By Kalen Michals, Simmons University

Students tour Auschwitz I on May 28, 2019.

Students tour Auschwitz I on May 28, 2019.

The medical experiments that occurred during the Holocaust are no secret to the world today,
but the severity is often overlooked. Under claims that the experiments were “for the greater
good,”- that being, the greater good of the Aryan race/Reich-doctors had full reign to do as they
pleased. Not only was the Hippocratic Oath disregarded, but completely defiled. Instead of
preventing disease, as is stated in the Oath, they went as far as injecting infected blood into the
bodies of others.The doctors that ordered these experiments would argue that the study of
these diseases was important to the development of cures intended to benefit a larger
population. However, the heinous crimes committed by Auschwitz physicians show the absolute
worst scenarios caused by mankind.

Young Jewish twins, pregnant mothers, and Gypsy children make up only part of the groups
experimented on behalf of Dr. Mengele and his colleagues. The special interest in twins
originated from the Nazi ideology of frequent reproduction to expand the Aryan race. To
increase the frequency of twin births, and therefore the Aryan population in the Reich, Dr.
Mengele studied the blood and organs of Jewish twins. His unethical methods included infecting
one twin with disease, and murdering the other immediately following the death of the first to
compare their internal organs.

Reproduction experiments conducted on young men and women included the use of x-ray
radiation on the reproductive glands to cause infertility. However, when these proved to be
unsuccessful, the prisoners either had their organs removed or were given a tonic that caused
so much internal inflammation that reproduction was no longer possible. These painful
processes often resulted in death; either by euthanasia or infection.

The outward disregard for human life is so fascinatingly cruel that it has become one of the main
attractions of the Holocaust. For the amount of testimonies and evidence accumulated over the
past 75 years, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum lacks in showcasing the horrors experienced
merely meters away.

This post is part of series of articles written by participants on our “We Will Write Our History” writing seminar in Auschwitz. Learn more at