Block 10

Block 10 was the medical experimentation block in Auschwitz. German doctors, most of whom also participated in selections applied for permission to come work in Block 10 at Auschwitz with human subjects.

Block 10 was a balance of horrors. Being an experimental subject could prolong life, or end it immediately. An inmate assigned here might undergo skin testing for reaction to relatively benign substances, or receive a phenol injection to the heart for immediate dissection. Doctor Mengele, the most evil man in Auschwitz, reigned here; Dr. Ernst B.protected and saved many inmates here.

Block 10 was in the mens' camp, but most inmates were women. Prostitutes were also housed here, for the benefit of "elite" prisoners (mostly Germans).


Dr. Clauberg--sterilization by injection

His method was to inject a caustic substance into the cervix in order to obstruct the fallopian tubes. He chose as experimental subjects married women between the ages of twenty and forty, preferably those who had borne children...He had experimented with different substances, but was very secretive about the exact nature of the one he used, probably intent upon protecting any medical discovery from research competitors...

Dr. Clauberg ordered me to lie down on the gynecological table... Dr. Clauberg used this needle to give me an injection in my womb. I had the feeling that my stomach would burst with the pain. I began to scream so that I could be heard through the whole block.

Lifton pp. 271-278.

Clauberg was imprisoned in the Soviet Union, then repatriated to Germany, where he returned to medical practice, proudly claiming "to have perfected an absolutely new method of sterilization" which would be "of great use today in certain cases." Due to an outcry by survivor groups, he was arrested in 1955 and died mysteriously in his cell in 1957.


Horst Schumann--castration

Schumann performed the Xray experiments described elsewhere.


SS Captain Dr. August Hirt--murder for The Racial Museum

Hirt selected thirty-nine women for their racial characteristics:

[They] were given a sham physical examination for reassurance, then gassed....the corpses were immediately transported to the anatomy pavilion of the Strasbourg University Hospital. A French imate, who had to assist the project's director...told how "preservation began immediately," with the arrival of bodies that were "still warm, the eyes...wide open and shining." There were two subsequent shipments of men, from each of whom the left testicle had been removed and sent to hirt's anatomy lab.

Hirt was captured at Strasbourg by French troops, who found

"many wholly unprocessed corpses,"many "partly processed corpses", and a few that had been "defleshed...late in 1944," and their heads burned to avoid any possibility of identification...

Hirt killed himself shortly after. Lifton, pp. 284-287.


Culture media

When animal meat became a rarity, human flesh was used as culture media:

"Since the SS stole the meat used to produce the culture media, the chief SS physician found it very simple to replace it with human flesh"... In Auschwitz, then, human flesh was more expendable than valuable animal meat...

Lifton, 289.


Exports

The supply of victims at Auschwitz was so plentiful, they were exported anywhere else experimental subjects were needed:

eight prisoners from Auschwitz sent to Sachsenhausen for experiments with epidemic hepatitis...twenty Jewish children, ages five to twelve, transferred from Auschwitz to Neuengamme in Hamburg, where they were subject to injections of virulent tubercular serum and to other experiments, until they were removed from Neuengamme and secretly murdered just before the arrival of Allied troops.

Lifton, 301.