascher does not need to be examined, because Ruff and Romberg did not participate in those experiments in any way. But even if any doubt as to their being volunteers were possible, it cannot be denied that Ruff and Romberg were firmly convinced that all their experimental subjects actually were volunteers. This was stipulated from the very beginning, and in all the discussions of Dr. Ruff with Hippke, Weltz, and the representative of the SS, Ruff was consequently convinced that only volunteers were actually concerned.

Dr. Ruff’s conviction was strengthened through personal conversation with various prisoners on that day on which he himself went to Dachau to control the execution of the experiments and to ascertain that everything was carried out in a completely orderly manner. And finally in this connection it cannot be overlooked that Dr. Ruff, as he has stated under oath and as is confirmed by numerous affidavits, had never at any other time in his life worked with nonvoluntary experimental subjects. Just because he considered it indispensable for the success of the experiments that the experimental subjects were volunteers, that they themselves cooperate, Dr. Ruff never thought that the Dachau prisoners were not fully and completely in agreement with the experiments.


It is obvious that the voluntary character of these experimental subjects, whether an actual fact or whether Dr. Ruff deluded himself into believing that this was the case, does not in itself relieve him of all responsibility. On the contrary, Dr. Ruff himself is of the opinion that, besides voluntariness, several other conditions would have to be fulfilled before the experiments and the way in which they were performed could be considered lawful:

1. The experiment would have to be necessary, particularly necessary in the interests of aviation and thus essential to the fatherland’s war effort. This condition is obviously fulfilled. This is confirmed above all by the statement of the witness Dr. Hippke who stated that it was Dr. Ruff’s duty to work on the research tasks assigned to him by the Medical Inspectorate of the Luftwaffe and to submit reports on them to the Medical Inspectorate.

The experiments carried out by Ruff were necessary, for “high-altitude experiments in particular have been undertaken intensively in America, too, because the question of pressure drop [Drucksturz] and the cabin development is of particular importance.” (Ruff 23, Ruff Ex. 22.) Dr. Hippke developed this point of view not only during the trial but stated it very clearly in his letter to Himmler, dated as early as 8 October 1942 (NO-289, Pros. Ex. 72), where he writes: “These-experiments represent a very valuable and important supplement. The fact that such an extreme deficiency of oxygen can be endured at all for some time is very encouraging for further research.” Dr. Hippke’s opinion about the necessity of the high-altitude experiments is therefore extremely important because Hippke was the highest official expert in that field in Germany at that time.

But most of all, the absolute necessity of Ruff’s experiments is acknowledged by all experts who testified in this trial in connection with these problems. I recall, for example, the statements of the witness Dr. Scheiber that “at a later judgment of Dr. Ruff’s scientific work, his name will be remembered together with the names of all of those well-known scientific research workers who, by personal, devoted, and heroic effort, rendered immeasurable service to the advance of science and therewith to the welfare of humanity.” Professor Dr. Strughold expresses himself in a similar way in his affidavit. He was chief of a German institute for aviation medicine for several years and writes concerning Dr. Ruff that “he (Ruff) can be considered as a man who surpasses by far many academically proficient and recognized scientists as far as scientific experience and scientific success is concerned.” Of particular importance, however, seems to be the opinion of Dr. Grauer, who is at present in America as a research worker and experimenter in matters of aviation medicine.


According to the opinion of the Air Force General, Adolf Galland, and the statements of all the other experts, it is an established fact that the Dachau experiments of Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg were absolutely necessary.

This necessity does not cease to exist because the people concerned realized that with this first series of experiments, carried out in Dachau in the spring of 1942, the problem in question (rescue from high altitudes) was not yet entirely solved. Ruff and Romberg pointed out in their final report of 28 July 1942, that the “danger of freezing has to be considered.” On the basis of this final report the medical inspector, Dr. Hippke, later pointed out in his letter to Himmler of 10 October 1942 (NO-289, Pros. Ex. 72) that in the Dachau high-altitude experiments of Ruff and Romberg of spring 1942, “a very important factor was not yet taken into consideration, namely freezing.” He remarked, however, at the same time that “the necessary supplementary work was started meanwhile.” Hippke did not leave any doubt that this fact would not impair the value and the importance of the Dachau high-altitude experiments, which he stressed; for it is in the nature of such experiments that both parts of the problem, high altitude and freezing temperatures, cannot be dealt with simultaneously, but that at first only one part must be considered, then the other. This was Ruff’s plan from the very beginning, and the special experiments with regard to the influence of freezing temperatures on descent from high altitudes were carried out according to plan in the Berlin institute of Dr. Ruff in the summer and fall of 1942. (Compare this with Dr. Grauer’s affidavit of 28 January 1947.)

Another prerequisite for the justification of the high-altitude experiments undertaken by Ruff and Romberg lies in the requirement that the experiments should not be extended any further than is necessary for the solution of the problems presented. This requirement, too, was fulfilled by Dr. Ruff. It is confirmed by his own testimony (German Tr. p. 6704), as well as by the testimony of Dr. Romberg (German Tr. pp. 6879-80), that Dr. Romberg was sent by Dr. Ruff to Dachau with a definite program which carefully outlined the kind as well as the extent of the experiments to be carried out. Only the problem of “rescue from high altitude” was to be investigated. Only experiments for this purpose were ordered by Dr. Ruff. Dr. Romberg was not allowed to undertake experiments for any other purposes, and the experiments were to be carried on only until either the problem was solved or its solution found impossible. Had Dr. Romberg not adhered to this program, which had been strictly outlined, had he carried out further experiments behind Dr. Ruff’s back, the latter could in no case have been responsible for them. Since he was not told of such further experiments by Dr. Romberg, he could not stop them. However, it must be stated expressly that Dr. Romberg adhered to Dr. Ruff’s orders; he did not carry out more extensive experiments than he had been permitted and had been ordered; this was done alone and solely by Dr. Rascher. The latter, however, was in no way subordinated to Dr. Ruff, nor to Dr. Romberg; moreover, he would certainly not have taken any orders from either of them. The final report Ruff-Romberg-Rascher of 28 July 1942 (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66) furnishes clear proof of the fact that Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg were at all times conscious of their duty to restrict experiments to the extent which seemed absolutely necessary in order to explore a problem which was all-important at the time and to carry out no experiments which could not be considered especially important and of great consequence.

Even the introduction to this report of 28 July 1942 is significant for the delineation of the tasks set for these experiments. It reads: “Considering the urgency of finding a practical solution to this important problem [the rescue of airplane crews from high altitude], particularly in view of the prevailing experimental conditions, it was necessary to forego for the time being a detailed clarification of the purely scientific problems involved.” Here the basic tendency of all the experiments finds its clear expression. Only such practical requirements of aviation which could not be postponed during time of war should be solved, while investigations of purely scientific nature, without great practical significance, were to be excluded. This restriction of solutions sought demonstrates that the scientists in question (Ruff and Romberg) were not subject to the unbridled desire for experimentation which may be found in people of Rascher’s type.


Were the Ruff-Romberg high-altitude experiments in Dachau dangerous to life? If it is demanded that experiments on humans are carried out as humanely as possible, pain avoided wherever possible, and damage to health eliminated, it is obvious that deaths must be prevented in every way possible. The conscientious research worker will always start from the standpoint that experiments can only then be carried out when, according to human estimation and the experience of science, death can in no way be expected. According to German Law (Article 216 of the German Penal Code) the intentional killing of a person would not be legalized through his agreement, not even at his expressed desire.

To this question the presentation of evidence has shown the following:

1. In the Summary Report Ruff-Romberg-Rascher of 28 July 1942, it is “expressly stated that in the whole series of experiments no death and likewise no permanent oxygen deficiency damage occurred.” (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) In direct contradiction to this appears to be, at least at first glance, the intermediary report which Dr. Rascher alone made on his experiments on 5 April 1942 to the Reich Leader SS Himmler (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49) and also the following secret report, which likewise Dr. Rascher alone sent to Himmler on 11 May 1942. (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61.) These two special reports by Dr. Rascher prove that in the experiments described by Rascher alone several deaths occurred.

The explanation of the apparent contradiction is shown clearly by the presentation of evidence: In the experiments authorized by Dr. Ruff and carried out with his approval not a single death occurred. Only the arbitrary experiments which Rascher carried out without the approval of Dr. Ruff and against his will, and which were ordered by Himmler, were deadly.

This can be seen from Rascher’s intermediary report of 5 April 1942. (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49.) It falls into two parts.

In the first part Dr. Rascher describes the experiments carried out with Dr. Ruff’s approval. He states expressly, “the experiments conducted by myself and Dr. Romberg,” and he confirms that even “in a total of 15 extreme experiments, none of the experimental subjects died. Severe high-altitude sickness with unconsciousness occurred; however, the subject was always fully capable of action when approximately 7 km. was attained in the descent.”

In the second part, Rascher then describes his arbitrary experiments of which Ruff knew nothing, and was permitted to know nothing. This second part of the report is much more extensive and detailed than the first. That can be explained without difficulty because the experiments mentioned in this second part were carried out by Rascher himself; here he could describe the “merit” of the results he apparently gained all by himself. From this second part he obviously also hoped for complete new results for science, which he emphasized in the accompanying letter to Himmler of 5 April 1942, and he was obviously very proud that following his suggestions (as he emphasized) such “interesting standard experiments” were carried out. All this referred exclusively to the arbitrary experiments mentioned in the second part of the report, which Rascher carried out alone without the assistance of Dr. Romberg and without the authorization and previous knowledge of Dr. Ruff. (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49.)

Rascher himself made this distinction in his report (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49): He contrasts in the second part of his report the “extremely dangerous experiments” with the “experiments carried out by myself (Rascher) and Romberg,” while he specially asked for an “SS doctor from the camp as witness” for the arbitrary experiments of the second part of his report, as “I carried out these experiments by myself.” But surely Dr. Rascher had his reasons for specially requesting “a camp doctor as a witness” for these experiments (which are described in the second part of his report), but intentionally kept Dr. Romberg away. Dr. Rascher indicates these reasons in his accompanying letter of 5 April 1942, talking about difficulties which the Luftwaffe created for him up to that time, whose removal he hopes for by the intervention of SS Fuehrer Sievers. These difficulties which hindered the research work of Rascher were discussed in various other documents which concerned the use of the low-pressure chamber and its return to Dachau, which the SS tried to arrange but never succeeded.

If Dr. Rascher in his intermediary report (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49) emphasized that “only continuous experiments are fatal at heights above 10.5 km.”, this plainly confirms, in Dr. Rascher’s own words, what Ruff and Romberg stated from the very beginning, that two kinds of high-altitude experiments were carried out in Dachau with the low-pressure chamber. The one kind, which Dr. Romberg took part in and Dr. Ruff knew about, was carried out completely humanely and without any pain, and nothing happened; and the other kind, which Rascher carried out alone by order of Himmler, without Romberg and without the previous knowledge of Dr. Ruff, to which at one time an SS doctor was even asked to attend as a witness and which caused several fatalities.

This result is confirmed by the second report, which Rascher again alone (without the participation of Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg) submitted to Himmler, dated 11 May 1942, as a secret report (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61). He describes here the experiments which he carried out jointly with Dr. Romberg and again states: “On the average, the experimental subjects were in complete accord of their actions at 12-13 km.; no disturbances of any kind in the general condition occurred in any of these experiments,” and even less, of course, a fatality. Only among the experiments described under figures 6 and 7 of this secret report of Rascher’s did fatalities occur, and that “during a continued high-altitude experiment, for example after half an hour in an altitude of 12 km.” But these experiments (according to figures 6 and 7) were the arbitrary experiments in which Rascher had other aims in mind, which had nothing to do with Ruff’s problem of “saving from high altitudes,” and which were carried out by Rascher alone.

It is also interesting that Rascher still mentions the partial assistance of Dr. Romberg in his first report (of 5 April 1942) (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49) but does not say anything more in the final second report (of 11 May 1942), (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61) where he described the affair as though he alone had carried, out the experiments. Compare page 81, line 21: “Experiments carried out by myself”; or page 79, lines 15-16: “My heart experiments * * * that a very big sphere of work opened up for me,” etc. By that Rascher has clearly expressed that he did not have any assistance from Dr. Romberg in the experiments he thought particularly valuable, when he explains as particularly valuable his heart experiments and his observations concerning air embolism. Those were all experiments in which Ruff and Romberg had not the least interest, in which they never participated, and for which they would never have risked the health and the life of an experimental subject.

Even specialists like Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg could never understand the scientific or other aim which Rascher had in mind in the case of those arbitrary experiments with fatal endings. Even the layman can easily recognize the basic difference between the two categories of experiments. The legal experiments which had been authorized by Dr. Ruff were always restricted to a very short period of a few moments; but the fatal experiments of Dr. Rascher were, as he emphasized himself, continuous experiments without oxygen, therefore experiments lasting over 30 minutes. It is easily understandable that experiments of such a length without the administration of oxygen may be fatal. To prove this it would not have been necessary to sacrifice even one single human life in these experiments. Serious research workers like Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg had therefore never carried out and never authorized such experiments. That was also well known to Rascher, and this explains the fact as stated by Neff (German Tr. pp. 668, 670, 671) that Rascher kept Dr. Romberg intentionally away from his arbitrary experiments; furthermore that he even carried out his experiments at night to keep them secret from Dr. Romberg, and that he also did not ask Romberg to sign his intermediary report of 5 April 1942, nor his summarizing secret report of 11 May 1942, which Romberg would surely have refused to do.


It would therefore be quite wrong to attribute to Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg the intention of wanting to suppress something in their final report of 28 July 1942. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) For it is a proven fact that not only Himmler was informed by Rascher of the cases of death which had occurred, but that Dr. Ruff had also reported the cases of death for which Dr. Rascher was guilty, to his supreme superior, the Inspector of the Medical Service [of the air force], Dr. Hippke. For this same reason he had caused the low-pressure chamber to be removed from Dachau and had asked the witness, Dr. Hippke, to consent to this. These proven facts show that Dr. Ruff did not conceal anything and had nothing to conceal. The fact that the cases of death were not mentioned in the final report of 28 July 1942 has therefore nothing to do with any concealment but is only due to the fact that those experiments which had fatal results had nothing whatsoever to do with the experiments of Dr. Ruff and Dr. Romberg and their problem.

For the same reasons it is not surprising at all that Dr. Ruff did not inform Dr. Weltz of the fatal accidents during the special experiments of Rascher. Weltz was neither Ruff’s superior nor his subordinate, and at the time when Dr. Ruff learned of the deaths which had occurred during Rascher’s experiments, Dr. Rascher had already been transferred from the Weltz Institute.


The defense, therefore, arrives at the following conclusion:

Dr. Ruff only did what his superiors ordered him to do. If they have failed, they should be taken to account.

Dr. Ruff had no doubts concerning the orders of his superiors for his assignment was urgently necessary in the interest of his country, engaged in the most difficult war, and of its aviation. If Dr. Ruff at the time had been able to read all the international literature about medical experiments on human beings he would have learned that experiments much more exacting and much more dangerous than those with which he was familiar—which he knew and planned—were being conducted everywhere, also on prisoners; and perhaps they are still being conducted without the competent authorities or medical societies declaring them impermissible and intervening against them. Over many years, Dr. Ruff proved himself to be a particularly conscientious and considerate man of research who devoted his entire activity primarily to save endangered human lives. Neither can he be blamed for having collaborated for a short time with Dr. Rascher. He (Rascher) had been assigned to him as associate by his highest superiors; he had to rely upon that. If they ordered him to work together with a man who, later on, turned out to be a criminal, no liability can be charged to Dr. Ruff. When Dr. Ruff saw through his colleague who was forced upon him and realized his criminal activities, he immediately cut off all relations to him on his own initiative, avoided any further collaboration with him, and thus probably prevented much further disaster.

Field Marshal Milch was acquitted as far as the Dachau altitude tests are concerned.[21] Medical Inspector Dr. Hippke was not indicted at all. Under these circumstances justice demands that Dr. Ruff be acquitted.


EXTRACT FROM THE CLOSING BRIEF FOR DEFENDANT SIEVERS


Low-Pressure Experiments

Low-pressure experiments (high-altitude experiments) were carried out in the Dachau concentration camp from 22 February to the end of May 1942.

The first plans to carry out experiments “for rescue from high altitudes” were discussed already in 1941. The experiments were an affair of the Luftwaffe. (1581-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 48.)

The carrying out of experiments for “rescue from high altitudes” was agreed upon, as far as the Dachau concentration camp was concerned, by the Reich Minister for Aviation (represented by State Secretary and Field Marshal Milch) and the Reich Leader SS Himmler. (German Tr. p. 274. Also judgment of Military Tribunal II, Nuernberg in case of Field Marshal Milch. See Vol. II.) The witness Neff gave the exact date of the start of the experiments. The experiments were started on 22 February 1942. The witness could remember this date so well because it was his birthday. (German Tr. p. 606.) After a few interruptions the experiments ended in the second half of May. (German Tr. p. 6779.)

When answering the question whether the experiments could inflict torture and death on the experimental subjects, one has to distinguish between the experiments which according to the detailed instructions of Dr. Ruff were carried out by Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg in the Dachau concentration camp, and the experiments which Rascher carried out either with the knowledge and permission of Himmler, or without his permission on his own responsibility.

With regard to the first experiments it has to be said that they caused the experimental subjects some discomfort through high-altitude sickness, but that on no account did they mean torture and death for the experimental subjects. (Evidence of Dr. Ruff in direct examination.)

On the other hand the experiments which Rascher conducted on his responsibility have, according to Prosecution Document 1971-A-PS (Pros. Ex. 49), apparently to be judged in a different manner.

Sievers came in contact with the low-pressure experiments only; in the second half of March 1942. By letter of 21 March 1942 Rudolf Brandt replied to an inquiry of the Reich business manager of the Ahnenerbe of 9 March 1942 concerning Rascher, and informed him that low-pressure experiments were carried out in the Dachau camp: “The Reich Leader SS gave his permission on condition that Dr. Rascher would participate.” (1581-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 48.)

The cause of Sievers’ letter of 9 March 1942 was the statement of Dr. Rascher to the curator Wuest, according to which certain research work which he carried out for the Luftwaffe in Dachau, and of which he could give no details, was to be supported by the administration of the “Ahnenerbe”. (German Tr. p. 5671.) Following this, Sievers went to Dachau in late March or on 1 April 1942. (German Tr. p. 5672.)

Thus this date was the earliest on which Sievers could possibly have gained knowledge about the carrying out of high-altitude experiments in Dachau. It is important that at this time the experiments had already been under way for over a month.

The cunning Rascher took the first visit of Sievers as an opportunity to invite Sievers to have a look at the experiments directed by him, in spite of the fact that Sievers had nothing at all to do with the carrying out of the experiments. Sievers watched two experiments. He took the opportunity to speak to the two persons who were subjected to the experiments on that day. Both told Sievers that they had volunteered for the experiment. A few minutes after the experiment both experimental subjects did not show any after-effects and finished the experiment without suffering any bodily or physical damage. (German Tr. p. 5741.)

The following proceeding shows the special care which was taken in the carrying out of these experiments: It was agreed with the experimental persons that in case of earache they were to point with the hand to the ear. When one of the experimental subjects did this, Dr. Romberg immediately altered the pressure conditions, and the behavior of the experimental subject showed that he had no more discomfort. (German Tr. pp. 5743 and 6845.)

Since the question of the voluntary status of the human experimental subjects may be of significance in the case of all experiments, a comprehensive presentation of the most important depositions on this subject is given here.

Himmler stated at the Easter conference in 1942, in answer to the scruples of Sievers, that only volunteers were to be allowed to be drawn upon for the experiments, and if the experiments were fraught with danger to life then only major criminals under sentence of death and no political prisoners would be taken. (German Tr. p. 5677.) The witness Neff testified that volunteers presented themselves for the experiments. (German Tr. p. 614.)

Dr. Craemer of the Mountain Institute for Psychology of the Army Mountain Medical School [Gebirgspsychologisches, Institut der Heeres-Gebirgs-Sanitaets-Schule] has, in an affidavit, reported a conversation with Dr. Rascher in the course of which the latter said:

“Human experimental subjects. It is a question of major criminals under valid sentence of death who come forward voluntarily for the experiments in Dachau in order to have life and liberty given to them if they survive an experiment.” (Handloser 37, Handloser Ex. 18.)

The witness Meine declared:

“* * * since, furthermore, I knew from the series of experiments in Oranienburg that the prisoners had come forward voluntarily in crowds * * * my suspicion was not aroused during these years.” (German Tr. p. 4864.)

Dr. Mrugowsky deposed the following in his direct examination regarding yellow-fever experiments:

“Only volunteers were used, and Dr. Ding states in his declaration (NO-257, Pros. Ex. 283) that he knew of a list, and that for these kinds of cases always hundreds of volunteers offered themselves because they would not need to work for 4 weeks and were better fed.” (German Tr. p. 5195.)

Further, I refer to the affidavit of Dr. Morgen, which was submitted by Dr. Mrugowsky’s defense counsel, Mrugowsky 32 (Mrugowsky Exhibit 26):

“At the conference with Dr. Ding I learned that the human experimental subjects came forward voluntarily for these experiments. * * * In the case of the prisoner whose treatment I chanced to watch with others, I had the definite impression that he was a volunteer.” (German Tr. p. 5228.)

In connection with the high-altitude experiments in Dachau, I quote the following from Dr. Ruff’s deposition:

“Professor Dr. Weltz told me that these human experimental subjects were professional criminals who were allowed to volunteer for the experiments.” (German Tr. p. 6532.)

“Hippke told me also in this conversation that it was a question of major criminals who could offer themselves voluntarily for the experiments and who, following the experiments, were then to receive in some form a mitigation of their punishment, either reduction or remission.” (German Tr. p. 6534.)

The chief of Himmler’s personal staff, SS General Karl Wolff, gave an affidavit in London on 21 November 1946, which is of special importance because Wolff himself watched experiments in Dachau together with Himmler, and also reported to Hitler concerning the experiments:

“They (namely, the human experimental subjects) protested to Himmler in my presence that—after their request to be sent to the front had been turned down—they wanted to render a modest voluntary service to Germany and thereby give proof of the good will they really possessed. * * * That later low-pressure experiments are said to have taken place on prisoners on a nonvoluntary basis—of that I received no knowledge either from Himmler nor in any other way.” (German Tr. pp. 6757-58.)

Dr. Romberg declared in direct examination:

“In the course of time, not exactly on the first day, but as time went on, I spoke of course with all of them more often and in greater detail; then they told me gradually what previous sentences they had had, what prisons and penitentiaries they had already been at before coming to the camp. They told me also the reasons why they had come forward and had placed themselves voluntarily at the disposal of the experiments.”

To the question: “Do you mean by that, that all the human experimental subjects who were used for the altitude experiments were voluntarily human experimental subjects?” Dr. Romberg answered with a clear, “Yes.” (German Tr. pp. 6787-88.)

The following is quoted from Dr. Weltz’ deposition:

“When I first heard anything from Kottenhoff concerning Rascher’s proposals, Kottenhoff spoke already of volunteers. Later, after this conversation with Hippke I spoke again with Rascher. Rascher also spoke of volunteers. We then had Rascher at our joint consultation with Ruff and Romberg in my institute. There, too, he spoke of volunteers. In the observations that he made at the Nuernberg conference in connection with Holzloehner’s lecture, he spoke of volunteers. He spoke further of volunteers, on the return journey from the Nuernberg conference, with Dr. Craemer from St. Johann. * * * Thus I never heard Rascher speak otherwise than of volunteers, and, as I said already, that was the reason why we did not speak for a long time at all concerning compulsory experiments with Hippke.” (German Tr. p. 7064.)

The affidavit of the Polish Communist Wilschewske, an inmate of Dachau concentration camp, which was read on 28 April 1947, deposes as to the voluntary status of the human experimental subjects:

“Prisoners who came forward for these experiments did so, as far as I know, voluntarily, because they could thereby gain their own freedom and rehabilitation, and also favorable treatment for their relatives.” (German Tr. p. 6555.)

Dr. Becker-Freyseng deposed the following in his direct examination:

“Rascher spoke unequivocally of prisoners or criminal characters who were available because of special sanctions * * * by Hitler and Himmler, and through volunteering.” (German Tr. pp. 7850-51.)

The witness Dorn, a former prisoner in Buchenwald, deposed in answer to the following question: Were these people now forced into these experiments or was there a possibility of volunteering?

“I should like to give you an answer to that. Imagine the position of a prisoner who perhaps for years had not had enough to eat to satisfy him, and who perhaps learns from a camp conversation that if he were to offer himself for this or that experiment he would receive a double or triple amount of food. You can imagine that hundreds or more presented themselves merely from the purely human urge to eat their fill once again.” (German Tr. p. 8620.)

Dr. Beiglboeck likewise makes assertions in his direct examination concerning the voluntary status of the human experimental subjects, and declares in conclusion:

“I had at that time absolutely no reason to doubt that this information was correct. Superiors, officers of the SS, and the human experimental subjects themselves admitted this to me. And I do not know what more I could have done in order to assure myself still further.” (German Tr. p. 8701.)

The voluntary status of the prisoners is likewise confirmed in his affidavit by the witness Dr. Lesse, who worked as a doctor with Dr. Beiglboeck in Dachau. (Beiglboeck 14, Beiglboeck Ex. 20.)

The witness Mettbach has also confirmed the voluntary status of the human experimental subjects in connection with the sea-water experiments.

Finally reference is made to the deposition of the witness Nales, who was examined by the prosecution on 30 June 1947 in the second half of the forenoon session, and who testified to the voluntary status of the human experimental subjects used in the Lost gas experiments.

The evidence produced has not given the slightest grounds for believing that Sievers had any knowledge at all that nonvoluntary human experimental subjects were compelled to undergo experiments, or that the experiments would be painful or fraught with danger to life.

As a precaution let us also examine the question as to what further activity Sievers developed in connection with the low-pressure experiments. From the document book presented by the prosecution it appears that Sievers passed on letters which came to his office. Sievers is mentioned in some documents. The following separate letters are at hand:

In connection with the altitude experiments, the prosecution’s document book contains the following documents in which the Reich Business Manager of the Ahnenerbe is mentioned in one way or another. (NO-263, Pros. Ex. 47.) Letter from Frau Rascher to the Reich Leadership SS dated 24 February 1942:

“Rascher requests SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Schnitzler to acquaint the Reich Leader with the events and to say at the same time that Rascher, as a member of the Ahnenerbe, definitely wishes to participate scientifically in the experiments.”

From this it is seen how very keen even Frau Rascher was that her husband should participate in the experiments in Dachau. This was at a time when Sievers had as yet no knowledge at all of the altitude experiments.

Letter from the Reich Business Manager of the Ahnenerbe to Dr. Brandt, dated 26 August 1942 (NO-221, Pros. Ex. 68). This letter contains a copy of a letter from Rascher which had as its subject a report by Rascher and Romberg to Field Marshal Milch. The second part of the letter contains the report and the assent to the publication of the scientific results. Here the date of the letter must be pointed out, 26 August 1942, which was many weeks after the altitude experiments had come to an end, in May 1942.

Dr. Brandt’s reply to Sievers, dated 29 August 1942 (NO-222, Pros. Ex. 69):

“The letter of the Reich Leader SS, with which he has forwarded the report to Field Marshal Milch, was only signed and sent off a few days ago. Copy of the letter of the Reich Leader SS dated 25 August 1942 is enclosed for your information.”

Here it is to be observed that this letter likewise was written long after the conclusion of the altitude experiments and, like the preceding one, contains nothing at all concerning the experiments. It cannot be inferred from the letter dated 29 August 1942 that a copy of the report sent to Field Marshal Milch was also sent to the Ahnenerbe.

Brandt sends Sievers a copy of his letter to Dr. Rascher dated 6 September 1942 (NO-223, Pros. Ex. 71). It contains the information that Field Marshal Milch will ask Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg to meet shortly and report.

Letter from Rascher to Himmler, dated 9 October 1942 (1610-PS, Pros. Ex. 73). Sievers is mentioned in connection with the unsuccessful report to Milch. It is worth noting that Rascher asks that the low-pressure chamber may still be left at his disposal for further experiments.

Letter from the Reich Business Manager of the “Ahnenerbe” to the personal staff, for the attention of Dr. Brandt, dated 21 October 1942 (NO-226, Pros. Ex. 75 (Pros. Ex. 110 in Milch case); 1617-PS, Pros. Ex. 111 in Milch case). This letter contains the information that the freezing experiments are finished and that the altitude experiments desired by the Reich Leader SS can now be continued. For this purpose the low-pressure chamber will be needed again, and the Reich Leader SS is to write personally to Field Marshal Milch. The rough draft of a letter of the Reich Leader SS to Field Marshal Milch was enclosed with this letter. This rough draft is submitted by the prosecution as NO-226, Prosecution Exhibit 75. This draft was submitted by Sievers because of an assignment given to him by Himmler. The rough draft was drawn up in accordance with Rascher’s suggestions. (German Tr. p. 5682.)

This letter, dated 13 December 1942, contains several research commissions given personally by Himmler to Rascher (1612-PS, Pros. Ex. 79). Number 5 reads:

“The procuring of the apparatus necessary for all experiments is to be discussed separately with the offices of the Reich Physician SS of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, and with the Ahnenerbe Registered Association.”

A copy went to the Ahnenerbe.

This is a letter from the Vorstand [Board of Directors] of the Siemens-Schuckert-Werke, Berlin, and concerns the ordering of an electrocardiograph (NO-3675, Pros. Ex. 548). This apparatus was never delivered because the “SS priority grade” was not certified. Let it be remarked here, for the sake of understanding, that the designation “SS priority grade” was in general use and had nothing to do with the “SS”, the so-called “Schutzstaffeln” of the NSDAP.

Letter from Sievers to the Rector of the University of Munich concerning the loan of different pieces of apparatus (NO-3674, Pros. Ex. 549.) Dr. Wuest was, as repeatedly pointed out, office chief of the Ahnenerbe. As such he had exact information concerning the research commissions of the Institute for Military Scientific Research. A simple way to obtain the apparatus would have been an agreement made over the telephone. If Sievers chose to do it by letter it was only because of the delaying tactics practiced by him. This is seen clearly from the postscript intended for Rascher, telling him not to participate. It is also worthy of note that the apparatus was to be used in Munich and not in Dachau.

Sievers had no right to issue orders or instructions in connection with the low-pressure experiments, as is seen from part III of the closing brief. Sievers had not the slightest influence on the carrying out of the experiments.

Sievers could have had no knowledge that the experiments might be inhuman, because he, or the Ahnenerbe, was only brought in when the experiments had already been in progress for over a month.

The question still to be examined is whether and when Sievers received knowledge of Rascher’s reports concerning his experiments. To this the following details are pointed out: On 5 April 1942 Rascher sent an interim report on his low-pressure experiments direct to Himmler. He asked that the report should be treated as secret. (1971-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 49.)

The acknowledgment of the receipt did not go through the Ahnenerbe but went directly from Rudolf Brandt to Rascher. (1971-C-PS, Pros. Ex. 50.) It is nowhere mentioned that a copy went to the Ahnenerbe. From the distribution of the order issued by Himmler thereon (1971-B-PS, Pros. Ex. 51), it is clearly seen that the Ahnenerbe received no copy of the order.

On 11 May 1942 Rascher sent a further secret report direct to Himmler, so that Sievers here too had no possibility of acquiring any knowledge of this report. (NO-220, Pros. Ex. 61.)

On 22 September 1942 the German Experimental Station for Aviation sent copies of Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the report “Experiments on Rescue from High Altitudes” as “top secret” matter to the Reich Leader SS “to be filed there”. (NO-402, Pros. Ex. 66.) Even if the first page of the report bears the note, “The investigations were conducted in conjunction with the Research and Instruction Association the Ahnenerbe”, no kind of proof is thereby furnished that a copy of the report reached the Ahnenerbe. It is true that Sievers does not exclude the possibility that such a report came to the Ahnenerbe, but he denies that he read such a report, because it did not concern him, and it also did not interest him as it dealt with medical matters. If he did read any of it, it was at the most the short summary to be found at the end. (German Tr. p. 5681.)

It must also be pointed out that there is nothing in this report which could lead to the conclusion that the experiments had fatal results. The prosecution’s expert Professor Ivy also confirmed this in answer to the Court’s question: “Is there anything mentioned in the Ruff-Romberg-Rascher report about experiments concerning which it can be asserted with absolute certainty that fatalities, permanent injury, or great pain have resulted in the case of human experimental subjects?” The expert’s answer was “No.” (German Tr. p. 9217.) In addition this report was sent to Himmler on 22 September 1942, thus, long after the close of the experiments. Sievers cannot then have gained any insight into Rascher’s criminal activity from Rascher’s reports.

Sievers had not the power or the opportunity of preventing Rascher’s criminal experiments or of bringing them to a standstill. It is true that at the Easter conference in 1942 he tried to move Himmler to discontinue all experiments in the concentration camps, or at least to bring about the suppression of the research of Rascher and Professor Dr. Hirt, which were not in harmony with the character of the Ahnenerbe. Both his suggestions were refuted by Himmler’s declaration that “all that” was no concern of Sievers and that he (Himmler) bore the sole responsibility. (German Tr. p. 5714.)

In spite of Himmler’s declaration, Sievers endeavored to halt further low-pressure experiments, when the low-pressure chamber had been removed from Dachau at the beginning of June 1942.

Already on 27 November 1942, the chief of the personal staff of the Reich Leader SS, SS General Wolff, had applied to Field Marshal Milch in order to make possible Rascher’s further experiments in Dachau. In the closing sentence of this letter the loan of the low-pressure chamber is once again requested. (NO-269, Pros. Ex. 78 (Pros. Ex. 118 in the Milch Case).)

That General Wolff by Himmler’s orders laid great stress on making further experiments possible is seen from the fact that a copy of the letter went also to SS Oberfuehrer Dr. Wuest, who was office chief of the Ahnenerbe. Thereby the special importance of the affair was to be shown also to the Ahnenerbe, on which the obligation rested to procure the requisite apparatus in accordance with figure three of Himmler’s order of 7 July 1942 (NO-422, Pros. Ex. 33) and repeated later under figure five of Himmler’s order of 13 December 1942 (1612-PS, Pros. Ex. 79).

When the Luftwaffe did not make the low-pressure chamber available again, Sievers was commissioned to buy a special portable low-pressure chamber for the SS. (German Tr. p. 5800.) And then Sievers did something unheard of and rang up Dr. Romberg of the German Experimental Station for Aviation. Romberg was very much surprised at this telephone call. (German Tr. pp. 6839-40.)

Through his communication that he had been commissioned by Himmler to procure a low-pressure chamber for Rascher, who at that time was still a member of the Luftwaffe, he aroused the attention of the Luftwaffe. For Dr. Romberg communicated this news to his superior Dr. Ruff, who, on his side, informed Dr. Becker-Freyseng of the Medical Inspectorate of the Luftwaffe. (German Tr. pp. 6607-08, 7878; Becker-Freyseng 24, Becker-Freyseng Ex. 11.) This was what Sievers counted upon. The consent of the Luftwaffe would have been necessary for the purpose of sanctioning the requisite priority grade for a low-pressure chamber. The Luftwaffe denied this necessity and thus the low-pressure chamber under consideration for Rascher was not procured.

When Himmler in the year 1943—probably at Rascher’s urging—ordered Sievers again to procure a low-pressure chamber, Sievers was able once more to prevent one from being procured. This time he pointed out that the research management of the Luftwaffe did not consider it necessary to continue with altitude experiments. Sievers advanced this statement at random, profiting by the fact that Rascher, though probably known to the Medical Inspectorate of the Luftwaffe, was not known to the research management of the Luftwaffe. (German Tr. p. 5801.)

Summary

Criminal action on the part of Sievers cannot be proved in connection with the low-pressure experiments. The carrying out of the experiments was neither ordered nor arranged for by him. He did not come into contact with the experiments until they had been in progress for over a month. What Sievers saw, heard, and read about the experiments could not in any way give him the knowledge that inadmissible experiments were being made. Sievers had no knowledge of Rascher’s criminal experiments while the experiments were in progress, because Rascher kept these experiments completely secret. Sievers’ activity was of a completely subordinate nature. Apart from that, however, Sievers helped to prevent Rascher (whom Sievers could not bear, for he was a pompous fellow and a protégé of Himmler) from being put again in a position to carry on further low-pressure experiments.

There is no criminal guilt then on the part of Sievers, as far as Sievers’ contact with the low-pressure experiments is concerned.

d. Evidence

Prosecution Documents
Pros.
Doc. No.Ex. No.Description of DocumentPage
1602-PS44Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 15 May 1941, concerning high-altitude experiments on human beings.141
1582-PS45Letter from Rudolf Brandt to Rascher, undated, nforming him that prisoners would be made available for high-altitude research.143
1581-A-PS48Letter from Rudolf Brandt to Sievers, 21 March 1942, concerning Rascher’s participation in high-altitude experiments.144
1971-A-PS49Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 5 April 1942, and report, undated, on high-altitude experiments.144
1971-C-PS50Letter from Rudolf Brandt to Rascher, 13 April 1942, regarding his success with high-altitude experiments.147
1971-B-PS51Letter from Himmler to Rascher, 13 April 1942, requesting a repetition of high-altitude experiments on prisoners condemned to death.148
1971-D-PS52Teletype from Rascher to Rudolf Brandt, 20 October 1942, requesting clarification on the pardon granted by Himmler.149
1971-E-PS53Teletype from Rudolf Brandt to Schnitzler, 21 October 1942, concerning the pardon granted by Himmler.149
NO-21856Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 16 April 1942, reporting on high-altitude experiments with fatal results and on experiments conducted together with Romberg.150
NO-26460File note for SS Obersturmfuehrer Schnitzler, 28 April 1942.151
NO-22061Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 11 May 1942, and secret report concerning high-altitude experiments.152
NO-40266Letter, 29 September 1942, and report, 28 July 1942, from Romberg and Ruff to Himmler concerning experiments on rescue from high altitudes.155
343-A-PS62Letter from Milch to Wolff, 20 May 1942, regarding continuation of experiments.172
343-B-PS70Letter from Milch to Himmler, 31 August 1942, acknowledging receipt of reports by Rascher and Romberg on high-altitude experiments.172
NO-28972Letter from Hippke to Himmler, 8 October 1942, thanking the latter for his assistance in high-altitude experiments in Dachau.173
NO-22476Note by Romberg on showing of film in office of State Secretary Milch and proposed report to Milch, 11 September 1942.174
1612-PS79Letter from Rudolf Brandt to Rascher, 13 December 1942, and Himmler’s order assigning Rascher to high-altitude experiments.176
NO-61041Inmates of the Dachau concentration camp in different stages of simulated altitude in the low-pressure chamber; postmortem dissections of experimental subjects who died from the effects of high-altitude experiments. (See Selections from Photographic Evidence of the Prosecution.)898
   
   
Testimony
   
Extracts from the testimony of tribunal witness Walter Neff177
Extracts from the testimony of defendant Rudolf Brandt183
Extracts from the testimony of defendant Romberg186

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1602-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 44

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 15 MAY 1941, CONCERNING HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS ON HUMAN BEINGS

[Stamp]

Sigmund Rascher, M. D.

Personal Staff Reich Leader SS

Archives File No. Secret/58

Munich, Trogerstrasse 56, 15 May 1941

Highly esteemed Reich Leader,

My most sincere thanks for your cordial wishes and flowers on the birth of my second son. This time, too, it is a strong boy, though he arrived 3 weeks too early. I shall take the liberty and send you a small picture of both children some time.

Since I want a third child very soon, I feel very grateful to you that with your help, highly esteemed Reich Leader, the wedding is made possible. Today I was informed by SS Standartenfuehrer Sollmann on the telephone that the 165 marks as required for a wedding will be charged to the account “R” and will be transmitted by the Ahnenerbe. I thank you heartily! I only need a short certificate concerning Aryan descent for the Luftwaffe, where the permit was already submitted. Tomorrow, prior to my departure, I shall dictate a rough text to Nini D; she will then forward the note to you, highly esteemed Reich Leader.

I also thank you very cordially for the generous regular allowance of fruit; this is at present extremely important for mother and children.

For the time being, have been assigned to the Luftgau Kommando VII, Munich, for a medical selection course. During this course, where research on high-altitude flying plays a prominent part, determined by the somewhat higher ceiling of the English fighter planes, considerable regret was expressed that no experiments on human beings have so far been possible for us because such experiments are very dangerous and nobody is volunteering. I therefore put the serious question: is there any possibility that two or three professional criminals can be made available for these experiments? The experiments are being performed at the Ground Station for High-Altitude Experiments of the Luftwaffe [Bodenstaendige Pruefstelle fuer Hoehenforschung der Luftwaffe] at Munich. The experiments, in which the experimental subject of course may die, would take place with my collaboration. They are absolutely essential for the research on high-altitude flying and cannot, as it has been tried until now, be carried out on monkeys, because monkeys offer entirely different test conditions. I had an absolutely confidential talk with the representative of the Luftwaffe physician who is conducting these experiments. He also is of the opinion that the problems in question can only be solved by experiments on human beings. (Feeble-minded individuals also could be used as experimental material.)

For the time being, SS men and some SS officers as well are detailed to the antiaircraft school IV, for studying the range-finding technique. The material is excellent. Nevertheless, I suggest that selection of range-finding men among SS troops should be carried out according to the methods of examination as used by the Luftwaffe. A still better selection would thus be the result. I am able to judge because I am the specialist for medical selection with the Luftwaffe range-finding unit, and all those detailed to these courses once more have to pass my examination. I therefore take the liberty to send to you from Schongau the method of selection as drafted by me. For this, I received the War Merit Cross, 2d Class, with Swords. It will not be a note for instruction but a draft for a lecture. I prefer to have it forwarded the direct way rather than that any SS officer should put it down in a mutilated way during my lectures. A similar instructional note was submitted to the Reich Ministry for Aviation.

Thanks to your generosity, the cancer research is progressing well, in spite of the war.

I do hope that you, highly esteemed Reich Leader, are in perfect health, in spite of your tremendous amount of work!

With my most hearty wishes, I am with

Heil Hitler!

[handwritten] Yours, gratefully devoted,

[Signed]  S. Rascher

[Handwritten]  RUSH

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1582-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 45

LETTER FROM RUDOLF BRANDT TO RASCHER, UNDATED, INFORMING HIM THAT PRISONERS WOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR HIGH-ALTITUDE RESEARCH

AK/104a/LO Bra/V

[Stamp unintelligible May 2 (?) 1941]

SS Untersturmfuehrer Sigmund Rascher M. D.

Munich

Trogerstr. 56

Dear Dr. Rascher:

Shortly before flying to Oslo, the Reich Leader SS gave me your letter of 15 May 1941, for partial reply.

I can inform you that prisoners will, of course, be gladly made available for the high-flight researches. I have informed the Chief of the Security Police of this agreement of the Reich Leader SS, and requested that the competent official be instructed to get in touch with you.

I want to use the opportunity to extend my cordial wishes to you on the birth of your son.

I shall refer as soon as possible to the second part of your letter.

By order

Heil Hitler!

[initials] R Br [Rudolf Brandt]

SS Sturmbannfuehrer

[illegible markings]

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1581-A-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 48

LETTER FROM RUDOLF BRANDT TO SIEVERS, 21 MARCH 1942,
CONCERNING RASCHER’S PARTICIPATION IN HIGH-ALTITUDE
EXPERIMENTS

The Reich Leader SS Personal Staff

Journal No. AR 704/2 A/Bn.

[Stamp]

Personal Staff Reich Leader SS

Documentary Administration

Record number AR/704/2 A/Bn. 58

Fuehrer Headquarters, 21 March 1942

To the Reich Chief Manager [Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer] of the “Ahnenerbe”

SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers

Berlin—Dahlem

Dear Comrade Sievers,

I refer to your inquiry of 9 March 1942 B/151/r1 S/Wo—concerning Dr. Rascher.

Reference is made to the subatmospheric pressure experiments which are being carried out on concentration camp inmates in the Dachau camp by the air force. The Reich Leader SS has approved these experiments under the condition that SS Untersturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher, who is an Obersturmfuehrer of the air force, takes part in them. I am sure that Dr. Rascher will be able to give you further details.[22]

Heil Hitler!

[Signed] Brandt

SS Sturmbannfuehrer

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1971-A-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 49

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 5 APRIL 1942, AND REPORT,
UNDATED, ON HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS

Sigmund Rascher, M. D.

5 April 1942

[Marginal note] Very interesting. 8-4-42.

[Apparently by Himmler]

Highly esteemed Reich Leader:

Enclosed is an interim report on the low-pressure experiments so far conducted in the concentration camp of Dachau. May I ask you respectively to treat the report as secret?

A few days ago Reich Physician SS [Reichsarzt SS] Professor Dr. Grawitz made a brief inspection of the experimentation plant. Since his time was very limited, no experiments could be demonstrated to him. SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers took a whole day off to watch some of the interesting standard experiments and may have given you a brief report. I believe, highly esteemed Reich Leader, that you would be extraordinarily interested in those experiments. Is it not possible that on the occasion of a trip to southern Germany you have some of the experiments demonstrated to you? If the results so obtained by the experiments are confirmed by further experimentation, entirely new data will be secured for science; simultaneously, entirely new aspects will be opened to the Luftwaffe.

I hope that, thanks to the intended efforts of SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers, the Luftwaffe will make no difficulties from now on. I am very much indebted to Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers as he has shown a very active interest in my work in every respect.

I thank you respectfully, highly esteemed Reich Leader, for the generous realization of my proposition to conduct such experiments in the concentration camp.

With my best wishes for your personal well-being, I am

With Heil Hitler

Gratefully yours,

[Signed] S. Rascher

FIRST INTERIM REPORT ON THE LOW-PRESSURE CHAMBER
EXPERIMENTS IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMP OF DACHAU

1. The object is to solve the problem of whether the theoretically established norms pertaining to the length of life of human beings breathing air with only a small proportion of oxygen and subjected to low pressure correspond with the results obtained by practical experiments. It has been asserted that a parachutist, who jumps from a height of 12 km. would suffer very severe injuries, probably even die, on account of the lack of oxygen. Practical experiments on this subject have always been discontinued after a maximum of 53 seconds, since very severe bends [Hoehenkrankheit] occurred.

2. Experiments testing the length of life of a human being above the normal breathing limits (4, 5, 6 km.) have not been conducted at all, since it has been a foregone conclusion that the human experimental subject [Versuchsperson—VP] would suffer death.

The experiments conducted by myself and Dr. Romberg proved the following:

Experiments on parachute jumps proved that the lack of oxygen and the low atmospheric pressure at 12 or 13 km. altitude did not cause death. Altogether 15 extreme experiments of this type were carried out in which none of VP’s died. Very severe bends together with unconsciousness occurred, but completely normal functions of the senses returned when a height of 7 km. was reached on descent. Electrocardiograms registering during the experiments did show certain irregularities, but by the time the experiments were over the curves had returned to normal and they did not indicate any abnormal changes during the following days. The extent to which deterioration of the organism may occur due to continuously repeated experiments can only be established at the end of the series of experiments. The extreme fatal experiments will be carried out on specially selected VP’s, otherwise it would not be possible to exercise the rigid control so extraordinarily important for practical purposes.

The VP’s were brought to a height of 8 km. under oxygen and then had to make 5 knee bends with and without oxygen. After a certain lapse of time, moderate to severe bends occurred and the VP’s became unconscious. However, after a certain period of accustoming themselves to the height of 8 km. all the VP’s recuperated and regained their consciousness and the normal functions of their senses.

Only continuous experiments at altitudes higher than 10.5 km. resulted in death. These experiments showed that breathing stopped after about 30 minutes, while in 2 cases the electrocardiographically charted action of the heart continued for another 20 minutes.

The third experiment of this type took such an extraordinary course that I called an SS physician of the camp as witness, since I had worked on these experiments all by myself. It was a continuous experiment without oxygen at a height of 12 km. conducted on a 37-year-old Jew in good general condition. Breathing continued up to 30 minutes. After 4 minutes the VP began to perspire and to wiggle his head, after 5 minutes cramps occurred, between 6 and 10 minutes breathing increased in speed and the VP became unconscious; from 11 to 30 minutes breathing slowed down to three breaths per minute, finally stopping altogether.

Severest cyanosis developed in between and foam appeared at the mouth.

At 5-minute intervals electrocardiograms from three leads were written. After breathing had stopped, the electrocardiogram was continuously written until the action of the heart had come to a complete standstill. About ½ hour after breathing had stopped, dissection was started.

Autopsy Report

When the cavity of the chest was opened the pericardium was filled tightly (heart tamponade). Upon opening of the pericardium 80 cc. of clear yellowish liquid gushed forth. The moment the tamponade had stopped, the right auricle began to beat heavily, at first at the rate of 60 actions per minute, then progressively slower. Twenty minutes after the pericardium had been opened, the right auricle was opened by puncturing it. For about 15 minutes, a thin stream of blood spurted forth. Thereafter clogging of the puncture wound in the auricle by coagulation of the blood and renewed acceleration of the action of the right auricle occurred.

One hour after breathing had stopped, the spinal marrow was completely severed and the brain removed. Thereupon the action of the auricle stopped for 40 seconds. It then renewed its action, coming to a complete standstill 8 minutes later. A heavy subarchnoid oedema was found in the brain. In the veins and arteries of the brain a considerable quantity of air was discovered. Furthermore, the blood vessels in the heart and liver were enormously obstructed by embolism.

The anatomical preparations will be preserved and so I shall be able to evaluate them later.

The last-mentioned case is to my knowledge the first one of this type ever observed on man. The above-described heart actions will gain particular scientific interest, since they were written down with an electrocardiogram to the very end.

The experiments will be continued and extended. Another interim report will follow after new results have been obtained.

[Signed]  Dr. Rascher

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1971-C-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 50

LETTER FROM RUDOLF BRANDT TO RASCHER, 13 APRIL 1942,
REGARDING HIS SUCCESS WITH HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS

1174/42 BRa/V

Fuehrer Headquarters, 13 April 1942

Top Secret

SS Untersturmfuehrer Rascher, M. D.

Munich, Trogerstrasse 56

Dear Comrade Dr. Rascher,

Your report of 5.4.1942 has been seen by the Reich Leader SS today. The tests on which SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers gave a brief report interested him very much.

For the further tests I wish you a continuation of the success you have had so far.

Best regards also to your wife.

Heil Hitler!

Yours,

[Signed]  B. [R.] Brandt

SS Sturmbannfuehrer

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1971-B-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 51

LETTER FROM HIMMLER TO RASCHER, 13 APRIL 1942, REQUESTING
A REPETITION OF HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS ON PRISONERS
CONDEMNED TO DEATH

The Reich Leader SS

Fuehrer Headquarters, 13 April 1942

SS Untersturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher

Munich 27, Trogerstrasse 56

Dear Dr. Rascher:

I want to answer your letter with which you sent me your reports. Especially the latest discoveries made in your experiments particularly have interested me. May I now ask you the following:

1. This experiment is to be repeated on other men condemned to death.

2. I would like Dr. Fahrenkamp to be taken into consultation on these experiments.

3. Considering the long-continued action of the heart the experiments should be specifically exploited in such a manner as to determine whether these men could be recalled to life. Should such an experiment succeed, then, of course, the person condemned to death shall be pardoned to concentration camp for life.

Please keep me further informed on the experiments.

Kind regards and

Heil Hitler!

Yours

[Signed]  H. Himmler

2. Chief of the Security Police and SD.

3. SS Brigadefuehrer Gluecks.

Copy for your information.

by order [I. A.]

[initialed] BR. [Rudolf Brandt]

SS Sturmbannfuehrer

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1971-D-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 52

TELETYPE FROM RASCHER TO RUDOLF BRANDT, 20 OCTOBER 1942,
REQUESTING CLARIFICATION ON THE PARDON GRANTED BY
HIMMLER

Reich Security Main Office

Communication

Communication No. 11194 Urgent

RFSS Munich—Teletype No. 2020, 20 October 1942, 5:25 p. m.

To: SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt

Field Command Post [Feldkommandostelle] Hegewald

Highly esteemed Obersturmbannfuehrer:

Will you please clarify the following case with the Reich Leader SS as soon as possible?

In communication RFSS [Reich Leader SS] of 13-1-42 under paragraph 3 it is ordered that if prisoners in Dachau condemned to death live through experiments which have endangered their lives, they should be pardoned. As up to now only Poles and Russians were available, some of whom had been condemned to death, it is not quite clear to me yet as to whether the above-mentioned paragraph also applies to them, and whether they may be pardoned to concentration camp for life after having lived through several very severe experiments.

Please answer by teletype via Adjutant’s Office, RFSS, Munich.

Obedient Greetings,

Heil Hitler!

Yours

[Signed] S. Rascher

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1971-E-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 53

TELETYPE FROM RUDOLF BRANDT TO SCHNITZLER, 21 OCTOBER 1942, CONCERNING THE PARDON GRANTED BY HIMMLER

Teletype

To SS Obersturmfuehrer Schnitzler

Munich

Please inform SS Untersturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher with regard to his teletype inquiry that the instruction given some time ago by the Reich Leader SS concerning amnesty of test persons does not apply to Poles and Russians.

[Signed] Brandt

SS Obersturmbannfuehrer

21 October 1942

Bra/Dr.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-218

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 56

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 16 APRIL 1942, REPORTING ON HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS WITH FATAL RESULTS AND ON EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED TOGETHER WITH ROMBERG

Munich, Trogerstrasse 56, 16 April 1942

Highly esteemed Reich Leader:

May I thank you for your letter of 13 April. I am delighted with the great interest which you, highly esteemed Reich Leader, are taking in the experiments and their results. I thank you for the inspiration you have given me in your letter.

The experiment described in the report of 4 April was repeated four times, each time with the same results. When Wagner, the last test person had stopped breathing, I let him come back to life by increasing pressure. Since test person “W . . .” was assigned for a terminal[23] experiment, as a repeated experiment held no prospect of new results, and since I had not been in possession of your letter at that time, I subsequently started another experiment through which Test Person Wagner did not live. Also in this case the results obtained by electrocardiographic registration were extraordinary.

In accordance with your orders, I tried to contact Dr. Fahrenkamp immediately upon receipt of your letter. However, I could not speak to him since he is laid up with angina. In a few days I shall ask again if Dr. Fahrenkamp is available.

Meanwhile, at times together with Dr. Romberg, I have carried out falling experiments from heights of from 16 to 20 kilometers. There, contrary to theoretical assumptions, it was proved that falling through space after jumping from an airplane in the stratosphere (pressure cabinplane) is quite possible, as after severe unconsciousness the test person regained complete consciousness in each case, at between 7 and 8 kilometers height when the parachute lever, installed in the chamber, was pulled.

Within the next few days, I shall report at length on these experiments as well as on the above-mentioned Test Person Wagner.

I also have a request to make: May I take pictures of the various dissection preparations in the dissecting room of the concentration camp to make a record of the strange formations of air embolism? In this connection, my wife has already written to SS Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt.

Highly esteemed Reich Leader, allow me to close by assuring you that your active interest in these experiments has a tremendous influence on one’s working capacity and initiative.

I am with devoted greeting and

Heil Hitler!

Yours gratefully devoted

[Signed] S. Rascher

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-264

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 60

FILE NOTE FOR SS OBERSTURMFUEHRER SCHNITZLER, 28 APRIL 1942

Frau Rascher was here today in the office and stated the following to me for you in a few words:

Oberstabsarzt Dr. Weltz still insists on participation in the experiments and on full responsibility. If not, the assignment of Dr. Rascher to the Weltz Institute must be changed. Weltz personally is not interested in these experiments. RLM [The Reich Air Ministry] asks Oberstabsarzt Dr. Weltz how long the experiments will last and whether it is justifiable to detail a medical officer for so long a time. RLM demands from Weltz an opinion on the experiments which he, however, cannot give, unless he is fully informed about them. Weltz will be in Berlin with Generaloberstabsarzt Hippke on Friday. Weltz demands a statement by Friday as to whether he should consider himself as still participating in the experiments, or whether it is requested that he should not participate in the experiments.

The assignment of Dr. Rascher must immediately be changed to “Assignment to Aviation Test Institute Berlin—Adlershof, Dachau Branch” (not Weltz Institute), because Weltz—as he stated—intends to cancel the assignment immediately, if he is not to participate in it.

For personal confidential information

Dr. Weltz confidentially informed Dr. Rascher that there is great mistrust against him in the RLM because of the experiments (SS membership); there is also animosity in the air force administrative command (Luftgau) Munich for this reason.

Munich, 28 April 1942.

Gr.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-220

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 61

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 11 MAY 1942, AND SECRET REPORT CONCERNING HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS

Sigmund Rascher M. D.

Munich, Trogerstrasse 56, 11 May 1942

Highly esteemed Reich Leader:

Enclosed I am forwarding a short summary on the principal experiments conducted up to date. A detailed report on the practical as well as the theoretical results will take some more time. I shall hurry. Since the material has to be processed the exploitation of the pathological preparations will take about ½ year though the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research will help us, I hope.

Tonight I succeeded in seeing Dr. Fahrenkamp who has relatively recovered. He appeared to be very interested and I think there will be a fine and fruitful cooperation. Dr. Fahrenkamp who has an enormous knowledge most amiably promised to help me in everything. He will give to you himself his opinion on my heart experiments. From our conversation I have had the impression that a great field of work will open up to me yet. I thank you, highly esteemed Reich Leader, for having opened these opportunities to me to such an extent.

Unfortunately, the extension of my assignment has not been settled yet; in accordance with the present regulations, my assignment will be terminated on 15 May.

Thanking you again, I am with most obedient greetings and

Heil Hitler!

Yours gratefully,

[Signed] S. Rascher

Munich, 11 May 1942

SECRET REPORT

Based on results of experiments which up to now various scientists had conducted on animals only, the experiments in Dachau were to prove whether these results would maintain their validity on human beings.

1. The first experiments were to show whether the human being can gradually adapt himself to higher altitudes. Some 10 tests showed that a slower ascent without oxygen taking from 6 to 8 hours kept the functions of the senses of the various VP’s [Versuchspersonen—human experimental subjects] fully normal up to a height of 8,000 meters. Within 8 hours several VP’s had reached a height of 9.5 kilometers without oxygen when bends occurred suddenly.

2. Normally it is impossible to stay without oxygen at altitudes higher than 6 kilometers. Experiments showed however that after ascent to 8,000 meters without oxygen, bends combined with unconsciousness lasted only about 25 minutes. After this period the VP’s had mostly become accustomed to that altitude; consciousness returned, they could make knee bends, showed a normal electrocardiograph and were able to work (60 to 70 percent of the cases examined).

3. Descending tests on parachutes (suspended) without oxygen.

These experiments proved that from 14 kilometers on down severest bends occurred which remained until the ground was reached. The detrimental effects caused by these experiments manifested themselves at the beginning as unconsciousness, and subsequently as spastic and limp paralysis, catotomy, stereotypy, and as retrograde amnesia lasting several hours. About 1 hour after the end of the experiment the VP’s for the most part were still disoriented as to time and locality. The blood picture often showed a shift to the left; albumen and red and white blood corpuscles were regularly found in the urine after the experiment; cylinders were sometimes found. After several hours or days the blood and urine returned to normal. The changes of the electrocardiograph were reversible.

Contrary to descending tests on parachutes without oxygen, descending tests with oxygen were carried out from heights up to 18 kilometers. It was proved that on the average the VP’s regained the normal function of their senses at 12 to 13 kilometers. No disturbances of general conditions occurred during any of these experiments. Brief unconsciousness at the beginning of the experiment caused no lasting disturbances. Urine and blood showed only a slight change.

4. As the long time of descent on parachutes, under actual conditions, would cause severe freezing even if no detrimental effects were caused by lack of oxygen, VP’s were brought by sudden decreases in pressure with a cutting torch from 8 to 20 kilometers, simulating the damage to the pressure-machine of the high-altitude airplane. After a waiting period of 10 seconds, corresponding to stepping out of the machine, the VP’s were made to fall from this height with oxygen to a height where breathing is possible. The VP’s awoke between 10 and 12 kilometers and at about 8 kilometers pulled the parachute lever.

5. In experiments of falling from the same height without oxygen, the VP’s regained normal function of their senses only between 2 and 5 kilometers.

6. Experiments testing the effect of pervitin on the organism during parachute jumps, proved that the severe after-effects, as mentioned under No. 3, were considerably milder. The ability to withstand the conditions at high altitudes was only slightly improved, while the bends, since they were not noticed, occurred suddenly (restraint-loosening effects of pervitin).

7. Dr. Kliches, of the Charles University in Prague, reports in the publication of the Reich Research Council: “By prolonged breathing of oxygen, human beings should theoretically be kept fully fit up to 13 kilometers. In practice, the limit is around 11 kilometers. Experiments which I carried out in this connection proved that with pure oxygen no lowering of the measurable raw energy (ergometer) was noticeable up to 13.3 kilometers. The VP’s merely became unwilling since pains of the body cavities grew too severe, due to the lowering of pressure between body and thin air. When pure oxygen was inhaled bends occurred in all 25 cases only at heights above 14.2 kilometers.”

As practical result of the more than 200 experiments conducted at Dachau, the following can be assumed:

Flying in altitudes higher than 12 kilometers without pressure-cabin or pressure-suit is impossible even while breathing pure oxygen. If the airplane pressure-machine is damaged at altitudes of 13 kilometers and higher, the crew will not be able to bail out of the damaged plane themselves since at that height the bends appear rather suddenly. It must be requested that the crew should be removed automatically from the plane, for instance, by catapulting the seats by means of compressed air. Descending with opened parachute without oxygen would cause severe injuries due to the lack of oxygen, besides causing severe freezing; consciousness would not be regained until the ground was reached. Therefore the following is to be requested: 1. A parachute with barometrically controlled opening. 2. A portable oxygen apparatus for the jump.

For the following experiments Jewish professional criminals who had committed race pollution were used. The question of the formation of embolism was investigated in 10 cases. Some of the VP’s died during a continued high-altitude experiment; for instance, after one-half hour at a height of 12 kilometers. After the skull had been opened under water an ample amount of air embolism was found in the brain vessels and, in part, free air in the brain ventricles.

To find out whether the severe psychic and physical effects, as mentioned under No. 3, are due to the formation of embolism, the following was done: After relative recuperation from such a parachute descending test had taken place, however, before regaining consciousness, some VP’s were kept under water until they died. When the skull and the cavities of the breast and of the abdomen had been opened under water, an enormous amount of air embolism was found in the vessels of the brain, the coronary vessels, and the vessels of the liver and the intestines, etc.

That proves that air embolism, so far considered as absolutely fatal, is not fatal at all, but that is reversible as shown by the return to normal conditions of all the other VP’s.

It was also proved by experiments that air embolism occurs in practically all vessels even while pure oxygen is being inhaled. One VP was made to breathe pure oxygen for 2½ hours before the experiment started. After 6 minutes at a height of 20 kilometers, he died and at dissection also showed ample air embolism, as was the case in all other experiments.

At sudden decreases in pressure and subsequent immediate falls to heights where breathing is possible, no deep reaching damages due to air embolism could be noted. The formation of air embolism always needs a certain amount of time.

[Signed] Dr. Rascher

PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-402

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 66

LETTER, 29 SEPTEMBER 1942, AND REPORT, 28 JULY 1942, FROM ROMBERG AND RUFF TO HIMMLER CONCERNING EXPERIMENTS ON RESCUE FROM HIGH ALTITUDES

German Aviation Research Institute

Berlin-Adlershof, Rudower Ch. 16-25

[Stamp] Secret

To the Reich Leader SS

Berlin SW 11

Prinz-Albrechtstr. 8

Your Ref.

Your communication of DVL-Ref.      Day

R/Ru/Ko 2098/42, 22 September 1942

Military Secret

Re: Report “Experiments on Rescue from High Altitudes”

[handwritten]to files
B [initial]

Enclosed we submit copies Nos. 2, 3, and 4 of the report “Experiments on Rescue from High Altitudes” for your files.

German Aviation Research Institute

per procura

[Signed] Dr. Romberg

L. Ruff

[handwritten]

Report-3-received 2 November

[Signed] Sievers, SS Oberfuehrer

 

3 enclosures

 

Personal Staff Reich Leader SS 29 September 1942

Diary No. 1348/42 To RF

[handwritten] 1943

Top Secret [stamp]

Experiments on Rescue from High Altitudes.[24]

Abstract:A report is to be made on experiments in which the possibility of rescue from high altitudes in the low-pressure chamber is studied. Experiments were made at parachute sinking speeds up to 15 km. [49,200 ft.] without oxygen, and up to 18 km. [59,100 ft.] with oxygen breathing, as well as falling experiments speeds up to 21 km. [68,900 ft.] altitude with and without oxygen. The results with practical significance will be discussed below.
Organization:I.Introduction and statement of the problem.
II.Procedure of the experiment.
III.Results of the experiment.
1. Descending experiments withoutO2 breathing.
2. Descending experiments withO2 breathing.
3. Falling experiments withoutO2 breathing.
4. Falling experiments withO2 breathing.
IV.Discussion of the results.
V.Conclusions from the results.
VI.Summary.
Bibliography.
The report includes 28 pages with 3 figures and 6 tables.

German Aviation Research Institute

For the Institute

[signed]: L. Ruff

The Authors:

[Draft copy signed by] Dr. Rascher

Stabsarzt der Lw.

[signed] Dr. Romberg.

Berlin, Adlershof, 28 July 1942.

Rf 401/20

[page 2 of original]

I. Introduction and Statement of the Problem

It is theoretically possible for man to reach as high altitude as he may wish in an aircraft with a pressure cabin. However, the question must be settled as to what results or effects the destruction of the pressure cabin will have upon the human being, who in such cases is exposed in a few seconds to the low air pressure and thereby to the lack of oxygen, which is characteristic of high altitude. Of particular practical interest is the question from what altitudes and by what means the safest rescue of the crew can be made. In the work at hand, a report is presented on experiments in which the various possibilities of rescue were studied under special experimental conditions. Since the urgency of the solution of the problem was evident, it was necessary, especially under the given conditions of the experiment, to forego for the time being the thorough clearing up of purely scientific questions.

II. Procedure of the Experiment

The experiments were carried on in a portable low-pressure chamber with equipment for explosive decompression. The performance of this apparatus limited the highest altitude attainable to about 21,000 meters [68,900 feet].

In this experimental series, which was to clarify the possibilities of rescue from high altitudes, the experiments, simulating actual conditions, were carried out in such a way that rescue with parachute unfolded (designated as descending experiments) and with parachute folded (designated as falling experiments) were studied sometimes with and sometimes without oxygen breathing. Since the altitude or posture of the body is of essential significance for the demands made by the lack of O2 on the circulation, the experiments were carried out in sitting and prone positions; and, in descending experiments, in a suspended

[page 3 of original]

position in a parachute harness corresponding to the actual position. For purposes of demonstration certain of the experiments were recorded on film. Electrocardiograms were made of several experiments in the experimental series. Oxygen was breathed out of the customary low-pressure apparatus with continuous flow at altitudes over 10 km. [32,800 ft.]. The following experimental sequence was chosen:

1.Descending experiments withoutO2 breathing.
2.Descending experiments withO2 breathing.
3.Falling experiments withoutO2 breathing.
4.Falling experiments withO2 breathing.

The sinking and falling times which were used in the experiments are tabulated in figures 1 and 2. [Figure 2 not reproduced.]

III. Results of the Experiments

1. Sinking experiments without oxygen breathing

Since a thoroughly dependable parachute oxygen apparatus is not yet generally available, experimental tests were made to determine from what altitudes a rescue with open parachute without oxygen is possible. Therefore, sinking experiments were carried out in which the mask was taken off after ascent with O2 (for speed of ascent of the chamber see fig. 1), and, after a waiting period of 10 seconds the sinking was begun.

In the experiment no altitude sickness occurred at 9 km. [29,500 ft.] as was expected.

In the sinking experiments, from 10 km. [32,800 ft.] altitude, typical altitude sickness occurred after about 2 minutes, i. e., at an altitude of about 8.6 km. [28,200 ft.], which was indicated by a very pronounced scrawling in the writing test. However, no loss of consciousness occurred. (Kloos’ writing test.)

[page 7 of original]

The experiments from 12 to 15 km. altitude were made partly during suspension in a parachute harness, partly in a sitting position, and partly in a prone position. These experiments show that the body attitude has a very essential influence on the tolerance for a high degree of lack of oxygen. Since, besides this, every bodily exertion is of great importance, in one portion of the experiments six knee bends were made by the subject during the waiting period before beginning the descent. These six knee bends consisted of three knee bends while breathing oxygen followed by deep inhaling and holding of the breath, and then three more knee bends without oxygen breathing. This procedure was chosen in order not to neglect the bodily work involved in an actual parachute jump. The descending experiments from 12 km. [39,400 ft.] altitude yielded the following average times:

Table 1
Descending experimentUnconsciousnessRecovery of consciousness
from 12 km. [39,400 ft.]after—after—
Sitting without knee bends1′39″ = 10.85 km.6′38″ = 7.45 km.
[35,600 ft.].[24,440 ft.].
Sitting after 6 knee bends55″ = 11.4 km.6′55″ = 7.25 km.
[37,400 ft.].[23,786 ft.].
Suspended in parachute harness37″ = 11.65 km.7′40″ = 6.77 km.
[38,220 ft.].[22,212 ft.].

It is to be noted in connection with the stated time and altitude values that the beginning of unconsciousness, or of the recovery, was calculated from the withdrawal of oxygen, while in most experiments the sinking or free fall was begun at the expiration of the 10-second waiting period. Since in addition to this the stages of altitude were read off at the moment of unconsciousness, small variations from the times given in figs. 2 and 3 [not reproduced] are possible

[page 8 of original]

since, especially in the falling experiments, variations occurred because of the somewhat crude valve control. These variations, however, are small and may be overlooked since in any case the fall and sinking time under practical conditions are dependent on the flying attitude at the moment of the leap from the catapult seat. In addition to this, the calculated fall and sinking time are influenced to a high degree under actual conditions by weight and air resistance.

It should be kept in mind in regard to the experiments conducted in the sitting position that the subjects fell over at the beginning of unconsciousness and so passed the critical time of greatest load on the circulatory system in a prone position, while those suspended in the parachute harness remained throughout the experiment in a vertical position, the most unfavorable position for loading the circulatory system.

Figure 1. Speed of ascent in the portable low-pressure chamber.

In the writing test shown above [not reproduced] the occurrence of altitude sickness in a sinking experiment for 12 km. [39,400 ft.] altitude is shown in this manner: For example, after 1 minute and 20 seconds at 11 km. [36,100 ft.] altitude, the writing is interrupted because of sudden altitude sickness with unconsciousness, and is resumed after 4½ minutes at an altitude of 8.8 km. [28,870 ft.], with erroneous writing. At 8.3 km. [27,230 ft.] altitude the writing becomes free of errors. This is worthy of special attention because in this case a person has fully recovered mentally at an altitude of 8.3 km. [27,230 ft.], after 3 minutes of the most severe lack of oxygen, while in altitude endurance experiments at this altitude severe altitude sickness sets in after about 3 minutes. Here we are dealing with a process which in any case is very favorable but which is not yet entirely clear and which was already observed in earlier experiments of parachute jumps from great altitudes. Still, it appears from this that a rather long oxygen lack at altitudes up to 13 km. does not present any great strain in

[page 12 of original]

the sense of using the last reserves, but, on the contrary, the human organism seems to react to this loading with a certain increase in resistance to altitude.

In descending experiments from 13 km. [42,700 ft.] altitude the waiting time of 10 seconds was retained, but on the other hand exertion in the form of knee bends was omitted since technical difficulties interfered with this procedure.

The experiments involving suspension could be done only in the large low-pressure chamber, since suspension was impossible in the small low-pressure chamber for reasons of space. Therefore, the ascent to 13 km. [42,700 ft.] altitude was carried out slowly in the main chamber (without explosive decompression) so that when 13 km. [42,700 ft.] was reached a certain oxygen lack existed. With this oxygen lack the knee bends would have presented a great burden which would have falsified too greatly the results of the experiment. The same conditions were also given in further experiments at higher altitudes in the main chamber. For this reason, the 13 km. [42,700 ft.] descending experiments were carried out partly in the sitting position, partly in the sitting position strapped in, and partly suspended. They yielded the following average data:

Table 2
Descending experimentUnconsciousnessRecovery of consciousness
from 13 km. [42,700 ft.]after—after—
Seated (lying during unconsciousness)50″ = 12.4 km.8′ 12″ = 7.2 km.
[40,672 ft.].[23,620 ft.].
Seated strapped in35″ = 12.6 km.10′ 30″ = 5.85 km.
[41,340 ft.].[19,190 ft.].
Suspended20″ = 12.8 km.19′ = 1.6 km.
[41,980 ft.].[5,250 ft.].

[page 13 of original]

Since in unfavorable cases in these experiments, namely while suspended, recovery of consciousness did not occur until 1.6 km. [5,250 ft.] altitude, it had to be concluded that in jumps from altitudes over 13 km. [42,700 ft.], recovery of consciousness would follow only after 0 km., which would mean that in an actual situation the landing would be made in an unconscious condition. This raised the question of a safe means of rescue.

Descending experiments were made in larger numbers from 15 km. altitude, since it became evident that at this altitude the approximate limits for what was possible in emergencies had already been reached or essentially surpassed. After an ascent made as rapidly as possible, using oxygen apparatus with free flow, the mask was removed immediately upon attaining 15 km. [49,200 ft.] altitude and the descent was begun. Since the results of these descending experiments were very typical and especially impressive it is necessary to present one of these experiments in detail. The record of an experiment is represented as follows:

15 km. [49,200 ft.]Lets the mask fall, severe altitude sickness, clonic convulsions.
14.5 km. [47,560 ft.] 30 sec.Opisthotonus.
14.3 km. [46,900 ft.] 45 sec.Arms stretched stiffly forward; sits up like a dog (“Pfoetchenstellung”), legs spread stiffly apart.
13.7 km. [44,950 ft.] 1 min. 20 sec.Suspended in opisthotonus.
13.2 km. [43,310 ft.] 1 min. 50 sec.Agonal convulsive breathing.
12.2 km. [40,030 ft.] 3 min.Dyspnea, hangs limp.
7.2 km. [23,620 ft.] 10 min.Uncoordinated movements with the extremities.
6 km. [19,690 ft.] 12 min.Clonic convulsions, groaning.
5.5 km. [18,040 ft.] 13 min.Yells loudly.

[page 14 of original]

2.9 km. [9,520 ft.] 18 min.Still yelling, convulses arms and legs, head sinks forward.
2-0 km. [6,560-0 ft.] 20-24.5 min.Yells spasmodically, grimaces, bites his tongue.
0 km.Does not respond to speech, gives the impression of someone who is completely out of his mind.
5 min. (after reaching ground level).Reacts for the first time to vocal stimulation.
7 min.Attempts upon command to arise, says in stereotyped manner: “No, please”.
9 min.Stands up on command; severe ataxia; answers to all questions: “Just a minute”. Tries spasmodically to recall his birth date.
10 min.Typical stereotypes of attitude and movement (catatonia); mumbles number to himself.
11 min.Holds his head turned convulsively to the right; tries repeatedly to answer the first question concerning his birth date.
12 min.Questions of the subject: “May I slice something?” (Note: In civilian work he was a delicatessen clerk.) “May I pant, will it be all right if I inhale?” Breathes deeply, then says, “All right, thank you very much.”
15 min.On being ordered to walk, steps forward and says: “All right, thank you very much”.
17 min.Gives his name; says he was born in 1928 (born 1 November 1908). Experimenter asks: “Where?” “Something 1928” “Profession?” “28—1928”.
18 min.“May I inhale?” “Yes.” “I am content with that.”
25 min.Still the question continues: “Pant?”
28 min.Sees nothing; runs against open window sash upon which the sun is shining, so that large lump is formed on his forehead; says: “Excuse me please.” No expression of pain.

[page 15 of original]

30 min.Knows his name and place of birth. Upon being asked for the day’s date: “1 November 1928”. Shivering of the legs; stupor continues; cannot be frightened by the report of a shot. Dark objects are still not discerned; subject bumps against them. Is aware of bright light; knows his profession; spacially disoriented.
37 min.Reacts to pain stimuli.
40 min.Begins to observe differences. Falls continually into his previous speech stereotypes.
50 min.Spacially oriented.
75 min.Still disoriented in time; retrogressive amnesia over 3 days.
24 hoursNormal condition again attained; has no recollection of the experiment itself.

The events of the descending experiments from 15 km., as shown here through this example, repeated themselves in a similar way in all the rest of the experiments. The average data from 20 experiments with 15 different subjects are as follows:

Table 3
Clear
15 km.UnconsciousnessSubconscious awakeningconsciousness
[47,200 ft.]after—movementsat 0 km.
Suspended16″ = 14.7 km.20½′ = 1.8 km.
[48,220 ft.].[5,910 ft.].18′-90′
Lying20″ = 14.6 km.14′ = 5 km.15′-80′
[47,890 ft.].[16,400 ft.]

Unconsciousness after discontinuation of oxygen occurs following a short motor restlessness with severe altitude sickness, whereupon light spasmodic and then very severe tonic convulsions follow in a condition of complete unconsciousness. These tonic convulsions lasting virtually a minute are followed rather suddenly by a phase of complete

[page 16 of original]

flacidity with a drop in breathing rate and transition to convulsive breathing with 3 to 4 breaths per minute until complete cessation of breathing of 45 seconds duration (post-hypoxemic pseudo-death—Lutz). Then follows a period of improvement in breathing, until the first subconsciousness movements announce the gradual recovery of consciousness, during which, nevertheless, the higher mental functions are temporarily entirely absent. Further recovery proceeds slowly during the course of the following ½ to 1½ hours as may be seen from the above case record. During the time of complete unconsciousness, there was defecation and urination in the case of most subjects, increased salivation and, in some cases, vomiting.

Here we obviously have the conditions which Lutz and Wendt in their animal experimentation which is referred to in greater detail later found in falling experimentation with O2 breathing and designated as “post-hypoxemic twilight state” (“Posthypoxaemischen Daemmerzustand”) since we are dealing with a slow recovery of consciousness, especially also in view of the mental behavior of the experimental subjects. The post hypoxemic pseudo-death observed by Wendt and Lutz was not found in any experiments in the form which they had observed. The severe condition described above we could designate as hypoxemic pseudo-death only because it was limited to the period of the most severe O2 lack (on the average, between 13.3 and 12.3 km.).

In spite of the relatively large number of experiments, the actual cause of the severe mental disturbances and bodily failures (paralysis, blindness, etc.) attendant upon post-hypoxemic twilight state remains something of a riddle. It appeared often as though the phenomena of pressure drop sickness had combined with the results of severe oxygen lack. In this connection, the subjective accounts made by the authors in two experiments each were interesting. In the case of Ro. during a half hour stay at 12 km. [39,400 ft.] with oxygen,

[page 17 of original]

only the usual pains attendant with bends occurred. In a further experiment with a stay of 40 minutes duration at an altitude of between 13 [42,650 ft.] and 13.5 km. [44,290 ft.] there developed very gradually a condition of weakness, combined with a peculiar headache, which then led to a considerable slackening of strength in the arms and hands. As a result of this, Ro. could no longer hold the breathing mouthpiece (for special reasons in these experiments, Ro. had to breathe with a mouthpiece and nose clamp) so that it slid out of his mouth. All these phenomena were still clearly observed by Ro. Ra. returned the mouthpiece to Ro. However at this point Ro. failed rather suddenly with paleness, strong cyanosis of the lips and complete unconsciousness. After Ro. had regained clear consciousness through descent and sufficient O2 breathing, he determined the existence in himself of a complete paralysis of the legs, weakness of the arms and severe disturbances of vision. These serious disturbances developed although the time of oxygen lack and unconsciousness had lasted only about 5 seconds. Following descent soon after this to 0 km., the paralysis of the legs continued for about 5 minutes more and the very severe visual disturbances only cleared up after 2 hours. While this episode of Ro.’s occurred in an experiment at a special altitude, the disturbances occurred in Ra. at an altitude of between 12 [39,400 ft.] and 13 km. [42,700 ft.] while he was breathing sufficient oxygen with a mask and continuous flow into the circuit. After 10 minutes stay at this altitude, pains began on the right side with a spastic paralytic condition of the right leg which increased continually as though Ra.’s whole right side were being crushed between two presses. At the same time there were most severe headaches as though the skull were being burst apart. The pains became continually more severe so that at last the discontinuation of the experiment became necessary. The pains disappeared when ground level was reached while the disturbances of the right leg continued about 5 minutes more. Shortly before the

[page 18 of original]

second experiment, Ra. took two tablets of “Antineuralgica” (a coal tar derivative) and two tablets of pervitin. In the course of the experiments there occurred only light pains in the right arm and leg, moderate headaches, but a very severe uncontrollable urge to cough, actually less severe difficulties than in the foregoing experiment, although this one was made at 1,000 m. [3,280 ft.] higher.

Ro. experienced disturbances which in quality resembled the severe disturbances in the 15 km. [49,200 ft.] sinking experiment, although the degree of oxygen lack in this experiment was negligible in comparison to the 15 km. [49,200 ft.] experiment, so that the idea of a combination of pressure drop phenomena with the phenomena of oxygen lack is definitely suggested.

2. Descending experiments with O2 breathing

Since obviously the utmost limits of these experiments had been reached with the descending experiments from 15 km. [49,200 ft.] without oxygen breathing, descending experiments with oxygen breathing were conducted from greater heights.

In the experiments, the following experimental procedure was chosen: ascent to 8 km. [26,300 ft.], remaining there 5 to 10 minutes with oxygen breathing; then turning on the oxygen blower explosive decompression to a predetermined altitude; 10 seconds waiting time (experiments from 17 [55,800 ft.] and 18 km. [59,100 ft.], altitude without waiting time) and descent at sinking speed. In order to imitate the perpendicular body position as occurs in suspension in a parachute harness, the experimental subjects had to stand during the experiments since suspension was not possible in the small decompression chamber.

In the descending experiments from 15 km. [49,200 ft.] altitude there was no altitude sickness or only a slight temporary kind. In the further descending experiments, the following results were obtained (Table 4):

[page 19 of original]

Table 4.—Descending experiments with oxygen breathing
UnconsciousnessFrom—Recovery of
after—consciousness after—
23 sec. = 15.75 km.16 km. [52,500 ft.]2 min. 35 sec. = 13.55 km.
[51,660 ft.][44,460 ft.]
10 sec. = 16.8 km.17 km. [55,800 ft.]3 min. 50 sec. = 13 km.
[55,120 ft.][42,700 ft.]
7 sec. = 17.9 km.18 km. [59,100 ft.]10 min. 35 sec. = 8.5 km.
[58,740 ft.][27,890 ft.]

Thus it was shown that unconsciousness developed relatively early in spite of oxygen breathing, while the following convulsive stage ran its course in a much less severe form than in the experiments without oxygen breathing. Primarily spasmodic convulsions with only occasionally light tonic convulsions developed. Breathing paralysis never set in and upon recovery of consciousness the experimental subjects were again completely in control of themselves. The markedly quick development of unconsciousness was caused by the fact that the subjects were standing during the experiments (to be considered in comparison with the corresponding times in the falling experiments with oxygen breathing). Descending experiments from still greater altitudes were not undertaken, since in practice there is no need to escape from such altitudes with open parachute and thus to expose oneself to the danger of severe freezing.

3. Falling experiments without oxygen

Since the results of falling experiments from 12 km. altitude were known from earlier experimentation and indeed descending experiments up to 15 km. [49,200 ft.] without oxygen had been conducted within the scope of this work, falling experiments were begun at an altitude of 14 km. [45,900 ft.], in order not to increase unnecessarily the number of experiments.

[page 20 of original]

The ascent preceded by explosive decompression from 8 to 14 and 15 km. altitude, in which the ascent to 8 km. was made with oxygen and the explosive decompression with continuous flow, followed after 5 to 10 minutes waiting time. After the removal of the oxygen mask directly in connection with the explosive decompression, five knee bends were made during the waiting period of 10 seconds, then descent at free fall speed. During the explosive decompression the oxygen supply was interrupted from the outside. The results of these experiments were (Table 5):

Table 5.—Falling experiments without O2 breathing
UnconsciousnessFrom—Recovery of consciousness
after—after—
30 sec. = 13.2 km.14 km.65 sec. = 9.7 km.
[43,310 ft.][45,900 ft.][31,830 ft.]
28 sec. = 14.3 km.15 km.96 sec. = 7.6 km.
[46,900 ft.][49,200 ft.][24,940 ft.]

The further experiments up to 20 km. [65,600 ft.] altitude were made with the same procedure as those up to 15 km. [49,200 ft.], although without knee bends during the waiting period of 10 seconds, since unconsciousness would have occurred too soon as a result of the knee bends and the experimenters had become convinced that rescue from these altitudes would have to be brought about by abandonment of the aircraft without bodily exertion (catapult seat).

(Table 5—Continued)
UnconsciousnessFrom—Recovery of consciousness
after—after—
32 sec. = 14.7 km.16 km.118 sec. = 6.6 km.
[48,220 ft.][52,500 ft.][21,650 ft.]
27 sec. = 15.9 km.17 km.126 sec. = 6.3 km.
[52,150 ft.][55,800 ft.][20,660 ft.]

[page 21 of original]

UnconsciousnessFrom—Recovery of consciousness
after—after—
23 sec. = 17 km.18 km.156 sec. = 4.6 km.
[55,800 ft.][59,100 ft.][15,090 ft.]
20 sec. = 18.5 km.19 km.173 sec. = 3.7 km.
[60,700 ft.][62,300 ft.][12,140 ft.]
17 sec. = 19.75 km.20 km.178 sec. = 3.2 km.
[61,520 ft.][65,600 ft.][10,500 ft.]
15 sec. = 20.875 km.21 km.1 min., 10 sec. after
[68,490 ft.][68,900 ft.]reaching 0 m.

From 21 km. [68,900 ft.] altitude only one experiment was made in this series, just as in the falling experiments, with oxygen breathing since the pumps achieved the evacuation of the main chamber necessary for a pressure drop to 21 km. altitude only after hours of overloading and the fact that the mercury barometer used in these experiments had its limit of measurement at this altitude. The two experiments were considered only as an orientation on the behavior of the human organism at this altitude at which the ebullition point of the blood had already been far surpassed. A systematic working over of these altitudes must be carried on with perfected measuring instruments and a two-stage pump aggregate in a new experimental series.

The result of this falling experiment from 21 km. altitude was made unreliable through the fact that the subject experienced a paralysis of breathing from 11 to 7 km., through which his recovery was doubtless greatly delayed. However, no permanent damage occurred.

4. Falling experiments with oxygen breathing

Falling experiments with oxygen breathing were undertaken only in small numbers for crude orientation for the following reasons: The altitude

[page 22 of original]

was limited by the available equipment to a maximum of 21 km. [68,900 ft.], but indeed from this altitude falling experiments without oxygen breathing had already been profitably carried out. It is self-evident that oxygen breathing during parachute jumps from such extreme altitudes greatly increases in any case the chances of success of the jump and, therefore, is to be unconditionally demanded. For that reason it devolved upon the experimenters only to determine to what degree the results of the experiments are influenced by oxygen breathing, especially in regard to the recovery of consciousness, which, of course, followed without oxygen only at relatively low altitudes. As was to be expected, these experiments showed clearly the favorable effect of oxygen breathing. (Table 6):

Table 6.—Falling experiments with oxygen breathing
UnconsciousnessFrom—Recovery of consciousness
after—after—
21 sec. = 19.5 km.20 km.87 sec. = 10.55 km.
[63,980 ft.][65,600 ft.][34,620 ft.]
15 sec. = 20.875 km.21 km.60 sec. = 12.9 km.
[68,490 ft.][68,900 ft.][42,320 ft.]

The astonishing value of 60 seconds = 12.9 km. [42,320 ft.] for the recovery of consciousness in the 21 km. [68,900 ft.] experiment is explained on the basis that this value was obtained from a single experiment with one subject, who had shown himself in numerous other experiments to be especially resistant to altitude. On the other hand the 20 km. [65,600 ft.] values are the average of a series of experiments.

IV. Discussion of the Results

The descending experiments without oxygen show that the limit for a safe escape with an open parachute lies approximately at a jumping altitude of 13 km. [42,700 ft.], since in a jump from 13 km. [42,700 ft.] recovery of consciousness occurred only at an altitude of 1.6 km. [5,250 ft.], and so one must already consider the possibilities of landing in an unconscious condition with all the attendant dangers. This still does not take into account the heavy demands made on the body by the cold and the consequent risk. The great effect of the body position during the experiment makes it obvious how severe is the effect of every additional demand. While, for example, in the 13 km. [42,700 ft.], experiment upon a seated subject, recovery of consciousness took place after 8 minutes 12 seconds at an altitude of 7.2 km. [23,620 ft.], the suspended subjects recovered consciousness only after 19 minutes at 1.6 km. [5,250 ft.] altitude. Correspondingly also, unconsciousness occurred in the suspended subjects much more rapidly than in those who were seated. The same observation was made in the 15 km. [49,200 ft.] experiments, and indeed those who went through the experiment lying down could already state name and birth date immediately upon reaching ground level although they were paralyzed, while those who had been suspended did not respond at all to speech within this time. Except for one mentally very sluggish subject, the return of normal condition occurred much earlier to those who were lying down, namely within 15 minutes. The descending experiments extended to 18 km. [59,100 ft.] altitude with oxygen breathing showed that, except for the danger of cold, escape with an open parachute is possible from these altitudes even though, practically, no need exists for it.

Before we go into a discussion on the falling experiments it seems essential for us to cite the work of Lutz and Wendt on “Animal Experiments on Parachute Jumping from High-Pressure Cabins.” Unfortunately this work was not available to us during these experiments so that we could not build upon the valuable results contained in it and derived from numerous animal experiments, or upon the experience of the authors. Although both authors approach with necessary scepticism the problem of “reaching decisions through animal experimentation upon questions in

[page 24 of original]

which, in the final analysis, the behavior of the human being in identical situations is of exclusive interest,” they could, and had to depend upon the previously proved experience that no fundamental qualitative differences in the manner of reaction to oxygen lack is to be expected between animals and human beings although there are considerable quantitative differences which, in this case, mean temporal differences. However, the results of our experiments show that to some extent quantitative as well as qualitative differences are present to the extent that the above animal experiments must lead to great fallacies which are significant to future developments. This appears especially in a comparison of results obtained with animals with the collective results of human experimentation upon escape from high altitudes through free fall without oxygen. On the basis of animal experiments, Lutz and Wendt were forced to the conclusion that if oxygen is breathed before the pressure drop “jumps from 14 km. [45,900 ft.] altitude can theoretically be survived—at any rate, that is the maximum altitude * * *,” whereas we were able to carry out human experiments up to 21 km. [68,900 ft.] altitude without any harm whatever. In all experiments at 20 km. [65,600 ft.] the subjects recovered clear consciousness with spontaneous control above 3 km. [9,800 ft.], and so within a sufficient altitude for actual parachute jumping. As instructed before the experiment, the subject rang a cowbell hung up in the chamber by pulling a handle (the equivalent of pulling the rip cord) without a new order to do so, so that under actual conditions they would certainly have also pulled the rip cord at the right time.

Experiments with a pressure drop from 4 km. [13,100 ft.] without previous breathing in of oxygen were not carried out by us because we proceeded from the viewpoint that when contact with the enemy is possible, pressure cabin machines fly with a pressure corresponding to 8 km. [26,200 ft.] altitude and, therefore, the crews would already be breathing oxygen in case of a possible pressure drop as a result of damage to the cabin.

[page 25 of original]

Since the falling experiments without oxygen had already given such good results, falling experiments were begun only at 20 km. [65,600 ft.] altitude, and, because of the limitations described above, could be carried out only to 21 km. [68,900 ft.]. In these the results obtained by Lutz and Wendt were fully corroborated in this respect, that jumps from above 21 km. [68,900 ft.] can probably be made without danger, and that ebullition of the blood does not yet take place up to 21 km. [68,900 ft.] altitude. On the other hand in a falling experiment with human beings, neither a post-hypoxemic pseudo-death nor a post-hypoxemic twilight sleep were ever observed (Lutz).

In conclusion, we must make it particularly clear that, in view of the extreme experimental conditions in this whole experimental series, no fatality and no lasting injury due to oxygen lack occurred.

V. Conclusions from the Results

For practical rescues by parachute jump from the highest and higher altitudes the experiments yielded the following:

The parachute jump without oxygen with immediate opening of the parachute is possible up to a jumping altitude of 13 km. [42,700 ft.]; the jump with oxygen equipment can be made at jumping altitudes up to 18 km. [59,100 ft.]. Advice must be given against jumping and immediate opening of the parachute since there is considerable danger of freezing and there is no need to pull the rip cord at high altitudes. However the experimental data give some indication of the chances of the parachute jumper whose parachute has become unfolded from whatever cause.

The jump with a free fall and opening of the parachute at low altitudes can be made without oxygen equipment up to altitudes of 20 km. [65,600 ft.], with oxygen up to 21 km. [68,900 ft.], and probably considerably higher.

In all the experiments at great height, even in experiments with oxygen breathing, unconsciousness occurred extraordinarily rapidly and was naturally preceded by loss of control before that. In one unfavorable case of a subject in the standing position during a descending experiment with oxygen, jumping from an altitude of 18 km. [59,100 ft.], unconsciousness occurred after 7 seconds. One may not count on a longer time than 10 seconds before loss of control occurs at high altitudes even with the body at rest. So within that time the airplane must be abandoned or at least one must activate the ejection seat. The technical solution of this problem must be found through a different approach. It is certain only that it will be impossible to climb out under one’s own power, that one must avoid absolutely all bodily exertion, and that the time must be kept as short as possible. Rescue is still possible from very great heights; the critical part is the abandoning of the aircraft.

Oxygen equipment is absolutely necessary at these altitudes, since it assures the most favorable conditions for the jump. In case of failure of the equipment, loss of the mouthpiece or other mishaps, we still need not count upon serious disturbances or injuries up to 20 km. [65,600 ft.]. Even jumps from 21 km. [68,900 ft.] will go well if there is automatic opening of the parachute through barometrical control at 7 to 4 km. [23,000 to 13,100 ft.] altitude.

The automatic opening is also essential for several other reasons:

1. In particular cases the parachute jumper is not able to regain consciousness at a sufficient altitude above the ground because of collapse or injury.

2. As a result of cold the jumper may be handicapped by immobility of his hands, and thus be hindered in pulling the rip cord.

3. As a result of the unconsciousness resulting from anoxia, the

[page 27 of original]

parachute jumper loses all sense of the time which has elapsed since his jump, as was shown in all experiments, so that it is impossible for him, with failing eyesight, to estimate his altitude.

On the other hand it is desirable, on the basis of the reason adduced under number 3 above, that the opening of the parachute at altitudes above 7 km. [23,000 ft.] be prevented, since very often the parachute jumper would pull the rip cord immediately after recovering from his altitude sickness, which may be too soon and at too high an altitude.

The best conditions for explosive decompression itself and for the seconds elapsing until the appearance of altitude sickness are provided if flying is done at a cabin pressure corresponding to 8 km. [26,300 ft.] and with oxygen breathing.

Since it may become necessary to abandon the aircraft for reasons other than damage to the pressure cabin, the pressure equalization at a predetermined rate must be made possible by means of a valve.

In case abandonment does not appear necessary in spite of the loss of cabin pressure the danger of oxygen lack is still less with the automatic diving control mechanism than in a parachute jump, since the dive may be made with considerably greater rate of descent.

VI. Summary

Experiments were instituted upon the possibility of rescue from altitudes up to 21 km. [68,900 ft.].

Without parachute oxygen equipment, rescue in descending experiments is still possible from 13 km. [42,700 ft.], with equipment, from 18 km. [59,100 ft.]. The danger arising from cold must be considered.

In falling experiments, rescue from 21 km. [68,900 ft.] altitude with and without oxygen was proved possible. Automatic parachute opening is necessary. Ebullition of the blood does not yet occur at 21 km. [68,900 ft.] altitude.

[page 28 of original]

Oxygen must be breathed before explosive decompression. Abandonment must be by means of the ejection seat. The dive to safe altitude offers good possibilities of rescue if abandonment of the plane is not necessary after loss of the cabin pressure.

Bibliography

Lutz and Wendt—“Animal Experiments on Parachute Jumping from High-Pressure Cabins.” Communications in the Field of Aviation Medicine, Research Report 5/42.

Romberg—“The Parachute Jump from Great Heights.” German Aviation Research, Research Report No. 1416.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 343-A-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 62

LETTER FROM MILCH TO WOLFF, 20 MAY 1942, REGARDING CONTINUATION OF EXPERIMENTS

Field Marshal Milch

Secret

Berlin W 8, 20 May 1942 Leipzigerstrasse 7

Dear Wolffy!

In reference to your telegram of 12 May our medical inspector reports to me that the altitude experiments carried out by the SS and Air Force at Dachau have been finished. Any continuation of these experiments seems essentially unreasonable. However the carrying out of experiments of some other kind, in regard to perils at high sea, would be important. These have been prepared in immediate agreement with the proper offices; Major (M. C.) Weltz will be charged with the execution and Captain (M. C.) Rascher will be made available until further orders in addition to his duties within the Medical Corps of the Air Corps. A change of these measures does not appear necessary, and an enlargement of the task is not considered pressing at this time.

The low-pressure chamber would not be needed for these low-temperature experiments. It is urgently needed at another place and therefore can no longer remain in Dachau.

I convey the special thanks from the Supreme Commander of the Air Corps to the SS for their extensive cooperation.

I remain with best wishes for you, in good comradeship and with

Heil Hitler!

Always yours

[Signed] E. Milch

SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff

Berlin SW 11.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 343-B-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 70

LETTER FROM MILCH TO HIMMLER, 31 AUGUST 1942, ACKNOWLEDGING RECEIPT OF REPORTS BY RASCHER AND ROMBERG ON HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS

Field Marshal Milch

Berlin, W 8, 31 Aug. 1942 Leipzigerstrasse 7

Dear Herr Himmler!

I thank you very much for your letter of 25 August. I have read with great interest the reports of Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg. I am informed about the current experiments. I shall ask the two gentlemen to give a lecture combined with the showing of motion pictures to my men in the near future.

Hoping that it will be possible for me to see you on the occasion of my next visit to Headquarters, I remain with best regards and

Heil Hitler!

Yours,

[Signed]  E. Milch

Reich Leader SS and Chief of the German Police Himmler

Berlin SW 11.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-289

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 72

LETTER FROM HIPPKE TO HIMMLER, 8 OCTOBER 1942, THANKING THE LATTER FOR HIS ASSISTANCE IN HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS IN DACHAU

Berlin W 8, 8 October 1942 Leipziger Str. 7

Telephone 52 00 24

To the Chief of the German Police, Reich Fuehrer SS Himmler, Berlin SW. 11, Prinz Albrecht Str. 8

Subject: Letter 1309/42 of 25 August 1942 to State Secretary Milch concerning experiments for rescue from high altitudes.

Very honored Reich Leader SS,

In the name of German research on aviation medical problems, I beg to thank you very obediently for the great help and all the interest shown in the Dachau experiments; these experiments form a complement which is, for us, of great value and importance.

The fact that an atmosphere with so little oxygen can be endured at all for some time is most encouraging for further research.

It is true that no conclusions as to the practice of parachuting can be drawn for the time being, as a very important factor, namely cold, has so far not yet been taken into consideration; it places an extraordinary excess burden on the entire body and its vital movements, so that the results in actual practice will very likely prove to be far more unfavorable than in the present experiments.

In the meantime the supplementary tasks required now have been begun. In part they will have to be finished only after completion of the new Research Institute for Aviation Medicine of the Reich Air Ministry in Tempelhof, whose low-pressure chamber will include all cold generating apparatus and also an installation for producing conditions at a height of 30 kilometers.

Freezing experiments in another direction are, in, part, still being made at Dachau.

When the work will need once more your sympathetic assistance, may I be allowed to get in touch with you again through Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher?

Heil Hitler

[Signed] Prof. Dr. Hippke

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-224

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 76

NOTE BY ROMBERG ON SHOWING OF FILM IN OFFICE OF STATE SECRETARY MILCH, AND PROPOSED REPORT TO MILCH, 11 SEPTEMBER 1942

On 11 September 1942, at 9:45 o’clock, Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg met, according to telephonic and oral agreements with Colonel Pendele, in the antechamber of the State Secretary. We were informed that the State Secretary had ordered this conference at the present stage, in the course of which a report on experiments concerning “rescue from great heights” was to be made, and the motion picture concerning these experiments was to be shown. The gentlemen waiting in the antechamber of the State Secretary and in the corridor (most of them from the experimental staff) were informed that previous to the conference a motion picture was to be shown, so that all went to the projection room on the fifth floor. Here quite a large number of people were already present, so that 30-40 persons were there in all. Among them were officers, medical and engineer officers—we know some of them personally—some whose presence surprised us in view of the top secret nature of the motion picture and of the experiments. No checking of the persons present was done, nor was there an attendance list. As, after a short time of waiting, the State Secretary had not come, the motion picture was shown, without giving us an opportunity for preliminary or explanatory remarks. During the intermission between the two parts of the motion picture, Dr. Rascher referred once more to the strict obligation of secrecy ordered by the Reich Leader SS. After completion of the showing of the motion picture—the State Secretary had not come, as he had been summoned to see the Reich Marshal [Goering]—the persons present still talked a little while about the motion picture, on which occasion less interest was shown in the subject itself than in the place of the experiments and the individuals who had been the subjects. After this period of time, during which we were neither called upon to make any statements whatsoever nor were we, considering the great forum and the absence of the State Secretary, inclined to give any reports the greater part of those present went back to the development conference, while Oberstarzt Wuerfler, Oberstarzt Professor Kalk, Stabsarzt Bruehl and Regierungsrat Benzinger asked us to make a report to a small medical circle. As, however, the State Secretary had prohibited that any report be made before the distribution had been decided on, we refused to disclose the results of the experiments. Oberstarzt Kalk stated that he was willing to report to the State Secretary our wishes concerning the distribution of the report and the continuation of the experiments. The film was handed to Colonel Vorwald.

According to the conference with Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers, I tried to get the film back on the same day, but Colonel Vorwald was still at the development conference. When I telephoned the next day and requested that the film be handed back, Colonel Vorwald declared that he would like to keep the film until after Sunday, 13 September, since on this day the Reich Marshal was coming and might perhaps desire to see the film. Accordingly, I let Colonel Vorwald keep the film for that day. On 14 September, I went to fetch the film from Colonel Vorwald, and was informed that it had not been shown. On the same day I spoke with Stabsarzt Bruehl, who informed me that Oberstarzt Kalk had transmitted, still on 11 September, our wishes concerning distribution and confirmation of the experiments to the State Secretary. The State Secretary had approved the distribution schedule, and said that a continuation of the experiments was not urgent. A few days later the distribution schedule accepted by the State Secretary was sent to the German Aviation Research Institute by Colonel Pendele, and the report was subsequently transmitted by the Institute to the offices concerned. Since that time I have not received any news either concerning the film or concerning the report.

[Signed] Dr. Romberg


TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1612-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 79

LETTER FROM RUDOLF BRANDT TO RASCHER, 13 DECEMBER 1942, AND HIMMLER’S ORDER ASSIGNING RASCHER TO HIGH-ALTITUDE EXPERIMENTS

The Reich Leader SS

Field Command Post
[Rubber stamp]:Personal Staff of Reich Leader SS
Documentation Section
File No.: Confidential
Field Command Post, 13 December 1942
The Reich Leader SS
Personal Staff
Journal No. 19/10/43 g, Bra/Secret
1.Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. med. Rascher [illegible] * * * SS
2.Reich Leader SS Berlin
3.Medical Office in SS Fuehrungshauptamt (SS Operational Main Office) Berlin
4.SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, Berlin
5.Ahnenerbe Berlin-Dahlem

Enclosed I am sending you a letter of the Reich Leader SS (copy of same) with an order for SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher.

You are requested to duly note and accord needed assistance to Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher in the carrying through of his experiments.

By order

[Initialed] B.

SS Obersturmbannfuehrer

Prinz Albrechtstrasse
[Rubber stamp]Personal Staff of Reich Leader SS
Documentation Section
Journal No.: Confidential

SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher is being assigned by me to carry through the following experiments:

1. Low-pressure chamber experiments—to be carried out under conditions corresponding to those actually prevailing under normal operating conditions—for rescue from high and extremely high altitudes. Determination of changes in chemical equilibrium, as well as gas equilibrium of human body. Experiments are to be repeated until a scientifically incontestable basis for findings is established. Testing of pressure-proof protection garments for the highest altitudes to be carried out with the assistance of manufacturers of such protective suits.

2. Tests for reimparting warmth after total chilling of the human body, recording all changes of chemical and gas characteristics, are to be further continued until complete clarification of doubtful questions. I attach particular value to conditions for experiments coming as close to actual conditions as possible, particularly as regards reimpartation of warmth. Sauna equipment available in Dachau should be used in connection with experiments on reimpartation of warmth.

3. Experiments on removal of effects due to freezing of parts of human system, especially the extremities, to be carried through in suitable form (e. g. applications with Gastein water).

4. Experiments concerned with adaptation to freezing cold in snow huts (igloos) to be carried out under varying diets in order to establish whether adaptation to cold [German text says “Gewaehrung”, i. e. consent, which evidently is a typographical error] and resistance increase against freezing is possible. These experiments are to be carried out on the site of the SS Mountain Retreat Sudelfeld.

5. The procurement of the apparatus needed for all the experiments should be discussed in detail with the offices of the Reicharzt SS, of the SS Main Office for Economic Administration and with the Ahnenerbe. The necessary chemical products, medical supplies, and glassware will be made available by the SS Medical Office, Berlin.

6. Publication of results obtained in such tests subject to my approval only.

[Signed] H. Himmler

EXTRACTS FROM THE TESTIMONY OF TRIBUNAL WITNESS WALTER NEFF[25]

EXAMINATION BY PROSECUTION


Mr. McHaney: * * * When did the high-altitude experiments begin in Dachau?

Witness Neff: The first high-altitude experiments were on 22 February 1942. The so-called low-pressure chambers had been brought in earlier and dismounted. The exact time when the chambers came is not known to me.

Q. Why do you remember the date when the first experiments were made in the low-pressure chambers so well?

A. The 22d of February is my birthday and the tubercular patients gave a party for me. On that date the experiments started, and that is why I remember the date.


Q. Will you tell the Tribunal who worked on these experiments?

A. The experiments were conducted by Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg. Ten prisoners were selected and were taken to the station as permanent experimental subjects; and they were told that nothing would happen to them. In the beginning, the first 3 weeks, the experiments went off without incident. One day, however, Rascher told me the next day he was going to make a serious experiment and that he would need 16 Russians who had been condemned to death, and he received these Russians. Then I told Rascher that I would not help, and I actually got Rascher to send me away to the tubercular ward. On that day I know for certain that Rascher’s SS man Endres or other SS men conducted these experiments. Dr. Romberg was not there that day. The SS man Endres took the Russian prisoners of war to Rascher and in the evening the parties were taken out. On the next day when I returned to the station, Endres was already there and he said that two more, two Jews, would be killed. I am quoting what he said. I left the station again, but I watched to see who would be taken for the experiments. I saw the first one getting into the car. I could only see his profile. It seemed familiar to me. I knew that man worked in the hospital as a tailor. I tried to find out if it was really that man. I went to the place where he worked, and I was told that Endres had just taken the man away. The first person that I informed was Dr. Romberg whom I met in the corridor. I told Romberg that this was not a person who had been condemned to death, that this was a clear case of murder on the responsibility of Endres. Romberg went with me to see Rascher to clear the matter up, but it was discovered that Endres had put this man in the experimental car because he had refused to make a civilian suit for him. Rascher sent the man back; Endres went with him and remarked: “Well, then you will get an injection today.” I must say that Rascher interfered once more and put the man in safety into the bunker. In the meantime, Endres had brought a second man up, a Czech, whom I knew very well. Again it was Romberg together with me who talked to Rascher to stop this experiment or to inquire why a man like Endres was simply taking people who had never been condemned to death. Rascher went to the camp commandant, Piorkowski, who personally came to the station and Endres was transferred to Lublin immediately.

And now I come to the subject: it was actually the day on which my comrade and I reached the decision that under all circumstances, no matter what happened, I would not remain at this——

Q. Now, Witness, let me interrupt you just a minute. We will come back and you can tell the full story then.


Presiding Judge Beals: I will ask the Secretary General to turn this book over to counsel for the prosecution, and defense counsel may examine the book.

Mr. McHaney: Now, Witness, before the recess, you had been telling the Tribunal about the high-altitude experiments which you stated began on 22 February 1942, and you had related how early in March Rascher had experimented upon some 15 Russians who were killed and you stated that neither you nor the defendant Romberg were present on that occasion and you then had gone on to relate that an SS man in Dachau named Endres had brought in the tailor at the camp and wanted him to be experimented upon and how you recognized the tailor and interceded with Romberg and had this man returned. Now, before you continue with your story, I would like to put some specific questions to you. It is true, is it not, that concentration camp inmates were experimented on during these high-altitude experiments?

Witness Neff: Yes.

Q. About how many concentration camp inmates were subjected to these high-altitude experiments?

A. There were 180 to 200 inmates who were subjected to the high-altitude experiments.

Q. When, to the best of your recollection, did the high-altitude experiments end?

A. The incident of the dead—I am afraid I didn’t quite get your question. Will you repeat it?

Q. I am asking you, Witness, when the high-altitude experiments ended, that is, when they were completed.

A. During the course of June—maybe the beginning of July, the low-pressure chambers were taken away. I don’t recollect the exact date, however.

Q. And you state that between 22 February 1942 and the end of June, or the beginning of July 1942, approximately 180 to 200 concentration camp inmates were experimented on?

A. Yes.

Q. What nationalities were the experimental subjects?

A. I cannot say that with certainty but I think that approximately all nations were represented there; that is, all nations that were in the camp, mostly Russians, Poles, Germans, and Jews belonging to any nation. I do not remember any other nationalities being represented there.

Q. Were any of these experimental subjects prisoners of war?

A. Yes.

Q. What nationalities were they? Do you recall?

A. They were Russians.

Q. Now, will you tell the Tribunal how these experimental subjects were selected?

A. The experimental subjects who had to be subjected to severe experiments, experiments that would end in death, were requested by Rascher from the camp administration and then furnished by the SS; however, this procedure differed with the so-called series of experiments and a number of other experiments. For those experiments, the people were brought into the experimental station straight from the camp, that is, from the blocks.

Q. Now, did they, to your knowledge, make any effort in the camp to secure volunteers for these experiments?

A. There were certain volunteers for these experiments. That was because Rascher promised certain persons that they would be released from the camp if they underwent these experiments. He sometimes promised them that they would be detailed to more favorable work.

Q. Now, about how many of such volunteers would you say there were for the high-altitude experiments?

A. I do not know the exact number. It was not very high; approximately 10 inmates volunteered for that purpose.

Q. Did these volunteers come one at a time, or did they come in a body, or just how did they present themselves to the experimental stations?

A. Rascher moved around the camp quite a lot and on that occasion the inmates spoke to him.

Q. In other words, the camp officials and Rascher and Romberg made no effort to find volunteers, did they?

A. I don’t know, but I should not think so. I should not think that they made great efforts to get volunteers.

Q. Now, other than these approximately 10 persons who you state presented themselves as volunteers, were all the rest of the experimental subjects simply picked out and brought in and experimented on?

A. Yes.

Q. Were any of these prisoners experimented upon released from the concentration camp because they underwent the experiments?

A. There is only one man who was released after the high-altitude experiments.

Q. And who was that?

A. An inmate with the name of Sobota.

Q. And did Sobota assist Rascher in his experimental work other than simply undergoing the experiment? Was he something in the nature of an assistant to Rascher?

A. No. Sobota was one of those persons who had to undergo most of the experiments and he was also used on one experiment which was conducted in the presence of the Reich Leader SS. On that occasion he was asked by the Reich Leader how long he had been in the camp and he promised him that he would be released. He was later sent to the Group Dirlewanger.

Q. Was it considered a privilege to be released to the Group Dirlewanger?

A. No. The inmates who later were forced to transfer to the Group Dirlewanger thought that this was the worst thing that could happen to them.

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal just what the Group Dirlewanger was?

A. The Group Dirlewanger was an SS division who received their education in Oranienburg and who were used for special purposes. At one time 200 German political inmates in this group were transferred to Russia. All persons who were forced to join this group were very disgusted at being forced to join the SS and fight for them. They considered being selected to join the SS as the very worst disgrace.

Q. Was the Dirlewanger a special commando group?

A. Yes, it was a special commando group and was assigned to the most dangerous spots. However, I only know that from comrades to whom I have spoken about this matter after the liberation.

Q. Other than the prisoner Sobota, were there any other concentration camp inmates released as a result of undergoing the high-altitude experiments?

A. I know of no case except Sobota.

Q. Do you know of any cases where a prisoner condemned to death had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment because he underwent the high-altitude experiments?

A. No.

Q. Witness, were any political prisoners used in these high-altitude experiments?

A. Yes, there were political prisoners who were used in these experiments. All foreigners were considered political prisoners.

Q. Witness, tell the Tribunal how one could tell the difference between a political and a criminal prisoner in a concentration camp?

A. All inmates had certain squares with letters; the political inmates had red squares; the German political inmates had a plain red square; the Poles had a red square with a “P” marked on it; the Russians with an “R”; all nationalities could be identified by the first letter of their country. The red square with a yellow star was the Jew. The green square, on the other hand was the sign of the so-called professional criminal. Here it must be said that there were quite a number of people with green squares who did not fall under the classification of professional criminals, but who were sent to the camp with that square since the Gestapo could find no excuse to send them into the camp as political prisoners.

Q. Now, was this square really a square or a triangle?

A. It was really a triangle with the head of the triangle pointed down to the earth. If it pointed upward, it indicated a member of the Wehrmacht who was sent to the camp for punishment.


Q. Witness, were any Jews experimented on in these high-altitude experiments?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, tell the Tribunal approximately how many prisoners were killed during the course of the high-altitude experiments?

A. During the high-altitude experiments 70 to 80 persons were killed.

Q. Did they experiment on prisoners other than those condemned to death?

A. Yes.

Q. Were any of those prisoners who had not been condemned to death killed during the course of the high-altitude experiments?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have any idea how many may have been killed?

A. There could have been approximately 40 persons.

Q. That is, 40 persons were killed, who had not been condemned to death, out of a total of 70, did you say?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, were some of those killed political prisoners?

A. Yes.

Q. Is there any way of telling whether or not a prisoner had been condemned to death—that is, when the experimental subject arrived in the pressure chamber, was there any way to know whether he had been condemned to death?

A. Once the experimental subjects came from the Bunker, that is, if the SS brought them out, we could always tell they were prisoners who had been condemned to death. When the inmates were sent by the camp leader, and were brought there by him, then we could also tell they were persons who came from the camp, and that they were not persons who had been condemned to death.

Q. Could Romberg know this just as you did?

A. He could only know it if he tried to find out about it, because he could hardly differentiate whether the person concerned came from the Bunker or came from the camps.

Q. But you could tell that yourself?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Romberg ever ask you whether or not these experimental subjects had been condemned to death?

A. I do not remember Romberg ever asking me about that.

Q. Were records kept in the concentration camp which showed whether or not a man had been condemned to death?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know whether Romberg ever checked these records?

A. I do not know that.

Q. You do not know if he ever checked them, is that right?

A. No.

Q. Can you remember, approximately, how many deaths Romberg witnessed during these high-altitude experiments, if any?

A. I can remember five cases where Romberg was present during cases of death; whether he was present on other occasions, I do not know. It is possible, but I am not sure of it.

Q. You are sure of only five cases?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Romberg ever make any objections concerning these deaths?

A. I do not know of Romberg having made any protests against it.

Q. He did not make any protest in your presence?

A. Only at the time when we were concerned with the incident which I spoke of earlier. I do not know anything about anything else.


EXTRACTS FROM THE TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT RUDOLF BRANDT[26]

DIRECT EXAMINATION


Dr. Kauffmann: Now I should like to speak to you about Document Book No. 2, concerning the high-altitude experiments of Dr. Rascher. You said this morning that you knew Rascher?

Defendant Rudolf Brandt: Yes.

Q. Did you see him frequently?

A. Very few times in the course of 4 to 5 years.

Q. Did he come to your office and speak with you?

A. Twice when I was about to leave Munich by train, he and his wife brought a letter for Himmler to the station and gave it to me.

Q. And what did he want when he came to Himmler’s front office and saw you?

A. Either he brought a report or a letter; as I said, this could not have happened more than 4 or 5 times.

Q. Were you ever present when Himmler talked with Rascher?

A. No. I was never present at those conferences.

Q. Did Rascher ever tell you personally, either before or after a conference with Himmler, why he had come?

A. No. Afterwards we never spoke about these visits because I had no time for that.

Q. But you do not want to deny that you knew that Rascher was carrying out experiments on human beings in Dachau?

A. Yes, that I knew.

Q. Did you ever visit Dachau yourself?

A. No. I was never in Dachau nor in any other concentration camp.

Q. Did you yourself ever take part in experiments on human beings?

A. No.

Q. Did you see these photographs which are supplements to the document books?

A. I cannot recall ever having seen them.

Q. Now, please turn to page 53. This is a letter from Rascher to Himmler in which he makes suggestions to Himmler for the first time that human being experiments should be carried out in Dachau. In this letter he says that in these experiments he would certainly have to count on fatal consequences for some of the subjects. Do you remember receiving this letter? If not, can you say how you probably would have handled this letter when it came?

A. I do not remember the letter. As in all cases I certainly would have put this letter among the mail that Himmler would read personally, after one glance through it had assured me that it was a medical matter in which Himmler was generally interested.

Dr. Kauffman: We are speaking now, your Honor, of 1602-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 44.

Q. Now, please look at page 57 of the German document book. This is 1582-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 45, a letter from you to Rascher in which you tell him that, of course, prisoners will gladly be made available for high-altitude experimentation. Was this letter written on your own initiative or is it a case similar to all the others that you have brought up here, namely, a letter written on orders from Himmler?

A. This letter does not originate with me. It can be traced back to clear orders from Himmler.

Q. Now, please take a look at 1581-A-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 48, a letter that bears your signature, addressed to Sievers. Here you write that low-pressure experiments are being carried out by the Luftwaffe in Dachau on prisoners there. Then look at the next Document, 1971-A-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 49, a letter from Rascher to Himmler. In the first sentence of this letter there is mention of an enclosed interim report, and there is no doubt that this interim report was enclosed. Now, did you read this interim report?

A. I should assume that I did not because firstly, such medical reports were quite incomprehensible to me as a layman; and, secondly, because of all the work which I had to do, I did not have enough time to concern myself with reports which, first of all, I didn’t understand and, secondly, did not interest me. Thus it is that I put this report in with the mail that Himmler was to read without reading it myself.

Q. Now, please look at 1971-D-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 52, apparently a teletype message from Rascher to you. Here Rascher asks whether Poles and Russians are also to be pardoned if they have survived several severe experiments. In 1971-E-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 53, your answer is to be found, a teletype message to Obersturmfuehrer Schnitzler in Munich. In this letter you say that experimental subjects are not to be pardoned if they are Poles or Russians. This document was given particular stress by the prosecution, and its cruel and atrocious nature was emphasized. Do you remember this document or can you give us any explanation of how it came about that you signed this teletype message?

A. I cannot remember this communication. Of course, I cannot here state under oath whether this is one of those cases in which a teletype message was sent on Himmler’s orders with my signature to it. It is also quite possible that I saw this message and knew its contents and sent it off, after receiving instructions from Himmler.

Q. But I should think that you would still remember a document with such contents today; and yet you say that you do not remember it?

A. No, I do not. In view of the enormous number of orders that I got from Himmler, I could not concern myself enough with the details of each matter in order to be able to remember them for any length of time.

Q. Do you perhaps know whether you discussed this matter with Himmler and then waited for his orders?

A. I cannot say that. I assume that I put the teletype message among his mail and then received his instructions along with all the rest of his orders.

Q. Now, I want to discuss NO-402, Prosecution Exhibit 66. This is a letter to the German Research Institute for Aviation. This letter accompanies a long report, the subject of which is rescuing pilots from high altitudes. Do you have that report now in front of you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you work on this report or at least give a cursory glance at it?

A. I certainly did not work on it, and I did not even give it a cursory glance, first of all because it is a medical report, and secondly, because it is much too long.


EXTRACTS FROM THE TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT ROMBERG[27]

DIRECT EXAMINATION


Dr. Vorwerk: Now, we’ll go back to the point of Rascher’s position in the experiment.

Defendant Romberg: I said that without Rascher there would never have been any intention of carrying out the experiments and it would never have been possible. This can be seen from Himmler’s original assignment. Practical proof of this is the fact that the experiments were stopped immediately when there were difficulties with Rascher’s assignment. This is proved by the letter from Frau Rascher to the Reich Leader SS, dated 24 February 1942. (NO-263, Pros. Ex. 47.) In this letter Frau Rascher writes that there were difficulties of command and that the experiments were stopped; that Rascher had gone back to Schongau. That was the time when I went back to Berlin. Later on when the experiments were actually carried out, Rascher had expressly forbidden me to perform experiments in Dachau without his permission or his presence, so that I never did perform any experiments without Rascher. I always waited until he was there. On the days when he was in Schongau no experiments were performed. Generally, I did not even go to the experimental station. Sometimes I went to write—but certainly never to carry out experiments. This rule, although, of course, it often delayed the work, seemed justified to me because Rascher had permission from Himmler to perform these experiments and was responsible to him for the experimental subjects. Also, I myself was under the authority of the camp at Dachau which seriously restricted my independence, for example, my freedom of movement or talking to prisoners and similar things. Rascher himself, on the other hand, had a very free position on the basis of the powers which he had received from Himmler and because of a special pass. The Dachau camp was under Himmler’s authority. This is shown by the letter from Himmler to Milch of November 1942. (1617-PS, Pros. Ex. 77 (Pros. Ex. 111, Milch Case).) In this letter Himmler spoke of Holzloehner’s conduct and adds that the Dachau camp was under his orders, and Holzloehner would have to submit. It was under these conditions that Rascher took the low-pressure chamber from the SS in Munich and set it up there.

Q. Who took care of the maintenance work on the chamber during the experiments?

A. There was not a great deal of maintenance work necessary; loading the batteries or supplying the oxygen for the experiments was taken care of by Rascher and was probably paid for by the camp.

Q. Was Rascher responsible to you for that?

A. No, Rascher was not responsible to me at all. He was responsible to the Medical Inspectorate because the chamber belonged to them.

Q. Did you have ah opportunity to give Rascher any orders or instructions, or to prohibit anything?

A. No, that can no doubt be seen from what I have already said. I could not give him any orders. I certainly could not forbid him to do anything. Concerning the conduct of these experiments on rescue from high altitudes, I merely had a certain advisory right as is customary for two scientists who are working together on the same task when one of the two has greater knowledge pertinent to the specific task.

Q. You said the experiments began on 22 or 23 February; was that when you saw the experimental subjects for the first time?

A. Yes. On that day I went out to Dachau with Rascher for the first time and met the experimental subjects for the first time.

Q. About how many were there?

A. There were 10 or 12.

Q. Could it have been 5?

A. Five? No, there were certainly more than that.

Q. Could it have been 15?

A. Yes, that is possible.

Q. Did you talk to the experimental subjects on that day before the experiments began?

A. I believe on that day we mostly talked. Whether any proper experiments were done at all on that first day, I don’t remember. At any rate I talked to the experimental subjects and got to know them a little on the first day.

Q. What did you talk about with the experimental subjects?

A. They were quite new surroundings for me, of course. They were all professional criminals who were in custody.

Q. How do you know that?

A. They told me that gradually in the course of conversation. They didn’t, of course, have complete confidence on the first day and did not tell me all about their previous convictions. But after careful inquiries one discovered that they had been condemned for certain crimes, repeatedly convicted, and finally had been condemned to protective custody.

Q. Why did you talk to the experimental subjects on this day?

A. It is quite natural when one begins to work with such a group that a certain personal contact is necessary. We had to get to know each other. I talked to them about their profession, if I may call it that, and of course I told them something about the experiments, what the whole thing was all about, what they themselves had to do to cooperate in the same way as my usual experimental subjects.

Q. Was the reason for this investigation to prepare the subjects for their activity or to check whether these people were actually volunteers?

A. No. It was more to get to know the subjects personally. The situation was this: in the discussion with the camp commandant on the basis of the agreement with Rascher and his authorization from Himmler, a very definite agreement had been reached to the effect that these people were to be selected from the volunteers. Therefore, a clear agreement had been reached on the conditions, about which there could be no doubts basically. When I met the subjects for the first time personally and talked to them about the principle of the experiments and their duties, and so forth, of course I also inquired why they had volunteered—not because of any distrust of the camp commandant, but just for that reason.

Q. You thought, accordingly, that they were volunteers?

A. I didn’t only think they were. They told me so themselves.

Q. How do you know that so definitely for each case?

A. In the course of time—not on the first day but in the course of time—I talked to all of them frequently in some detail, and gradually they told me about their previous convictions and what other prisons and penitentiaries they had been in before they came to the camp, and they also told me the reasons why they had volunteered.

Q. Do you mean to say that all the experimental subjects used for the high-altitude experiments were volunteers?

A. Yes.

Q. Now before these subjects entered the chamber did you prepare them for what they had to do and tell them the significance of the whole thing?

A. Yes, of course. First I explained the whole question to them in broad outline, so that they would know what it was about and what the purpose of the experiment was. In detail I told them specifically what they had to do in the experiments. There was the writing test during which they had to write numbers from 1,000 backwards; then the cardinal point was that after the altitude sickness during the experiments, as soon as they came to, they had to pull the rip cord. We had a handle in the chamber connected to a bell. This was to represent pulling the rip cord of the parachute. This had to be explained to them carefully, otherwise they wouldn’t have understood it and wouldn’t have reacted correctly.

Q. Now, before the experiments began, did you have an electrocardiogram of each separate subject?

A. Yes and again later on.

Q. Please explain that.

A. Rascher had first examined the people to see if they were suitable for the experiments, so there would be no heart defects or anything like that. Then in order to get an exact control, before the beginning of the experiments we took an electrocardiogram of all the subjects. In almost all the experiments the electrocardiograms were registered and at the end, when the experiments were finished, we took another electrocardiogram of all the subjects in order to have material because perhaps even if there was no visible injury, there might still be some effects which could only be determined by such tests.

Q. Now, how long did these experiments on rescue from high altitude last, approximately?

A. Well, they really began on about 10 or 11 March and they lasted until 19 or 20 May.

Q. Following that, you prepared the report which has been submitted by the prosecution?

A. Yes.

Q. In this report you have a sentence saying that during the experiments on rescue from high altitudes there were no deaths and there had been no injury to health; is that correct?

A. Yes, it is correct that that sentence is in the report, and it is also true that there were no deaths or other injuries.

Q. But here in the testimony of the witness Neff you heard that there were deaths?

A. Yes.

Q. What do you have to say about that?

A. In addition to our joint experiments on rescue from high altitudes, Rascher conducted experiments of his own. He did not tell me the exact problem; he merely said that he was performing these experiments for Himmler and that they had to do with explosive decompression sickness and electrocardiograms. He had apparently carried out secret experiments for some time on this problem, but then in my presence he continued them with special subjects. In the course of these experiments the first death occurred at the end of April in my presence. He told me in the course of our conversations that he wanted to qualify as a lecturer on the basis of these experiments which were ordered by Himmler. He wanted to get Dr. Fahrenkamp into it but this cooperation never came about because the experiments were broken off.

Before this death I had no reason to object to the experiments in any way since Rascher was using other subjects and had a separate assignment from Himmler for them. My assignment was to perform the experiments on rescue from high altitudes and I carried it out together with Rascher.

Q. How many deaths took place in your presence?

A. Three.

Q. But Neff spoke of five deaths at which you were present.

A. There could only have been three.

Q. Why could there only have been three?

A. Because I remember. After all they were deaths and they made a definite impression on me; I know it.

Q. Why did death in the low-pressure chamber make such an impression on you?

A. In the innumerable low-pressure-chamber experiments not only performed by us, but everywhere in Germany in other institutes, we never had any deaths at all, and the opinion at that time was that any necessary problem of aviation medicine could be solved without deaths.

Q. Now, how did it happen that you were present at these deaths, since you say these experiments did not belong to your series of experiments?

A. At the beginning of April or in the middle of April, Rascher told me for the first time that he was performing experiments with slow ascension and that he had attempted to work with Fahrenkamp but the work had been interrupted when the latter was sent away. I said that had nothing to do with our experiments and was quite unimportant and uninteresting from our point of view. He admitted that, but said it was a specific question which especially interested him personally and which he had to work on. I did not see these experiments, which according to records here lasted 8 to 10 hours. He probably always performed them on the days I was absent because these 8 to 10 hours would have interfered considerably with our experiments. He expanded these experiments and performed time-reserve experiments at certain altitudes to test the adaptation which he had been testing before in the slow-ascension experiments. This was an experiment in which the subject remains at the same altitude, in contrast to the falling or sinking experiments where the pressure is constantly increased, that is, when the altitude is decreased. As his interim reports show, he extended these experiments to high altitudes and the time reserve was studied either with or without oxygen. The suggestion for this in part came obviously from other work, such as that of Dr. Kliches.

I sometimes observed these experiments. He performed them correctly; he watched the subjects so that there was, in itself, no objection to these experiments. The only thing was that they interfered with our experiments from the point of view of time, and Rascher’s lack of punctuality was a much greater annoyance in this respect. According to the documents, as well as the witness Neff, Rascher apparently had deaths in these experiments. The first deaths were evidently unexpected. In these unexpected deaths the electrocardiogram and the autopsy findings, together with his reports, apparently gave Himmler the idea that these experiments should be carried on further, and in addition that Fahrenkamp should be called in to extend them as far as possible scientifically. The fact that Himmler was covering them apparently induced him in my presence to perform experiments which were dangerous, and in which deaths occurred. The fact that I had been present several times at previous experiments brought about my presence at that fatal experiment, too.

Q. Did you not think it unusual that during an experimental series which you and Rascher were to carry out together, Himmler suddenly gave Rascher orders for special experiments?

A. Yes. I did not have any specific experience in this direction, but on principle it is nothing unusual if when two people are working together on a certain job, one of them receives an additional assignment from his chief to carry out other work on his own. In addition, Rascher was also working in Schongau at the same time on behalf of Luftgau VII. I, myself, had work of my own in the DVL, which my associates were carrying on and which I inquired about when I happened to be in Berlin. No one could dispute the fact that Himmler, as Reich Leader SS and Chief of the German Police and as Rascher’s boss insofar as he was an SS member, had the right to give assignments to his subordinates and to order them to carry out experiments on experimental subjects in a concentration camp.


Q. Now, in your opinion, what is the distinction between your presence at the experiments on rescue from high altitudes and your occasional presence during Rascher’s experiments?

A. In the experiments on rescue from high altitudes I was not merely present. I performed the experiments myself. That is, I called the experimental subjects myself, or sometimes Rascher called them. Of course, then I explained to the people what they had to do, what they had to write, what they had to pay special attention to, and that when they registered the electrocardiogram, in order not to interfere with it, they had to keep still; and then when the experiment had started I directed the experiment myself. I watched the altitude of the mercury indicator, and the calculated speed of ascension and descension, which I checked with the stop watch. Of course, at the same time I observed the subject, in other words, the persons in the experiments. In Rascher’s experiments which were at a certain altitude—that is, the subjects were ascended to a certain altitude and then remained at that altitude—I sometimes watched if I happened to be in the low-pressure chamber, but otherwise he performed these experiments alone just as he did when I was not present. He even laid great stress on performing them alone. It is clear to me now that he did not want me to observe any special results; that is apparently why he performed the other experiments in the evening or when I was away.

Q. After the first death was there an autopsy?

A. Yes, there was an autopsy.

Q. Did you participate in it?

A. No, I did not participate. I was present and I watched the autopsy.

Q. Why did you watch the autopsy if it was not your experiment?

A. Today, of course, it looks different than it did at the time. It was a matter of course for me then. Rascher was a colleague of mine. He had had a fatal accident in his experiments. He asked me to watch the autopsy, and, of course, I went. I also had a quite natural scientific interest in the cause of death, and in the findings, and I admit it frankly, although I am aware of the danger that someone may say I was interested in the death of the person too, but it happens in every hospital; all doctors watch the autopsies. If, for example, in the surgical ward, a patient died after an operation, then the chief physician, or if he had no time, the senior physician, and the other doctors who had nothing specifically to do with the patient, watched the autopsy, and generally even X-ray doctors came over who didn’t know the patient at all. Besides if I had not been present, that would today be considered as an incomprehensible lack of interest in the death—if I had not accepted Rascher’s invitation. If such a death happened during a centrifugal experiment in our institute, if such an accident had happened which was not in my field of work, I certainly would have gone to watch the autopsy. One must learn from the findings; that is one’s duty as a doctor. One has to look at such things so that one can draw one’s own conclusions and be able to avoid subsequent accidents.

Q. Did you see any further autopsies of Rascher?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. After this death there was a basic change in my attitude toward Rascher and the plan to break off the experiments, so that in the case of later deaths I was not present because of this attitude. I do not believe he invited me to the autopsies either, and under the conditions in Dachau I could not go there on my own initiative.

Q. Did you ask Rascher how this death came about, or did you warn him before the death?

A. Yes, I have already said I was present at the experiments just as I had sometimes been present at the other series of his experiments, purely out of curiosity, just as in our institute if centrifugal experiments were performed, I sometimes watched them, too. There was no reason for distrust but at that time I just watched the experiments out of curiosity. That was how it happened that I was present by accident at the experiment and looked at the electrocardiogram of this subject. On the screen of the electrocardiograph one can see a little point of light which moves, and that is determined by the heart action. When it seemed to me that it was getting dangerous, that the heart action was lessening, I said to Rascher: “You had better stop now.”

Q. And what did Rascher do?

A. Nothing. He kept that altitude and later death suddenly occurred.

Q. When you observed the electrocardiogram was it quite clear to you that the person would die in the next second?

A. No, of course not. First of all I had never seen a death from high altitude. That was the first one I ever saw. I couldn’t know that, and, in the second place, this death certainly resulted from aero-embolism and, therefore, suddenly. In the third place, the electrocardiogram change was, shall we say, doubtful. I myself would have stopped the experiment at this stage but he didn’t. I only spoke up because I would have stopped the experiment at that moment.

Q. Did you speak to Rascher about this after the experiment?

A. It was not possible for me to object in view of Rascher’s position, but I told him that such things should not happen.

Q. And what else did you do?

A. After this death I went to Berlin and told Ruff about it. Ruff agreed with me that death should not be allowed to occur in high-altitude experiments and it had never occurred before. Since Rascher, however, performed these experiments for Himmler on men who were condemned to death, we saw no way of preventing Rascher after we had made an official report. In general when objections were made Rascher simply referred to the orders from Himmler and to the fact that he was covered by them. It was quite impossible to remove the chamber from Dachau against Himmler’s and Rascher’s will. And to give this death as a reason for removing the chamber was even more impossible. In the first place, Himmler would not have reacted. He would certainly not have given up the chamber. He might have started proceedings for treason or for sabotage of an essential war experiment. In fact, I had reported this to Ruff against my signature to the contrary in a concentration camp. Like every other visitor to a concentration camp I had to sign a statement to the effect that everything I saw and so forth in the camp would be secret. Besides, at the beginning of the experiments Rascher had received a special telegram from Himmler ordering silence about these experiments. A specific obligation to secrecy was strengthened by this order from Himmler. Since I had reported the matter to Ruff against the secrecy obligation, I also had to be covered in this respect, and for this reason again we could not give the death as the reason for removing the chamber from Dachau, aside from the fact it would not have met with success.

Therefore, after some consideration we decided that the only possibility was for Ruff to go to Milch or Hippke and ask to have the chamber removed, giving the excuse that it was needed at the front. On the other hand, I was to conclude our experiments quickly so that Himmler could be told that the experiments were finished and that we could prove this so that we could claim the right to remove the chamber from Dachau. Otherwise Himmler would doubtless have ordered the experiments to be continued until the original goal had been reached, that is, the clarification of the question of rescue from high altitudes, and he would doubtless have gone to Goering or even Hitler and arranged to keep the chamber longer. He would have said that the use of this chamber at the front was unimportant compared to its use at Dachau in the experiments, and he would not have released the chamber.

If I myself had not gone back to Dachau, then Rascher would have carried out the experiments on rescue from high altitudes alone; and he would doubtless also have continued his own experiments. That was the reason why I reluctantly went back to Dachau.

Q. Now, what was the purpose of your trip to Berlin?

A. The purpose was this report to Ruff.

Q. Was that the only purpose?

A. Yes.

Q. How did you explain this trip to Rascher?

A. I told Rascher that I was going because of my wife’s condition. My wife had had a child in March, and that was a good reason for my going to Berlin.

Q. How long were you in Berlin?

A. Only 1 or 2 days; then I went back to Dachau.

Q. Now, before you left did you make sure whether Ruff had done anything in response to your report, whether he had done anything to get the chamber out of Dachau?

A. Yes. Ruff tried to get Hippke but was not able to at that time, so that I really did not know what was going on and what would be accomplished.

Q. Did you notice anything special about the chamber when you came back to Dachau?

A. Yes. When I came back, the barometer was broken, as Neff has already said; and I had to go right back to Berlin to have the barometer repaired.

Q. How long did you stay in Berlin this time?

A. As long as the repair required; about 2 weeks.

Q. Then during this time there were no experiments?

A. No.

Q. When did the experiments begin again?

A. The beginning of May or the middle of May I went back with the repaired apparatus; then we concluded the experiments as quickly as possible.

Q. Did you abbreviate the program which you had planned, or did you change it in any way, or did you keep it the way it was?

A. No. We shortened it. We had fewer experiments at the various altitudes in order to conclude the whole thing as quickly as possible but in such a way that it was actually completed with adequate results.

Q. When was the second death at which you were present?

A. That was a few days after my return to Dachau.

Q. Did the death of the experimental subject occur in a manner similar to the first case?

A. In general, yes. I don’t know exactly what happened. As far as I recall, it was an experiment at a rather high altitude, and death occurred quicker, more suddenly.

Q. And when was the third death at which you were present?

A. That was right after that, on the next day, or the second day.

Q. After these deaths, did you ever have any arguments with Rascher about his experiments and the way in which he performed them?

A. Yes, we had some minor arguments resulting from my objections, which he always refused to accept; but after the third death when I started to object again, he said first that Himmler had ordered it and I wasn’t to interfere. When I later brought the subject up once more, he lost his patience, and we got rather excited. I asked him why he was carrying out these experiments; what he wanted to achieve. He said he wanted to clarify the problem of caisson diseases, that is bends or aero-embolism, because Himmler had ordered it. He was the first man to prove these air bubbles in the blood during an autopsy under water. Also the question of the electrocardiogram in bends and altitude sickness had to be clarified as Himmler had given him a special assignment for it, and Fahrenkamp was to do this work together with him. In addition he wanted to qualify as a professor with Schittenhelm through this work.

Then he brought out a letter and read to me that the experiments were to be continued; that Professor Fahrenkamp was to be called in; and that people condemned to death who survived the experiments would, of course, be pardoned. Then he held the letter out to me and asked me whether I could read Himmler’s signature and whether I wasn’t satisfied with that.

Q. Was this the letter 1971-B-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 51?

A. Yes, 1971-B-PS, as Prosecution Exhibit 51.

Q. And what does this letter indicate?

A. Well, it showed that Himmler had actually ordered these experiments and that he, therefore, had complete official coverage, that the subjects were to be pardoned. It says in the letter: “Of course the person condemned to death shall be pardoned to concentration camp for life.” Then it says that Fahrenkamp is to be consulted. On the next page it says that this order from Himmler goes to the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and to SS Brigadefuehrer Gluecks, with a copy for their information.

Q. Did Rascher give you any further explanation of this letter?

A. Since this letter prevented me from doing anything, I calmly asked him what idea he had of these experiments, what he wanted to do, what he wanted to achieve. He said that Dr. Fahrenkamp would help him and that he would have electrocardiograms for heart failure from the most various reasons and would compare them with electrocardiograms in the case of death at high altitudes with the change in severe altitude sickness and with later recovery. In addition, in the hospital in Munich he had taken electrocardiograms in cases of heart failure. In Dachau, he said, he had also registered electrocardiograms when there were executions by shooting. If he really had evaluated all this material together with a heart specialist, then it would, of course, have been quite valuable.


Q. Now, did you do anything, and what did you do in order to stop Rascher’s experiments and did you incur any danger and, if so, what?

A. What I did against Himmler’s orders and against my signed promise to keep secrecy, the fact that I reported the incidents to my boss who passed the information on—all this was dangerous. One probably understands enough about conditions under Himmler to realize that. The witness Neff has described my attitude to Rascher’s experiments. He confirmed that I intervened in one case when he was present. Perhaps he knows nothing about my other objections. In general, the discussions between Rascher and myself did not take place in the presence of the prisoners. The low-pressure chamber was removed from Dachau earlier than intended at our instigation. Against Rascher’s and Himmler’s wishes, it was never returned to Dachau. The extent of the accusations made by the SS in this direction is shown by the document. These efforts begin with Wolff’s telegram to Milch on 12 May, which is answered in the negative in Milch’s letter of 20 May. (343-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 62.) In answer to further efforts from Himmler, Milch ordered that the chamber was to remain 2 months longer in Dachau. (NO-261, Pros. Ex. 63.) At this time, we had already removed the chamber. On 5 June, Rascher again writes to Himmler about the low-pressure chamber. Document NO-284, Prosecution Exhibit 64, is the answer to this letter of 5 June. The letter itself is, unfortunately, not available. This letter, no doubt, says that the chamber was removed from Dachau in May, while the prosecution alleges that the experiments continued until August. Then there is a certain pause in Rascher’s and Himmler’s efforts, because Rascher is busy with the cold experiments. When the film is shown in Berlin in the Air Ministry, Rascher does not forget to tell Milch again of his wishes in regard to the low-pressure chamber. But hardly has the first phase of the cold experiments—the series with Holzloehner—been finished, when he writes to Himmler again on 9 October. (1610-PS, Pros. Ex. 73.) He asks Himmler to get him the low-pressure chamber so that he can continue his experiments and qualify as a professor. In the letter of 21 October 1942 (NO-226, Pros. Ex. 75), Sievers writes to Brandt about the continuation of the high-altitude experiments which Himmler wants, but knowing of the existing difficulties, or for other reasons, he adds that Himmler will no doubt have to write to Milch personally in order actually to get the chamber. This happens on 27 November 1942 (NO-269, Pros. Ex. 78)—a letter from Wolff to Milch, on behalf of Himmler. The definite request for the low-pressure chamber, which is expressed in this letter, is given definite emphasis by mention of the opposition of the Luftwaffe doctors. I learned from a telephone call from Sievers, which he mentioned in his testimony, that he was to buy a low-pressure chamber for Rascher on behalf of Himmler. I was greatly astonished at this telephone call at the time, because I knew very well that Rascher certainly didn’t want to have this made public in any way. Now, this telephone call has been cleared up. Then I informed Ruff of this call and he had Becker-Freyseng take further steps, as he said here yesterday. In an official letter to various SS agencies, dated 13 December 1942 (1612-PS, Pros. Ex. 79), Rascher is given the assignment by Himmler personally to carry out high-altitude experiments. On 14 March 1943 (NO-270, Pros. Ex. 110), Rascher tells of his discussions with Hippke and again says that he wants to carry out low-pressure chamber experiments, together with me; and finally, on 18 November 1943 (NO-1057, Pros. Ex. 463), he tries again, through the Reich Research Council in agreement with Himmler, to get a mobile low-pressure chamber in order to carry out experiments. Those are Rascher’s and Himmler’s efforts but, nevertheless, Rascher never again had a low-pressure chamber at his disposal for experiments.

Q. Well, what do you want to prove by these statements?

A. This no doubt proves clearly how great Rascher’s and Himmler’s efforts were and that my conduct under these circumstances was not only not cowardly, but that it was much more clever and much more successful. Even if I had had any legal obligations to prevent him by force, if I had had any obligations to attack Rascher and if I had tried and been unsuccessful, then I would have been locked up or killed and Rascher would have been able to continue his experiments for a long time without any restriction.

Q. At that time, was there any possibility in Germany to resist, and in what did you see such possibility?

A. There were only three types of resistance possible. First of all, emigration for a person who was able; second, open resistance which meant a concentration camp or the death penalty, and to my knowledge, never met with any success; third, passive resistance by apparent yielding, misplacing and delaying orders, criticism among one’s friends, in short, what writers today call “internal emigration.” But that really doesn’t have much to do with the question. As far as the direct question of prevention is concerned, I would like to say something more. To take a comparison from the medical field, it is unknown to me and I cannot imagine, for example, that an assistant of a scientific research worker who is performing infections with a fatal disease, for example, leprosy, on a prisoner, that this assistant should prevent the scientist from carrying out this infection by force—perhaps by knocking the hypodermic syringe out of his hand and crying “You mustn’t do that, the man might die!” I could imagine that some assistant might, for personal reasons, refuse to participate in such experiments, but I cannot imagine that if there were a trial against this doctor the prosecution would demand that the assistant should have prevented the scientist in this manner.

Q. Then, you are convinced that prevention by force was impossible?

A. Yes.

Q. But could you not have filed charges, for example, with the police or with the public prosecutor, against Rascher?

A. Yes, of course, I could have, but if I had gone there and said, “Rascher has performed experiments ordered by Himmler—by the Chief of the German Police and whatever else he was—the Reich Leader SS, the State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior,” they would probably have said: “Well, we can’t do anything about it. If he has orders, then we can’t do anything about it.”



[18] Jews who had had sexual intercourse with German women with their consent.

[19] Very similar arguments were advanced by counsel for defendant Romberg.

[20] The witness Neff was called to testify as a Tribunal witness and not as a prosecution witness.

[21] See Vol. II, judgment is case of United States vs. Erhard Milch.

[22] Last sentence is crossed out and replaced by one in German shorthand.

[23] Translator’s Note: “Terminal” as used here means “resulting in death”.

[24] These studies were carried out in conjunction with the research and educational society “Ahnenerbe.”

[25] Complete testimony is recorded in mimeographed transcript, December 17-18, 1947, pp. 595-695.

[26] Complete testimony is recorded in mimeographed transcript, March 24, 25, and 26, 1947, pp. 4869-4994.

[27] Complete testimony is recorded in mimeographed transcript, May 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1947, pp. 6764-7032.

2. FREEZING EXPERIMENTS

a. Introduction

The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz were charged with special responsibility for and participation in criminal conduct involving freezing experiments (par. 6 (B) of the indictment). On this charge the defendants Handloser, Schroeder, Rudolf Brandt, and Sievers were convicted. The defendants Karl Brandt, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz were acquitted.

The prosecution’s summation of the evidence on the freezing experiments is contained in its final brief against the defendant Sievers. An extract from this brief is set forth below on pages 199 to 206. A corresponding summation of the evidence by the defense on these experiments has been selected from the closing briefs for the defendants Sievers and Weltz. It appears below on pages 207 to 217. This argumentation is followed by selections from the evidence on pages 219 to 278.

b. Selection from the Argumentation of the Prosecution

EXTRACT FROM THE CLOSING BRIEF AGAINST DEFENDANT SIEVERS

Freezing Experiments

Before the high-altitude experiments had actually been completed, the freezing experiments were ordered to be performed by the defendant Weltz and his subordinate Rascher. This can be seen from a letter of 20 May 1942 from Milch to Karl Wolff. (343-A-PS, Pros. Ex. 62.) A short time later, Rascher had a conference with Hippke and the experimental team was changed to include Jarisch, Holzloehner, and Singer. Rascher reported these orders to Himmler on 15 June 1942, and passed on Hippke’s request to have the experiments conducted in Dachau. He stated: “It was also decided that the inspector [Hippke] would issue orders to me at all times during the experiments.” (NO-283, Pros. Ex. 82.) The research assignment was issued by the Department for Aviation Medicine (2 II B) under Anthony, with the defendant Becker-Freyseng as his deputy. (NO-286, Pros. Ex. 88.)

The cold-water freezing experiments began on 15 August 1942 and continued until the early part of 1943. They were performed by Holzloehner, Finke, and Rascher, all of whom were officers in the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe. Holzloehner and Finke collaborated with Rascher until December 1942. As Rascher said in a paper on his medical training: “By order of the Reich Leader SS and Generaloberstabsarzt Professor Dr. Hippke, I conducted ‘Experiments for the Rescue of Frozen Persons’ (started on 15 August 1942), in cooperation—for 4 months—with the Professor Dr. Holzloehner and Dr. Finke both of Kiel University.” (NO-230, Pros. Ex. 115.) Rascher also said that: “Since May 1939 till today I have been in military service with the Air Force.” The memorandum was dated 17 May 1943. It should therefore be borne in mind that during all of the high-altitude and substantially all of the freezing experiments, Rascher was on active duty with the Luftwaffe, not the SS. It was not until after May 1943 that he went on active duty with the Waffen SS. He was of course supported by both the Luftwaffe and the SS in these experiments.

The witness Neff, who was an inmate assistant in the experiments, testified that freezing experiments in the concentration camp Dachau started at the end of July or in August 1942. They were conducted by Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke. In October, Holzloehner and Finke left and Rascher proceeded alone to conduct freezing experiments until May 1943. Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke used ice-cold water for their freezing experiments. The experimental basin had been built 2 meters long and 2 meters high in Rascher’s experimental station, Block 5. (Tr. pp. 626-8.) The experiments were carried out in the following manner: The basin was filled with water and ice was added until the water measured 3° C. The experimental subjects, either dressed in a flying suit or naked, were placed into the ice water. Narcotics were frequently not used. It always took a certain time until so-called “freezing narcosis” made the experimental subjects unconscious, and the subjects suffered terribly. The temperature of the victims was measured rectally and through the stomach by galvanometer. They lost consciousness at a body temperature of approximately 33° C. The experiments actually progressed until the experimental persons were chilled down to 25° C. body temperature. An experiment on two Russian officers who were exposed naked to the ice-cold water in the basin was particularly brutal. These two Russians were still conscious after 2 hours. Rascher refused to administer an injection. When one of the inmates who attended the experiment tried to administer an anaesthetic to these two victims, Rascher threatened him with a pistol. Both experimental subjects died after having been exposed at least 5 hours to the terrible cold. (Tr. pp. 629-631.) Approximately 280 to 300 experimental subjects were used for this type of freezing experiment, but in reality, 360 to 400 experiments were conducted since many experimental subjects were used two or three times for experiments. Approximately 80 to 90 experimental subjects died. About 50 to 60 inmates were used in the Holzloehner-Finke-Rascher experiments and approximately 15 to 18 of them died. Political prisoners, non-German nationals, and prisoners of war were used for these experiments. Many of the inmates used had not been “condemned to death.” The subjects did not volunteer for the experiments. (Tr. pp. 627-8.)

Even though one assumes that prisoners condemned to death were used in all of the experiments, which is not true, the “defense” that they volunteered on the agreement that their sentences would be commuted to life imprisonment is invalid. During the high-altitude experiments, Himmler had directed that in further experiments where the long continued heart activity of subjects who were killed was observed, criminals condemned to death should be used and, if they were revived, they should be “pardoned” to concentration camp for life. (1971-B-PS, Pros. Ex. 51.) Rascher apparently construed this order to apply to the freezing experiments also. On 20 October 1942, Rascher advised Rudolf Brandt that until then only Poles and Russians had been used for such experiments and that only some of these persons had been condemned to death. He inquired whether Himmler’s “amnesty” applied to Russians and Poles. (1971-D-PS, Pros. Ex. 52.) Brandt told him that it did not apply. (1971-E-PS, Pros. Ex. 53.)

Dry-freezing experiments were carried out by Rascher in January, February, and March 1943. One experimental subject was placed on a stretcher at night and exposed to the cold outdoors. He was covered with a linen sheet, but a bucket of cold water was poured over him every hour. He remained outdoors until the morning and then his temperature was taken with a thermometer. In the next series the experimental plan was changed, and experimental persons had to remain naked outdoors for long hours without being covered up at all. One series was carried out on 10 prisoners who had to remain outdoors overnight. Rascher himself was present during approximately 18 to 20 experiments of that type. Approximately three experimental subjects died as a result of the dry-freezing experiments. (Tr. pp. 636-7.)

On the order of Grawitz and Rascher, a mass experiment on 100 experimental subjects was to be carried out. As Rascher was not present, Neff was in the position to frustrate the experiment by taking the experimental subjects indoors, and therefore no deaths occurred during this experimental series. The longest period that experimental subjects were kept outdoors in the cold was from 6 p. m. of one day to 9 a. m. of the following morning. The lowest temperature Neff can recollect during the dry-freezing experiments was 25° body temperature. As Rascher had prohibited that experiments were to be carried out under anaesthetics, the experimental subjects suffered great pain and screamed to such an extent that it was impossible to carry out further experiments. Rascher therefore requested Himmler’s permission to carry out such experiments in the future in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Non-German nationals and political prisoners were among the experimental subjects. None of them was sentenced to death. They had not volunteered for the experiments. (Tr. pp. 637-9.)

In connection with the freezing experiments, Neff further testified that in September 1942 he received orders from Sievers to take the hearts and lungs of five experimental subjects who had been killed in the experiments to Professor Hirt in Strasbourg for further scientific study. The travel warrant for Neff had been made out by Sievers, and the Ahnenerbe Society paid the expenses for the transfer of the bodies. One of the five experimental subjects killed had been a Dutch citizen. (Tr. p. 633.) Sievers visited the experimental station quite frequently during the freezing experiments. (Tr. p. 635.)

Neff’s testimony is corroborated by the affidavits of the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Becker-Freyseng (NO-242, Pros. Ex. 80; NO-448, Pros. Ex. 81) and the testimony of the witness Lutz (Tr. pp. 266-76), Vieweg (Tr. p. 431), and Michalowsky (Tr. pp. 878-83), and by the documentary evidence in the record.

On 15 June 1942, Rascher informed Himmler that the Inspector of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe, Hippke, sought permission for cold experiments to be conducted by Rascher and Holzloehner in the Dachau concentration camp. (NO-283, Pros. Ex. 82.) On 10 September 1942, Rascher submitted his first intermediary report on the freezing experiments to Himmler. In the covering letter Rascher stated that Holzloehner, who participated in the execution of the experiments on behalf of the Luftwaffe, intended to lecture on the subject of freezing in the “cold conference” of the Luftwaffe on 26-27 October in Nuernberg. Rascher informed Himmler that “Sievers, who surveyed the experiments in Dachau last week, believed that if any report was to be made at a meeting, I should be called upon to submit the report.” (NO-234, Pros. Ex. 83.) The intermediary report itself shows on its face that fatalities occurred as a result of the Rascher-Holzloehner-Finke experiments and advocated rapid rewarming of severely chilled persons. Rascher considered that rewarming with animal heat would be too slow, and that experiments in this respect would be unnecessary. He voiced a similar opinion as to the use of drugs for the purpose of rewarming. (1618-PS, Pros. Ex. 34.) Himmler, when acknowledging the receipt of Rascher’s report on 22 September, directed nevertheless that the experiment with rewarming by means of drugs and body heat should be made. A copy of this order of Himmler’s was forwarded to Sievers on 25 September. (1611-PS, Pros. Ex. 85.)

On the basis of this order Rascher approached Sievers to make arrangements for four female gypsies to be procured at once for the purpose of rewarming experimental subjects. (NO-285, Pros. Ex. 86.) It was apparently Sievers’ effort in this regard which resulted in a series of telegrams to transfer these women from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp to Dachau. Rudolf Brandt actually directed the transfer. (1619-PS, Pros. Ex. 87.) The four women arrived in November 1942 in Dachau. Three of them were used for rewarming of frozen experimental subjects, one being excluded because she was a “Nordic” type. That the experimental subjects were not volunteers is plain from a remark of one of these women. “Rather half a year in the brothel than half a year in the concentration camp.” (NO-323, Pros. Ex. 94.) This series of experiments, which was not only murderous but obscene, was carried out by Rascher between November 1942 and February 1943. His report to Himmler reveals that one of the experimental subjects died as a result of this series of experiments. (1616-PS, Pros. Ex. 105.)

On 8 October 1942, Stabsarzt Professor Anthony of the Medical Inspectorate of the Luftwaffe approached Himmler with the information that the results of the wet-freezing experiments carried out by Rascher in cooperation with Holzloehner and Finke were to be lectured upon by Holzloehner during the “cold conference” on 26-27 October in Nuernberg. (NO-286, Pros. Ex. 88, compare NO-234, Pros. Ex. 83.) On 16 October Rascher also asked Himmler’s permission to release the results of the freezing experiments during these “cold conferences.” (NO-225, Pros. Ex. 89.) On the same day Rascher submitted to Himmler his final report on the freezing experiments as far as they had been carried out in collaboration with Holzloehner and Finke. This report did not include experiments for rewarming by means of drugs and of animal body heat, which at that time were still in progress. (1613-PS, Pros. Ex. 90.)

This report on “Cooling Experiments on Human Beings” by Holzloehner, Rascher, and Finke, corroborates fully the testimony of Neff concerning this series of the wet-freezing experiments and proves that many fatalities occurred. It shows that some of the experimental subjects were exposed to this terrible type of experimentation without receiving anesthetics, which would have alleviated their pain considerably. The sufferings of the experimental subjects were vividly described. Foam appeared round the mouths of the experimental subjects, and breathing difficulties and lung oedema resulted. The cooling of the neck and back of the head of the experimental subjects caused especially painful sensations. Progressive rigor, which developed very strongly in the arm muscles, cyanosis, and total irregularity of the heart activity were the symptoms observed by the experimenters. Hot baths were advocated as the best treatment for severely chilled persons. Fatalities resulted from heart failure and brain oedema, and measures for protection against such results were discussed at great length. (NO-428, Pros. Ex. 91.)

Sievers denied that Rascher reported to him on the freezing experiments but admitted that he received occasionally Rascher’s reports from Himmler. (Tr. pp. 5684-5.) But by the testimony of the witness Neff it is not only proved that Rascher submitted to the Ahnenerbe monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual reports, describing in detail the nature and status of his experimental research (Tr. p. 635), but also that the final report of Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke (NO-1428, Pros. Ex. 91) was forwarded to him. (Tr. p. 681.)

On 24 October Himmler acknowledged the receipt of this report which he had read “with great interest” and charged Sievers with arrangements for “the possibility of evaluation at institutes which are connected with us.” (1609-PS, Pros. Ex. 92.)

On 26 and 27 October 1942, the conference on “Medical Problems Arising from Distress at Sea and Winter Hardships,” sponsored by the Inspector of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe, Hippke, under the chairmanship of Anthony and with the assistance of Becker-Freyseng, took place in Nuernberg. At this conference Holzloehner delivered his lecture on the freezing experiments under the title “Prophylaxis and Treatment of Freezing in Water.” The very detailed clinical observations described by him excluded the possibility that only observations on human beings who were rescued had been made, and made it clear that experiments on human beings had been conducted. (NO-401, Pros. Ex. 93.) Moreover, Rascher made a statement following Holzloehner’s lecture, which clearly revealed that the experiments had been carried out on concentration camp inmates. This report caused a sensation among the officials present at the lecture. It was made clear that deaths had occurred. (Tr. p. 272.) Sievers has denied having received a report on this conference (Tr. p. 5689), but the entry of 12 January in his diary for the year 1943 shows that he discussed with Rascher the “procurement of memoranda on the conference concerning the effects of cold in Nuernberg.” (NO-538, Pros. Ex. 122.)

On 6 November 1942, Rascher forwarded a memorandum to Himmler’s personal staff, the office of the defendant Rudolf Brandt, regarding cooperation with Dr. Craemer of the Medical Research Station for Mountain Medical Troops at St. Johann. This was a school subordinated to Handloser as Army Medical Inspector. In this memorandum Rascher advocated dry-freezing experiments on concentration camp inmates in the mountain region of Bayrischzell. The purpose was to investigate whether injuries of the extremities due to freezing would have a better prognosis on persons accustomed to cold than on persons unaccustomed to it. Rascher said that Craemer had heard the report in Nuernberg and was very enthusiastic about the experiments. He requested to see some in progress. (NO-319, Pros. Ex. 96; 1579-PS, Pros. Ex. 97.) Himmler gave his permission for this type of dry-freezing experiment in an order dated 13 December 1942, in which he lists Rascher’s assignment for the execution of high-altitude and three different types of freezing experiments. Copies of this order were submitted to various SS agencies and to the Ahnenerbe Society. (1612-PS, Pros. Ex. 79.) Himmler’s letter contained the following directive:

“5. The procurement of the apparatus needed for all the experiments should be discussed in detail with the offices of the Reichsarzt SS, of the Main Office for Economic Administration, and with the Ahnenerbe. * * *”

The evidence proves that prior to 21 October 1943, Rascher received an assignment from Blome of the Reich Research Council to conduct open-air freezing experiments. (NO-432, Pros. Ex. 119.) Sievers aided Rascher in the matter of obtaining the location and personnel for these experiments. (3546-PS, Pros. Ex. 123.)

On 13 January 1943, Rascher had a conference with Grawitz and the defendant Poppendick concerning the freezing experiments. In this conference Rascher’s freezing experiments were discussed in detail. He stressed the point that he was working with the Ahnenerbe and that he reported to the Ahnenerbe. The documentary note of Rascher’s on this conference shows on its face that wet-freezing experiments had been conducted by him and that Grawitz requested him to carry out further freezing experiments with dry cold until he would “have a few hundred cases.” This documentary note was forwarded by Sievers to the defendant Rudolf Brandt on 28 January. (NO-320, Pros. Ex. 103.) In his covering letter Sievers requested Brandt’s opinion as to what attitude he and Rascher were to take in respect of their position to Grawitz, with the implied request that Brandt should strengthen his position with Grawitz, who considered it “an unbearable situation to have a non-physician give information on medical matters.” What Sievers wanted to achieve was an intervention of Brandt with Himmler on his behalf and, therefore, he stressed his personal importance by saying:

“My duty merely consists in smoothing the way for the research men and seeing that the tasks ordered by the Reich Leader SS are carried out in the quickest possible way. On one thing I certainly can form an opinion—that is, on who is doing the quickest job.

“If things are to go on in the future as SS Gruppenfuehrer Grawitz desires, I am afraid that Dr. Rascher’s work will not continue to advance as fast and unhampered as hitherto.” (NO-320, Pros. Ex. 103.)

On 17 February, Rascher forwarded his report on the results of the experiment in which animal warmth was used for the rewarming of severely chilled persons. (1616-PS, Pros. Ex. 105.) In his accompanying letter to Himmler, he informed him that he was conducting dry-cold experiments in Dachau. Thirty experimental subjects had been experimented upon and had been exposed to cold out of doors from 9-14 hours, thereby reducing their body temperature to 27°-29° C. The extremities of the experimental subjects were frozen white. Rascher suggested a large series of experiments in the Auschwitz concentration camp. This place would be suitable for such experimentation because it was colder there, and the spacious open country within the camp “would make the experiments less conspicuous, as the experimental subjects yell when they freeze severely.” [Emphasis supplied.] (1616-PS, Pros. Ex. 105.) Himmler gave Rascher permission to carry out additional freezing experiments in the concentration camps Auschwitz and Lublin. (1615-PS, Pros. Ex. 109.)

Rascher’s letter to the defendant Rudolf Brandt, dated 4 April 1943, reveals that another series of dry-freezing experiments had been carried out on inmates of the Dachau concentration camp during a period of heavy frost weather. Some of the experimental subjects were exposed to cold of -6° C. in the open air for 14 hours and had reached an internal temperature of 25° C. (NO-292, Pros. Ex. 111.) The three fatalities which, according to Neff’s testimony, resulted from the dry-freezing experiments, apparently occurred during this series of experiments. (Tr. pp. 637-8.)

On 11 April 1943, Rascher submitted to Himmler a brief report concerning “freezing experiments on human beings exposed to the open air.” (NO-240, Pros. Ex. 112.) The report itself is not available, but the letter of the defendant Rudolf Brandt of 16 April to Rascher proves that the defendant Gebhardt received it from Himmler for study. (NO-241, Pros. Ex. 113.) A conference between Rascher and the defendant Gebhardt took place in Hohenlychen on 14 May in the presence of the defendant Fischer. Gebhardt discussed with Rascher the freezing experiments and other experimentation carried out in the Dachau concentration camp and invited Rascher to collaborate with him. Rascher feared to lose his independence and turned to Sievers to settle this affair in a tactful way as Gebhardt was a very close friend of Himmler, and Rascher, therefore, feared his eventual enmity. (NO-231, Pros. Ex. 116.) Sievers, in turn, approached Brandt in this matter on 22 May and requested information whether Himmler had given any definite directive to Gebhardt in regard to Rascher’s sphere of action and work. He further asked Brandt’s intervention on behalf of Rascher by saying:

“I entrust you with this affair and ask you particularly to use it only for your strict personal information so that Dr. Rascher does not encounter any difficulties with SS Gruppenfuehrer Professor Dr. Gebhardt.” (NO-267, Pros. Ex. 117.)

When Rascher visited Gebhardt in Hohenlychen, the latter encouraged him to embark upon a career of university lecturer. (NO-231, Pros. Ex. 116.) Rascher followed this suggestion and Sievers supported him wholeheartedly and collaborated with the defendants Brandt and Blome to have Rascher appointed university lecturer. (NO-229, Pros. Ex. 118; NO-290, Pros. Ex. 121.) That Rascher’s thesis for habilitation was based on the freezing and high-altitude experiments is proved by Rascher’s memorandum on his medical training which he wrote for the purpose of his habilitation (NO-230, Pros. Ex. 115) and other evidence in the record. (NO-240, Pros. Ex. 112.)

c. Selections from the Argumentation of the Defense

EXTRACTS FROM THE CLOSING BRIEF FOR DEFENDANT SIEVERS

The Freezing Experiments

Freezing experiments on human beings were carried out in Dachau concentration camp from the end of 1942 on.

It cannot be denied that a ruthless carrying-out of these experiments was liable to inflict torture and death upon the persons experimented on. Here, too, it seems necessary to distinguish between two groups of experiments. One group comprises the experiments carried out by Professor Holzloehner, Dr. Rascher, and Dr. Finke, and the other one, those carried out by Rascher alone. The first group of experiments easily permits the assumption that the possible effects of the experiments on the persons subjected to them were taken into consideration. After all that has become known about Rascher by now, the assumption is justified that, during the experiments carried out by Rascher alone, considerations of the effect on life and health of the persons used were not of primary importance. The only exceptions were probably the experiments Rascher carried out in the presence of third persons who were not involved.

On the occasion of administrative conferences he had to attend in Dachau, Sievers met Professor Holzloehner, Dr. Finke, and Rascher who had just finished a freezing experiment. The person experimented on was placed under an arc of light [Lichtbogen]. That is all Sievers saw of this experiment. (German Tr. p. 5684.)

Then Sievers watched a second freezing experiment. Himmler had instructed Professor Hirt of Strasbourg to have a look at Rascher’s work on freezing, since he (Himmler) obviously had come to the conclusion that Rascher alone was not sufficient for the clarification of these scientifically extensive and difficult questions. For this experiment a professional criminal was introduced whom a regular court had sentenced to death for robbery and murder. Sievers and Dr. Hirt made sure about this by examining the files of the criminal police department of the Dachau concentration camp. Dr. Hirt then asked the person to be experimented on whether he realized that the experiment might prove fatal to him. The person to be experimented on answered in the affirmative.

By personally questioning the person to be experimented on, Sievers then made sure that he agreed to the experiment. The person in question answered in the affirmative and added: “If it does not hurt.” This assurance could be given since the experiment was carried out under full narcosis. Sievers did not take part in the entire experiment, but he saw that it was carried out under full narcosis. (German Tr. pp. 5685-86.)

The witness Dr. Punzengruber, at that time an inmate of the Dachau concentration camp and from 1942-1943 assigned to Dr. Rascher’s station as a chemist, confirms that the person used had been condemned to death.

The same witness confirms that Sievers was not present during other freezing experiments. Dr. Punzengruber could establish this because his laboratory was located next to the room where Dr. Rascher carried out his experiments. (Affidavit of Dr. Punzengruber, 14 March 1947.)

A further presence of Sievers at freezing experiments has not occurred and has not been claimed from any side.

In order to prove Sievers’ participation in the freezing experiments, the prosecution pointed out the following documents:

Rascher’s letter of 10 September 1942 to Himmler. “SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers, who observed the experiments in Dachau last week, is of the opinion that if during a convention there would be a report at all, I, too, would have to be called in for reporting.” (NO-234, Pros. Ex. 83.)

Himmler’s letter of 22 September 1942 to Rascher in which the former instructs Rascher to carry out experiments in quick increase of body temperature and increase of body temperature through medicaments and animal heat [medikamentanimalische Erwaermung], Sievers received a copy of this letter for information on 25 September 1942. (1611-PS, Pros. Ex. 85.)

Rascher’s letter of 3 October 1942 to Dr. R. Brandt which contains the information that he (Rascher) had asked Sievers to transmit at once a teletype communication to the camp commander stating that four female gypsies from another camp must be procured immediately; that furthermore he had asked Sievers to take steps to have the low-pressure chamber put at his disposal; he finally mentioned that he informed Sievers about the failure of the planned report to Field Marshal Milch. (NO-285, Pros. Ex. 86.)

Sievers’ note of 6 November 1942 concerning Rascher’s transfer to the SS. (NO-288, Pros. Ex. 95.)

Letter, dated 12 January 1943, from the Reich Chief Manager [Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer] of Ahnenerbe to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, concerning Rascher’s transfer to the Waffen SS. (NO-236, Pros. Ex. 101.)

Letter, dated 28 January 1943, from the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe to the personal staff of the Reich Leader SS concerning the taking of Dr. Rascher’s work under the protection of Ahnenerbe in pursuance of Dr. Rascher’s conversation on 13 January 1943 with the Chief Reich Physician [Reichsarzt] of the SS, Dr. Grawitz. (NO-320, Pros. Ex. 103.)

Note, dated 4 February 1943, of the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe concerning Dr. Rascher’s report to the medical inspection [Sanitaetsinspekteur] of the Luftwaffe on his activities since he was declared unassigned [zur Disposition]. Furthermore Rascher should go to SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Professor Dr. Pfannenstiel on 7 February 1943. (NO-238, Pros. Ex. 104.)

Letter, dated 17 May 1943, from Dr. Rascher to the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe concerning Rascher’s statement on his report to SS Gruppenfuehrer Professor Dr. Gebhardt on 14 May 1943. (NO-231, Pros. Ex. 116.)

Letter, dated 22 May 1943, from the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe to Dr. R. Brandt concerning Rascher’s statement on his report to SS Gruppenfuehrer Professor Dr. Gebhardt. (NO-267, Pros. Ex. 117.)

Letter, dated 27 September 1943, from the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe to Dr. Brandt concerning Dr. Rascher’s establishment as a college professor (Habilitation). (NO-229, Pros. Ex. 118.)

Letter, dated 21 March 1944, from the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe to Dr. R. Brandt concerning the establishment of Dr. Rascher as a college professor. (NO-290, Pros. Ex. 121.)

The prosecution furthermore refers to the testimony given on 17 and 18 December 1946 by witness Neff. Neff testified that Sievers frequently was at the experimental station; that during experiments he was present several times; that, however, he could not remember whether Sievers had been present during experiments which ended fatally.

The prosecution furthermore accuses Sievers of having procured female concentration camp inmates to be used in the rewarming experiments [Wiedererwaermungsversuche]. In this connection the following was submitted:

Letter, dated 3 October 1942, from Dr. Rascher to Dr. Brandt:
“* * * Today I asked Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers to pass on immediately a teletype communication to the camp commander in which is stated that four female gypsies must be procured from another camp at once.” (NO-285, Pros. Ex. 86.)

Telephone call [Fernspruch] of 7 October 1942 from camp commander Weiss to Dr. Brandt, concerning the putting at the disposal of staff physician [Stabsarzt] Dr. Rascher “of the four women for experimental purposes as ordered by the Reich Leader SS”. (1619-PS, Pros. Ex. 87.)

Teletype communication, dated 8 October 1942, to SS Brigadefuehrer Gluecks, concerning the departure from their original station of “the four women ordered by the Reich Leader SS”.

Dr. Rascher’s report of 5 November 1942 on concentration camp prostitutes [KL-Dirnen]. Refusal, on account of her Nordic racial characteristics, to use one of those women, and corresponding report to the camp commander and to the adjutant of the Reich Leader SS. (NO-323, Pros. Ex. 94.)

Witness Neff estimates that 10 women from the Ravensbrueck concentration camp were put at disposal for experiments with body heat [animalische Waerme]. (German Tr. p. 632.)

The following is to be said to the prosecution’s accusation that Sievers played an important part in procuring female concentration camp inmates to be used for the rewarming of persons used in experiments:

Nowhere, except in the letter, dated 3 October 1942, from Dr. Rascher to Dr. Brandt does there exist any indication that such an assumption might be justified. But this letter only states that Dr. Rascher had asked Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers immediately to pass on to the camp commander a teletype communication reporting that four female gypsies must be procured from another camp at once. (NO-285, Pros. Ex. 86.)

The fact that the order to carry out experiments concerning the increase of temperature through medicaments and body heat [medikamentanimalische Erwaermung] was given by Himmler is proved beyond doubt by 1611-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 85.

Furthermore, I point to the interrogation of Dr. Romberg. (German Tr. pp. 6864-65.)

Sievers claims not to have done anything in this connection since the orders originated with Himmler himself. Consequently there was nothing caused by his own initiative. (German Tr. pp. 5685-86.)

At that time Rascher was at Dachau concentration camp most of the time, while Sievers came there very rarely. Therefore it was much easier for Rascher than for Sievers to inform the camp commander of his wishes.

Rascher refused to use one of the four women for experiments in rewarming through body heat because this woman possessed beyond doubt the characteristics of the Nordic race. Rascher reported this to the camp commander and to the adjutant of the Reich Leader SS. (NO-323, Pros. Ex. 94.) In this connection, too, Sievers did not play any part.

The prosecution furthermore accuses Sievers of taking part in Dr. Rascher’s dry-freezing experiments [Trockenkaelteversuche].

Sievers is not mentioned in the following documents submitted in this connection: NO-319, Pros. Ex. 96; 1579-PS, Pros. Ex. 97; NO-431, Pros. Ex. 99; 1580-PS, Pros. Ex. 107; 1615-PS, Pros. Ex. 109; NO-292, Pros. Ex. 111; NO-240, Pros. Ex. 112; NO-241, Pros. Ex. 113; NO-432, Pros. Ex. 119.

These letters are neither addressed to him nor signed by him. Neither have copies of them reached him nor have they passed through his hands.

The letter, dated 12 January 1943, from the Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer of Ahnenerbe to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, contains the following passage: “Since the freezing experiments depend on the season, valuable time is lost as long as Dr. Rascher is not available.” (NO-236, Pros. Ex. 101.)

The witness Neff did not testify that Sievers knew of the dry-freezing experiments [Trockenkaelteversuche].

Sievers knew through Himmler’s order of 13 December 1942, that Rascher was supposed to carry out dry-freezing experiments. (1612-PS, Pros. Ex. 79.) Only during this trial did Sievers come to know that Rascher carried out such experiments in Dachau. Himmler had ordered these experiments to be carried out on the terrain of Berghaus Sudelfeld. They were planned for the winter of 1943-44. Sievers faked inquiries as a result of which the terrain at Sudelfeld was supposed to be unsuited and by this he succeeded in not having the dry-freezing experiments carried out during the winter of 1943-44. The experiments, which Himmler then ordered for the winter of 1944-45, did not take place because Rascher was arrested in the spring of 1944. (German Tr. pp. 5689-90.)

Since the dry-freezing experiments in the mountains, ordered by Himmler, did not take place at all, Sievers can rightfully claim to have helped to prevent them.

The freezing experiments which, beginning at the end of August 1942, were carried out in Dachau concentration camp, originated from a scientific research order the medical inspector [Inspekteur des Sanitaetswesens] of the Luftwaffe had given Stabsarzt Professor Dr. Holzloehner on 24 February 1942. At Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher’s suggestion, corresponding experiments were carried out on human beings. For this research work an experimental group “Seenot” (“Hardships at sea”), consisting of Professor Dr. Holzloehner as chief, and Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher and Dr. Finke, was organized. (NO-286, Pros. Ex. 88; NO-268, Pros. Ex. 106; NO-230, Pros. Ex. 115.) The freezing experiments were carried out in agreement with the Reich Leader SS. (NO-286, Pros. Ex. 88.) In his letter, dated 19 February 1943, the medical inspector of the Luftwaffe thanks the Reich Leader SS for the great help which the cooperation with the SS afforded in carrying out the research work. (NO-268, Pros. Ex. 106.) On 6 March 1943 the medical inspector of the Luftwaffe confirmed in a letter to Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff that he had at once agreed to freezing experiments on human beings. (NO-262, Pros. Ex. 108.)

The prosecution argues that Sievers gave special support to Rascher as a person and thus he revealed that he also wanted to support Rascher’s experiments. Therefore reason exists for comment on Rascher’s personality and Sievers’ attitude toward him.

Dr. Rascher was staff physician (Stabsarzt [Captain, M. C.]) of the Luftwaffe reserve and at the same time a member of the general SS, holding the rank of an SS Hauptsturmfuehrer. In a well-planned scheme he always put this last mentioned position and his direct connection with Himmler in the foreground. Orally or in writing he submitted all his wishes to Himmler; to him directly did he send the reports on his work. He referred to Himmler whenever he wanted to assert himself and his work before other official agencies such as, for example, the Luftwaffe. He appealed to Himmler when the chief physician of the SS [Reichsarzt SS] Dr. Grawitz, and Professor Dr. Gebhardt, did not give him the recognition and the support he believed were due him. Through Himmler he tried to effect his establishment as a university lecturer. (NO-283, Pros. Ex. 82; NO-234., Pros. Ex. 83; NO-320, Pros. Ex. 103; 1616-PS, Pros. Ex. 105; 1580-PS, Pros. Ex. 107; NO-270, Pros. Ex. 110; NO-240, Pros. Ex. 112.)

There can be no doubt that on account of his protection by Himmler he showed an autocratic mind toward his surroundings and also toward his military superiors, brutality toward his inferiors, and disgusting servility toward his protector, Himmler. (German Tr. p. 674.)

In the Dachau concentration camp he was able to move without restrictions and without control by accompanying guards. This was impossible for occasional visitors like Sievers. (German Tr. p. 5672; German Tr. p. 5320; German Tr. pp. 6542-43; German Tr. p. 8620; German Tr. pp. 8697 and 8887-88; Beiglboeck 31, Beiglboeck Ex. 12.)

Holding the rank of a commanding general, the medical inspector of the Luftwaffe deemed it advisable to assure SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff in his letter of 6 March 1943 that he “would discuss the entire problem in old comradeship with Rascher personally.” (NO-262, Pros. Ex. 108.)

A commanding general deemed it advisable to adopt this attitude, contrary to all military customs, toward a staff physician because by this conciliatory attitude, inconceivable under other circumstances, he wanted to avoid a controversy with the latter on account of the latter’s connections with Himmler.

What Rascher thought of Medical Inspector Dr. Hippke’s attitude is revealed in the letter of 14 March 1943 to Dr. Rudolf Brandt in which he states:

“I would like to point out the extraordinary amiability of the inspector and his carefulness in all remarks relating to the SS.” (NO-270, Pros. Ex. 110.)

To make sure that Himmler would under all circumstances be informed about Rascher’s conference with Medical Inspector Hippke, he continues:

“May I respectfully ask to inform, wherever that seems necessary to you, the Reich Leader SS of my report.” (NO-270, Pros. Ex. 110.)

The statement that Witness Dr. Punzengruber made about Rascher is very characteristic:

“His (Rascher’s) connections were so strong that practically every important superior trembled in fear of the intriguing Rascher, who consequently held a position of enormous power.” (Sievers 44, Sievers Ex. 45.)

Rascher’s servility toward Himmler is already revealed by the bombastic phrases with which he closes his letters to Himmler. To give a few examples only:

Letter dated 17 February 1943, from Rascher to Himmler: “With most obedient regards I remain in honest gratitude with Heil Hitler your very devoted S. Rascher.” (1616-PS, Pros. Ex. 105.)

Letter, dated 11 April 1943, from Rascher to Himmler: “With most obedient regards and Heil Hitler I remain always, devoted to you in gratitude, your S. Rascher.” (NO-240, Pros. Ex. 112.)

Letter, dated 10 September 1942, from Rascher to Himmler: “In grateful admiration with Heil Hitler your very devoted S. Rascher.” (NO-234, Pros. Ex. 83.)

The picture of Rascher is completed by the testimony that personally he went to the highest authorities only. (German Tr. p. 7966.)

Sievers is also brought into connection with Dr. Rascher’s attempt to establish himself as a university lecturer.

In his “educational history” [“Ausbildungsverlauf”] Rascher mentions that the Reich Leader SS (Himmler) ordered him to establish himself as a university lecturer with one of his two papers: “Attempts at Rescue from High Altitude” [“Versuche zur Rettung aus grossen Hoehen”] and “Attempts at the Saving of Frozen Humans” [“Versuche zur Rettung ausgekuehlter Menschen”]. (NO-230, Pros. Ex. 115.)

By a letter, dated 12 August 1943, from Dr. Rudolf Brandt of the personal staff of the Reich Leader SS, Sievers is entrusted with this affair. This letter is not at our disposal. On 27 September 1943, that is after more than 6 weeks, Sievers answers that he introduced Rascher to Professor Dr. Blome and SS Brigadefuehrer Mentzel. The former had talked to Professor Dr. Pfannenstiel of Marburg. On 21 March 1944, that is almost 6 months after the letter just mentioned, Sievers reports to Dr. Brandt on the further development of the case of Dr. Rascher’s establishment as a university lecturer. The attempt in Marburg had failed and consequently they would have to try to establish Rascher as a lecturer at Strasbourg University. (NO-290, Pros. Ex. 121.)

Rascher’s arrest freed Sievers from the necessity of taking any further action. The fact that Sievers was involved, as far as the establishment as a university lecturer is concerned, not only in Rascher’s case, is revealed, for example, by Sievers’ 1943 diary, entry of 9 February 1943 concerning the establishment as a lecturer of Dr. Schuetrumpf (NO-538, Pros. Ex. 122); furthermore, entry of 22 February 1943 concerning the establishment as a lecturer of Dr. Rudolph; furthermore, Sievers’ 1944 diary, entry of 22 February 1944, concerning the establishment as a lecturer of Dr. Schmidt-Rohr. (3546-PS, Pros. Ex. 123.)

If, in case of Rascher’s establishment as a lecturer, Sievers was acting only as in other similar cases of members of Ahnenerbe, then this was one of his tasks as Reich manager [Reichsgeschaeftsfuehrer] of Ahnenerbe and he cannot be charged with special activity on Rascher’s behalf.


There is no indication that Sievers had known, before the experiments started, that they could become immoderate or inhuman. Neither as far as planning nor as far as the direction was concerned nor in any other way had Sievers anything to do with the carrying out of the experiments.

Furthermore the question must be answered whether Sievers did not gain knowledge through Rascher’s reports, which he received while the experiments were carried out, of the criminal character of Rascher’s experiments.

The prosecution submitted the following reports of Dr. Rascher: Final report, dated 10 October 1942, of Professor Dr. Holzloehner, Dr. Finke, Dr. Rascher (NO-428, Pros. Ex. 91.) Interim report, dated 15 August 1942, of Dr. Rascher. (1618-PS, Pros. Ex. 84.) Report, dated 17 February 1943, of Dr. Rascher. (1616-PS, Pros. Ex. 105.) These reports were sent by Rascher directly to Himmler as can be ascertained from the documents themselves or from the accompanying letters. None of the documents indicates that a copy of the reports went to the Ahnenerbe or that they came to Sievers’ knowledge in some other way. Sievers denies that he obtained knowledge of these reports.

Sievers did not take part in the conference of 26-27 October 1942, as can be clearly seen from the list of those present. (NO-401, Pros. Ex. 93.) Sievers, also, never received a written report on the conference. Also the secretary of many years’ standing of the Ahnenerbe, the witness, Dr. Gisela Schmitz, has stated that she never saw reports about experiments of Rascher. Since all the incoming mail was delivered first to her she would necessarily have seen any such reports. (Sievers 45, Sievers Ex. 46.) Even if Sievers—as he did not—should have obtained knowledge of one or another of the reports, he cannot be expected to have formed an independent opinion on the permissibility of human experiments from the point of view of medical professional ethics.

Sievers had neither the power nor the opportunity to interfere with the sub-chilling experiments, or to prevent them or bring them to a stop. It must be pointed out again and again that Sievers was competent only for administrative affairs.

Everything that Sievers could do for the prevention of the experiments was done. In the cases of the experiments at Dachau, Sievers’ influence was nil. On the other hand he was able to prevent some experimental activity on Rascher’s part by procrastinating the dry-cold experiments [Trockenkaelteversuche] which should have been carried out in the mountains.


EXTRACT FROM THE CLOSING BRIEF FOR DEFENDANT WELTZ

Document 343-A-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 62, is the only document submitted in this connection [freezing experiments] and mentioning the name of Professor Weltz. It is a letter by Field Marshal Milch, dated 20 May 1942, to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, Chief of the Personal Staff, Reich Leader SS. In this letter Field Marshal Milch says that the high-altitude experiments were completed and that there was no real reason for their continuation. The letter continues: “The carrying out of experiments concerning the problem of distress at sea, on the other hand, is important; they were prepared in direct agreement with the authorities. Oberstabsarzt Weltz is instructed to carry them through and Stabsarzt Rascher is also made available for them until further notice.”

Obviously, the prosecution intends to take this letter as basis for the assertion that Professor Weltz participated in the planning and the carrying out of the experiments. At the session of 8 May 1947, (Tr. p. 7237) the prosecutor referred to this letter and drew the conclusion therefrom that Field Marshal Milch, pursuant to the information he had obtained from Professor Hippke on 20 May, thought that Rascher still belonged to the office of Weltz in Munich and that Professor Weltz was entrusted with the carrying out of the freezing experiments for this reason. If and to what extent Field Marshal Milch was informed about the actual events may be left undecided. It is merely established that Professor Hippke already knew at that time that Stabsarzt Rascher no longer belonged to the office of Weltz. This appears with certainty from NO-296, Prosecution Exhibit 58, which is the letter of the Medical Inspector of the Luftwaffe of 27 April 1942 to the Chief of the Personal Staff of the Reich Leader SS, from the reply to Wolff’s application to Hippke of 16 April 1942, in which Wolff asks for the extension of Stabsarzt Rascher’s assignment to the DVL (German Research Institute for Aviation), Dachau Branch. There is, therefore, no doubt that on 20 May 1942, Hippke knew that at that time Rascher no longer belonged to Weltz’ office. How it happened that the name of Professor Weltz was mentioned in this document was established by Professor Hippke’s testimony as witness in the trial against Erhard Milch. (Weltz 3, Weltz Ex. 7.) Professor Hippke testified in this connection that in a discussion at the beginning of June 1942 he was informed by Rascher that the latter had received orders from the Reich Leader SS (Himmler) to carry out freezing experiments. A report on this conference is contained in NO-283, Prosecution Exhibit 82. Supplementing this report, Rascher’s report on his conference with Professor Hippke, Hippke himself testified that he was thinking of Professor Weltz because he knew that Professor Weltz—in his institute in Munich—had been working on problems of freezing with animal experiments. Later, he had abandoned this plan to ask Professor Weltz to cooperate in the carrying out of these experiments because he had become convinced that the theoretical work was not the point but the practical experience on freezing problems and that not Professor Weltz but Professor Holzloehner had the greater practical experience.

However, it has been established that Professor Weltz never received such an order and also that he was not otherwise concerned in any way with the carrying out of the freezing experiments. This is proved by the testimony of the defendant Weltz in his own case, (Tr. 7108-09), and by the affidavit of Professor Weltz’ co-worker Dr. Wendt. (Weltz 23, Weltz Ex. 21.)

For the rest, Weltz’ name does not appear in any connection in any of the numerous documents relating to the problem of freezing experiments submitted by the prosecution. On the contrary, these documents show clearly who from the Luftwaffe was actually ordered to carry out these experiments and who carried them out in Dachau.

The fact that Professor Weltz was not even requested to participate in the planning of the freezing experiments, appears clearly from Document NO-283, Prosecution Exhibit 82, already discussed, and above all without objection.


That Professor Weltz refused to participate in the experiments after he learned about them was firmly established on the other hand by the evidence submitted by the defense which in turn is supported by the documents submitted by the prosecution. Document 1610-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 73, submitted by the prosecution appears to have special weight as evidence in this connection. It is Rascher’s letter to Himmler of 9 October 1942. In this letter Rascher asks Himmler to see to it that the apparatus necessary for chemical analysis be put at his disposal by laboratories not working to full capacity. He points to the fact that the Weltz Institute does not make apparatus available to him, as it was allegedly used there for freezing experiments with shaved cats, and the institute needed these apparatus for its own use. Moreover, the affidavit of the witness Dr. v. Werz (Weltz 4, Weltz Ex. 11) according to which Professor Weltz refused to furnish apparatus for freezing experiments at Dachau, further proves this disapproval on the part of Professor Weltz of the freezing experiments carried out at Dachau. Moreover, it appears also from NO-3674, Prosecution Exhibit 549. Here, an attempt is made to procure the apparatus (colorimeter) which was not delivered by Weltz from somewhere else. From 1609-PS, Prosecution Exhibit 92, it becomes apparent to what danger Professor Weltz exposed himself by his attitude against Rascher. It is a letter of the Reich Leader SS of 24 October 1942 to Rascher. In it Himmler acknowledges the receipt of Rascher’s letter, dated 9 October 1942, (1610-PS, Pros. Ex. 73) mentioned above in which Rascher complains about Professor Weltz’ attitude. In reply to this complaint Himmler writes:

“People who today still disapprove of human experiments and would rather have German soldiers die of the consequences of freezing I consider to be guilty of treason and high treason, and I shall have no compunction to report the names of these gentlemen to the authorities concerned. You are authorized by me to inform the offices concerned of this of my opinion.”

From Sievers’ testimony in direct interrogation it appears, unequivocally, that this referred to Professor Weltz. In this regard Sievers declared the following: “I can only say this in respect to Weltz himself, for Herr Rascher, as I already stated in reply to your question, mentioned in this connection Weltz as a participant.”

The defendant Sievers also declared that in view of Rascher’s character, as known to him, it could be expected that Rascher would make use of the powers given him with respect to “those guilty of treason and high treason,” among others also against Professor Weltz.

In the course of the cross-examination of Weltz the prosecution intimated in a veiled manner that Professor Weltz might have moved objects and files or might have put apparatus at the disposal of the Dachau experiments.

Since the prosecution could not submit evidence of any weight in this respect it is unnecessary to go into this. In the cross-examination itself it became apparent that all the files and apparatus were in existence at the end of the war and that Weltz himself had made suggestions to hand over his institute in an orderly manner to the Americans. (Tr. pp. 7241-7242.)


d. Evidence

Prosecution Documents
   
Pros.
Doc. No.Ex. No.Description of DocumentPage
NO-234 83Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 10 September 1942, transmitting intermediate report on freezing experiments (1618-PS).219
1618-PS 84Intermediate report, 10 September 1942, on intense chilling experiments in Dachau concentration camp.220
1611-PS 85Letter from Himmler to Rascher and Sievers, 22 September 1942, ordering rewarming in freezing experiments through physical warmth.221
NO-285 86Letter from Rascher to Rudolf Brandt, 3 October 1942, stating that Sievers would obtain four gypsy women for rewarming through body warmth.221
1619-PS 87Teletype from commandant of Dachau concentration camp to Rudolf Brandt, 7 October 1942, stating that four women would be available from Ravensbrueck concentration camp for Rascher’s experiments.223
NO-286 88Letter from Goering’s office to Himmler, 8 October 1942, with attached invitation to the conference on “Medical Problems Arising from Hardships of Sea and Winter.”223
1613-PS 90Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 16 October 1942, transmitting report on cooling experiments on human beings (NO-428).225
NO-428 91Report of 10 October 1942, on cooling experiments on human beings.226
1609-PS 92Letter from Himmler to Rascher, 24 October 1942, and note by Rudolf Brandt.244
NO-323 94Memorandum of Rascher on women used for rewarming warming in freezing experiments, 5 November, 1942.245
NO-320103Letter from Sievers to Brandt, 28 January 1943, and Rascher’s report on his discussions with Grawitz and Poppendick.246
1616-PS105Letter from Rascher to Himmler, 17 February 1943, and summary of experiments for rewarming of chilled human beings by animal warmth, 12 February 1943.249
NO-268106Letter from Hippke to Himmler, 19 February 1943, on freezing experiments in Dachau.252
1580-PS107Letter from Himmler to Rascher, 26 February 1943, on freezing experiments in the concentration camps Auschwitz and Lublin.253
NO-292111Letter from Rascher to Rudolf Brandt, 4 April 1943, reporting on dry-freezing experiments in Dachau.253
NO-322114Letter from Rascher to Keindl, 28 April 1943, about previous freezing experiments conducted at Sachsenhausen.254
NO-231116Letter from Rascher to Sievers, 17 May 1943, concerning a conference with Gebhardt on freezing experiments.255
NO-432119Letter from Rascher to Neff, 21 October 1943, concerning dry-freezing experiments.258
NO-690120List of research projects from the files of the Reich Research Council.259
   
Testimony
   
Extracts from the testimony of Tribunal witness Walter Neff260
Extract from the testimony of defendant Handloser265
Extract from the testimony of defendant Schroeder269
Extracts from the testimony of defendant Sievers274

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-234

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 83

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 10 SEPTEMBER 1942, TRANSMITTING INTERMEDIATE REPORT ON FREEZING EXPERIMENTS (1618-PS)

Dr. med. Sigmund Rascher Munich, Trogerstr. 56

at present Berlin, 10 Sep 1942

My dear Reich Leader,

May I submit in the enclosure the first intermediary report about the freezing experiments?

In the beginning of October, a meeting on the subject of freezing experiments is to take place. Professor Dr. Holzloehner, participating in our Dachau experiments on behalf of the Luftwaffe, wants to give on this occasion an account of the results of our experiments. SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers, who surveyed the experiments in Dachau last week, believes that if any report was to be made at a meeting, I should be called upon to submit the report. A discussion with other experts on freezing experiments would surely be very valuable. I therefore request your decision.

1. Can a report be made elsewhere before the oral report has been submitted to you, my Reich Leader?

2. Is my participation in the conference on the subject of the freezing experiments of the Luftwaffe ordered by you, my Reich Leader?

I will take care that the report is submitted in the manner appropriate for top secret matter.

Yours gratefully and respectfully

Heil Hitler!

[Signed] Yours very devotedly, S. Rascher

1 enclosure

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1618-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 84

INTERMEDIATE REPORT, 10 SEPTEMBER 1942, ON INTENSE CHILLING EXPERIMENTS IN DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP

S. Rascher

Intermediate report on intense chilling experiments in the Dachau Camp, started on 15 August 1942

Experimental procedure

The experimental subjects (VP) were placed in the water, dressed in complete flying uniform, winter or summer combination, and with an aviator’s helmet. A life jacket made of rubber or kapok was to prevent submerging. The experiments were carried out at water temperatures varying from 2.5° to 12°. In one experimental series, the occiput (brain stem) protruded above the water, while in another series of experiments the occiput (brain stem) and back of the head were submerged in water.

Electrical measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4° in the stomach and 26.5° in the rectum. Fatalities occurred only when the brain stem and the back of the head were also chilled. Autopsies of such fatal cases always revealed large amounts of free blood, up to one-half liter, in the cranial cavity. The heart invariably showed extreme dilation of the right chamber. As soon as the temperature in these experiments reached 28°, the experimental subjects died invariably, despite all attempts at resuscitation. The above discussed autopsy finding conclusively proved the importance of a warming protective device for head and occiput when designing the planned protective clothing of the foam type.

Other important findings, common in all experiments, should be mentioned, marked increase of the viscosity of the blood, marked increase of hemoglobin, an approximate five-fold increase of the leukocytes, invariable rise of blood sugar to twice its normal value. Auricular fibrillation made its appearance regularly at 30°.

During attempts to save severely chilled persons [Unterkuehlte], it was shown that rapid rewarming was in all cases preferable to slow rewarming, because after removal from the cold water, the body temperature continued to sink rapidly. I think that for this reason we can dispense with the attempt to save intensely chilled subjects by means of animal heat.

Rewarming by animal warmth—animal bodies or women’s bodies—would be too slow. As auxiliary measures for the prevention of intense chilling, improvements in the clothing of aviators come alone into consideration. The foam suit with suitable neck protector which is being prepared by the German Institute for the Textile Research, Munich-Gladbach, deserves first priority in this connection. The experiments have shown that pharmaceutical measures are probably unnecessary if the flier is still alive at the time of rescue.

[Signed] Dr. S. Rascher

Munich—Dachau, 10 September 1942.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1611-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 85

LETTER FROM HIMMLER TO RASCHER AND SIEVERS, 22 SEPTEMBER 1942, ORDERING REWARMING IN FREEZING EXPERIMENTS THROUGH PHYSICAL WARMTH

Secret

Reich Leader SS

Rf/Dr. AR/19/30/42

Personal Headquarters

Reich Leader SS

22 September 1942

1. Dr. Rascher

Munich—Dachau

I have received the intermediate report on the chilling experiments in Camp Dachau.

Despite everything, I would so arrange the experiments that all possibilities, prompt warming, medicine, body warming, will be executed in positive experiment orders.

[Signed] H. Himmler

2. SS—Lt. Col. Sievers

Berlin

A carbon copy with the request for acknowledgment.

SS Lt. Col.

25 Sep 42

PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-285

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 86

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO RUDOLF BRANDT, 3 OCTOBER 1942, STATING THAT SIEVERS WOULD OBTAIN FOUR GYPSY WOMEN FOR REWARMING THROUGH BODY WARMTH

Dr. med. Sigmund Rascher; Munich, Trogerstr. 56, 3 October 42

Most honored Obersturmbannfuehrer!

First of all I want to thank you very much for “Das glaeserne Meer” (“The Glass Ocean”). My wife and myself are very happy to possess now a complete set of these books. I have already read the book with great interest.

The Reich Leader SS wants to be informed of the state of the experiments. I can announce that the experiments have been concluded, with the exception of those on warming with body heat. The final report will be ready in about 5 days. Professor Holzloehner, for reasons that I cannot fathom, does not himself want to make the report to the Reich Leader Himmler and has asked me to attend to it. This report must be made before 20 October, because the great Luftwaffe conference on freezing takes place in Nuernberg on 25 October. The report on the results of our research must be made there, to assure that they be used in time for the troops. May I ask you to arrange for a decision from the Reich Leader regarding the final report to him, and the submission to him of the relevant material?

Today I received your letter of 22 September 1942, in which the Reich Leader orders that the experiments on warming through body heat must absolutely be conducted. Because of incomplete address it was delayed. Today I asked Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers to send a telegram to the camp commander immediately, to the effect that four gypsy women be procured at once from another camp. Moreover, I asked SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers to take steps to have the low-pressure chamber made ready for use.

The report to Field Marshal Milch planned for 11 September could not be made, as you have discovered, because he was prevented from attending, and no representative was commissioned to receive it. As the Reich Leader had not empowered me to report to anyone in the Reich Air Ministry (RLM), I abstained from making the report, which rather nettled the gentlemen of the Medical Inspectorate [Sanitaetsinspektion]. I immediately informed Obersturmbannfuehrer Sievers. For the time being the report is being held as a military secret at the German Aviation Research Institute (DVL) together with a distribution list prepared by the Reich Air Ministry. The distribution of the copies, however, has not yet taken place, because, as I said, the report has not yet been made to Milch. I assume that you were informed of this whole business long ago. What shall we do now?

I wish to enclose a letter of thanks to the Reich Leader from the former prisoner Neff. At the same time I should like to thank you very much for your efforts; and let me beg you, should opportunity offer, to convey to the Reich Leader my most sincere thanks for his granting of this request. I did not write to the Reich Leader in person, in order not to make any further demands on his valuable time.

With best wishes and

Heil Hitler!

Yours most sincerely

[Signed] S. Rascher.

PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1619-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 87

TELETYPE FROM COMMANDANT OF DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP TO RUDOLF BRANDT, 7 OCTOBER 1942, STATING THAT FOUR WOMEN WOULD BE AVAILABLE FROM RAVENSBRUECK CONCENTRATION CAMP FOR RASCHER’S EXPERIMENTS

Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) Message Center


CONCENTRATION CAMP DACHAU 9793 7 OCTOBER 1942 1630-FR-

TO SS OBERSTURMBANNFUEHRER DR. BRANDT BERLIN PRINZ ALBRECHT STR. 8. THE HEADQUARTERS CONCENTRATION CAMP DACHAU REQUESTS CHIEF OF THE AMTSGRUPPE SS BRIGADEFUEHRER GLUECKS TO HAVE THE FOUR WOMEN ORDERED BY THE REICH LEADER SS FOR STABSARZT DR. RASCHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPERIMENTS SENT IMMEDIATELY FROM RAVENSBRUECK TO DACHAU.

SIGNED WEISS, SS STURMBANNFUEHRER AND COMMANDANT OF THE CAMP.

PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-286

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 88

LETTER FROM GOERING’S OFFICE TO HIMMLER, 8 OCTOBER 1942, WITH ATTACHED INVITATION TO THE CONFERENCE ON “MEDICAL PROBLEMS ARISING FROM HARDSHIPS OF SEA AND WINTER”

The Reich Air Minister

and Commander in chief

  of the Luftwaffe

Az: 55 No. 5 340/secret/42 (L. I. 14, 2IIB)

Berlin W 8, 8 October 1942

Leipziger Strasse 7

By Messenger!

Subject: Research order on Freezing [Abkuehlung].

Reference:1. D. R. d. L. and Ob. d. L. Ch. d. Lw. L. In. 14 Az: 55 No. 20058/41 (2II B) dated: 24/2/42
 
2. D. R. d. L. and Ob. d. L. Ch. d. Lw. L. In. 14 Az: 21 o-r No. 10909/42 (1 II A) dated: 6/8/42

To the Reich Leader SS

The Inspectorate of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe has given an order for research to the Stabsarzt Professor Dr. Holzloehner, reference above, dated 24 February 1942, for work on the following problem:

“The effect of freezing on warm-blooded subjects.”

At the proposal of Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher appropriate examinations were made of human beings, and in agreement with the Reich Leader SS suitable SS facilities were used for the examinations.

In order to carry out these examinations a research group “Hardships at Sea” (“Seenot”) was set up, consisting of Professor Dr. Holzloehner as leader and Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher and Dr. Finke.

The leader of this research group reported that the examinations have been concluded.

It is intended to dissolve the research group at the latest by 15 October 1942.

The research documents and an extensive report will be presented to the Reich Leader SS by Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher. It is requested that the originals or copies of the report and of the documents be put at the disposal of the Inspectorate of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe.

It is intended to make the results, in the form of an extract, accessible to experts at a conference which will take place in Nuernberg on 26 and 27 October 1942. The agenda schedule of the conference is closed.

The SS Central Office, Medical Department [SS Hauptamt, Sanitaetsamt] has been invited to this discussion by letter, dated 30 September 1942.

It is further requested to abstain from forwarding the documents and the report to other nonmedical offices.

Draft signed [Im Entwurf gez.]

By order

Wullen

True Copy

[Signature] Anthony

1 enclosure

[Enclosure]

The Inspector of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe

Conference on “Medical Problems Arising from Hardships of Sea and Winter” on 26 and 27 October 1942 in Nuernberg, Hotel “Der Deutsche Hof,” 29-35 Frauentorgraben. Chairman of the conference: Stabsarzt Professor Dr. Anthony, L. In. 14.

Tentative schedule:

26 October 1942.


15.35 o’clock—Oberstabsarzt Dr. Weltz:
“Warming Up after Freezing to the Danger Point”.
15.55 o’clock—Stabsarzt Professor Holzloehner:
“Prevention and Treatment of Freezing.”
16.40 o’clock—Discussion.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1613-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 90

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 16 OCTOBER 1942, TRANSMITTING REPORT ON COOLING EXPERIMENTS ON HUMAN BEINGS (NO-428)

Dr. Sigmund Rascher

Munich 16 October 42

Troger Str. 56

Highly esteemed Reich Leader!

Permit me to submit the attached final report on the super-cooling experiments performed at Dachau. This report does not contain the course and results of a series of experiments with drugs as well as experiments with animal body heat [animalische Waerme] which are now being conducted. Likewise this report does not contain the microscopic pathological examinations of the brain tissues of the deceased. I was surprised at the extraordinary microscopic findings in this field. I will carry out experiments before the start of the conference in which the effect of cooling will be discussed and I hope to be able to present further results by that time. My two coworkers left Dachau about 8 days ago.

In the hope that you, highly esteemed Reich Leader, will be able to spare a quarter of an hour to listen to an oral report, I remain, with the most obedient regards and

Heil Hitler!

Yours respectfully.

[Signed] S. Rascher.

PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-428

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 91

REPORT OF 10 OCTOBER 1942, ON COOLING EXPERIMENTS ON HUMAN BEINGS

Stabsarzt Prof. Dr. E. Holzloehner

Stabsarzt Dr. S. Rascher

Stabsarzt Dr. E. Finke

I. Problem of the Experiment

Up to the present time there has been no basis for the treatment of shipwrecked persons who have been exposed for long periods of time to low-water temperatures. These uncertainties extended to the possible physical and pharmacological methods of attack. It was not clear, for example, whether those who had been rescued should be warmed quickly or slowly. According to the current instructions for treating frozen people, a slow warming up seemed to be indicated. Certain theoretical considerations could be adduced for a slow warming. Well-founded suggestions were missing for a promising medicinal therapy.

All these uncertainties rested in the last analysis upon the absence of well-founded concepts concerning the cause of death by cold in human beings. In the meantime, in order to clarify this question, a series of animal experiments were started. And, indeed, these officials who wished to make definite suggestions to the doctors in the sea-rescue service had to assume a great deal of responsibility if it came to a question of convincing and consistent results in these animal experiments. At this particular point it is especially difficult to carry the findings in animals over into the human field. In the warm-blooded, one finds a varied degree of development in the heat-regulating mechanism. Besides this, the processes in the skin of the pelted animals cannot be carried over to man.

II. General Procedure of the Experiment

The effect of water temperatures of 2°, 3°, to 12° C. [34°, 37°, to 54° F.] were investigated. A tank 2×2×2 m. [6-2/3×6-2/3×6-2/3 ft.] served as an experimental basin. The water temperature was attained by addition of ice, and remained constant during the experiment. The experimental subjects were generally dressed in equipment such as the flier wears, consisting of underclothing, uniform, a one piece summer or winter protective suit, helmet, and aviators fur-lined boots. In addition they wore a life preserver of rubber or kapok. The effect of additional protective clothing against water-cold was tested in a special series of experiments, and in another series the cooling of the unclothed person was studied.

The bodily warmth was measured thermoelectrically. Following preliminary experiments in which gastric temperatures were measured by a thermic sound, we adopted the procedure of continuously registering rectally the body temperature [Kerntemperatur]. Parallel with this, the recording of the skin temperature was undertaken. The point of measurement was the skin of the back at the level of the fifth thoracic certebral process. The thermoelectrical measurements were controlled before, during, and after the experiments by thermometric tests of the cheek and rectal temperature.

In severe cooling, checking of the pulse is difficult. The pulse becomes weaker, the musculature become stiff, and shivering sets in. Auscultation during the experiment by means of a tube stethoscope fastened over the tip of the heart proved effective. The tubes were led out of the uniform and made possible the continuous listening to the heart during the stay in the water.

Electrocardiographic controls were not possible in the water. After removal from the water they were possible only in those cases in which, a too severe muscle shivering did not disturb the electrocardiograph records.

The following chemical studies were carried out: following up of the blood sugar picture (continuous); the sodium chloride picture in the serum; the nonprotein nitrogen (Rest-N); the alkali reserve; the alkali reserve of the venous and arterial blood and sedimentation rate (before and after the experiment). Besides this the general blood condition and viscosity were followed during the experiment, and before and after the experiment the resistance of the red blood cells and the protein content of the blood plasma (this refractometrically) were measured.

The following urinalyses were made regularly: sediment, albumen, sugar, sodium chloride, acetone, acetic acid, as well as a qualitative albumen determination.

In part of the experiment lumbar and suboccipital punctures were made as well as corresponding spinal fluid studies.

Among physical and therapeutic measures the following were tested:

a. Rapid warming by means of a hot bath.

b. Warming by means of a light cradle.

c. Warming in a heated sleeping bag.

d. Vigorous massage of the whole body.

e. Wrapping in covers.

f. Diathermy of the heart.

In addition the following drugs were given: Strophanthin i. v.; Cardiaz 1 i. v. and i. c.; Lobelin and Coramin i. v. and i. c. In other experiments alcohol or grape sugar was given.

A part of the experiments was begun under narcosis (8 cc. Evipan i. v.).

III. The Clinical Picture of Cooling

The clinical picture as well as the behavior of the body temperature showed certain regularities in the general course; the time of appearance of certain phenomena was, however, subject to very great individual variations. As one might expect, a good general physical condition delayed the cooling and the concomitant phenomena. Further differences were conditioned by the position of the subject in the water and the manner of clothing. Furthermore, differences showed up between experiments in which the subject lay horizontally in the water so that the nape of the neck and the back of the head were splashed with water, and others in which neck and head protruded freely out of the water.

Peculiarly, the actual water temperatures between 2° C. and 12° C. [35° and 54° F.] had no demonstrable effect upon the rate of the cooling. Naturally such an effect must exist. But since besides the already mentioned individual differences and those due to experimental conditions, the various subjects cooled on different days at different rates of speed, the effect of the actual water temperatures between 2° and 12° disappears behind such variations.

If the experimental subject was placed in the water under narcosis, one observed a certain arousing effect. The subject began to groan and made some defensive movements. In a few cases a state of excitation developed. This was especially severe in the cooling of head and neck. But never was a complete cessation of the narcosis observed. The defensive movements ceased after about 5 minutes. There followed a progressive rigor, which developed especially strongly in the arm musculature; the arms were strongly flexed and pressed to the body. The rigor increased with the continuation of the cooling, now and then interrupted by tonic-clonic twitchings. With still more marked sinking of the body temperature it suddenly ceased. These cases ended fatally, without any successful results from resuscitation efforts.

In the course of the narcosis experiments the evipan effects in a few cases went directly over into a cold narcosis; in other cases one could determine a transitory return of consciousness, immediately following the awakening effect already described; at any rate, the experimental subjects were dizzy. Cold pain was not expressed.

Experiments without narcosis showed no essential differences in the course of cooling. Upon entry into the water a severe cold shuddering appeared. The cooling of the neck and back of the head was felt as especially painful, but already after 5 to 10 minutes a significant weakening of the pain sensation was observable. Rigor developed after this time in the same manner as under narcosis, likewise the tonic-clonic twitchings. At this point speech became difficult because the rigor also affected the speech musculature.

Simultaneously with the rigor a severe difficulty in breathing set in with or without narcosis. It was reported that, so to speak, an iron ring was placed about the chest. Objectively, already at the beginning of this breathing difficulty, a marked dilatation of the nostrils occurred. The expiration was prolonged and visibly difficult. This difficulty passed over into a rattling and snoring breathing. However, the breathing at this point was not especially deep as in Kussmaul’s breathing nor were any Cheyne-Stokes breathing or Biot’s breathing to be observed. Not in all subjects, but in a great number, a simultaneous hindering during this breathing through very profuse secretion of mucous could be established. Under these conditions sometimes a white, fine-bubbled foam appeared at the mouth which reminded one of an incipient lung oedema, though it was not possible to determine this symptom with certainty by clinical auscultation; only a sharpened unclean breath sound was audible. This foam might occur early, that is, at rectal temperatures of 32° C. to 35° C.; [90°-95° F.]. No special significance was to be attributed to this regarding the outcome of the experiment which is the opposite of the described relaxation of rigor. The rate of breathing increased at the beginning of the experiment, but after about 20 minutes it decreased to something like 24 per minute with slight variations.

In general a definite dulling of consciousness occurred at the dropping of the body temperature of 31° C. [88° F.] rectal temperature. Next, the subjects still responded to speech but finally answered very sleepily. The pupils dilated markedly. The contraction under light became increasingly weaker. The gaze was directed overhead with a compulsive fixation. After withdrawal from the water an increase in the reflexes was evident in spite of the rigor, and regularly a very marked drawing up of the testicles occurred which practically disappeared into the abdomen. Early in the experiment the face was pale. After 40 to 50 minutes cyanosis appeared. With this the face appeared redder, the mucous membrane bluish-red. The skin veins were not maximally collapsed and were virtually always penetrable.

The heart activity showed a constant change independent of all other individual variations, which was noticeable in all subjects. Upon introduction into the water with narcotized subjects as well as nonnarcotized subjects, the heart rate went suddenly to about 120 per minute. At a rectal body temperature of about 34° C. [93° F.] it then began to become increasingly slower and to sink continuously to about 50 per minute.

The bradycardia at a body temperature of about 29° to 30° C. [84° to 86° F.] changed suddenly to an arrythmia perpetua or, as the case may be, to a total irregularity and this began with a slow form of about 50 beats per minute; this slow form of irregularity could be transformed into a faster one. The transformation to the faster form was not an unfavorable sign regarding life.

When an electrocardiographic control after the experiment was possible, it regularly showed a Vorhof flutter. Let it be anticipated that this irregularity could continue to exist after the cessation of the cooling and a recovery of the body temperature to 33° or 34° C. [91° or 93° F.] 1½ to 2 hours after removal from the water, but then customarily changed of itself and without therapeutic aids into a coordinated heart activity. In the same way let it be anticipated that in all cases with a lethal termination, a sudden cessation of the heartbeat ensued upon an irregularity of the slow type.

A check of the blood pressure was attempted, but was in no case satisfactory since an exact measurement was not possible in the decisive stage of the experiment because of the severe rigor and muscle fibrillation.

Reference has already been made to individual differences in the behavior of the rectal temperatures. Figure 4 gives an example which includes four experiments, in which four different experimental subjects were cooled at identical water temperatures and with identical clothing. It was shown that in water at 4.5° C. [40° F.] temperature the time required for reaching a rectal temperature of about 29.5° C. [85° F.] varies between 70 and 90 minutes. But nevertheless the diagram shows that in spite of these individual differences, it is observable that the progress of the rectal temperature proceeds according to rule. The body temperature begins to sink rapidly from about 35° C. [95°-97° F.].

It is of very great practical significance at this point that the body temperature continues to sink virtually lineally for a considerable time after removal from the water. This continued drop can last 20 minutes or more. During this drop an after-drop of 4° C. [7° F.] could be observed, and indeed not only at temperatures under 30° C. [86° F.]. In one case it was observed that an interruption of the experiment at 35° C. [95° F.] after a further lapse of 20 minutes the rectal temperature had fallen 4° to 5° C. [8° F.] more. We will later discuss the “arresting” of this after-drop by physical measures.

In our experimental series, the lowest rectal temperatures which could be survived varied individually just as did the progress of the temperature drop. In general (in six cases) death occurred with a drop in temperature to values between 24.2° and 25.7° C. [75.6° and 77.6° F.]. In one case, however, a drop to 25.2° C. was survived. This experiment fell outside the typical picture insofar as after 90 minutes at 26.6° C. [79.9° F.] a virtually stationary condition of the rectal temperature had become established for 85 minutes. We will come back again to this special experiment.

The skin temperature sinks or drops much more rapidly than the rectal temperature. Within a minute there occurs a thorough saturation of the articles of clothing. Correspondingly the skin temperature falls already within 5 minutes to values between 24° and 19° C. [75° and 66° F.]. After 10 minutes it may have already dropped to 12° C. [54° F.]. Within 10 to 20 minutes more after the beginning of the experiment the steepness of the drop changes considerably. The curve of the skin temperature runs for some time, that is, for 15 to 30 minutes virtually horizontal. After this time there follows a further but now slower drop to the lowest figures, which may lie below 15° C. [59° F.] at the close of the experiment.

Parallel experiments which compare the course of the rectal temperatures and the cooling of the body with and without submersion of neck and back of head showed great difference in temperature drop. The curves pertain to the same experimental subject. The one with the deep fall to 26° C. [79° F.] in 70 minutes was obtained with a water temperature of 12° C. [54° F.] the other with a drop to 32.5° C. [90.4° F.] in the same time resulted from a water temperature of 5.5° C. [41.9° F.]. The very marked difference cannot be explained by a variation in resistance of the particular person, but is to be attributed to the position of the subject in the water and his head covering. In the experiment with the water at 12° C. [54° F.] the subject, in a kapok life preserver, lay flat in the water so that his neck and the back of his head were well submerged; beyond this he did not wear a flier’s helmet. In the other experiment with water at 5.5° C. [41.9° F.] the head was covered with an aviator’s summer helmet without headphones. The subject wore a rubber life preserver open at the back; with this, the head is somewhat out of the water.

In order to follow up the effect of isolated cooling of the neck and the back of the head on consciousness, body temperature, and circulation, this was undertaken in three special experiments. The experimental subject lay horizontal; the back of the head and the neck were dipped into a receptacle through which water of corresponding temperature was continuously run. In an experiment of 3 hours duration there occurred small temperature drops of not more than 0.8° C. [1.4° F.]. The water temperature was 1° to 2° C. [34° to 35° F.]. In one case after 50 minutes a marked sleepiness occurred which changed over into a deep narcosis. The heart activity was variable, and obvious bradycardia could not be observed. Irregularity never developed. Changes were not seen in the electrocardiograph. On the other hand in all three subjects the spinal fluid pressure was markedly increased after the ending of the experiment to maximal values of 300 mm. After the experiment, ataxia and definite Romberg phenomena were observed, as well as exaggeration of the normal reflexes; pathological reflexes were absent.

IV. Blood, Spinal Fluid, and Urine During Freezing

The differential blood smears showed no special features during cooling. On the other hand the number of white and red blood corpuscles shows a regular change. The number of leukocytes rapidly increases, roughly with the beginning of the steeper temperature drop at about 35° C. [95° F.] rectal temperature to values of from 25,000 to 27,000 per cu. mm. After one hour a maximum may be reached and a falling-off begins in the number of leukocytes, while the body temperature falls still further. The number of red corpuscles undergoes an increase, though to a relatively small degree, which in its course resembles the change in the number of leukocytes. We saw increases up to 20 percent. This increase is interrupted even earlier than the increase in the number of leukocytes, so that both curves give no reflection of the temperature curve. The increase of the erythrocytes corresponded to the increase of the hemoglobin of from 10 to 20 percent. A reduction of the fragility of the red corpuscles could not be demonstrated with certainty, on the other hand, although in three experiments a definite hemolysis occurred.

The viscosity regularly increases with the beginning of the fall in temperature. The rise can reach values up to 7.8. This rise occurs very early, indeed, already at body temperatures of 35° C. [95° F.]. After that the values remain relatively constant with further temperature falls. The albumen content of the plasma was likewise increased after the experiment, on the average by 1 percent of the absolute value. Since these measurements could not be made as often as those of viscosity for technical reasons, the connection with the progress of the viscosity remained unclear. Such a connection could not be recognized from the absolute values obtained.

With the acceleration of the temperature drop, there always occurs a more marked increase of the blood sugar to maximal values which may attain an average increase of 80 percent and in a few cases may reach an increase of over 100 percent. According to that, the maximal value of about 27.5° C. [81.5° F.] is reached and is maintained for some time. It is to be observed that as long as the temperature drop continues, in no experiment was it possible to observe a decrease in these high blood sugar values. It is usually to be observed that a relatively rapid drop of the blood sugar values sets in when, after removal from the water, the temperature drop ceases and goes over into a temperature rise. We consider these findings to be of theoretical significance. During the isolated cooling of the neck and back of the head which was described in section III the blood sugar remained constant.

In striking contrast to the increase of the blood sugar, there was never established a corresponding glycosuria in the urine collected immediately after the experiment or withdrawn through a catheter, although considerable quantities of urine averaging 500 cc. were found in the bladder; in only two cases could traces of sugar (0.5 percent) be demonstrated. This paradoxical behavior can, perhaps, be explained in this manner: during the time of great blood sugar increase, a blocking of the kidneys had occurred, and that the associated urine quantities were formed before or after this blocking under reflex polyuria. Acetone and acetic acid, likewise, could not be demonstrated in the urine.

The alkali reserve in the arterial and venous blood was regularly very much reduced at the end of the experiments. Experiments concerning oxygen saturation could not be carried out. According to the color of the venous blood withdrawn from the arm veins, the saturation of this blood must have been very greatly reduced; the blood was virtually black as it came into the syringe. Noteworthy in this connection are the autopsy findings which were undertaken directly after death. In these, the blood in the right heart appeared very dark, and in the left heart very bright red. According to this, one must calculate upon an increase in the saturation differential between the arteries and veins.

Sodium chloride and nonprotein nitrogen in the blood were not clear in the blood at the end of the experiments or increased within the limit of error. Sodium chloride in the urine was generally less, corresponding to a reduction of the specific gravity. On the other hand at the end of the experiments traces of albumin could regularly be demonstrated in the urine and moderately increased leukocytes, occasional erythrocytes, and epithelial cells in the sediments. In particular cases, albumin casts were also observed. The reaction of the urine remained identical before and after the experiments virtually without exception. The studies of the bile yielded no results.

Lumbar and suboccipital punctures immediately after the experiments showed a considerable increase in fluid pressure. On the average it amounted to between 50 and 60 mm. In one case, an increase to 420 mm. was seen. The protein values were always normal. Cell increases did not appear, likewise no abnormal deviation of the colloidal gold curve was observed. The meaning of these findings for therapy is still to be discussed later.

V. Recovery After Cooling and Its Dependence Upon Physiotherapeutic Measures

The important fact has already been referred to that after rescue from the cold water, the body temperature sinks further and so a further temperature reduction of 4° C. [7° F.] may take place. As was likewise emphasized, this may occur as a postphenomenon not only when low temperatures have been obtained already during the experiments, but it can be noted also at final temperatures of 35° C. [95° F.]. A dependence of this after-drop on the duration of the experiment could not be established; as a result it is difficult to calculate in advance. This fact becomes of great importance for practical measures; on the other hand it makes it difficult to gain an insight into the manner in which various physiotherapeutic measures affect the arresting of this after-drop and the recovery of the body temperature. Only because of the large number of the experiments was it possible to obtain well-founded concepts of this.

The flattest rise of the body temperature was to be observed when the subject was merely dried off, wrapped in warm cover, and left to himself after removal from the water. The recovery is greatly accelerated if the subject is placed in a hot bath as soon as possible after the removal of the wet articles of clothing. Warming under a light cradle assisted the temperature rise. Vigorous massage had a favorable effect, however, only if it was preceded by treatment in a hot bath or light cradle. In no case was it established that there was any indication of bad effects from the hot water or the light cradle, or that the subject had been harmed in any way. On the other hand, it was observed in three cases that a hot bath had doubtless a life saving effect. In two of these cases there had been complete cessation of heart and breathing action, and in one case the heart had stopped for several seconds after a markedly slackened irregularity before the subject was placed into water of not more than 50° C. [122° F.]. As a result of this we can discard all traditional objections to a sudden rewarming.

The favorable effect of a hot bath is still clearer in the observation of the general condition of the subject than in the temperature curves, although it cannot be presented objectively. The breathing very often becomes “freer” immediately upon introduction into the hot water. The hot water releases a strong stimulus; the unconscious subject often reacts with an outcry. Soon thereafter there occurs a distinct lessening of the severe rigor. The return of consciousness occurs sooner, and indeed at temperatures at which it did not usually happen under other methods of treatment.

In the first experiments with hot water treatment, this was continued only for 10 minutes; after that the subjects were removed and vigorously massaged. Under these circumstances it could be established that the temperature rise continued during the rubbing, indeed in one experiment the rise became steeper. As already indicated, this favorable effect of dry rubbing was not so pronounced without preliminary treatment by heat. It is important, too, that the rubbing be done when the severe spasm of the peripheral vessels has already passed.

In view of this, the hot hath is the best method of treatment of the severely cooled person. However, in the practice of sea rescue service it will not be possible to carry out this method, since the necessary means are not available in aircraft and boats. Under these circumstances we must consider next only the rapid rewarming with light cradle or electrically heated sleeping bag. Therefore a sleeping bag as now used in the sea rescue service was also tested. It was evident that the temperatures which can be developed by this means are not sufficient for heat therapy. With those it was possible to reach a temperature of only 32° C. [90° F.] over the skin, with the heat turned on fully. Besides this, the wall of the foot-section of the sleeping bag is only partly heated; on the outer sides it remains completely cold. As long as no improvement and strengthening of the heating equipment of the sack is carried out, the sleeping bag can be considered only as a substitute for wrapping in warm covers.

The warming by means of the light cradle is more uneven than with a hot bath. With warming by light one might expect severe local vessel expansion with danger of collapse. Actually the subjects often complained of dizziness and nausea after reaching consciousness if the treatment lasted longer than 15 minutes. Occasionally vomiting occurred. In these cases it is indicated to switch off the light cradle and to pack the subject with covers. Apart from this it must be remembered that during unconsciousness the subject should be protected against direct contact with the lamps by means of covers, otherwise burns could occur during clonic-tonic convulsions.

This suggests that “short waves” be employed to supply heat, since it was shown in animal experimentation that by this means it is possible to bring about a thorough warming of the whole animal, which leads to a recovery of the animal with puzzling rapidity. We did not have the proper equipment for a thorough warming of a human being by this means. For this reason the short wave therapy of the heart was tried. This did not have any demonstrable effect. Above all, it is necessary to advise against a practical application of this method, since there exists the danger of prolonged burning even in full consciousness, as the result of cold anaesthesia, even if the treating physician carefully tries to avoid this.

The severe difficulty in breathing as well as the formation of foam before the mouth, which reminded one of incipient lung oedema, seemed to indicate oxygen therapy. Therefore this therapy was tried in four experiments. It showed no effect on either the breathing or the heart action. It has been pointed out that the arterial blood appears especially light red.

VI. Death After Cooling in Water

Practical and Theoretical Considerations

Reports to the effect that those who have been rescued at sea are imperilled for a considerable time after rescue has aroused special attention. It has been reported especially that sudden cases of death occurred as much as 20 minutes to 90 minutes after rescue, and that in mass catastrophes these sudden deaths could amount to mass-dying (rescue collapse). These observations have set off far-reaching discussions. Bleeding in the rewarming periphery, break-downs of neural and humoral correlations and similar ideas have been brought up.

In contrast to this our experiments give a relatively simple explanation of cold-death under these conditions. With the exception of a single case, a total irregularity of the heart chamber could be definitely demonstrated in all cases of cooling under 30° C. [86° F.], (50 experiments), when the rectal temperature reached 29° C. [84° F.] and usually already at a cooling of 31° C. [88° F.]. The exception was an experiment on an intoxicated subject, which is to be gone into more fully below (see sec. VII).

Furthermore heart-death was established clinically in all cases of death observed by us. In two cases breathing ceased simultaneously with the heart activity. These were cases in which it was specially noted that the neck and the back of the head lay deep in the water. In all remaining cases breathing outlasted the clinical chamber cessation by as much as 20 minutes. In part this was “normal, much decelerated breathing,” in part an angonal form of gasping. As already referred to, an auricular flutter could be demonstrated cardiographically during the irregularity.

In cases in which a special cooling of neck and back of head had existed before death, the autopsy showed a marked brain oedema, a tight filling of the general brain cavity [Hirngefaesse] blood in the spinal fluid as well as blood in the Michaelisrhomboid.

The heart findings warrant our taking a certain attitude toward the question of rescue collapse. Death occurred relatively quickly after removal from the water, which may be compared with rescue. The longest interval involved was 14 minutes. It is to be noted, however, in the first place, that almost certainly a much larger number of deaths would have been observed if an active heat therapy had not almost regularly been coupled directly with the completion of the experiment; in the second place, that in such cases there would have been very much longer intervals. We have already called attention repeatedly to the after-cooling following the experiment. In every case where this had proceeded to a certain point, countermeasures were taken, since the experiments were never planned to end in death. One may well imagine, however, that in mass catastrophes, in which almost exclusively rescue collapse has heretofore been described, the therapeutic measures were confined to an undressing and drying off of the rescued together with a subsequent wrapping in covers. Under these conditions after-drops of great magnitude and long duration were to be expected. In the course of this delayed fall in temperature, a heart-death might occur as in our experiments.

We should like to emphasize that the irregularity per se is not to be regarded in our experiments as a symptom of danger to life any more than in the clinic, but rather as a sign of direct heart damage, which increases continuously with further falling off of temperature, until finally the heart fails. If the temperature drop is arrested, the slow form of irregularity passes over into a rapid form. This transition is a favorable sign for survival; for this irregularity virtually always passes over of itself after a time averaging 90 minutes into normal heart activity. It continues therefore for a long time after the body temperature has already risen markedly. A danger to the circulatory system could not be demonstrated at this stage. In three cases the return of the heart action to normal occurred in spite of simultaneous energetic physical work.

With the demonstration that cold-death of man is primarily a heart-death, the essential points for therapy are also cleared up. The cause of the severe heart damage is another question. Since our studies were primarily aimed at the development of practical methods of treatment, we will not go very far into the theoretical concepts which may be developed in this connection. Still, several hints may be drawn from the blood studies:

1. The great increase of the viscosity causes an increased loading upon the heart.

2. The choking of peripheral vessel areas by the severe vessel contraction leads to an over-filling of the central areas. This appears not only from our autopsies. In all available records of autopsies which pertain to cases of death from cold in the water after sea disaster, we find uniformly a severe over-filling of the right heart.

3. It is to be calculated that, under the effect of the low blood temperature, the heart itself becomes severely hypodynamic. It has been proved long ago in animal experimentation that a Vorhof flutter can be developed by the overloading and cooling of the isolated heart.

Besides a physical damaging of the heart musculature by the cold, we must also keep in mind the damaging by pathological products of metabolism. Next, the sharp increase in blood sugar may be connected with the increased outpouring of adrenalin. The constancy of this increase of blood sugar during the temperature drop is, however, remarkable. One may well assume that this flow of adrenalin exhausts itself with the continuance of the temperature drop. With this there would have to be a rapid decrease in the blood sugar if the oxidation processes were to continue undisturbed. The decrease in the alkali reserve or the development of an acidosis argues strongly for an injury.

Animal experiments, with general cooling, give grounds for believing that the intermediary metabolism is disturbed during drops in temperature; but this change is also discussed in connection with local freezing of the human being and has been proved to a certain extent. Furthermore, not only this disturbance shows a transition between general and local damage by cold. In both cases there occurs an increase in viscosity, which points to a change in the capillary walls and indicates the conclusion that there is a change in the permeability of those walls for protein and water.

The heart-death remains prominent, the regular increase of spinal fluid pressure with severe cooling of the neck and back of the head leaves it unsettled whether, in addition, this has pathognomonic significance for the outcome. With a fluid pressure of 420 mm. it must in fact be assumed that this participates in the development of bradycardia.

The detection of an increase in fluid pressure is also not without significance for therapy. One may think of a lumbar or suboccipital puncture as a measure to be prescribed. After a lumbar puncture there occurs a transformation of the slow form of arrhythmia into the rapid form. It must remain undecided whether such measures, which delay a rapid, active rewarming, are to be recommended for practical application in the sea-rescue service.

The idea that cold-death in water depends upon failure of the heart, accompanied or unaccompanied by breathing, is subject to limitation. One experiment among fifty-seven was typical. This involved survival of a cooling to 25.2° C. [77.4° F.] during a stay of 3 hours in water of 5.5° C. [41.4° F.]. The rectal temperature under these conditions remained constant within slight variations between 27° and 25° C. [81° and 77° F.] for the last hour and a half. Likewise, quite irregularly, no increase in blood sugar occurred. But most striking was the fact that until the end of the experiment and after its termination consciousness was undisturbed. The course of the experiment reminded one of the behavior of certain experimental animals which can withstand extremely low body temperatures for long periods of time. Lower, warm-blooded animals (for example, rats) can endure rectal temperatures of 20° C. [68° F.] for several hours. It is conceivable that this atypical experiment, had it been continued, would have shown also an atypical cause of death. Against this we have the fact that an irregularity had already set in but not before a temperature of 30.1° C. [86.2° F.] had been reached.

Also, aside from the fluid pressure increase, the part which the central nervous system plays in the outcome of the experiment seems to us to be secondary. The experiments with simultaneous cooling of the neck of course showed how the cooling of the neck and back of the head speeds up the lowering of temperature. This is to be explained by the fact that the counter-controls which are relayed from the temperature center to the periphery, either cannot exist further because of hypofunction of the centers (effect of oedema and cooling), or are no longer transmitted because of cold-blocking of the pathways. But likewise central counter-controls for the areas of the peripheral capillaries may fall; thus delaying the overloading of the heart by extended periphera vasco friction.

VII. The Influence of Pharmacology and the Question of Alcohol

Now experiments by Jarisch have shown that heart drugs like strophanthin and stimulants like cardiazol and coramine in therapeutic doses may react toxically upon cooled animals. These findings are a warning to be most careful in the medicinal treatment of severely cooled persons, though strophanthin and cardiazol have heretofore been expressly recommended in such cases.

In experiments with fatal outcome, the stopping of the heart occurred either in the water or after an interval of not more than 14 minutes after removal from the water. With such a rapid course of events it is unlikely that one can favorably influence the heart action by intravenous injections of strophanthin, especially because the circulation is at a very low ebb before the heart-death. For this reason, in a case whose condition was already very dangerous, strophanthin was given intracardially in a dose of 0.25 mg. Thereupon the heart condition grew still worse and after 5 minutes the heart stopped. One had the impression that the heart action was made worse by the intracardial injection of strophanthin. This is, however, the only case which left the possibility of damage by strophanthin in doubt. No such damage could ever be established in the intravenous injection of strophanthin. On the other hand no therapeutic effect, even with maximal doses of 0.5 mg., could be detected. Figure 11 [not reproduced], last section, shows the total duration in 10 cases of the irregularity observed without strophanthin dosage. This varies between 25 and 200 minutes. On the other hand in Figure 13 in the last section, first five cross-rows there are corresponding time values of 175 to 360 minutes. At various experimental time points during these experiments 0.25 to 0.5 of strophanthin were given. Accordingly, a shortening of the duration of the irregularity cannot be established. Furthermore no improvement of the pulse or general condition was ever noted. Obviously these experiments are too few to rule out a possible favorable effect in all cases. Several hundred experiments would be necessary to obtain statistically reliable data on this point. And so, since contrary to animal experimentation, we could not unquestionably establish damage following intravenous strophanthin dosage, we may leave it to the treating physician whether or not he may still want to make an experiment with strophanthin. To be sure, such an employment of it must be advised against in case of a very much decelerated form of irregularity. This will be observed when there is the greatest danger; under such circumstances time should never be lost by experimenting with drugs, but every effort should be made in the direction of intensive heat therapy.

Also in the experiments with cardiazol, coramin and lobeline we restricted ourselves primarily to determining whether injurious effects occurred in the case of relatively large doses. Four cc. of 10 percent coramin as well as 2 cc. of 1 percent lobeline were injected intravenously at various stages of recovery without any marked objective and subjective deterioration of the state of the heart, the breathing, and the general condition. But just as with strophanthin, it is impossible to rule out a possible therapeutically favorable effect because of the small number of experiments. We never observed such an effect. Especially the marked deepening of breathing and of the irritability of the trigeminal nerve which usually sets in very suddenly after coramin (for example, sneezing immediately after the injection) were always missing. Contrary to strophanthin, in the case of which we cannot advise against experimentation by intravenous injection under certain conditions, we believe on theoretical grounds that such experiments with peripheral circulatory drugs which may heighten the vessel tonus are not indicated because of the following considerations: The damage to the heart is to be attributed, among other things, to an overloading, which is caused by a blocking of enlarged vessel areas, aside from an increase in viscosity. If the vessel tonus is further increased in the areas which have remained unimpeded, the conditions for the heart are thereby made worse.

The sceptical attitude toward the effect of drugs is strengthened above all by the observation that in the majority of the experiments in which no drugs were given, even the most severe disturbances of the peripheral circulation were reduced remarkably rapidly under intensive heat treatment. In this connection it must be emphasized that besides the recovery of body temperature through heat therapy an unloading of the heart takes place because the blocked areas open up. Contrary to earlier concepts, according to which there was danger of hemorrhage into the periphery during rapid rewarming, and according to which one sought to avoid this hemorrhage by wrapping up the extremities as well as by very slow warming, the “venalous bleeding into the periphery” may be life-saving under some circumstances. An exception, namely, loval pyperacmia after considerable rise in temperature and corresponding reestablishment of circulation has already been described in the reference to the danger in some cases of very prolonged treatment in the light cradle.

The familiar increase of peripheral blood volume as a result of alcohol leads one to expect that very intoxicated persons cool more rapidly. Figure 14[28] shows an experiment from which we may conclude that actually acceleration of the cooling does set in after partaking liberally of alcohol before the experiment. It is very remarkable that in such an experiment, the only exception among all cooling experiments, irregularity was absent in a cooling to 28.1° C. [82.6° F.]. Even if it was not possible to reproduce this apparent protection against irregularity caused by partaking of alcohol in control experiments on other subjects, there remains the possibility that the distending of the peripheral vessels delays the overloading of the heart, just as on the other hand it increases the speed of cooling.

Our observations contradict the old seafaring custom of pouring alcohol into a person already cooled, since, according to these observations the temperature tends, even in slight degrees of cooling, to sink further for a long time after rescue. As long as there is no active supply of heat from outside, the disadvantage of an increased heat loss will reduce the utility of stopping the peripheral vessel blockage. Also in later stages of recovery one must obviously be very careful in giving alcohol; above all, this warning is emphasized by the possibility that one must reckon with a total irregularity after more than an hour, which may go unnoticed by the inexperienced experimenter.


VIII. Preventive Measures


IX. Concerning Life Jackets [Schwimmwesten]


X. Summary

1. The curve of rectal temperature of human beings chilled in water of 2° C. [35.6° F.] to 12° C. [53.6° F.] shows a gradual drop to about 35° C. [95° F.], after which the drop becomes rapid. Death may occur at rectal temperatures below 30° C. [86° F.].

2. Death results from heart failure. The direct damage to the heart becomes evident from the total irregularity observed in all cases, setting in at approximately 30° C. [86° F.]. This cardiac damage is due to overloading of the heart, caused by the marked and regular increase in the viscosity of the blood, as well as by the marked throttling of large peripheral vascular areas; besides, a direct injury to the heart by the cold is also probable.

3. If the neck is also chilled, the lowering of the temperature is more rapid. This is due to interference with the temperature-regulating and vascular centers; cerebral oedema also makes its appearance.

4. The blood sugar rises as the temperature falls, and the blood sugar does not drop again as long as the body temperature continues to fall. This fact suggests an intermediary disturbance of metabolism.

5. Respiration of the chilled subject is rendered difficult due to the rigor of the respiratory musculature.

6. After removal from the cold water, the body temperature may continue to fall for 15 minutes or longer. This may be an explanation of deaths which occur after successful rescue from the sea.

7. Intensive rewarming never injures the severely chilled person.

8. Strophanthin treatment was not observed to have been successful. The question of the use of strophanthin remains open, however. Remedies which influence the peripheral circulation are definitely not advisable.

9. The most effective therapeutic measure is rapid and intensive heat treatment, best applied by immersion in a hot bath.

10. By means of special protective clothing, the survival time after immersion in cold water could be extended to double the survival time of subjects who were immersed without protective clothing.

11. Certain proposals for improvement of life jackets are being made.

Concluded on 10 October 1942.

[Signed] Prof.Dr. Holzloehner
Dr. Rascher
Dr. Finke

Behavior of the heart action under the influence of medication

Occurance ofTherapyPulse becomesTotal
Irregularityregulardura-
Subj.WaterAfterAtAtAfter exper.tion
temp.exper.bodyMg.min.time & admin.of ir-Remarks
[°C]timetemp.stroph.[min.]strophanthinregu-
[min.][°C]larity
*********
B. L455300.25 mg., 4 cc. coramin.65Death in the seventieth minute, ten minutes after removal from water.
L. H43031.50.25 mg., intracardial.60Death (heart stopped) five minutes after administering strophanthin, ten minutes after removal from water.
V. E5.26030.30.25 mg., heart, masage, coramin, cardiazol, artificial respiration.68Death (heart stopped) in the sixty-sixth minute during removal from water.
S. M67531.4Artificial respiration, cardiazol.82Death (heart stopped) in the eighty-seventh minute, seven minutes after removal from water.
L. O4.53031.2L. P57Death (heart stopped) in the sixty-fifth minute, eight minutes after removal from water.

Figure 13.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1609-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 92

LETTER FROM HIMMLER TO RASCHER, 24 OCTOBER 1942, AND NOTE BY RUDOLF BRANDT

Reich Leader SS

Nr 1397/42

Field Command Post, 24 Oct 1942

Dr. Sigmund Rascher

Munich, Trogerstr. 56

Top Secret

3 copies

2d copy

Dear Rascher!

I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th and 10th and both notes of 16 October 1942.

I have read your report regarding cooling experiments on humans with great interest. SS Sturmbannfuehrer Sievers should arrange the possibility of evaluation at institutes which are connected with us.

I regard these people as guilty of treason and high treason, who, still today, reject these experiments on humans and would instead let sturdy German soldiers die as a result of these cooling methods. I shall not hesitate to report these men to the offices concerned. I empower you to make my opinion on this known to the offices concerned.

I invite you to a personal conference in November as I cannot make it sooner despite my great interest.

SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff will once again get in touch with Field Marshal Milch. You are empowered to make a report to Field Marshal Milch—and, of course, to the Reich Marshal if he has time—concerning those who are not doctors.

I think that covers which have heat packets or something similar sewed in their lining are the best for the warming of those who were stranded at sea and were picked up in boats or small vessels and where there is no possibility of placing these chilled people in a hot bath. I take it for granted that you know these heat packets which we also have in the SS and which were used by the Russians a great deal. They consist of a mass which develops a warmth of 70° to 80° upon addition of water and retains it for hours.

I am very curious as to the experiments with body warmth. I personally take it that these experiments will probably bring the best and lasting results. Naturally, I could be mistaken.

Keep me informed on future findings. Of course we will see each other in November.

Heil Hitler!

Yours

[Signed] H. Himmler

2. SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff

Sent with request for acknowledgment. I present the report with the request for acknowledgment and return since the Reich Leader SS in Munich wants these copies again.

[Signed] Brandt

SS Sturmbannfuehrer

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-323

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 94

MEMORANDUM OF RASCHER ON WOMEN USED FOR REWARMING IN FREEZING EXPERIMENTS, 5 NOVEMBER 1942

Sigmund Rascher, M. D.

Munich, Trogerstrasse 56, 5 November 1942

Subject: Requested report on concentration camp prostitutes.

For the resuscitation experiments by animal warmth after freezing as ordered by the Reich Leader SS I had four women assigned to me from the women’s concentration camp Ravensbrueck.

One of the assigned women shows unobjectionably Nordic racial characteristics: blond hair, blue eyes, corresponding head and body structure, 21¾ years of age. I asked the girl why she had volunteered for the brothel. I received the answer: “To get out of the concentration camp, for we were promised that all those who would volunteer for the brothel for half a year would then be released from the concentration camp”. To my objection that it was a great shame to volunteer as a prostitute, I was told: “Rather half a year in the brothel than half a year in the concentration camp”. Then followed an account of a number of most peculiar conditions at camp Ravensbrueck. Most of the reported conditions were confirmed by the three other prostitutes and by the female warden who had accompanied them from Ravensbrueck.

It hurts my racial feelings to expose to racially inferior concentration camp elements a girl as a prostitute who has the appearance of a pure Nordic and who could perhaps by assignment of proper work be put on the right road.

Therefore, I refused to use this girl for my experimental purposes and gave the adequate reports to the camp commander and the adjutant of the Reich Leader SS.

[Signature] Dr. S. Rascher

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-320

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 103

LETTER FROM SIEVERS TO BRANDT, 28 JANUARY 1943, AND
RASCHER’S REPORT ON HIS DISCUSSIONS WITH GRAWITZ AND
POPPENDICK

The Ahnenerbe

The Reich Business Manager

To the Reich Leader SS Berlin, 28 January 1943
Personal Staff G/R/8 S 1/Sb

[illegible shorthand notes]

Attention: SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. R. Brandt

Berlin S. W. 11, Prinz Albrecht Str. 8

Secret!

Subject: Research of Dr. Rascher.

Dear comrade Brandt!

I submit to you enclosed a documentary note of Dr. Rascher on his discussion with the Reich Physician SS [Reichsarzt SS] of 13 January 1943. I would be much obliged to you if you could advise us as to what attitude we or Dr. Rascher are to take in the future. I am slightly astonished about the course of the discussion, for the orders of the Reich Leader SS were especially to the effect that we—that is the Ahnenerbe—were to take Dr. Rascher’s work under our care. The argument of SS Gruppenfuehrer Grawitz, that it constituted an unbearable situation to have a non-physician give information on medical matters, is not pertinent. I have never claimed to be a judge of medical matters, nor do I consider it as one of my duties. My duty merely consists of smoothing the way for the research men and seeing that the tasks ordered by the Reich Leader SS are carried out in the quickest possible way. On one thing I certainly can form an opinion—that is, on who is doing the quickest job.

If things are to go on in the future as SS Gruppenfuehrer Grawitz desires, I am afraid that Dr. Rascher’s work will not continue to advance as fast and unhampered as hitherto.

With comradely greetings,

Heil Hitler!

Yours

[Signature] Sievers

[Stamp]:

Personal Staff RF SS / Enclosure

Received on: 4th Feb. 1943 1

Journal No: 1786/43

To: RB Please turn!

COPY

Documentary note on discussion Reich Physician SS [Reichsarzt SS] Dr. Grawitz—SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Poppendick—SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher, 13 January 1943.

Rascher: Reports on freezing experiments with water and emphasizes that they have been concluded practically, but not in theory.

Grawitz: Question about the memorandum. Whether Rascher believes this to be absolutely established for dry freezings, too?

Rascher: No, a lot of theoretical work is still to be done, primarily many practical experiments have still to be conducted.

Grawitz: That is my opinion, too. We cannot distribute a memorandum to the troops, abolishing all former views, if this is not entirely well-founded, as otherwise uncertainties will arise among the troops. I shall write to Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Brandt that I am asking the Reich Leader SS not to distribute the memorandum before a well-founded method of treatment of dry frozen persons has been established.

Rascher: Very well, that’s why the Reich Leader SS gave me the order of 13 December 1942. But I urgently want to emphasize that the results of the freezing experiments with water have been established and are well-founded.

Grawitz: Well, now, this had to be mentioned in the letter to Brandt so that you are not blamed in any way! You see, from my former activities (mention of some hospital) I know so much about metabolism that I am almost a specialist in this field and can help you enormously.

Rascher: As I understood, Gruppenfuehrer, that’s why I am to turn to your office for glass materials, chemicals, etc.

Grawitz: No. Not only for that. You have to turn to me in all medical matters, since after all, I am Reich Physician SS and all medical affairs are subordinate to me. It is absolutely necessary that all medical matters destined for the Reich Leader SS go through my office.

Rascher: I don’t know, Gruppenfuehrer, if this was the intention. I am under the direct orders of the Reich Leader SS and I have always reported directly to him. I have never received orders to another effect.

Grawitz: You certainly will be transferred to the Waffen SS?

Rascher: Yes, I hope so. The transfer is under way.

Grawitz: There you are. Then you will be under my orders as a physician at any rate and all matters will have to go through my office, otherwise the situation would be unbearable.

Rascher: But I am under the orders of the Ahnenerbe! Am I to report to you, too, what I have to report to the Ahnenerbe?

Grawitz: Certainly! At least a copy on all medical matters has to be sent to me for my information. For it is an unbearable situation to have a non-physician, such as Standartenfuehrer Sievers, inform me on medical matters if he does not have the adequate special medical education. I have nothing against Sievers. Well, yes, I know you are of the Ahnenerbe. I don’t say anything against your work for the Ahnenerbe, but I want you to work with the Ahnenerbe for the Reich Physician. I shall also write to Brandt on that matter.

Poppendick: Well, I already had to ask Standartenfuehrer Sievers several times to come to me to receive information. In the long run all medical matters wind up with us, anyway.

Grawitz: You see, this is the point! When the Reich Leader SS does not understand a medical matter clearly he hands the matter over to me, anyway.

Rascher: Of course, I am grateful for every kind of help, but I believe that I am primarily under the orders of the Ahnenerbe.

Grawitz: Certainly not when you are a member of the Waffen SS. I am able to be of much use to you through my knowledge and I shall inform Brandt to that effect. It isn’t that I bear a grudge against you or your work, but all things have to follow their course. Don’t be afraid, scientific thefts don’t occur with us. As I know, you have to acquire the right of giving lectures at universities as a qualified academic teacher under Pfannenstiel. And you will need support. Do you want to be supported by me?

Rascher: Of course, I thank you most obediently. Where I need support, I gladly accept it.

Grawitz: Well, we shall wait then with the memorandum until you have a few hundred cases, then we shall continue. Of course, I would not like the Reich Leader SS to believe that I want to impede you. But if something has not yet been proved to a great extent, we cannot distribute anything to the troops that might spread uncertainty among the responsible authorities!

Everything may be true for freezing by water, but we don’t have that in the Waffen SS. So you agree to wait with the distribution of the memorandum.

Rascher: Gruppenfuehrer, anyway it is entirely your affair, whether the memorandum is issued now, as you are responsible for it. I composed the memorandum on the basis of these few cases of dry freezing, because the Reich Leader SS pressed for its publication. In composing the memorandum, I was fully aware of the necessity that many experiments still have to be carried out, and I also submitted this view on the occasion of a discussion with the Reich Leader SS in Dachau. But the Reich Leader saw the results in Dachau and in wanting to help the troops ordered the memorandum to be drawn up.

Grawitz: In composing a memorandum or in any other scientific work you should not let anybody press you, not even the Reich Leader SS, that will never do! Well now, you’ll send me a copy of all your medical correspondence with the Ahnenerbe, and you’ll no longer write directly to the Reich Leader SS in medical matters but write to me, as it comes to me anyway. Will you do that?

Rascher: I’ll have to discuss the matter with Standartenfuehrer Sievers first, this comes too much as a surprise.

Grawitz: Well, I shall send you a copy of my letter to Dr. Brandt so that you can get a clear picture. I am very pleased to have established such a close contact with you.

This is a certified true copy.

[Signature] Wolff

SS Untersturmfuehrer

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1616-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 105

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO HIMMLER, 17 FEBRUARY 1943, AND
SUMMARY OF EXPERIMENTS FOR REWARMING OF CHILLED
HUMAN BEINGS BY ANIMAL WARMTH, 12 FEBRUARY 1943

Dr. S. Rascher

SS Hauptsturmfuehrer

Munich, 17 February 1943

To the Reich Leader SS and Chief of the German Police Heinrich Himmler

Berlin SW 11, Prinz Albrecht Str. 8

Dear Reich Leader,

Enclosed I present to you in condensed form a summary of the results of the experiments made in warming up people who have been cooled off by using animal heat.

Right now I am attempting to prove through experiments on human beings that it is possible to warm up people cooled off by dry cold just as fast as people who were cooled off by remaining in cold water. The Reich Physician SS, SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz, doubted very much that that would be possible and said that I would have to prove it first by 100 experiments. Up to now I have cooled off about 30 people stripped in the open air during 9-14 hours at 27°-29°. After a time corresponding to a transport of 1 hour, I put these subjects in a hot bath. Up to now every single patient was completely warmed up within 1 hour at most, though some of them had their hands and feet frozen white. In some cases a slight fatigue with slightly rising temperature was observed on the day following the experiments. I have not observed any fatal results from this extremely fast warming up. I have not so far been able to do any warming up by “Sauna” as ordered by you, my dear Reich Leader, as the weather in December and January was too warm for any experiments in the open air, and right now the camp is closed on account of typhoid and I am not allowed therefore to bring in subjects, for “Sauna” experiments.


With most obedient greetings and sincere gratitude, and

Heil Hitler!

Yours very devotedly

Rascher

(enclosure)


Secret

Experiments for rewarming of intensely chilled human beings by
animal warmth

A. Purpose of the Experiments

To ascertain whether the rewarming of intensely chilled human beings by animal warmth, i. e., the warmth of animals or human beings, is as good or better than rewarming by physical or medical means.

B. Method of the Experiments

The experimental subjects were cooled in the usual way—clad or unclad—in cold water of temperatures varying between 4° C. and 9° C. The rectal temperature of every experimental subject was recorded thermoelectrically. The reduction of temperature occurred within the usual span of time varying in accordance with the general condition of the body of the experimental subject and the temperature of the water. The experimental subjects were removed from the water when their rectal temperature reached 30° C. At this time the experimental subjects had all lost consciousness. In eight cases the experimental subjects were then placed between two naked women in a spacious bed. The women were supposed to nestle as closely as possible to the chilled person. Then all three persons were covered with blankets. A speeding up of rewarming by light cradles or by medicines was not attempted.

C. Results

1. When the temperature of the experimental subjects was recorded it was striking that an after-drop of temperature up to 3° C. occurred, which is a greater after-drop than seen with any other method of rewarming. It was observed, however, that consciousness returned at an earlier point, that is, at a lower body temperature than with other methods of rewarming. Once the subjects regained consciousness they did not lose it again, but very quickly grasped the situation and snuggled up to the naked female bodies. The rise of body temperature then occurred at about the same speed as in experimental subjects who had been rewarmed by packing in blankets. Exceptions were four experimental subjects who, at body temperatures between 30° C. and 32° C., performed the act of sexual intercourse. In these experimental subjects the temperature rose very rapidly after sexual intercourse, which could be compared with the speedy rise in temperature in a hot bath.

2. Another set of experiments concerned the rewarming of intensely chilled persons by one woman. In all these cases rewarming was significantly quicker than could be accomplished by two women. The cause of this seems to me that in warming by one woman only, personal inhibitions are removed, and the woman nestles up to the chilled individual much more intimately. Also in these cases, the return of complete consciousness was strikingly rapid. Only one experimental subject did not return to consciousness and the warming effect was only slight. This person died with symptoms suggesting cerebral hemorrhage, as was confirmed by subsequent autopsy.

D. Summary

Rewarming experiments of intensely chilled experimental subjects demonstrated that rewarming with animal warmth was very slow. Only such experimental subjects whose physical condition permitted sexual intercourse rewarmed themselves remarkably quickly and showed an equally strikingly rapid return to complete physical well-being. Since excessively long exposure of the body to low temperatures implies danger of internal damage, that method must be chosen for rewarming which guarantees the quickest relief from dangerously low temperatures. This method, according to our experiences, is a massive and rapid supply of warmth by means of a hot bath.

Rewarming of intensely chilled human beings by human or animal warmth can therefore be recommended only in such cases in which other possibilities for rewarming are not available, or in cases of specially tender individuals who possibly may not be able to stand a massive and rapid supply of warmth. As for example, I am thinking of intensely chilled small children, who are best rewarmed by the body of their mothers, with the aid of hot water bottles.

Dachau, 12 February 1943.

[Signature] Dr. S. Rascher

SS Hauptsturmfuehrer

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-268

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 106

LETTER FROM HIPPKE TO HIMMLER, 19 FEBRUARY 1943, ON
FREEZING EXPERIMENTS IN DACHAU

The Inspector of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe

Berlin W8, 19 February 1943

Leipziger Strasse

Phone numbers: [illegible]

Cable address: Reichsluft Berlin

File No. 55 No. 81038/43 (2 IIB)

Reich Leader,

The experiments conducted in Dachau concerning protective measures against the effects of freezing on the human body by immersion in cold water have led to results of practical use. They were conducted by the Stabsaerzte [Captains] of the Luftwaffe, Professor Dr. Holzloehner, Dr. Fink, and Dr. Rascher in cooperation with the SS, and are now finished. The results were reported upon by those who worked on them during a conference on medical problems arising from distress at sea and winter hardships, on 26 and 27 October 1942, at Nuernberg. The detailed report on the conference is at present in state of preparation.

I thank you most gratefully for the great assistance that the cooperation of the SS has meant for us in conducting the experiments, and beg you to express our thanks, too, to the commander of the Dachau camp.

Heil Hitler!

[Signature] Prof. Dr. Hippke

2 [?] Feb 1943

1509/43

RF

  [stamp illegible]

[figures 1509/43 handwritten]

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1580-PS

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 107

LETTER FROM HIMMLER TO RASCHER, 26 FEBRUARY 1943, ON
FREEZING EXPERIMENTS IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS
AUSCHWITZ AND LUBLIN

The Reich Leader SS

  1516/43

26 February 1943

Secret

Dear Rascher,

Best thanks for your letter of 17 February[29] with report on warming-up experiments. I agree to experiments being made at Auschwitz or Lublin, although I believe that the time for the cooling-off and warming-up tests under natural conditions of cold weather has nearly passed for this winter.

I am sending this letter at the same time to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, whom I request to order the execution of your experiments at Lublin or Auschwitz.

Kind greetings and

Heil Hitler!

Yours

[Signed] H. Himmler

2. SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl

Transmitted with request to take note and to take the necessary steps.

By order,

[Signature (illegible)]

SS Obersturmbannfuehrer

PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-292

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 111

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO RUDOLF BRANDT, 4 APRIL 1943,
REPORTING ON DRY-FREEZING EXPERIMENTS IN DACHAU

Dr. med. Sigmund Rascher

[4 April 1943]

To Herr Oberregierungsrat SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. R. Brandt

Berlin SW 11, Prinz Albrecht Strasse 8

Much esteemed Obersturmbannfuehrer!


The question of the saving of people frozen in the open air has in the meantime been cleared up, since, thank goodness, there was once again a period of heavy frost weather in Dachau. Certain people were in the open air for 14 hours at -6° C., reached an internal temperature of 25° C. with peripheral freezings, and were all able to be saved by a hot bath. As I said: it is easy to contradict! But before someone does so, he should come and see for himself. Moreover, a report about freezing in the open air will be sent to the Reich Leader in the next few days.

With best wishes,

Heil Hitler!

Yours gratefully,

[Signature] S. Rascher

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-322

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 114

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO KEINDL, 28 APRIL 1943, ABOUT PREVIOUS FREEZING EXPERIMENTS CONDUCTED AT SACHSENHAUSEN

Dr. med. S. Rascher, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer

Personal Staff Leader SS

Division (Abteilung) Chief at the Institute for Military

    Scientific Research

Office A (Amt A)

Dachau 3K, 28 April 1943

To the Commander of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp,

SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Keindl

Sachsenhausen, near Oranienburg

Obersturmbannfuehrer!

By order of the Reich Leader SS, I have been conducting freezing experiments on human beings in the Dachau concentration camp for more than a year. Today I learned from an experimental subject that I was not the only one conducting these experiments, but that, on the contrary, already in October and November 1938, similar experiments were conducted in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Samenstrang is said to have frozen experimental subjects—that is prisoners—in cold water, and subsequently revived them by means of warm water or hot compresses. As I was to work out and have worked out a prescription for the Waffen SS for the resuscitation of frozen persons (for the campaign in the East), knowledge of all preliminary experiments in my field of work is of great importance for me.

I therefore request that if possible you let me know what kind of experiments were conducted in your camp, and, if possible, what results were obtained in connection with these experiments.

As you might not know anything about me, please make inquiries about me, if necessary, either at the Personal Staff of the Reich Leader SS (Obersturmbannfuehrer Baumert) or from the Commander of the Dachau concentration camp, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Weiss.

Yours sincerely

Heil Hitler!

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-231

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 116

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO SIEVERS, 17 MAY 1943, CONCERNING,
A CONFERENCE WITH GEBHARDT ON FREEZING EXPERIMENTS

Copy

By Messenger!

Dr. med. Rascher, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer

Dachau 3K, 17 May 1943

To: Reich Business Manager of the Ahnenerbe Society

Attn: SS Standartenfuehrer Sievers

Berlin-Dahlem, 16 Pueckler Street

Dear Standartenfuehrer!

The following contains a short account of my report to SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Gebhardt.

On 14 May 1943, I reported to SS Gruppenfuehrer Prof. Dr. Gebhardt at Hohenlychen. I had hardly arrived, when SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Gebhardt asked me in a very loud voice to explain how I dared to submit specialist medical reports directly to the Reich Leader SS (he was referring to the treatise on “The Cooling of Human Beings Outdoors”). I actually did not even get a chance to speak and practically couldn’t reply anything. Then, when I tried to reply, Prof. Dr. Gebhardt said that if I wanted to defy him, my train would be leaving for Berlin at 3 o’clock. When I was finally given the opportunity to speak I was able to point out to Prof. Dr. Gebhardt that the report in question was not meant to be a strictly scientific work, but simply was a short information for the Reich Leader SS on the results of the experiments conducted up to now. Dr. Gebhardt had taken the view that the report was unscientific, and if a student of the second term dared to submit a treatise of that kind, he would throw him out. Later on I was able to tell him that of course all the physiological-chemical experiments that could be carried out in Dachau with the available instruments had indeed been conducted. Whereupon Dr. Gebhardt replied: “I can imagine that you did a lot of work; one can tell it from this job. If I had not believed that you did a lot of work, I would not have asked you to come at all.”

In addition Dr. Gebhardt said that he intended to merge all the groups of physicians working independently within the SS, since that would suit the Reich Leader SS much better than individual people working on their own. Besides that, he said that I somehow ought to learn university methods of working since very likely I did not yet have the proper training. He suggested that it was necessary for me to get out of Dachau since there I was quite left to myself and had no guidance whatsoever; that since I intended to enter upon a university career, I would by all means have to complete the training of a university assistant first. He further said that all those SS physicians, who are qualified to enter upon a university career, had the duty to do so. Upon my reply that for that reason I was already in touch with Professor Pfannenstiel, Professor Gebhardt replied that these matters ought to be processed by a centralized agency. In future it would not do that I send any reports directly to the Reich Leader SS, but that further reports to serve their purpose would have to be transmitted through him to the Reich Leader. If the report had reached a suitable stage, he would first inform the Reich Leader SS, and then go to see the Reich Leader SS together with me. Finally Dr. Gebhardt asked me to give him data on my personal and scientific career to enable him to make further arrangements. He requested me to call again in the afternoon.

When I called in the afternoon, I was, as in the morning, accompanied by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Fischer. This time Dr. Gebhardt was extremely amiable. He asked me whether I now agreed with his arrangements; it would be by far the best I could do, if I joined him. I should not worry, but just continue my work in Dachau, until I had finished my jobs. Later, one would see what was to be done for the future. Upon my question, what it was all about, and who was my superior, whether the Reichsarzt SS, SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Grawitz, who had come for an inspection several days ago, the Reich Leader SS, as he personally had promised me, or the Ahnenerbe, of which I had been a member for years, Dr. Gebhardt suggested that all that will be straightened out. Just trust it to me. But I’ll need your curriculum vitae soon, since I have to report to the Reich Leader SS on 23 May.

May I ask you, Standartenfuehrer, under whom I am actually working? Under the Reich Leader SS, the Ahnenerbe, the Reich Physician SS or Dr. Gebhardt? Dr. Gebhardt has already asked me why I am not a member of the Waffen SS. Upon my answer that Dr. Hippke does not like to let me go, he declared that I was too able for him to let me go. Standartenfuehrer! If the same tug of war starts in the Waffen SS as has been going on between Luftwaffe and the SS, I’d rather do without a transfer to the Waffen SS. I was promised that I would continue to work under the Reich Leader SS or under the Ahnenerbe. But I cannot serve several masters at the same time. Of course I am convinced that SS Gruppenfuehrer Prof. Dr. Gebhardt has the best of intentions. His assistants are enthusiastic about him. If I am compelled to ask Prof. Dr. Gebhardt’s advice each time I am going to start a new experiment, I will get so much involved in the academic routine that I won’t even be allowed to experiment with such a method as rapid resuscitation which overthrows all the established clinical experiences because the results contradict Prof. Dr. Gebhardt’s methods which are based upon centuries-old clinical experiences. Also the cooperation with Professor von Luetzelberg would thus come to an end, as these experiments are from the very start contradictory to the hitherto recognized clinical experiences. I think, this arrangement would stop everything that really ought to be experimented.

I pray you with all my heart, Standartenfuehrer, to handle this affair in such a way that Prof. Dr. Gebhardt, who is a very close friend of the Reich Leader SS does not become my enemy. I think that Prof. Dr. Gebhardt can and will be an extremely disagreeable adversary. Before I get into trouble with him, I would rather resign my job and ask for an immediate transfer to the Luftwaffe for combat service. I therefore ask you again to deal with this affair with as much circumspection as it actually requires, because in addition I am convinced that Prof. Dr. Gebhardt (apart from his personal ambition) really has good intentions.


Very respectfully yours and

Heil Hitler!

Yours very devotedly

[Signature] S. Rascher

This is to certify that the above copy is true:

[Signature] Sievers

SS Standartenfuehrer.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-432

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 119

LETTER FROM RASCHER TO NEFF, 21 OCTOBER 1943, CONCERNING
DRY-FREEZING EXPERIMENTS

Dr. S. Rascher

Dachau, 21 October 1943

To

Police-Rottwachtmeister Walter Neff

Police Training Battalion I

Dresden-Hellerau

Dear Neff:

Your letter dated 11.10 reached me here on 15.10. First of all many thanks for your decision to write such a detailed letter. I really was very pleased about it. To come right away to the affair concerned: I am very sorry to hear that you are being bullied, especially as there exists no reason at all for it. Please let me know the name, rank, and address of your commanding officer because I most certainly will take the matter up. There is no purpose at all in your getting stuck there. Finally I too know how the general condition of your health had been, when you were still here, and I also am able to judge that you cannot go through heavy infantry training. I am glad that you have become accustomed to the ideals of the place and I am convinced that you would be glad to go to the front. But on the other hand, I believe that I need you more urgently than you are needed at the front. As a matter of fact I need you for the following: From the Reich Research Council [Reichsforschungsrat] I got the order to carry out open country freezing experiments and I think they will take place on the Sudelfeld. Now I need urgently a most reliable man, acquainted with the material, and that is you in this case. During the next few days I will go with Sievers to the Fuehrer’s Headquarters [Fuehrerhauptquartier], and report there in this sense, and will let you know immediately.


I expect your notice soon, and remain until then with sincerest comradely regards,

Your old chief,

[Initialed] R.

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT NO-690

PROSECUTION EXHIBIT 120

LIST OF RESEARCH PROJECTS FROM THE FILES OF THE
REICH RESEARCH COUNCIL

Cancer Research—70—copies 15 [pencil notation]

25th copy.
Worked on by:Professor Dr. K. Blome
Berlin SW 68
Lindenstr. 42 77 [pencil notation]
Telephone: 174871 929 [pencil notation]

Priority: “SS”

    
SS-No.Requested by—TopicRegistrationDegree of
No.secrecy
0453Schwarz, KruftCombating of potato bug.2058/15
    
0496Seel, PoznanInvestigation of means for combating agricultural parasites and for disinfection of the soil.2118/15
    
0328Rascher, MunichRewarming after general freezing of the human body; healing after partial freezings; adjustment of the human body to low temperatures.1879/15
    
0329Hirt, StrasbourgChanges in the living organism under the influence of poison gases.1881/15
    
0415von Borstell, Colonel, Weimar-Nohra.Development of aircraft apparatus for insecticides and fungicides which can be sprayed.1975/15Secret.
    

Cancer Research
Worked on by:Prof. Dr. K. Blome
Berlin SW 68
Lindenstr. 42
Telephone: 174871
Deputy:Dr. Breuer
Berlin-Steglitz
Grunewaldstr. 35
Telephone: 726071
No.Requested by—Topic
0454/1857/15Zipf, KoenigsbergTests of food colors for their cancer-causing effect on animals.
0473/1838/15Spek, HeidelbergPhysio-chemical investigations on living cells.

[Stamp] Top Secret

The Reich Research Council 22 [pencil notation]

The Director of the Business Management

  Committee

Cancer Research

3d copy

Authorized person:

Prof. Dr. Kurt Blome

Berlin SW 68, Lindenstr. 42

“Nesselsted”

Prof. Dr. Blome, Commissioner for Cancer Research, Berlin SW 68.

  Lindenstr. 42

DE 1413—RPS—VLI/44

SS 4891—0242 (1739/15) 44

EXTRACTS FROM THE TESTIMONY OF TRIBUNAL WITNESS
WALTER NEFF[30]

EXAMINATION BY PROSECUTION


Mr. McHaney: When did the freezing experiments start?

Witness Neff: The first freezing experiments started during August or at the end of July. They were conducted by Prof. Holzloehner, Dr. Finke, and Dr. Rascher. The freezing experiments can be divided into two separate classes, the Holzloehner-Finke series, which were later dropped, and a series where Dr. Rascher conducted these experiments himself.

Q. All right. Suppose you describe the experimental basin.

A. The experimental basin was built of wood. It was 2 meters long and 2 meters high. It was raised about 50 centimeters above the floor and it was in Block No. 5. In the experimental chamber and basin there were many lighting instruments and other apparatus which were used in order to carry out measurements.

Q. Now, you have stated that you can divide the freezing experiments into two groups, one where Holzloehner and Finke were working with Rascher and then the period after Holzloehner and Finke had left?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, will you tell the Tribunal approximately how many persons were used over the whole period? That is, including both groups that you have mentioned.

A. Two hundred and eighty to three hundred experimental subjects were used for these freezing experiments. There were really 360 to 400 experiments that were conducted, since many experimental subjects were used for more than one such experiment—sometimes even for three.

Q. Now, out of the total of 280 or 300 prisoners used, approximately how many died?

A. Approximately 80 to 90 subjects died as a result of these freezing experiments.

Q. Now, how many experimental subjects do you remember that they used in the Holzloehner-Finke-Rascher experiments?

A. During that period of time approximately 50 to 60 subjects were used for experimental purposes.

Q. Did any of these experimental subjects die?

A. Yes. During that period of time there were about 15, maybe even 18 cases of death.

Q. When was that experimental series concluded?

A. It was concluded in the month of October. I think it was at the end of October. At that time Holzloehner and Finke discontinued these experiments, giving the reason that they had accomplished their purpose and that it was useless to carry out further experiments of that kind.

Q. And then Rascher continued experiments on his own?

A. Yes. Rascher conducted these experiments saying that he had to build a scientific basis for them and he prepared a lecture for Marburg University on the subject.

Q. How long did Rascher continue to experiment with freezing by cold water?

A. Until May 1943.

Q. Now, were the experimental subjects for the freezing experiments selected in the same way as for the high-altitude experiments?

A. No. Here Rascher turned to the camp administration and told them that he needed so and so many experimental subjects. Then the political department of the camp selected 10 inmates by name. That list was sent to the camp commandant and was signed by the camp commandant and they were then sent to Rascher’s station and the subjects on that list had to be experimented on. I was able to use the original list as evidence in the first Dachau trial.

Q. Do I understand then that the experimental subjects used in the freezing experiments were political prisoners?

A. There were a number of political prisoners and also a number of foreigners, but there were also prisoners of war and inmates who had been condemned to death.

Q. These persons were not volunteers, were they?

A. No.

Q. Suppose you describe to the Tribunal exactly how these freezing experiments were carried out, that is what tests they made, how they measured the temperature and how the temperature of the water was lowered in the basin and so forth?

A. These basins were filled with water, and ice was added until the water measured 3°, and the experimental subjects were either dressed in a flying suit or were placed into the ice water naked. During the period when Holzloehner and Finke were active, most experiments were conducted under narcotics because he maintained that you could not find the exact condition of the blood, and that you would exclude the will power of the experimental subject if he was under an anaesthetic. Now whenever the experimental subjects were conscious, it took some time until so-called freezing narcosis set in. The temperature was measured rectally and through the stomach through the Galvanometer apparatus. The lowering of the temperature to 32° was terrible for the experimental subject. At 32° the experimental subject lost consciousness. These persons were frozen down to 25° body temperature, and now in order to enable you to understand this problem, I should like to tell you something about the Holzloehner and Finke period. During the period when Holzloehner and Finke were active, no experimental subject was actually killed in the water. Deaths occurred all the more readily because during revival the temperature dropped even further and so heart failure resulted. This was also caused by wrongly applied therapy, so that in contrast to the low-pressure experiments, deaths were not deliberately caused. In the air-pressure chamber on the other hand, each death cannot be described as an accident, but as willful murder. However, it was different when Rascher personally took over these experiments. At that time a large number of the persons involved were kept in the water until they were dead.

Q. Now, Witness, you have identified the defendant Weltz in the defendants’ dock. On what occasion did you meet Weltz?

A. I met Weltz in Munich. I saw him there once. According to my recollection it was in Luftgau Kommando VII, Prinzregenten Strasse No. 2, and I saw him speak to Rascher there, and at a later date Rascher told me that that was Professor Weltz. I remember this incident especially since Rascher often discussed Weltz and his animal experiments, which he carried out with reference to freezing. I never saw Professor Weltz in Dachau or anywhere in the camp.

Q. Do you know, Witness, whether Rascher and Weltz exchanged information on freezing problems?

A. I don’t know that. I would assume so, since Rascher discussed Professor Weltz’ experiments, and he certainly must have had some discussions with Weltz on the subject. However, I know of no correspondence with Weltz.

Q. Do you recall the occasion when two Russian officers were experimented upon in the freezing experiments?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you relate that incident to the Tribunal?

A. Yes. It was the worst experiment which was ever carried out. Two Russian officers were carried out from the bunker. We were forbidden to speak to them. They arrived at approximately 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Rascher had them undressed and they had to go into the basin naked. Hour after hour passed and while usually after a short time, 60 minutes, freezing had set in, these two Russians were still conscious after 2 hours. All our appeals to Rascher asking him to give them an injection were of no avail. Approximately during the third hour one Russian said to the other, “Comrade, tell that officer to shoot us.” The other replied, “Don’t expect any mercy from this Fascist dog.” Then they shook hands and said “Goodbye, Comrade.” If you can imagine that we inmates had to witness such a death, and could do nothing about it, then you can judge how terrible it is to be condemned to work in such an experimental station.

After these words were translated for Rascher in a somewhat different form by a young Pole, Rascher went back into his office. The young Pole tried at once to give them an anesthetic with chloroform, but Rascher returned immediately and threatened to shoot us with his pistol if we dared approach these victims again. The experiment lasted at least 5 hours until death occurred. Both corpses were sent to Munich for autopsy in the Schwabing Hospital.

Q. Witness, how long did it normally take to kill a person in these freezing experiments?

A. The length of the experiment varied, according to the individual case. Whether the subject was clothed or unclothed also made a difference. If he was slight in build and if in addition to that he was naked, death often occurred after only 80 minutes. But there were a number of cases where the experimental subject lived up to 3 hours, and remained in the water until finally death occurred.


Q. Will you describe to the Tribunal the method used for rewarming the victims of the freezing experiments?

A. During the period when Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke were there, rewarming was in the beginning carried out by massage and partly by means of injections of drugs affecting the heart, and also by means of rewarming by electrical heaters and sometimes by means of a warm bath. At the end of the Holzloehner period, the hot water rewarming method was introduced, and that was carried out until the end of the rewarming experiments with the exception of a few special experiments with animal heat. About 10 women from the concentration camp at Ravensbrueck were ordered to report to Dachau to supply the heat and were forced to press themselves against the body of the frozen person in order to rewarm him in that manner. These are the methods which were employed in order to rewarm the frozen body.

Q. Now, Witness, did I understand you to say that the hot water bath method of rewarming was not adopted until after Holzloehner and Finke had left?

A. After Holzloehner and Finke had left the station, hot water rewarming was also carried out.

Q. Do you recall receiving orders in September 1942 from Sievers to take the hearts and lungs of five inmates who had been killed to Professor Hirt in Strasbourg for further scientific study?

A. It is correct that I had to take specimens belonging to five persons who died during experiments from the morgue to Hirt in Strasbourg. I myself, of course, have never done any dissecting and therefore did not prepare these specimens. Sievers ordered me to go to Strasbourg and there deliver the glasses to Professor Hirt, together with an accompanying letter. This was the end of September or the beginning of October. The travel warrant had been made out by Sievers and the traveling expenses were also paid by the Ahnenerbe.

Q. Had the five experimental subjects been killed shortly before you left for Strasbourg?

A. I cannot remember with absolute certainty whether the specimens were fresh or whether they were taken from older corpses. I do know that among the specimens there was one from a Dutchman. I cannot recollect for certain the nationality of the other four.

Q. Did you deliver these hearts and lungs to Professor Hirt in Strasbourg?

A. I delivered them in Strasbourg, not to Professor Hirt himself but to the laboratory at the University there. The letter to Professor Hirt I handed to him personally, and he wanted me to return and see him in the afternoon, since he had to give me something to take to Dachau. He gave me a sealed letter to Dr. Rascher and a parcel for Sister Pia which I handed to Rascher to pass on.

Q. Now, Professor Hirt was also a member, in fact the head of the Department of the Ahnenerbe Society, was he not?

A. We knew that Professor Hirt was also making experiments and belonged to the Ahnenerbe Society.


EXTRACT FROM THE TESTIMONY OF DEFENDANT HANDLOSER[31]

CROSS-EXAMINATION

Mr. McHaney: Let us pass on, General. Your attorney asked you whether or not you ever gained any information concerning the freezing experiments carried out by Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke. Do you deny that you ever received knowledge on that matter?

Defendant Handloser: I said, no.

Q. As a result of the Eastern campaign weren’t you very much interested in “Cold” problems?

A. Yes.

Q. Isn’t that why you sent army officers to the Luftwaffe conference in October 1942?

A. Of course the interest in cold problems was of an important nature. I do not know who assigned them. From May until the end of October I was with headquarters in the Ukraine and I believe that the chief probably telephoned me as to whether or how many people we should send, and he may have made some proposal, and I think I would have told him on that occasion “Yes, I am in full agreement. Send somebody there.” It is quite a matter of course that we took people who knew something about cold because they were the people who would be interested in it.

Q. Well, having sent them, you then immediately lost interest in the problem, I suppose?

A. No, I did not lose interest. At some period of time somebody probably reported to me whether something particular had happened or whether there were any particular results or not, and what could be exploited by us. But, at that time there was no mention of anything in particular having occurred, nor was it said that any particular revolutionary results were achieved. At any rate, I cannot recollect that anything like that happened. I should merely like to point out that my interest in cold problems was in our particular sphere of