Victims of Nazi anatomists named

Discussion in 'Germany' started by muggins, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. muggins

    muggins Member

    BBC Religion & Ethics - Stieve's List: The lost victims of Nazi experiments

    BBC News - Victims of Nazi anatomists named

    In a mission to reveal the human lives behind this "material", Dr Hildebrandt studied through the personal files of Stieve's victims, which are held at the Memorial Site for the German Resistance in Berlin.

    She cross-checked each file against a copy of Stieve's list that is on file at the German Ministry of Justice, identifying every person on the list.

    Dr Hildebrandt noted the correct spelling of the names of the 174 women and eight men on the list, their exact dates of birth and death, their nationality, the reason for their execution and any other biographical information she could find.



    The German Resistance Memorial Center
    German Resistance Memorial Center - Index of persons
     
  2. muggins

    muggins Member

    An older article from 2000
    BBC News | HEALTH | Nazi victims' organs 'still stored'

    Researchers have found more than 100 body parts from the victims of Nazi atrocities stored at the University of Vienna.
    And they fear that the poor quality of remaining records mean that there could be more.

    An expert on the history of medical research says that other institutions in Austria may hold similar body parts.

    Records show that 1,377 bodies of executed Austrians were signed over to the university - most had been guillotined but some had been shot by the Gestapo.

    However the investigators said it was unlikely that bodies of victims from concentration camps were used by the university.

    Records destroyed

    Thousands were executed during World War II in Austria - many for the "crime" of resistance. Even listening to enemy broadcasts could carry the death penalty.

    However, investigators said that they could not rule out forced abortions of women as a source of some foetuses and stillborn infants for experimentation.

    An air raid destroyed many of the records in the Institute of Anatomy at the university.

    The team were able to confirm that more than 100 specimens still stored at the laboratory originated either from executions, or from children murdered under a Nazi "euthanasia" programme.

    'Lack of sensitivity'

    These have now been removed from the collections and will be buried in a "grave of honour" provided by the City of Vienna.

    However, the team reported: "The origins of 97 specimens remain unknown and thus, a National Socialist provenance cannot be ruled out."

    Their report, published in the Lancet, added: "There was a lack of ethnic sensitivity on the part of the faculty in this regard that need to be pointed out to the public and corrected.

    "By the same token, the lack of interest of the medical establishment in the use of bodily remains of human beings needs to be be put up for discussion."

    Anatomy book

    They reported that anatomical illustrations in the world-renowned medical textbook Topographical Human Anatomy, written by Nazi party member Eduard Pernkopf, may also have been produced using victims of Nazi executions - but this could not be confirmed.

    There is a belief that Jewish concentration camp victims were the models for some drawings in which the model had a shaven head.

    Medical historian Michael Hubenstorf said the investigation had only concentrated on one institute, when in fact there were collections which might include Nazi victims in "half a dozen" Viennese institutions.

    He said that the report "minimised the complicity" of anatomy experts in Vienna before and during the war.

    "The narrow focus of the article seems to be an attempt to lay it (the issue) to rest."
     
  3. mconrad

    mconrad Junior Member

    (WARNING: Following will be a "not as bad as it sounds" viewpoint.)

    This is almost negligeable. It's not even close to doctors' crimes in concentration camp experiments where they actively petitioned for victims and engaged in cruel and scientifically unjustified procudures.

    I believe Austrian medical researchers, like those all over the world, received state executed cadavers since the 19th century. The people executed for treason by the Nazis were from the same prisons and killed by the same professional executioners as civil criminals condemned to death. The difference under the Nazis was the extension of capital punishment to women and the huge increase in number. (The state executioners made a substantional amount of money on that, being entitled to a fee for each job.)

    I don't blame the anatomists for accepting the cadavers. They came from the same source as before the Nazis. The jurisdiction for defining treason belonged to the state, not the medical profession. The anatomists are more to blame for what every German and Austrian citizen of the time have to answer for - for the moral purblindness that allowed the Nazi regime to be in power at all.
     
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Without doubt there were many of the German medical profession who were intrinsically motivated to what the Third Reich could offer in regard to access for medical experiments on the involuntary.

    Many were members of the Nazi Party and were deeply involved in medical crime.I read the account of one of these people who from his notes was obviously ignorant of what he was involved in.He even went/was posted to Poland where his dissection laboratory was in the basement of the Gestapo building.All those executed passed his inspection for possible dissection purposes.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    As grime as this might sound....But did the Germans make any major medical discoveries that have changed medicine still today through experimentation on humans?
     
  6. muggins

    muggins Member

    (WARNING: Following will be a "not as bad as it sounds" viewpoint.)

    This is almost negligeable. It's not even close to doctors' crimes in concentration camp experiments where they actively petitioned for victims and engaged in cruel and scientifically unjustified procudures.


    It may be negligeable but still worth highlighting in its own area. I'll tell you why I'm only commenting on the above in bold, why to me that comparisons are not helpful.

    If I'd posted about Malmedy or Wormhoudt or the Great Escape (bearing in mind total casualties lost to each nation, would the same general comment apply?

    Doesn't one life lost to the Third Reich's brutalities have the same worth to each and every family? Perhaps the families of these people are still alive. I can't imagine how after all these years they learn that not only were their loved ones executed, had no known grave, but that their bodies were dissected and it's possible that bits of them were preserved in jars for study. We had recent headlines in UK sadly about samples in hospitals and forensic labs.


    I tried to find a thread where I could add this to. One w hich dealt with victims in Germany, for the most part unrelated to the main area of death camps. There are some about Resistance, but I couldn't find one which would accommodate the issues raised in the articles.


    The articles in my opinion also highlight the difficulties some institutions and academic areas in general have with historic research. I for one am still uncomfortable with the possibility of benefitting in any way from such circumstances. How can we separate all the influences over the years, now? It's been debated for a long time, but is still a moral dilemma.


    (WARNING: Following will be a "not as bad as it sounds" viewpoint.)

    The anatomists are more to blame for what every German and Austrian citizen of the time have to answer for - for the moral purblindness that allowed the Nazi regime to be in power at all.

    If you've read the articles, noted the circumstances of the people who were identified, are you still saying "every German and Austrian citizen"?

    BBC Religion & Ethics - Stieve's List: The lost victims of Nazi experiments
    I think that's still the main reason for my post and why I placed it here. Faces to names.
     

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