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FTR #664 More Fun With Science, Part 6

MP3: Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

[4]Sup­ple­ment­ing a large body of For The Record research deal­ing with Nazi sci­en­tif­ic projects, this pro­gram explores aspects of Third Reich research that impinge on events long after the close of World War II. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the muta­genic tran­quil­iz­er thalido­mide, the broad­cast high­lights recent research from two dif­fer­ent books indi­cat­ing that the drug was orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped [5] by the Nazi IG Far­ben chem­i­cal com­pa­ny and per­haps test­ed on con­cen­tra­tion camp inmates.

Next, the pro­gram reviews the IG Far­ben devel­op­ment of methadone [6], orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped by the Third Reich as a syn­thet­ic mor­phine to treat casu­al­ties and–according to for­mer Jus­tice Depart­ment inves­ti­ga­tor Joseph Borkin [7]– named “dolophine” named in hon­or of Adolph Hitler. Of course, methadone is used to treat hero­in addic­tion. Hero­in was also devel­oped by an IG Far­ben company—Bayer, the devel­op­er of aspirin.

Most of the pro­gram deals with “Angel of Death” Dr. Josef Men­gele’s research on twins. An Argen­tine author claims that a Brazil­ian town with an unusu­al­ly large num­ber of twins was the site of research [8] by Men­gele in the 1960’s. Infa­mous for–among oth­er things–his bru­tal research on twins at Auschwitz dur­ing World War II, Men­gele suc­cess­ful­ly escaped Europe and per­pet­u­at­ed his career as part of the Under­ground Reich in Latin Amer­i­ca.

Gen­er­al­ly viewed as iso­lat­ed and an aber­ra­tion, Men­gele’s Auschwitz work with twins was the direct out­growth of main­stream eugen­ics research [9]. Long pre­oc­cu­pied with the study of twins, eugeni­cists cel­e­brat­ed the Nazi dic­ta­tor­ship for its abil­i­ty to use coer­cion to achieve their objec­tive of detailed, inten­sive research of the sub­ject.

Lav­ish­ly fund­ed by the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion well into the tenure of the Third Reich, the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tutes were the pri­ma­ry focal point of eugen­ics research on twins. Men­gele con­duct­ed his bru­tal, lethal research at Auschwitz in con­junc­tion with the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tutes and his intel­lec­tu­al men­tor at that insti­tu­tion, Dr. Frei­herr Otmar von Ver­schuer.

Con­clud­ing with exam­i­na­tion of the alleged death of Nazi fugi­tive Dr. Arib­ert Heim, the pro­gram notes the fail­ure of his Amer­i­can cap­tors to pros­e­cute [10] him for his dead­ly exper­i­ments in the con­cen­tra­tion camps. Is it pos­si­ble that Heim may have par­tic­i­pat­ed in post­war research for the U.S. under Project Paper­clip? (Paper­clip was the pro­gram under which the Amer­i­cans recruit­ed top Nazi scientists–many of them SS offi­cers and/or war crim­i­nals of the first order.)

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Nazi muta­genic research; the pos­si­bil­i­ty that thalido­mide might have been uti­lized in con­junc­tion with that muta­genic research; doubts among Nazi hunters [11] that Heim was actu­al­ly dead; exam­i­na­tion of the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion’s aware­ness of the true nature of the Nazi regime dur­ing the time it con­tin­ued to fund the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tutes.

1. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of Nazi chem­i­cal giant I.G. Far­ben’s influ­ence in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal busi­ness, the pro­gram access­es infor­ma­tion about the tran­quil­iz­er thalido­mide. When pre­scribed for preg­nant women in the ear­ly 1960’s, it led to hor­ri­bly deformed babies. A new book claims that the drug was actu­al­ly invent­ed by the Nazis and test­ed in con­cen­tra­tion camps dur­ing World War II.

“The morn­ing sick­ness drug thalido­mide, which caused preg­nant women to give birth to babies with­out arms and legs, was first devel­oped by the Nazis, prob­a­bly as part of their chem­i­cal weapons pro­gramme, accord­ing to new research.

Two sep­a­rate aca­d­e­mics have revealed the dis­cov­ery of doc­u­ments indi­cat­ing that the drug did not orig­i­nate with Chemie Grunen­thal, the post-war Ger­man chem­i­cal firm, as has always been claimed.

If, as their research sug­gests, thalido­mide was first devel­oped by sci­en­tists work­ing in wartime Ger­many, it could have impli­ca­tions for the lia­bil­i­ty of the Ger­man gov­ern­ment. So far it has giv­en com­pen­sa­tion only to Ger­man vic­tims, although the drug was dis­trib­uted in 46 coun­tries.

Thou­sands of the drug’s vic­tims are still bat­tling for increased finan­cial aid to help them cope with its lega­cy. There are 457 thalido­miders remain­ing in the UK; 2,700 in Ger­many; and a total of up to 6,000 worldwide.s

Moth­ers pre­scribed it between its launch in 1957 and 1961, when it was removed from the mar­ket, gave birth to chil­dren who lacked prop­er arms, legs, hands and feet. Some had also suf­fered brain dam­age and oth­er dis­abil­i­ties.

Dr Mar­tin John­son, direc­tor of the Thalido­mide Trust which pro­vides help for sur­viv­ing vic­tims in the UK, has writ­ten a paper detail­ing evi­dence sug­gest­ing that the drug had been devel­oped before Grunen­thal secured a patent in 1954.

The com­pa­ny has always main­tained that thalido­mide was cre­at­ed by chance in 1953 by sci­en­tists who had tried to cre­ate an anti­his­t­a­mine but end­ed up with a tran­quil­liz­er.

John­son sus­pects that it was actu­al­ly first pro­duced as a pos­si­ble anti­dote to nerve tox­ins such as sarin, which was devel­oped by Otto Ambros, a Nazi sci­en­tist who joined Grunen­thal after the war.

‘It is now appear­ing increas­ing­ly like­ly that thalido­mide was the last war crime of the Nazis,’ said John­son.

One doc­u­ment unearthed by the Thalido­mide Trust shows that Grunen­thal appar­ent­ly pur­chased the trade name of the drug — Con­ter­gan — and there­fore prob­a­bly the sub­stance itself, from a French firm, Rhone-Poulenc, which was under Nazi con­trol dur­ing the war years.

A con­fi­den­tial let­ter sent from Astra, which held the Swedish licence to dis­trib­ute thalido­mide, to its Nor­we­gian sub­sidiary in 1958 states: ‘Unfor­tu­nate­ly we can’t use the name Con­ter­gan in the Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries, since Grunen­thal obtained the name exclu­sive­ly for the Ger­man mar­ket through an agree­ment with Rhone-Poulenc.’

From 1942 onwards Rhone-Poulenc reg­is­tered 14 sim­i­lar drugs, all end­ing with the same ‘ergan’ suf­fix, a char­ac­ter­is­tic unique to the firm. Many of the drugs shared prop­er­ties with thalido­mide, such as affect­ing the ner­vous sys­tem.”

“Thalido­mide ‘Cre­at­ed by Nazis’ ” [TimesOn­line]; The Aus­tralian; 2/08/2009. [5]

2. Next, the broad­cast sets forth an inter­est­ing piece of the his­to­ry of I.G. Far­ben’s his­to­ry.

“Bayer’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ven­ture was even larg­er [than that of Hoechst]. Out of its lab­o­ra­to­ries emerged aspirin, the world’s most famous home rem­e­dy for pain and fever. Bay­er was also respon­si­ble for the intro­duc­tion of hero­in, which it sold as a cure for mor­phine addic­tion and as a cough sup­pres­sant, espe­cial­ly effec­tive in chil­dren. Lat­er the Bay­er lab­o­ra­to­ries devel­oped methadone, in prepa­ra­tion for World War II, as a syn­thet­ic sub­sti­tute for mor­phine. It was orig­i­nal­ly named Dolophine, in hon­or of Adolf Hitler. Today, methadone is used prin­ci­pal­ly in the treat­ment of hero­in addic­tion.”

(The Crime and Pun­ish­ment of I.G. Far­ben; Joseph Borkin; Copy­right 1978 [HC] by The Free Press [a divi­sion of MacMil­lan]; ISBN 0–02-904630–0; pp. 6–7.) [6]

3. A remark­able account from Brazil alleges that Josef Mengele–Auschwitz’s infa­mous “Angel of Death”–may have influ­enced the fact that a town with a large Ger­man­ic pop­u­la­tion has a remark­able num­ber of twin births.

“The steely heart­ed ‘Angel of Death’, whose mis­sion was to cre­ate a mas­ter race fit for the Third Reich, was the res­i­dent medic at Auschwitz from May 1943 until his flight in the face of the Red Army advance in Jan­u­ary 1945.

His task was to car­ry out exper­i­ments to dis­cov­er by what method of genet­ic quirk twins were pro­duced – and then to arti­fi­cial­ly increase the Aryan birthrate for his mas­ter, Adolf Hitler.

Now, a his­to­ri­an claims, Men­gele’s noto­ri­ous exper­i­ments may have borne fruit.

For years sci­en­tists have failed to dis­cov­er why as many as one in five preg­nan­cies in a small Brazil­ian town have result­ed in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed.

But res­i­dents of Can­di­do Godoi now claim that Men­gele made repeat­ed vis­its there in the ear­ly 1960s, pos­ing at first as a vet but then offer­ing med­ical treat­ment to the women of the town.

Shut­tling between Argenti­na, Paraguay and Brazil, he man­aged to evade jus­tice before his death in 1979, but his dreams of a Nazi mas­ter race appeared unful­filled.

In a new book, Men­gele: the Angel of Death in South Amer­i­ca, the Argen­tine his­to­ri­an Jorge Cama­rasa, a spe­cial­ist in the post-war Nazi flight to South Amer­i­ca, has painstak­ing­ly pieced togeth­er the Nazi doc­tor’s mys­te­ri­ous lat­er years.

After speak­ing to the towns­peo­ple of Can­di­do Godoi, he is con­vinced that Men­gele con­tin­ued his genet­ic exper­i­ments with twins – with star­tling results.

He reveals how, after work­ing with cat­tle farm­ers in Argenti­na to increase their stock, Men­gele fled the coun­try after fel­low Nazi, Adolf Eich­mann, was kid­napped by Israeli agents.

He claims that Men­gele found refuge in the Ger­man enclave of Colo­nias Unidas, Paraguay, and from there, in 1963, began to make reg­u­lar trips to anoth­er pre­dom­i­nant­ly Ger­man com­mu­ni­ty just over the bor­der in Brazil – the farm­ing com­mu­ni­ty of Can­di­do Godoi.

And, Mr Cama­ras claims, it was here that soon after the birthrate of twins began to spi­ral.

‘I think Can­di­do Godoi may have been Men­gele’s lab­o­ra­to­ry, where he final­ly man­aged to ful­fill his dreams of cre­at­ing a mas­ter race of blond haired, blue eyed Aryans,’ he said.

‘There is tes­ti­mo­ny that he attend­ed women, fol­lowed their preg­nan­cies, treat­ed them with new types of drugs and prepa­ra­tions, that he talked of arti­fi­cial insem­i­na­tion in human beings, and that he con­tin­ued work­ing with ani­mals, pro­claim­ing that he was capa­ble of get­ting cows to pro­duce male twins.’

The urbane Ger­man who arrived in Can­di­do Godoi was remem­bered with fond­ness by many of the towns­peo­ple.

‘He told us he was a vet,’ said Aloisi Fin­kler, a local farmer inter­viewed by Mr Cama­rasa. ‘He asked about ill­ness­es we had among our ani­mals, and told us not to wor­ry, he could cure them. He appeared a cul­tured and dig­ni­fied man.’

Anoth­er farmer, Leonar­do Bou­fler, said: ‘He went from farm to farm check­ing the ani­mals. He checked them for TB, and inject­ed those that were infect­ed. He said he could car­ry out arti­fi­cial insem­i­na­tion of cows and humans, which we thought impos­si­ble as in those days it was unheard of.’

But the Nazi eugeni­cist did not con­cen­trate on ani­mals alone.

A for­mer may­or and town doc­tor, Anen­cia Flo­res da Sil­va, set out to try to solve the town’s mys­tery. He inter­viewed hun­dreds of peo­ple, and dis­cov­ered one char­ac­ter who crept on crop­ping up: an itin­er­ant medic call­ing him­self Rudolph Weiss.

Dr da Sil­va said: ‘In the tes­ti­monies we col­lect­ed we came across women who were treat­ed by him, he appeared to be some sort of rur­al medic who went from house to house. He attend­ed women who had vari­cose veins and gave them a potion which he car­ried in a bot­tle, or tablets which he brought with him. Some­times he car­ried out den­tal work, and every­one remem­bers he used to take blood.’

The peo­ple of Can­di­do Godoi now large­ly accept that a Nazi war crim­i­nal was an inad­ver­tent guest of theirs for sev­er­al years in the ear­ly 1960s. The town’s offi­cial crest shows two iden­ti­cal pro­files and a road sign wel­comes vis­i­tors to a ‘Farm­ing Com­mu­ni­ty and Land of the Twins’. There is also a muse­um, the House of the Twins.

While the twins birthrate varies wide­ly in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, it is typ­i­cal­ly about one in 80 preg­nan­cies – a sta­tis­tic that has left Mr Cama­rasa cer­tain in his claim that Men­gele was suc­cess­ful­ly pur­su­ing his dreams of cre­at­ing a mas­ter race, a real-life Boys from Brazil.

‘Nobody knows for sure exact­ly what date Men­gele arrived in Can­di­do Godoi, but the first twins were born in 1963, the year in which we first hear reports of his pres­ence,’ he said.”

“Nazi Angel of Death Josef Men­gele ‘Cre­at­ed Twin Town in Brazil’ ” by Nick Evans; Telegraph.co.uk; 1/23/2009. [8]

4. Pro­vid­ing detail on the eugen­ics com­mu­ni­ty’s long and fun­da­men­tal focus on the study of twins, the broad­cast notes the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion’s lav­ish fund­ing of the Kaiser Wil­helm Institutes–the lat­ter a foun­da­tion­al ele­ment of eugen­ics research and, as we will see, Men­gele’s work on twins at Auschwitz.

“Rock­e­feller mon­ey con­tin­ued to stream across the Atlantic. The 1933 finan­cial books of the Insti­tute for Anthro­pol­o­gy, Human Hered­i­ty and Eugen­ics reflect­ed the foun­da­tion’s con­tin­u­ing impact. Page four of the bal­ance sheet: Rock­e­feller paid cler­i­cal costs asso­ci­at­ed with research on twins. . . . The Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion’s agen­da was strict­ly bio­log­i­cal to the exclu­sion of pol­i­tics. The foun­da­tion want­ed to dis­cov­er the car­ri­ets of defec­tive blood–even if it meant fund­ing Nazi-con­trolled insti­tu­tions. More­over, Rock­e­feller exec­u­tives knew their mon­ey car­ried pow­er, and they used it to ensure that the most tal­ent­ed sci­en­tists con­tin­ued at the var­i­ous Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tutes, fre­quent­ly shield­ing them from peri­od­ic Nazi purges. . . .

With each pass­ing day, the world was flood­ed with more Jew­ish refugees, more noisy anti-Nazi boy­cotts and protest march­es against any sci­en­tif­ic or com­mer­cial exchanges with Ger­many, more pub­lic demands to iso­late the Reich, and more shock­ing head­lines doc­u­ment­ing Nazi atroc­i­ties and anti-Jew­ish leg­is­la­tion. Still, none of this gave pause4 to Amer­i­ca’s eugeni­cists. Cor­re­spon­dence on joint research flowed freely across the Atlantic. Amer­i­can eugeni­cists, and their many orga­ni­za­tions and com­mit­tees, from New York to Cal­i­for­nia and all points in between, main­tained and multi­u­plied their con­tacts with every ech­e­lon of offi­cial and semi­of­fi­cial Ger­man eugen­ics. As the Reich descend­ed into greater depths of depraved mis­treat­ment and impov­er­ish­ment of Jews, as well as ter­ri­to­r­i­al threats against its neigh­bors, these con­tacts seemed all the more insu­lat­ed from the human tragedy unfold­ing with­in Europe. Eager and coop­er­a­tive let­ters, reports, telegrams and mem­o­ran­da did not num­ber in the nun­dreds, but in the thou­sands of pages per month.

While con­cen­tra­tion camps, pau­per­iza­tion and repres­sion flour­ished in Nazi Ger­many, and while refugees filled ships and trains telling hor­ri­fy­ing sto­ries of tor­ture and inhu­man­i­ty, it was busi­ness as usu­al for eugen­ics. . . .”

The War Against the Weak; Edwin Black; Four Walls Eight Win­dows Press; Copy­right 2003 by Edwin Black; ISBN 1–56858-258–7; pp. 302–303.

5. Next, the broad­cast sets forth the pri­ma­ry posi­tion of the study of twins in eugen­ics research.

“Hered­i­tar­i­ans sought twins of all ages–not just children–for prop­er study. The fam­i­ly tree of a New Eng­land fam­i­ly of twins, includ­ing one pair nine­ty-one years of age, fas­ci­nat­ed eugeni­cists. Geneti­cists exca­vat­ed old jour­nals to dis­cov­er even ear­li­er exam­ples, such as s sev­en­teenth cen­tu­ry Russ­ian woman who gave birth twen­ty-sev­en times,m each time pro­duc­ing twins, triplets or quadru­plets, yield­ing a total of six­ty-nine chil­dren.

Race and twins quick­ly became an issue for Amer­i­can eugeni­cists. . . .

Diag­nos­tic and phys­i­o­log­i­cal devel­op­ments in twin stud­ies from any sec­tor of the med­ical sci­ences were of con­stant inter­est to eugenic read­ers. So Eugeni­cal News reg­u­lar­ly sum­ma­rized arti­cles from the gen­er­al med­ical lit­er­a­ture to feed eugeni­cists’ unend­ing fas­ci­na­tion with the top­ic. In 1922, when a state med­ical jour­nal report­ed using stetho­scopes to mon­i­tor a twin preg­nan­cy, it was report­ed in Eugeni­cal News. When a Ger­man clin­i­cal jour­nal pub­lished a study of tumors in twins, this too was report­ed in Eugeni­cal News. When a Ger­man clin­i­cal jour­nal pub­lished a study of tumors in twins, this too was report­ed in Eugeni­cal News.

With each pass­ing issue, Eugeni­cal News ded­i­cat­ed more and more space to the top­ic. The list of such reports became long. By the ear­ly 1920’s, arti­cles on twins became increas­ing­ly instruc­tive. One typ­i­cal arti­cle explained how to more pre­cise­ly ver­i­fy the pres­ence of iden­ti­cal twins using a cap­il­lary micro­scope. Jour­nal of Hered­i­ty also made twins a fre­quent sub­ject in its pages. . . .

Every lead­ing eugenic text­book includ­ed a sec­tion on twins. [Paul] Pope­noe’s Applied Eugen­ics explained that iden­ti­cal twins ‘start lives as halves of the same whole’ but ‘become more unlike if they were brought up apart.’ . . .

In a sim­i­lar vein, most inter­na­tion­al eugenic and genet­ic con­fer­ences includ­ed pre­sen­ta­tions or exhibits on twins–their dis­par­i­ty or sim­i­lar­i­ty, their sus­cep­ti­bil­i­ty to tuber­cu­lo­sis, their likes and dis­likes. R.A. Fish­er opened one of his lec­tures to the Sec­ond Inter­na­tion­al Con­gress of Eugen­ics with the phrase: ‘The sub­ject of the gen­e­sis of human twins. . .has a spe­cial impor­tance for eugeni­cists.’ . . .

The quest for a supe­ri­or race con­tin­ued to inter­sect with the avail­abil­i­ty of twins. In the July-August 1935 edi­tion of Eugeni­cal News, Dr. Alfred Gor­don pub­lished a lengthy arti­cle enti­tled ‘The Prob­lems of Hered­i­ty and Eugen­ics.’ . . .

There were so few twins to study that sur­geons in the eugen­ics com­mu­ni­ty passed along their lat­est dis­cov­er­ies, one by one, to advance the field­’s com­mon knowl­edge. . . .”

Ibid., pp. 350–351.

6. With the ascen­sion of the Hitler regime, the scarci­ty of twins for eugen­ics study was alle­vi­at­ed.

“All that changed when Hitler came to pow­er in 1933. Ger­many surged ahead in its study of twins. . . Twins were now increas­ing­ly sought to helpo com­bat hered­i­tary dis­eases and con­di­tions, real and imag­ined. [Otmar Frei­herr von] Ver­schuer’s book, Twins and Tuber­cu­lo­sis, was pub­lished in 1933 and received a favor­able review in 1933 and received a favor­able review in Jour­nal of Hered­i­ty. . . .

But many more twins would be need­ed to accom­plish the sweep­ing research envi­sioned by the archi­tects of Hitler’s mas­ter race. In ear­ly Decem­ber of 1935, Ver­schuer told a cor­re­spon­dent for the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion that eugen­ics had moved into a new phase. . . . The arti­cle went on to cite Ver­schuer’s view that mean­ing­ful research would require entire families–from chil­dren to grand­par­ents. In plain words this meant gath­er­ing larg­er num­bers of twins in one place for simul­ta­ne­ous inves­ti­ga­tion. . . .”

Ibid.; p. 352.

7. The Nazi regime proved to be an ide­al vehi­cle for the phys­i­cal col­lec­tion of twins for the pur­pose of eugen­ics research.

“Amer­i­can eugeni­cist T.U.H. Ellinger was in Ger­many short­ly after the decree to vis­it with Fis­ch­er at the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tute for Anthro­pol­o­gy, Hered­i­ty and Eugen­ics. In a Jour­nal of Hered­i­ty essay on his vis­it, Ellinger flip­pant­ly report­ed to his col­leagues, ‘Twins have, of course, for a long time been a favorite mate­r­i­al for the study of the rel­a­tive impor­tance of hered­i­ty and envi­ron­ment, of nature and nur­ture. It does, how­ev­er, take a dic­ta­tor­ship to oblige some ten thou­sand pairs of twins, as well as triplets and even quadru­plets, to report to a sci­en­tif­ic insti­tute at reg­u­lara inter­vals for all kinds of record­ings and tests.’

When twins did report to the Insti­tute for Anthro­pol­o­gy, Human Hered­i­ty and Eugen­ics, they were often placed in small, spe­cial­ly-con­struct­ed exam­i­na­tion rooms, each lined with two-way mir­rors and motion pic­ture cam­era lens­es cam­ou­flaged into the wall­pa­per. The staff proud­ly showed Ellinger all of these facil­i­ties. How­ev­er, eugeni­cists at the insti­tute could only go so far with mere obser­va­tions.

Reich sci­en­tists need­ed more if they were to take the next step in cre­at­ing a super race resis­tant to dis­ease and capa­ble of trans­mit­ting the best traits. Autop­sies were required to dis­cov­er how spe­cif­ic organs and bod­i­ly process­es react­ed to var­i­ous exper­i­ments. Ver­scuer need­ed more twins and the free­dom to kill them. The high­est ranks of the Hitler regime agreed, includ­ing Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Frick, who ran the con­cen­tra­tion camps, and SS Chief Hein­rich Himm­ler. Mil­lions of dis­pens­able human beings from across Europe–Jews, Gyp­sies and oth­er undesirables–were pass­ing through Hitler’s camps to be effi­cient­ly mur­dered. Among these mil­lions, there were bound to be thou­sands of twins.

Short­ly after Ver­schuer took over for Fis­ch­er at the Insti­tute for Anthro­pol­o­gy, Human Hered­i­ty and Eugen­ics, he pro­posed a Zwill­ingslager or ‘twins camp,’ with­in Auschwitz. . . . The camp was approved and was bureau­crat­i­cal­ly filed under the key­word ‘Twins Camp.’

At the end of May 1943, Men­gele arrived in Auschwitz, where he took con­trol of the ramps where Jews were brought in. Ver­schuer noti­fied the Ger­man Research Soci­ety, ‘My assis­tant, Dr. Josef Men­gele (M.D., Ph.D.) joined me in this branch of research. He is present­ly employed as Haupt­sturm­fuhrer [cap­tain] and camp physi­cian in the Auschwitz con­cen­tra­tion camp. Anthro­po­log­i­cal teswt­ing of the most diverse racial groups in this con­cen­tra­tion camp are being car­ried out with per­mis­sion of the SS Reichs­fuhrer [Himm­ler].’

Nazi Ger­many had now car­ried eugen­ics fur­ther than any dared expect. The future of the mas­ter race that would thrive in Hitler’s Thou­sand-Year Reich lay in twins. For this rea­son, there would now be a spe­cial class of vic­tims of Auschwitz. There would be a spe­cial camp, spe­cial med­ical facil­i­ties and spe­cial laboratories–all for the twins. . .”

Ibid.; pp. 354–355.

8. Although Men­gele’s ghast­ly work with twins at Auschwitz became fair­ly well-known after the war, few real­ize that this endeav­or was an exten­sion of the eugen­ics work at the Kaiser Wil­helm Institutes–recipients of lav­ish Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion fund­ing.

“While evi­dence of mass mur­der in the trench­es of Rus­sia and the gas cham­bers of Poland was sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly destroyed, Men­gele’s mur­ders were enshrined in the pro­to­cols of sci­ence. Men­gele’s ghast­ly files did not remain his pri­vate mania, con­fined to Auschwitz. Every case was metic­u­lous­ly anno­tat­ed, employ­ing the best sci­en­tif­ic method pris­on­er doc­tors could muster. Then the files were sent to Ver­schuer’s offices at the Insti­tute for Anthro­pol­o­gy, Human Hered­i­ty and Eugen­ics in Berlin-Dahlem for study.

An adult pris­on­er, cho­sen to help care for the youngest twins, recount­ed, ‘The moment a pair of twins arrived in the bar­rack, they were asked to com­plete a detailed ques­tion­naire from the Kaiser-Wil­helm Insti­tute in Berlin. One of my duties as [the] ‘Twins’ Father’ was top help them fill it out, espe­cial­ly the lit­tle ones, who could­n’t read or write. These forms con­tained dozens of detailed ques­tions relat­ed to a child’s back­ground, health, and phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics. They asked for the age, weight, and height of the chil­dren, their eye col­or and the col­or of their hair. They were prompt­ly mailed to Berlin.’

Nyis­zli, who had to fill out volu­mi­nous post­mortem reports, recalled Men­gele’s warn­ing: ”I want clean copy, because these reports will be for­ward­ed to the Insti­tute of Bio­log­i­cal, Racial and Evo­lu­tion­ary Research at Berlin-Dahlem.’ Thus I learned that the exper­i­ments per­formed here were checked by the high­est med­ical author­i­ties at one of the most famous sci­en­tif­ic insti­tutes in the world.” [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.]

The reports, coun­ter­signed by Men­gele and sent to Berlin were not just received and ware­housed, they were care­ful­ly reviewed and dis­cussed. A dia­logue devel­oped between Ver­schuer’s insti­tute and Men­gele. Anoth­er pris­on­er assis­tant Men­gele ‘would receive ques­tions about the twins from the Kaiser Wil­helm Insti­tute in Berlin, and he would send them the answers.’ . . .”

Ibid.; pp. 359–360.

9. In light of the appar­ent inven­tion of the muta­gen thalido­mide and its pos­si­ble test­ing in the con­cen­tra­tion camps, it is inter­est­ing to con­tem­plate the pos­si­bil­i­ty that its gene-alter­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics had been dis­cov­ered dur­ing the war. The Nazis had per­formed exten­sive species-alter­ing exper­i­ments with muta­gens.

” ‘Quite a few of them [Nazi researchers] were busy treat­ing or rather mis­treat­ing the sex cells of ani­mals and plants in order to pro­duce new vari­eties. I was intro­duced to all kinds of extra­or­di­nary crea­tures pro­duced in that way, mice with­out toes or with corkscrew tails, flies that vio­lat­ed the very def­i­n­i­tion of a fly by hav­ing four wings instead of two, fun­ny-look­ing moths, and strange plants. Radi­a­tion, espe­cial­ly with X‑rays, is the prin­ci­pal means of pro­duc­ing such new kinds, or rather mon­sters, of ani­mals and plants.’  . . .”

Ibid.; p. 415.

10. The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the “death” of Dr. Arib­ert Heim. In light of his seem­ing­ly unam­bigu­ous guilt, one won­ders if this doc­tor, like so many oth­er war crim­i­nals, found work for the allies and/or the U.S., per­haps in Project Paper­clip.

” . . . He lat­er joined the Waf­fen SS and was assigned to Mau­thausen, a con­cen­tra­tion camp near Linz, Aus­tria, as a camp doc­tor in Octo­ber and Novem­ber 1941.

While there, wit­ness­es told inves­ti­ga­tors, he worked close­ly with SS phar­ma­cist Erich Wasicky on such grue­some exper­i­ments as inject­ing var­i­ous solu­tions into Jew­ish pris­on­ers’ hearts to see which killed them the fastest.

But while Wasicky was brought to tri­al by an Amer­i­can Mil­i­tary Tri­bunal in 1946 and sen­tenced to death, along with oth­er camp med­ical per­son­nel and com­man­ders, Heim, who was a POW in Amer­i­can cus­tody, was not among them.

Heim’s file in the Berlin Doc­u­ment Cen­ter, the then‑U.S.-run depot for Nazi-era papers, was appar­ent­ly altered to oblit­er­ate any men­tion of Mau­thausen, accord­ing to his 1979 Ger­man indict­ment, obtained by the AP. Instead, for the peri­od he was known to be at the con­cen­tra­tion camp, he was list­ed as hav­ing a dif­fer­ent SS assign­ment.

This “can­not be cor­rect,” the indict­ment says. “It is pos­si­ble that through data manip­u­la­tion the short assign­ment at the same time to the (con­cen­tra­tion camp) was con­cealed.”

There is no indi­ca­tion who might have been respon­si­ble.

The U.S. Army Intel­li­gence file on Heim could shed light on his wartime and post­war activ­i­ties, and is among hun­dreds of thou­sands trans­ferred to the U.S. Nation­al Archives. But the Army’s elec­tron­ic for­mat is such that staff have so far only been able to access about half of them, and these don’t include the file request­ed by the AP. . . .”

“Con­cen­tra­tion Camp Doc­tor Heads List of Top 10 Want­ed Nazis” by David Ris­ing [AP]; FoxNews.com; 4/29/2008. [10]

11. There are doubts about the accu­ra­cy of reports of Heim’s death.

“The Simon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter has expressed doubts about a report that Arib­ert Heim, one of the most-want­ed Nazi crim­i­nals, died in Egypt in 1992.

‘There’s no body, no corpse, no DNA, no grave,’ Efraim Zuroff, the cen­ter’s lead­ing Nazi hunter, told AP agency.

On Wednes­day, Ger­many’s ZDF TV report­ed that Heim died in Cairo, say­ing it had found his pass­port and oth­er doc­u­ments.

Heim is accused of killing hun­dreds of inmates at a con­cen­tra­tion camp where he was a doc­tor dur­ing World War II.

On Thurs­day, Mr Zuroff said the report about Heim’s death raised ‘more ques­tions than it answers’.

‘We can’t sign off on a sto­ry like this because of some semi-plau­si­ble expla­na­tion,’ he said.

‘Keep in mind these peo­ple have a vest­ed inter­est in being declared dead — it’s a per­fect­ly craft­ed sto­ry; that’s the prob­lem, it’s too per­fect,’ Mr Zuroff told the AP.. . .”

“Nazi Hunters’ Doubt over ‘Death’ ”; BBC News; 2/5/09. [11]