Nazi human experimentation was a series of medical experiments on large numbers of prisoners, including children, by Nazi Germany in its concentration camps in the early to mid 1940s, during World War II and the Holocaust. Chief target populations included Romani, Sinti, ethnic Poles, Soviet POWs, disabled Germans, and Jews from across Europe.
Nazi physicians and their assistants forced prisoners into participating; they did not willingly volunteer and no consent was given for the procedures. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, trauma, disfigurement or permanent disability, and as such are considered examples of medical torture.
At Auschwitz and other camps, under the direction of SS Sturmbannführer Eduard Wirths, the Chief SS doctor (SS-Standortarzt), selected inmates were subjected to various hazardous experiments that were designed to help German military personnel in combat situations, develop new weapons, aid in the recovery of military personnel who had been injured, and to advance the Nazi racial ideology. SS Hauptsturmführer Dr. Aribert Heim conducted similar medical experiments at Mauthausen.
After the war, these crimes were tried at what became known as the Doctors’ Trial, and revulsion at the abuses perpetrated led to the development of the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics. The Nazi physicians in the Doctors’ trial argued that military necessity justified their torturous experiments, and compared their victims to collateral damage from Allied bombings. But this defense, which was in any case rejected by the Tribunal, cannot apply to the twin experiments of SS Hauptsturmführer Josef Mengele , which were performed on children and had no connection to military necessity.
The best estimates of the number of victims at the Auschwitz concentration camp complex, including the killing center at Auschwitz-Birkenau, between 1940 and 1945 are: Jews (1,095,000 deported to Auschwitz, of whom 960,000 died); Poles (147,000 deported, of whom 74,000 died); Roma (23,000 deported, of whom 21,000 died); Soviet prisoners of war (15,000 deported and died); and other nationalities (25,000 deported, of whom 12,000 died).
It is estimated that the SS and police deported at least 1.3 million people to the Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, the camp authorities murdered approximately 1.1 million.
SS Sturmbannfuhrer Wirths was captured by the Allies at the end of the war and held in custody by British forces. Later, on 20 September 1945, knowing that he would surely face trial for numerous war crimes, Wirths committed suicide by hanging, age 36.
SS Hauptsturmführer Aribert Heim is alleged to have lived for many years in Cairo, Egypt under the alias of Tarek Farid Hussein and reportedly died there of intestine cancer on 10-08-1992, age 78 and is buried on the cemetery for the poor in Cairo, Egypt.
SS Hauptsturmführer Mengele’s, escaped to Brazil, health had been deteriorating for years, and he died on 07-02-1977, in Bertioga, Brazil, where he accidentally drowned, or possibly suffered a stroke, while SS swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.