Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggresion. Vol. II. USGPO, Washington, 1946,pp.173-237

[Note: The characters in brackets, eg, (2233-N-PS) refer to the official document numbers included in the series Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression.   A list of legal references and documents relating to the SS appears on pages 237-248.  For information on the referencing of Internet sources see Chapter 4 of S D Stein Learning, Teaching and Researching on the Internet. Addison Wesley Longman 1999-published Nov.1998]

Error Submission Form

The Schutzstaffeln (SS)

The Nuremberg Charges

Part IV

Part I
Part II
Part I11
Part V

D. Criminal Aims and Activities of the SS. (part 2)

Administration of Concentration Camps Through SS Agencies
SS Control of Camps and Slave Labor Programs
SS Control of Concentration Camps and Ill Treatment and Murder of Inmates
SS Use of Concentration Camp Labor for Pecuniary Profit

Functions and Activities with Respect to Human Experiments

(b) Administration of concentration camps through SS agencies.

Furnishing guard personnel was not the only function of the SS with relation to the camps. The entire internal management of the camps, including the use of prisoners, their housing, clothing, sanitary conditions, the determination of their right to live and the disposal of their remains, was controlled by the SS. Such management was first vested in the leader of the SS Death Head Units, who also had the title of Inspector of the Concentration Camps. This official was originally a part of the SS Main Office (SS Hauptamt), represented on the chart by the second box from the left (Chart Number 3).

During the course of the war, in March 1942, control of con-centration camps was transferred to another of the departments of the SS Supreme Command, the SS Economic and Administra-tion Main Office (commonly known as WVHA) . That department is indicated on the chart by the third box from the left (Chart Number 3).

That change was announced in a letter to Himmler 30 April 1942 from SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen SS Pohl, the Chief of WVHA (R-129). In that letter Pohl reported on the measures he had taken to carry out Himmler's order of 3 March 1942 to transform the camps into large scale economic enterprises, and inclosed an order to all' concentration camp commanders which provided that no longer was there to be any limit on working hours in the camps. (R-129)

(c) SS control of concentration camps and the slave labor program.

This shift of control to WVHA coincided with the change in the basic purposes of the concentration camps. Political and security reasons, which previously had been the grounds for confinement, were abandoned and the camps were made to serve the Nazi slave labor program.

To satisfy the increased demands for manpower it was not enough to work the inmates of the camp harder. More inmates had to be obtained. Through its police arm, the SS was prepared to satisfy this demand. On 17 December 1942 an order was issued to all commanders of the Security Police and SD directing that at least 35,000 prisoners qualified for work be sent immediately to the concentration camps (1063-PS) . Thirty-five thou-sand prisoners was, of course, merely the beginning. The SS dragnet was capable of catching many more slaves. A directive to all the departments of the SS Supreme Com-mand signed by Himmler at his field headquarters on 5 August 1943, ordered the collection of men, women, and children for work in coal mines (744-PS). This directive implements an order signed by Keitel directing the use of all males captured in guerilla fighting in the East for forced labor (744-PS). The Himmler directive, it will be noted, is addressed to every main office in the SS Supreme Command:

"Subject: Manpower for coal mining industry. Reference: Letter of the command staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS -journal No. Ia/ 1909/ 43 secret. Secret
1. Chief of the personal staff of Reichsfuehrer SS.
2. SS Main Office.
3. Reich security main office (RSHA).
4. Race and resettlement main office-SS
5. Main office, ordinary police.
6. SS economic administrative main office.
7. SS personal main office.
8. Main office SS court.
9. SS Supreme Command-Headquarters of the Waffen SS.
10. Staff Headquarters of the Reichcommisar for 'the con-solidation of Germanism.
11. Main office center for Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle).
12. Office of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heissmeyer.
13. Chief of the guerilla-fighting units.
14. Higher SS and Police Leader Ostland.
15. Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-Center.
16. Higher SS and Police Leader Russia-South.
17. Higher SS and Police Leader Northeast.
18. Higher SS and Police Leader East.
19. Higher SS and Police Leader Alpine territory.
20. Higher SS and Police Leader Serbia.
21. Commissioner of the Reichsfuehrer SS for Croatia.
"To figure 4 of the above-mentioned order, I order, that all young female prisoners, capable of work, are to be sent to Germany for work, through the agency of Reich Commissioner Sauckel.
"Children, old women, and men are to be collected and em-ployed in the women's and children's camps, established by me, on estates as well as on the border of the evacuated area." (744-PS)

In April 1944 the SS was called on to produce even more laborers, this time 100,000 to be drawn from Hungarian Jews, as shown by the minutes of Speer's discussion with Himmler on 6 and 7 April 1944. (R-124)

The last source of manpower had not been tapped. To Jews, deportees, women and children, there was added the productive power of prisoners of war. Naturally enough it was through the SS that the conspirators squeezed the last drop of labor from such prisoners. Speer's minutes of his conference with the Fuehrer on 5 March 1944, state:

"Told the Fuehrer of the Reichs Marshal's wish for further utilization of the production power of prisoners of war by giving the direction of the Stalag to the SS with the exception of the English and Americans. The Fuehrer considers the proposal good and has asked Colonel von Below to arrange matters accordingly." (R-124)

That matters were soon arranged is shown by Speer's statement made at the 58th discussion of the Central Planning Board on 25 May 1944 (R-124):

"Speer: We have come to an arrangement with the Reichs-fuehrer SS as soon as possible so that PW's he picks up are made available for our purposes. The Reichsfuehrer SS gets from 30 to 40 thousand men per month." (R-124)

Finally, in order to insure SS control over the labor of prisoners of war, the Reichsfuehrer SS was appointed by Hitler as head of all prisoner of war camps on 25 September 1944. A circular letter from the Director of the Party Chancellery, 30 September 1944 and signed by M. Bormann, states:

"1. The Fuehrer has ordered under the date 25 Sept 1944: The custody of all prisoners of war and interned persons, as well as prisoner of war camps, and institutions with guards are transferred to the commander of the Reserve Army from October 1, 1944. * * * *
"2. The Reichsfuehrer SS has commanded:
"a. In my capacity as Commander of the Reserve Army, I transfer the affairs of prisoners of war to Gottleb Berger, SS-Lieut. General (SS-Obergruppenfuehrer und General der Waffen-SS) Chief of Staff of the Volkstums." * * *
"c. The mobilization of labor of the prisoners of war will be organized with the present labor mobilization office in joint action between SS-Lieut. General Berger (SS-Obergruppenfuehrer) and SS-Lieut. General Pohl.
"The strengthening of security in the field of prisoner of war affairs is to be accomplished between SS-Lieut. General Berger and the Chief of the Security Police, SS-Lieut. Gen. Dr. Kaltenbrunner." (058-PS)

So impressive were the results obtained from SS concentration camp labor that Goering on 14 February 1944 called on Himmler for more inmates for use in the aircraft industry (1584-I-PS). Himmler's reply to that request reads, in part, as follows:

' "Most Honored Reichsmarshal:
"Following my teletype letter of the 18 Feb. 44 I herewith transmit a survey on the employment of prisoners in the aviation industry.
"This survey indicates that at the present time about 36,000 prisoners are employed for the purposes of the air force. An increase to a total of 90,000 prisoners is contemplated.
"The production is being discussed, established, and executed between the Reich Ministry of aviation and the chief of my economic-administrative main office, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS, Pohl respectively.
"We assist with all forces at our disposal.
"The task of my economic-administrative main office, however, is not solely fulfilled with the delivery of the prisoners to the aviation industry as SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl and his assistants take care of the required working speed thru constant and supervision of the work-groups [Kommandos] and therefore have some influence on the results of produc-tion. In this respect I may suggest consideration of the fact that in enlarging our responsibility thru a speeding up of the total work, better results can definitely be expected.
"We also have for some time adjusted our own stone-quarries to production for the airforce. For instance in Flossenbuerg near Weiden the prisoners employed previously in the quarry are working now in the fighter plane program for the Messer-Schmitt corporation Regensburg, which saw in the availability of our stone-mason shops and labor forces after the attack on Regensburg at that time a favorable opportunity for the immediate partial transfer of their production. Altogether 4,000 prisoners will work there after the expansion. We produce now with 2,000 men 900 sets of engine cowlings and radiator covers as well as 120,000 single parts of various kinds for the fighter ME 109.
"In Oranienburg we are employing 6,000 prisoners at the Heinkel works now for construction of the HE 177. With that we have supplied 60% of the total crew of the plant." * * *
"The movement of manufacturing plants of the aviation industry to subterranean locations requires further employment of about 100,000 prisoners. The plans for this employment on the basis of your letter of 14 Feb. 1944 are already under way.
"I shall keep you, most honored Reichsmarshal, currently informed on this subject.

"Heil Hitler ( " [initialled] HH" (1584-III-PS)

Inclosed with that letter was a report in tabular form of the number of prisoners being used in each of the concentration camps, the total man-hours for the month of January 1944, and the type of production in which such prisoners were engaged. That report is signed by Pohl, the Chief of WVHA (1584-III-PS) . The total appearing under the column "Number of prisoners planned" is 90,785; under the column "Number of prisoners used," 35,839; and under the column "Man-hours-January," 8,733,496. (1584-III-PS)

The extent to which the number of prisoners was increased through SS efforts is illustrated by a report from Office Group D of WVHA, 15 August 1944:

"Subject:

Report of the number of prisoners and Survey of prisoners clothing type G and Z and the supply of G available.

"Reference:

Telephone call by SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Waschkau on 15.8.44." * * *
"With reference to the above-mentioned telephone call, I am sending herewith a report on the actual number of prisoners for 1.8.1944 and of the new arrivals already an-nounced, as well as the clothing report for 15.8.44.

"( 1). The actual number on 1.8.44, consisted of:

a. Male prisoners- 379,167
b. Female prisoners-145,119

"In addition, there are the following new arrivals:

1. From the Hungary program (antiJewish action)-90,000
2. From Litzmannstadt (Police prison and Ghetto)-60,000
3. Poles from the General Government -15,000
4. Convicts from the Eastern Territories-10,000
5. FormerPolishofficers-17,000
6. From Warsaw (Poles)-400,000
7. Continued arrivals from France approx./ 15,000-20,000

"Most of the prisoners are already on the way and will be received into the Concentration Camps within the next few days." (1166-PS)

(d) SS control of concentration camps and the ill treatment and murder of inmates.

The intensive drive for manpower to some extent interfered with the program already undertaken by WVHA to exterminate certain classes of individuals in the camps. This is shown by a letter from WVHA, Department D Concentration Camps, 28 March 1942, addressed to a number of concentration camp commandants and signed Leibenhenschel, SS Obersturmbannfuehrer:

"It became known through a report of a Camp Commandant that 42 prisoners out of 51 which were mustered out for the special treatment 14 f 13 again became capable of work after a period of time and therefore do not have to be directed to the special treatment. From this it appears that the selection of the prisoners is not being handled according to given directives. Only those prisoners are allowed to be directed to the examination commission who fulfill the given stipula-tions and who above all are no longer capable of work.
"In order to be able to fulfill the designated missions of the concentration camps, the working capabilities of every prisoner must be retained for the camp. The camp commandants of the concentration camps are requested to especially make this their aim." (1151-P-PS)

Another letter from WVHA, Department D Concentration Camps, 27 April 1943, addressed to a number of concentration camp com-manders, signed by Gluecks, SS Brigade Fuehrer and Major General of the Waffen SS, deals with the same point:

"The Reich Fuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police has decided, after consultation, that in the future only mentally sick (geisteskranke) prisoners may be selected for action 14 F 13 by the medical commissions appointed for this purpose.
"All other prisoners incapable of working (tubercular cases, bedridden cripples, etc.) are to be basically excepted from this action. Bedridden prisoners are to be drafted for suitable work which they can perform in bed.
"The order of the Reich Fuehrer SS is to be obeyed strictly in the future.
"Requests for fuel for this purpose, therefore, do not take place." (1933-PS)

The SS, however, was to some degree enabled to achieve both goals-that of increased production and of elimination of undesirable individuals, as shown by the agreement between Minister of Justice Thierack and Himmler on 18 September 1942 (654-PS). That agreement provided for the delivery of antisocial elements after the execution of their sentences to the Reichsfuehrer SS "to be worked to death."

The conditions under which such persons worked in the camps were well calculated to lead to their deaths. Those conditions were regulated by the WVHA. An illustration of WVHA manage-ment is to be found in an order directed to commandants of concentration camps, 11 August 1942, and issued by SS Brigade Fuehrer and General of the Waffen SS Gluecks, Chief of Office Group D of WVHA (2189-PS):

"The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police has ordered, that punishment by beating will be executed in concentration camps for women by prisoners-under the ordered supervision.
"In order to coordinate this order the main office chief of the main SS economic administration office, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS Pohl, has ordered, effective immediately, that punishment by beating will also be executed by prisoners in concentration camps for men." (2189-PS)

Even after their deaths, the prisoners did not escape the management of WVHA. A directive to the commanders of con-centration camps, 12 September 1942, signed by the Chief of the Central Office of Office Group D of WVHA, SS Obersturmbann-fuehrer Leibehenschel, provided:

"According to a communication of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and conforming to a report of the Chief of Security Police and SD in Prague, urns of deceased Czechs and Jews were sent for burial to the home-cemeteries within the Protectorate.
"Based on different 'events (Demonstrations, erecting of posters inimical to the Reich on urns of deceased inmates in halls of cemeteries in the home-communities, pilgrimages to the graves of deceased inmates, etc.) within the Protectorate, the delivery of urns with the ash remnants of deceased Nationals of the Protectorate and of Jews is henceforth prohibited. The urns shall be preserved within the Concentration Camps. In case of doubt about the preservation of the urns oral instructions shall be available at this agency." (2199-PS)

(e) SS use of concentration camp labor for pecuniary profit.

The SS regarded the inmates of concentration camps as its own personal property to be used for its own economic advantage. The suggestion in Himmler's letter to Goering, will be recalled, that the SS be given a larger responsibility in the armament program conducted in the camps (1584-III-PS). As early as 1942 Speer recognized that the SS was motivated by the desire for further profits when he suggested to Hitler in a conference on 20, 21, and 22 September that the SS receive a share of the war equipment produced by concentration camp labor in ratio to the working hours of the prisoners (R-124). The Fuehrer agreed that a 3 to 5 percent share would satisfy SS commanders (R-124).

Himmler himself frankly admitted his intention to derive profits for SS purposes from the camps in his speech to the officers of the SS Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" (1918-PS):

"* * * The apartment-building program which is the prerequisite for a healthy and social basis of the entire SS as well as of the entire Fuehrercorps can be carried out only when I get the money for it from somewhere ; nobody is going to give me the money, it must be earned, and it will be earned by forcing the scum of mankind, the prisoners, the profes-sional criminals to do positive work. The man, guarding these prisoners, serves just as hard as the one on close-order drill. The one who does this and stands near these utterly negative people will learn within 3 to 4 months * * * and we shall see: In peacetime I shall form guard-battalions and put them on duty for 3 months only-to fight the inferior being (Untermenschentum), and this will not be .a boring guard duty, but if the officers handle it right, it will be the best indoctrination on inferior beings and the inferior races. This activity is necessary, as I said; 1. to eliminate those negative people from the German people ; 2. to exploit them once more for the great folk community by having them break stones and bake bricks so that the Fuehrer can again erect his grand buildings; and 3. to in turn invest the money, earned soberly this way, in houses, in ground, in settlements so that our men can have houses in which to raise large families and lots of children. This in turn is necessary be-cause we stand or die with this leading blood of Germany and if the good blood is, not reproduced we will not be able to rule the world." (1918-PS)

(4) Functions and activities with respect to human experiments.

One aspect of SS control over concentration camps remains to be. mentioned-its direction of the program of biological experi-ments on human beings which was carried on in the camps. An American military tribunal has passed judgment on some of the SS members who participated in these experiments at Dachau. The purpose of this discussion is to show only that those experi-ments were the result of SS direction and that the SS played a vital part in their successful execution.

The program seems to have originated in a request by Dr. Sigmund Rascher to Himmler for permission to utilize persons in concentration camps as material for experiments with human beings, in connection with research he was conducting on behalf of the Luftwaffe. A letter dated 15 May 1941, addressed to the Reichsfuehrer SS and signed by S. Rascher reads in part 'as follows :

"For the time being I have been assigned to the Luftgaukom-mando VLL, Munich for a medical course. During this course, where researches on high-altitude flights play a prominent part (determined by the somewhat higher ceiling of the English fighter planes) considerable regret was expressed at the fact that no tests with human material had yet been possible for us, as such experiments are very dangerous and nobody volunteers for them. I put, therefore, the serious question: can you make available two or three professional criminals for these experiments? The experiments are made at Bodenstuendige Bruefstells fuer Hoehenforschung der Luftwaffe, Munich. The experiments, by which the subjects can, of course, die, would take place with my cooperation. They are essential for researches on high-altitude flight and cannot be carried out, as has been tried, with monkeys, who offer entirely different test-conditions. I have had a very confidential talk with a representative o f the air forces surgeon who makes these experiments. He is also of the opinion that the problem in question could only be solved by experiments on human persons. (Feeble-minded could also be used as that material.) " (1602-PS)

Dr. Rascher promptly received assurance that he would be allowed to utilize concentration camp inmates for his experiments.

A letter dated 22 May 1941, addressed to Dr. Rascher and bearing the signature of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Karl Brandt, reads in part:

"Shortly before flying to Oslo, the Reichsfuehrer SS gave me your letter of 15 May 1941, for partial reply.
"I can inform you that prisoners will of course be gladly made available for the high-flight researches. I have informed the Chief of the Security Police of this agreement. of the Reichsfuehrer SS, and requested that the competent official be instructed to get in touch with you." (1582-PS)

The altitude experiments were conducted by Rascher. In May 1942 General Field Marshal Milch on behalf of the Luftwaffe expressed his thanks to the SS for the assistance it furnished in connection with the experiments. This letter, dated 20 May 1942, addressed to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff reads in part:

"In reference to your telegram of 12 May our sanitary inspector reports t o me that the altitude experiments carried out by the SS and Air Force at Dachau have been finished. Any continuation of these experiments seems essentially unreasonable. However the carrying out of experiments of some other kind, in regard to perils at high seas, would be important. These have been prepared in immediate agreement with the proper offices; Major (M. C.) Weltz will be charged with the execution and Capt. (M. C.) Rascher will be made available until further orders in addition to his duties within the Medical Corps of the Air Corps. A change of these measures does not appear necessary, and an enlargement of the task is not considered pressing at this time.
"The low-pressure chamber would not be needed for these low-temperature experiments. It is urgently needed at an-other place and therefore can no longer remain in Dachau. "I convey the special thanks from the supreme commander of the Air Corps to the SS for their extensive cooperation. "I remain with best wishes for you in good comradeship and with "Heil Hitler ! "Always yours "s/ s E. Milch" (343-PS)

Having finished his high-altitude experiments, Dr. Rascher proceeded to experiment with methods of rewarming persons who had been subjected to extreme cold. On 10 September 1942 he rendered an intermediate report on intense chilling experiments which had been started in Dachau on 16 August (1618-PS). That report states:

"The experimental subjects (VP) were placed in the water, dressed in complete flying uniform, winter or summer com-bination, and with an aviator's helmet. A life jacket made of rubber or kapok was to prevent submerging. The experiments were carried out at water temperatures varying from 2.5║  to 12║." * * *
"Electrical measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4║ in the stomach and 26.5║ in the rectum. Fatalities occurred only when the brain stem and the back of the head were also chilled. Autopsies of such fatal cases always revealed large amounts of free blood, up to 1/2 liter, in the cranial cavity. The heart invariably showed extreme dilation of the night chamber. As soon as the temperature in these experiments reached 28║, the experimental subjects (VP) died invariably, despite all attempts at resuscitation." * * *
"During attempts to save severely chilled persons (Unterkuehlte), it was shown that rapid rewarming was in all cases preferable to slow rewarming, because after removal from the cold water, the body temperature continued to sink rapidly. I think that for this reason we can dispense with the attempt to save intensely chilled subjects by means of animal heat.
"Rewarming by animal warmth-animal bodies or women's bodies-would be too slow." (1618-PS)

Although Rascher was of the preliminary opinion that rewarm-ing by women's bodies would be too slow, means for conducting such experiments were nevertheless placed at his disposal. A letter from the Reichsfuehrer SS, signed Himmler, 16 November 1942, and addressed to Lt. General Pohl, the head of WVHA, read as follows:

"The following struck me during my visit to Dachau on the 13 Nov 1942 regarding the experiments conducted there for the saving of people whose lives are endangered through exposure (Unterkuhlung) in ice, snow, or water and who are to be saved by the employment of every method or means:
"I had ordered that suitable women are to be set aside from the Concentration Camp for these experiments for the warm-ing of these who were exposed. Four girls were set aside who were in the Concentration Camp due to loose living, and being prostitutes, they formulate a danger of contagion. * * *" (1583-PS)

To insure the continuance of Rascher's experiments, Himmler arranged for his transfer to the Waffen SS. 'A letter dated November 1942 from the Reichsfuehrer SS addressed to "Dear Comrade Milch," stated:

"You will recall that through General Wolff I particularly recommended to you for your consideration the work of a certain SS Fuehrer, Dr. Rascher, who is a physician of the air force on leave (Arzt des Beurlaubtenstandes der Luftwaffe).
"These researches which deal with the behavior of the human organism at great heights, as well as with manifestations caused by prolonged cooling of the human body in cold water, and similar problems which are of vital importance to the air force in particular, can be performed by us with particular efficiency because I personally assumed the responsibility for supplying asocial individuals and criminals who deserve only to die (todeswuerdig) from concentration camps for these experiments." * * *
"I beg you to release  Dr. Rascher, Stabsarzt in reserve, from the air force and to transfer him to me to the Waffen-SS. I would then assume the sole responsibility for having these experiments made in this field, and would put the results, of which we in the SS need only a part for the frost injuries in the East, entirely at the disposal of the air force. However, in this connection I suggest that with the liaison between you and Wolff a "non-Christian" physician should be charged, who should be at the same time honorable as a scientist and not prone to intellectual theft and who could be informed of the results. This physician should also have good contacts with the adminstrative authorities, so that the results would really obtain a hearing.
"I believe that this solution-to transfer Dr. Rascher to the SS, so that he could carry out the experiments under my responsibility and under my orders-is the best way. The experiments should not be stopped; we owe that to our men. If Dr. Rascher remained with the air, force, there would certainly be much annoyance ; because then I would have to bring a series of unpleasant details to you, because of the arrogance and assumption which Professor Dr. Holzloehner has displayed in the post of Dachau-who is under my command-about me in utterances delivered to SS Colonel Sievers. In order to save both of us this trouble, I suggest again that Dr. Rascher should be transferred to the Waffen SS as quickly as possible." (1617-PS)

Rascher's experiments were by no means the only experiments in which the SS was interested. Without attempting even to out-line the whole extent of the experimental program, one further illustration of this type of SS activity may be mentioned. That is a report prepared by the Chief Hygienist in the office of the Reich Surgeon of the SS and Police, SS Oberfuehrer Dr. Mrugowsky, 12 September 1944, relating to experiments with poisoned bullets.

"On 11 September 1944, in the presence of SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Dr. Ding, Dr. Widman and the undersigned, experiments with Akonotinnitiate bullets were carried out on five persons who had been sentenced to death. The caliber of the bullets used was 7.65 cm and they were filled with the poison in crystal form. Each subject of the experiments received one shot in the upper part of the left thigh, while in a hori-zontal position. In the case of 2 persons, the bullets passed clean through the upper part of the thigh. Even later no effect from the poison could be seen. These two subjects were therefore rejected * * *."
"The symptoms shown by the three condemned persons were surprisingly the same. At first, nothing special was noticeable. After 20 to 25 minutes, a disturbance of the motor nerves and a light flow of saliva began, but both stopped again. After 40 to 44 minutes a strong flow of saliva appeared. The poisoned persons swallowed frequently, later the flow of saliva is so strong that it can no longer be controlled by swallowing. Foamy saliva flows from the mouth. Then, a sensation of choking, and vomiting start." (L-103)

The next three paragraphs describe in coldly scientific fashion the reactions of the dying persons. That description then concludes:

"At the same time there was pronounced nausea. One of the poisoned persons tried in vain to vomit. In order to succeed he put 4 fingers of his hand, up to the main joint, right into his mouth. In spite of this, no vomiting occurred. His face became quite red.
"The faces of the other two subjects were already pale at an early stage. Other symptoms were the same. Later on the disturbance of the motor nerves increased so much that the persons threw themselves up and down rolled their eyes and made aimless movements with their hands and arms. At last, the disturbance subsided, the pupils were enlarged to the maximum, the condemned lay still. Massetercramp and loss of urine was observed in one of them. Death occurred 121, and 129 minutes after they were shot." (L-103)

The fact that SS doctors engaged in such experiments was no accident. It was consistent with an ideology and racial philosophy which, to use Himmler's own words, regarded human beings as lice and offal. But the most important factor was the fact that only the SS was in a position to supply necessary human material. And it did supply such material through WVHA. A letter from the Department Chief of Office Group D of WVHA, 12 May 1944, addressed to the commandants of all concentration camps dealt with the assignment of prisoners for the experimental purposes:

"There is cause to call attention to the fact that in every case permission for assignment has to be requested here before assignment of prisoners is made for experimental purposes.
"To be included in this request are number, kind of custody, and in case of aryan prisoners, exact personal data, file number in the Main Reich's Security Office and reason for detainment into the concentration camp.
"Herewith, I explicitly forbid assignment of prisoners for experimental purposes without permission." (1751-PS)

It was on the basis of its ability to supply such material that the Ministry of Finance was prepared to subsidize the SS experi-mental program. This matter was discussed in a series of letters between the Ministry of Finance, the Reichs Research Department, and the Reich Surgeon of the SS and police (002- PS). The first is from the office of the Executive Council of the Reichs Research Department, addressed to the Reichs Surgeon SS and Police, 19 February 1943, and signed by Mentzel, Chief of Bureau, SS Brigade Leader:

"The Reichs Minister of Finance told me that you requested 53 leading positions (BES. GR C3-C8) for your office, partly for a new research institute.
"After the Reichsmarshall of the Great German Reich had, as President of the Reichs Research Dept., entrusted himself with all German research, issued directives among other things, that in the execution of military important. scientific tasks, the available institutions including equipment and personnel should be utilized to the utmost for reasons of necessary economization (of effort ).
"The foundation of new institutes comes therefore only in question in as far as there are no outstanding institutes available for the furtherance of important war research tasks." (002-PS)

To this letter the Reich Surgeon of SS and Police replied on 26 February 1943:

"In acknowledgment of your correspondence of the 19th Feb. 1943, I am able to reply the following to it today:
"The appropriation for the 53 key positions for my office which you made the basis of your memorandum was a veritable peace plan.
"The special institutes of the SS which are to be partly staffed through this appropriation are to serve the purpose to establish and make accessible for the entire realm of scien-tific research, the particular possibilities of research only possessed by the SS." * * *
"I will gladly be at your disposal at any time to discuss the particular research aims in connection with the SS, which I would like to bring up upon the direction of the Reichs Direc-tor SS." (002-PS)

An interview between the Reich Surgeon and Mentzel took place, and on 25 March 1943 Mentzel wrote the following letter to the Reich Minister of Finance:

"In regard to your correspondence of the 19th Dee (J, 4761-174 I g III. Ang) to which I gave you a preliminary commu-nication on the 19th Feb, I finally take the following position:
"The Surgeon General-SS and Police, in a personal discus-sion, told me that the budget claim which he looks after is used primarily in the pure military sector of the Waffen SS. Since it is established on a smaller scale for the enlarging of scientific research possibilities, they pertain therefore exclusively to such affairs that are carried out with the material (Prisoners-' Haflinge') which is only accessible to the Waffen SS and are therefore not to be undertaken for any other experimental purposes.
"I cannot object therefore on the part of the Reichs Experimental Counsel against the budget claims of the Surgeon General, SS and Police." (002-PS)

SS Nuremberg Charges Part V
SS Nuremberg Charges Part III

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 18/01/99
Stuart.Stein@uwe.ac.uk
ęS D Stein

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