From Clinic to Concentration Camp: Reassessing Nazi Medical and Racial Research, 1933-1945, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

From Clinic to Concentration Camp

Reassessing Nazi Medical and Racial Research, 1933-1945, 1st Edition

Edited by Paul Weindling


376 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781472484611
pub: 2017-05-02
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315583310
pub: 2017-04-28
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Representing a new wave of research and analysis on Nazi human experiments and coerced research, the chapters in this volume deliberately break from a top-down history limited to concentration camp experiments under the control of Himmler and the SS. Instead the collection positions extreme experiments (where research subjects were taken to the point of death) within a far wider spectrum of abusive coerced research. The book considers the experiments not in isolation but as integrated within wider aspects of medical provision as it became caught up in the Nazi war economy, revealing that researchers were opportunistic and retained considerable autonomy. The sacrifice of so many prisoners, patients and otherwise healthy people rounded up as detainees raises important issues about the identities of the research subjects: who were they, how did they feel, how many research subjects were there and how many survived? This underworld of the victims of the elite science of German medical institutes and clinics has until now remained a marginal historical concern. Jews were a target group, but so were gypsies/Sinti and Roma, the mentally ill, prisoners of war and partisans. By exploring when and in what numbers scientists selected one group rather than another, the book provides an important record of the research subjects having agency, reconstructing responses and experiential narratives, and recording how these experiments – iconic of extreme racial torture – represent one of the worst excesses of Nazism.

Table of Contents

Part One: Contexts

1. Introduction: A New Historiography of the Nazi Medical Experiments and Coerced Research

[Paul Weindling]

2. The use and abuse of medical research ethics: The German Richtlinien / guidelines for human subject research as an instrument for the protection of research subjects – and of medical science, ca. 1931 – 1961/64

[Volker Roelcke]

3. The Society of German Neurologists and Psychiatrists and Research in the Context of Eugenics and "Euthanasia"

[Hans-Walter Schmuhl]

Part Two: Clinics and the Sciences

4. Research on the Boundary between Life and Death: Coercive Experiments on Pregnant Women and their Foetuses during National Socialism

[Gabriele Czarnowski and Sabine Hildebrandt]

5. August Hirt and the supply of corpses at the Anatomical Institute of the Reichsuniversität Strassburg (1941–1944)

[Raphael Toledano]

6. Nazi Anthropology and the Taking of Face Masks. Face and Death Masks in the Anthropological Collection of the Natural History Museum, Vienna

[Margit Berner]

7. Beyond Spiegelgrund and Berkatit: Human Experimentation and Coerced Research at the Vienna School of Medicine, 1939 to 1945

[Herwig Czech]

8. Murdering the Sick in the Name of Progress? The Heidelberg Psychiatrist Cart Schneider as a Brain Researcher and ‘Therapeutic Idealist’

[Maike Rotzoll and Gerrit Hohendorf]

9. Der Kinderfachabteilung vorzuschlagen: The selection and elimination of children at the Youth Psychiatric Clinic Loben (1941-1945)

[Kamila Uzarczyk]

Part Three: Concentration Camps

10. Children as Victims of Medical Experiments in Concentration Camps

[Astrid Ley]

11. The story of how the Ravensbrück "Rabbits" were captured in photos

[Aleksandra Loewenau]

12. Rascher and the "Russians": Human Experimentation on Soviet Prisoners in Dachau – A New Perspective

[Nichola Farron]

13. Heißmeyer’s forgotten victims. Tuberculosis experiments on adults in Neuengamme 1944-1945

[Anna von Villiez]

Part Four: Legacies

14. From Witness to Indictee: Eugen Haagen and his Court Hearings from the Nuremberg Medical Trial (1946-47) to the Struthof Medical Trials (1952-1954)

[Christian Bonah and Florian Schmaltz]

15. Informed Testimonies: Physicians’ Accounts of Nazi Medical Experiments in the Context of Early Czechoslovak War Crimes Investigations, 1945–1948

[Michal V. Simunek]

16. Post-war Legacies, 1945-2015: Victims, Bodies, and Brain Tissues

[Paul Weindling]

About the Editor

Paul Weindling is Research Professor in the History of Medicine at Oxford Brookes University, UK. His research covers evolution and society, public health, and human experimentation post-1800. He has especial interests in eugenics, human experiments, corporate philanthropies in the field of international health, and medical refugees from Nazi Germany. He has published on victims and survivors of Nazi experiments and develops research on the thousands of victims and their body parts.

About the Series

The History of Medicine in Context

An interest in medicine is one of the constants that re-occurs throughout history. From the earliest times, man has sought ways to combat the myriad of diseases and ailments that afflict the human body, resulting in a number of evolving and often competing philosophies and practices whose repercussions spread far beyond the strictly medical sphere.

For more than a decade The History of Medicine in Context series has provided a unique platform for the publication of research pertaining to the study of medicine from broad social, cultural, political, religious and intellectual perspectives. Offering cutting-edge scholarship on a range of medical subjects that cross chronological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries, the series consistently challenges received views about medical history and shows how medicine has had a much more pronounced effect on western society than is often acknowledged. As medical knowledge progresses, throwing up new challenges and moral dilemmas, The History of Medicine in Context series offers the opportunity to evaluate the shifting role and practice of medicine from the long perspective, not only providing a better understanding of the past, but often an intriguing perspective on the present.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Modern / General