Eichmann On Medical Experimentation
Summary: Eichmann discusses Ahnenerbe and medical experimentation with Captain Avner Less, of the Eichmann interrogation team, along with the acquisition of skulls and skeletons for ‘research’ purposes.
LESS: Did your work bring you into contact with Ahnenerbe [Ancestral Heritage], the Institute for Scientific Study of Ends and Purposes, in Berlin?
EICHMANN: No, no, no!
LESS: Did you know SS-StandartenfÅhrer Dr. Sievers, the director of Ahnenerbe?[Ahnenerbe was a typical brainchild of Himmler’s, a faithful reflection of his character. Its aims were at once chaotic and romantic. It encouraged utter unscrupulousness on the grounds that the end justifies the means. Its high-sounding title covered such diverse undertakings as experimentation on living concentration-camp inmates and the study of Germanic pre-history. Professor Dr. Wolfram Sievers was the director of this obscure institute.]
The second document is a report by this Professor Hirt. “Re: Procurement of the skulls of Jewish-Bolshevistic commissars for scientific research at the University of Strassburg.” I quote:
“Extensive skull collections from nearly all races and people are in existence. It is only of Jews that so few skulls are available to science that work on them admits of no secure findings. The war in the East now offers us an opportunity to make good this deficiency. In the Jewish-Bolshevistic commissars, who embody a repulsive and characteristic type of subhuman, we have the possibility of acquiring a reliable scientific document by acquiring their skulls. The smoothest and most expeditious way of obtaining and securing this provision of skulls would be to instruct the Wehrmacht to hand over all Jewish-Bolshevistic commissars immediately to the military police. The person charged with securing this material (a young physician or medical student belonging to the Wehrmacht or better still to the military police) is to prepare a previously specified series of photographs and anthropoligical measurements. After the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head must not be injured, he will separate the head from the trunk and send it, immersed in a preserving fluid, in well-sealed lead containers made especially for this purpose, to the designated address.”
von Lang, Jochen, ed., in collaboration with Claus Sibyll. Eichmann Interrogated: Transcripts from the Archives of the Israeli Police. Translated from the German by Avner W. Less. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983.
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