Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Nazi Experiments

Written by Michael Wynands WWII was a time of all too real horrors. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Nazi Experiments. Delving deep into the atrocities committed by the Third Reich, we’ll be exploring the evil lengths to which Nazi Germany went with their inhumane scientific endeavors. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Nazi Experiments


WWII was a time of all too real horrors. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Nazi Experiments. Delving deep into the atrocities committed by the Third Reich, we’ll be exploring the evil lengths to which Nazi Germany went with their inhumane scientific endeavors.

#5: They Used Prisoners for Incendiary Bomb Research


The concentration camps operated by the Nazis will forever be remembered as one of the most shameful displays of human cruelty in history. Starvation, forced labor, physical abuse and the risk of execution were daily realities at the camps, but at Buchenwald, prisoners were also used as guinea pigs for research. Among the most notorious were the incendiary experiments carried out between 1943 and 1944. These experiments involved intentionally exposing prisoners to severe white phosphorus burns, in order to better understand the nature of the wounds caused by incendiary bombs, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of various treatments. White phosphorus, if you're wondering, results in chemical burns capable of eating down to the bone.

#4: They Conducted Survival Experiments


There will always be those who seek to push the human body to its limits, like real life Iceman, Wim Hof, who has trained himself to survive extreme cold. The key distinction here is that he’s wilfully subjecting his body to such trials. Testing the resilience of the human body without consent however… is torture, and that’s just what the Nazis did. In Dachau, the scientists purposely froze Jewish and Russian prisoners to the point where they passed out or died, to better educate themselves on cold weather before pushing the Eastern front. They also studied the effects of being at high altitudes using a pressurized chamber, as well as trying to make seawater drinkable, both of which reportedly killed most subjects.

#3: Prisoners Were Intentionally Exposed to Disease


Why would they do such a thing? Well, the scientists of the Third Reich clearly weren’t exactly concerned with morality or ethics, and saw their prisoner populations as opportunities to study infectious illnesses in a controlled environment in order to develop treatments. The various experiments were carried out at both the aforementioned Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps, as well as Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler and Neuengamme. To be clear, they weren’t interested in finding a cure for the common cold. The inoculations included such deadly diseases as epidemic jaundice or infectious hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid fever, yellow fever and typhus, and unsurprisingly claimed countless lives.

#2: Dr. Mengele & the Terror of Twins


If there’s one evil Nazi scientist whose name has etched its way into the mainstream, it's Dr. Josef Mengele. An SS Officer, Mengele was one of the leading medical minds of the Third Reich. After having requested a transfer to a concentration camp, Mengele took up his post as chief physician at Auschwitz, where he sent thousands of prisoners to their deaths in the gas chambers. It was here that he performed his inhumane genetic experiments, including his research on twins. Amputations, intentional introduction of disease and unnecessary blood transfusions were just a few of the techniques he employed and he reportedly even sewed two twins together. He was never captured.

#1: They Tried to Prove Jewish Inferiority with “The Jewish Skeleton Collection”


Though the Nazi concept of purity led them to persecute many groups, including the disabled, homosexuals, people of color, Slavs, Roma gypsies and more, the Jews were the primary target. So strong were the anti-Semitic views, that an anatomist at the Reich University of Strasbourg, August Hirt, actually developed a project known as “The Jewish Skeleton Collection” in order to scientifically validate the eugenic efforts of the regime. The “collection” claimed 115 victims, most of whom were selected for their stereotypically Jewish features, of which 86 were chosen to serve as part of the finished collection. The bodies were to be dissected, studied and ultimately preserved as skeletons, but thankfully, the course of the war changed and Hirt committed suicide before he and his colleagues could complete their gruesome work.

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