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Nazi Experiments

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During World War II millions of Jewish people were put into concentration camps. While everyone who was sent to a concentration camp suffered tremendously and faced horrible atrocities, the ones who suffered the most were the Jews selected for experimentation by the Nazis. Many, if not all, of the people selected for experiments died and if they didn't die, they suffered from very traumatic experiences that would haunt them for the rest of their life. The experiments performed were very unethical and at sometimes horrifying to even read about, as the experiments depicted should not be done to any living thing, especially humans. The undertaking of these experiments showed how cruel the Nazi's were, not to the Jewish, but to the gypsies, mentally and physically handicapped and anyone with abnormalities. From the beginning, the Jewish were treated harshly as they traveled from their homelands to one of the many concentration camps in the surrounding areas. When people arrived at camp and were herded off the cattle cars, they were screened and selected for various tests; some specific of an abnormality, such as dwarfism, others of birth, such as twins. The groups were then separated from the other prisoners and tested in three different categories of study: survival, drug testing/ medical treatment and medical experimentation related to procreation. These experiments are the focus of this paper and each category will be covered in detail.

The first category was to test for the survivability of the Axis forces, this dealt with such things as hypothermia and low altitude plane crashes. These experiments involved freezing the prisoners in tubs of ice for two or more hours, usually resulting in death. The doctors also tested survivability at high altitudes, this was so if any Axis planes were damaged, the pilots would know how far down from earth they would have to be to parachute from and still live. Nazi scientists conducted tests on how people survived at high altitudes, this involved 300 Jewish prisoners who were taken to low pressure chambers (which was to reenact high altitudes) and tested from a variety of altitudes (pressures) to see when it was survivable. Out of 300 Jewish prisoners, 80 died during the experiment while the other 220 were executed after surviving the experiment. They were executed to keep the incoming allies from finding out about the testing that had been done; this was proven to be unsuccessful as all their projects were found eventually. The last test was for finding out if there was any way to drink seawater. This involved injecting healthy Jewish prisoners with modified seawater and prohibiting them from having anything else to eat or drink while the experiment took place. All of these experiments caused extreme physical pain; some lifelong, such as mental retardation and be coming crippled from having to get body parts amputated from freezing and saltwater placement. After many of these experiments, most if not all the prisoners were tortured and eventually executed so they wouldn't talk to the allied if they were ever liberated.

The second types of experiments were used for the Axis armed forces for diseases and medicine. Many of the diseases tested were caused by infections or wounds during war injuries. Tests were done to try and find medical cures for what Axis soldiers were experiencing in the field such as: malaria, typhus, typhoid fever, etc. Experiments in this category also dealt with blood loss from war wounds. These experiments were considered the worst by far, as the Jewish people that were weak and already contracting diseases were forced to contract deadlier diseases and take untested medicine with side effects that could be more dangerous than the disease that the Nazi doctors were trying to fix. The majority of these experiments had to do with war wounds and diseases contracted from them. This gave way to Nazi doctors giving Jewish prisoners medicine and then amputating limbs to see if the medicine slowed the blood flow and loss. Other experiments forced the Jewish prisoners to get wounds like the Axis soldiers would get and then doctors would irritate the injury further, using things from ground up glass to rusty nails. Axis soldiers on the front lines during the war were suffering from a type of disease called gas gangrene. To test medicine, Nazi doctors cut the Jewish prisoners arms and infected them with gangrene and then recorded the results of different medicines. Many of these prisoners, if not all, were found to be dead by the end of the tests either from extreme exhaustion, overdose, suicide, or from the sickness or medicine given to them. Tests of this kind were



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