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What were the Nazi camp experiments on bacteria inside wounds and how did they affect the victims?

During World War 2, the Nazis committed unspeakable atrocities in the name of science. One of their most gruesome experiments involved infecting the wounds of their prisoners with bacteria and observing the results. In this narrative, we will explore the details and the consequences of this horrific experiment 🦠💉🩸

By InfoPublished 10 months ago 4 min read
Worst Nazi Experiments 🦠💉🩸

The Horrific Nazi Medical Experiments at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

The crimes committed at Nazi concentration camps during World War II represent some of history's most chilling examples of human cruelty. At the all-female Ravensbrück camp, SS doctors conducted barbaric medical experiments on prisoners, searching for ways to treat injured German soldiers.

This article examines the unethical tests carried out on helpless inmates at the notorious camp north of Berlin. Their stories serve as a disturbing reminder of human rights violations committed in the name of scientific progress.

Ravensbrück: An All-Female Hell

Ravensbrück opened in 1939 initially to hold female political prisoners. But it evolved into a slave labor and extermination camp where an estimated 50,000 women died by 1945.

Jewish, Roma, Polish, and Soviet prisoners made up the majority of inmates. The camp's initial capacity of 3,000 people exploded to over 30,000 as the Nazi quest for slave labor intensified.

Female SS guards and doctors inflicted crippling forced labor, starvation, disease, beatings, torture, and execution on prisoners. Medical experiments represented an additional nightmare in this manmade hell.

Experiments Searching for Wartime Medical Solutions 🦠💉🩸

Experiments Searching for Wartime Medical Solutions

SS doctors justified brutal tests on inmates as necessary to find treatments for wounded German soldiers. Experiments focused on areas like:

  • Bone, nerve, and limb transplants - Attempts to develop techniques for injured troops.
  • Infections - Deliberately induced gangrene to test sulfa drugs' effectiveness.
  • High altitude effects - Simulated low pressure conditions pilots experienced.
  • Hypothermia - Subjects frozen to near-death to test rewarming methods.

Doctors maximized suffering, conducting tests without anesthesia while denying pain medication to victims. Nazi ideology viewed camp prisoners as subhuman, making them disposable subjects.

Dr. Karl Gebhardt - Architect of Atrocities

Dr. Karl Gebhardt, personal physician to SS chief Himmler, oversaw some of the most horrific experiments as Ravensbrück's lead doctor.

Gebhardt's gruesome tests on young female prisoners aimed to develop treatments for gangrene. He rubbished an SS leader's faith in new sulfa drugs, wanting to prove they offered no gangrene cure.

"The criminal experiments consisted in the deliberate cutting out and infection of bones and muscles of the legs with virulent bacteria," said prosecutors.

After inflicting gunshot wounds on victims to induce gangrene, Gebhardt tried sulfa drugs on some women while leaving others untreated as they succumbed to the spreading infections.

Up to 75 Polish teenagers perished in Gebhardt's sadistic gangrene experiments. Those who survived were subjected to needless amputations and transplant operations.

Other Notorious Experiments 🦠💉🩸

Other Notorious Experiments

Alongside Gebhardt, doctors like Gerhard Schidlausky, Fritz Fischer, and Herta Oberheuser oversaw additional brutal tests:

  • Prisoners were deliberately infected with malaria, typhoid, and tuberculosis with minimal treatment. Hundreds died from these induced diseases.
  • Sulfanilamide drugs were tested on prisoners shot in the legs and arms by rifles. Bone fragments were inserted deep into muscles to worsen injuries.
  • Transplant experiments amputated and exchanged limbs between victims without anesthetic, killing many from resulting infections.
  • High altitude tests used low-pressure chambers to simulate altitudes up to 12 km, with many subjects suffering seizures, brain damage or death.
  • Freezing experiments refrigerated prisoners to study hypothermia treatments, killing all subjects.
  • Unneeded surgeries were performed to remove organs or induce infections, nearly always resulting in the subject's execution afterwards.

The list of atrocities seems endless, with hundreds perishing in tests conducted without scientific rigor or ethical regard for human life.

Legacies of the "Rabbits" Who Survived

Ravensbrück's inmates showed unfathomable endurance. Those subjected to repeated surgeries and infections were known as "rabbits" because they were used like laboratory animals.

A few rabbits outlived their abuse, such as Maria Broel-Plater, Władysława Karolewska, Jadwiga Dzido and Maria Kusmierczuk. Their testimony provided critical evidence of the crimes against humanity committed under the guise of medical research.

The rabbits' accounts illuminated the suffering experienced by thousands of victims. Despite lingering disabilities from shredded nerves, missing limbs and lasting traumas, these survivors found the strength to share their stories with the world so that such atrocities would never reoccur.

Justice Served at the Doctors' Trials 🦠💉🩸

Justice Served at the Doctors' Trials

After Germany's defeat, the Allies established the "Doctors' Trials" in Nuremberg to prosecute the full extent of Nazi medical crimes.

23 defendants stood trial, including Gebhardt and other doctors responsible for the Ravensbrück experiments. Extensive testimony from survivors laid bare the sadistic lack of ethics behind tests on living humans.

In the end, seven doctors were sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes and crimes against humanity. An additional nine received lengthy prison sentences between 10 years and life.

The Doctors' Trials resulted in the Nuremberg Code - an international standard to protect human rights during medical experimentation requiring full informed consent.

While Nurmeberg's judgments meted out justice, the cruelty revealed in the trials left permanent scars. Yet the Rabbits' courage in recounting their trauma established indelible moral lines between ethical and unethical research.

By illuminating some of humanity's darkest chapters, the survivors transformed tragedy into a powerful legacy still guiding medical ethics today. Their enduring humanity prevailed against the Nazis' inhumanity.


  • Disclaimer: Images apart from the title were generated with Bing AI, we always want to entrust our readers are not deceived.

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