Reassessing Nazi Human Experiments and Coerced Research, 1933-1945: New Findings, Interpretations and Problems

Reassessing Nazi Human Experiments and Coerced Research, 1933-1945: New Findings, Interpretations and Problems

Paul Weindling / Marius Turda, Oxford Brookes University; Volker Roelcke, University of Giessen
Wadham College
United Kingdom
Vom - Bis
04.07.2013 - 07.07.2013
Prof Paul Weindling

Researching Experiment Victims – Findings and Problems

The victims of medical experiments and other forms of coerced research form a distinctive but still inadequately understood set of WW2 and Holocaust victims. The numbers and identities of victims, and the very diverse locations, have long only been known in terms of isolated clusters. The aim of this expert symposium is to build up a composite picture by piecing together fragmented victim records. Essentially the methodology is one of “record linkage” with the overall aim of reconstructing the total population (or at least as near to this as is possible) of victims. This provides the basis for a structural analysis in terms of victim cohorts, perpetrator profiles, and the agencies sponsoring such research.

The aim of this symposium is threefold: to present some overall findings, to consider critically weaknesses in terms of methodologies, and to indicate how using available resources (notably the ITS records) the research is being taken forward.

Podcasts of presentations will be available after the symposia.


Schedule for Thursday July 4th
15:30 – 16:45: Tea and Coffee in the Trap Room

17:00 – 19:00 Introductory Session: Victims as Populations
Chair: Volker Roelcke (University of Giessen)

Paul Weindling – Anna von Villiez – Aleksandra Loewenau (Oxford Brookes University) – Nichola Farron (Amsterdam): Researching Experiment Victims - Findings and Problems

Sabine Hildebrandt (Harvard University, Massachusetts): Current Status of Identification of Victims of the National Socialist Regime whose Bodies were used for Anatomical Purposes

19:15 – 21:15: Reception/Buffet Dinner in Wadham Hall

Schedule for Friday July 5th

9:00 – 10:30 First Session: Concentration Camp Research
Chair: Ryan Farrell (Oxford Brookes University)

Astrid Ley (Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum): Children as Victims of Medical Experiments. Why were Experiments made on Children in Concentration Camps?

Raphael Toledano (Struthof Museum, Schirmeck): Deliveries of Dead Bodies at the Anatomical Institute of the Reichsuniversität Strassburg between 1941 and 1944

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee in the Trap Room

11:00 – 12:30 Anne Sudrow (Centre for Contemporary Historical Research, Potsdam): Industrial Research in Concentration Camps – an Understudied Field of Nazi Human Experiments

Andreas Frewer (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg): Research in Slave Labour-Camps during National Socialism

Round Table Discussion: Evaluating Concentration Camp Research

12:30 – 14:00: Lunch in Wadham Hall

14:00 – 18:00 Second Session: Problematic Locations – Transnistria and Romanian Backgrounds
Chair: Marius Turda (Oxford Brookes University)

Paul Shapiro (USHMM, Washington DC): Vapniarka: A Special Camp with Special Sources

Vladimir Solonari (University of Central Florida): Fighting Typhus – Killing Jews: On Relations between Modern Science and Mass Murder in Romania-occupied South Ukraine, 1941-1942

15:30 – 16:00: Tea in the Trap Room

Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine (Paris): Mass killings of Jews in Ukraine (1941-1944): the Involvement of the Local Population as a Kind of Nazi Human Experimentation

Round Table: Transnistria, Romania, and Other Problematic Locations

20:30 Dinner at the Cherwell Boathouse

“Reassessing Nazi Psychiatric and Brain Anatomical Research, 1933-1945: New Findings, Interpretations and Concepts”

Schedule for Saturday July 6th

9:00 – 10:30 First Session: Psychiatric Experiments and Eugenics
Chair: Sheldon Rubenfeld (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston)

Maike Rotzoll (University of Heidelberg) and Gerrit Hohendorf (Technical University of Munich): Medical Research on the Victims of “Euthanasia” – Carl Schneider and the Heidelberg “Research Children” 1942-1945

Hans-Walter Schmuhl (University of Bielefeld): Ernst Rüdin’s Recommendations on Psychiatric-neurological Research during the War (1942)

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee in the Trap Room

11:00 – 12:30 Second Session: Use of the Psychiatric Hospital Patients for Medical Experiments

Herwig Czech (University of Vienna): Beyond Spiegelgrund and Berkatit: Human Experimentation and Coerced Research at Vienna University, 1939 to 1945

Kamilla Uzarczyk (Medical University of Wrocław): “Der Kinderfachabteilung vorzuschlagen”: Psychological examination of children at the Jugendpsychiatrische Klinik Loben

12:30 – 14:00: Lunch in Wadham Hall

14:00 – 16:00 Third Session: From Ghetto Research to Postwar Testimony
Chair: Sabine Hildebrandt (Harvard University, Massachusetts)

Margit Berner (Natural History Museum, Vienna): A Racial study of Jewish families in Tarnow, 1942

Marius Turda (Oxford Brookes University): The Bond of Complicity: Reading Miklós Nyiszli's Memoirs

15:30 – 16:00: Tea in the Trap Room

16:00 – 19:00 Fourth Session: Reading Memoirs, Testimonies and Compensation Claims

Chair: Sari Siegel (University of Southern California)

Christian Bonah (University Strasbourg) and Florian Schmaltz (MPIWG, Berlin): From Witness to Inditee : Eugen Haagen and his Hearings from the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (1947) to the Struthof Medical Trials (1952/1954)

Rakefet Zalashik (Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva): The Testimonies of Israeli Victims/Survivors: Specific Characteristics and Historical Values

20:00: Dinner at the Head of the River

Schedule for Sunday July 7th
9:00 – 12:30 First Session: From Survivor Testimony to Research Ethics

Michal Simunek (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague): Informed Testimonies: Medical Experiments in Nazi Concentration Camps In the Reports of Physicians-Prisoners from Czechoslovakia, 1945–1989

Gabriele Moser (University of Heidelberg): Ordinary Ethics: The Practice of X-Ray-/Radium-Sterilization in Nazi Germany and Associated Medical Scientific Research

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee in the Trap Room

Volker Roelcke (University of Giessen): Regulating Human Subjects Research: Scope, Limitations, and post-WW II Negotiations on the Research Guidelines/ Reichsrichtlinien of 1931

Concluding Discussion: Unresolved Issues and our Further Research


Paul Weindling

Dept of History, Philosophy and Religion, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0PE, UK

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