Among the medical experiments carried out on Block 10 was one involving the sterilization of unknowing prisoners by x-rays. These were conducted by Horst Schumann, a Nazi doctor who had previously been involved in euthanasia killings in Germany and who came to Auschwitz in 1941:

Experimental subjects--relatively healthy young men and women in their late teens or early twenties, who had been obtained by a previous day's order from the camps--were lined up in a waiting room and brought in one by one, often completely ignorant of what was to be done to them. Women were put between plates that pressed against abdomen and back; men placed penis and scrotum on a special plate. Schumann himself turned on the machine, which hummed loudly...many of the women emerged with what Marie L. called "substantial burns", which could become infected and take a long time to heal; and many quickly developed symptoms of peritonitis, including fever and severe pain and vomiting. Not long after the x rays, the women's ovaries were removed surgically, often in two separate operations...

Lifton, p. 281.

Among the women, there were pleurisies, suppurations, aggravations of pulmonary tuberculosis, and death. As for the men, after the X rays sperm was collected ("their prostates [were] brutally massaged with pieces of wood inserted into the rectum") and sooner or later one or both testicles were surgically removed, with resulting hemorrhages, septicemia, and death.

Lifton, p. 282.

A Greek-Jewish woman described her terror as she saw in a reflection "the blood pouring out as they opened my belly"; and then, after the two operations, "pus--like a pit from an infected wound, and a high temperature....pneumonia. My body swelled up, and there were marks when I pressed my arm [edema]. They gave me medicine. I was paralyzed... I couldn't move. My whole body was swollen up." In addition: "we knew we were like a tree without fruit... The experiment was that they were destroying our organs...We would cry together about this"; and "They took us because they didn't have rabbits."

Lifton, p. 282.

After the war, Dr. Schumann fled to Africa, where, remarkably, he worked tirelessly in remote areas saving victims of sleeping sickness and described himself as "having found the serenity and the calm necessary for the moral balance of a human being." He was repatriated to Germany in 1966, where in a greatly weakened condition after several years in custody, he was released without standing trial. In custody, he alternated between statements such as "It was terrible what we did," and other statements defending or denying his actions. He died in 1983. Lifton, p. 284.