Such was the polluted atmosphere of Birkenau, a hell unto itself.
Here the Nazis trampled on the most private of all rights.
This book's first excerpt from Olga Lengyel Five Chimneysdescribed the loss that resulted when she arrived Auschwitz with her family. Like Gisella Perl, however, Lengyel's medical training led to work in the camp's "hospitals." There she witnessed how "the Nazis trampled on the most private of all rights."
The Germans had thousands of prisoners at their disposal. At any moment, women, men, and even children could be and were selected as human guinea pigs. Nazi doctors forcibly subjected these unfortunate people to so-called medical experiments. Often sadistic, usually bizarre, few, if any, of these experiments bad any true scientific value. Many of them, however, did exemplify what the logic of Nazi racism and sexism entailed: control of reproduction.
Professor Dr. Carl Clauberg was one of the leaders of the sterilization experiments at Auschwitz. Repeatedly during its entries for 1944, Danuta Czech Auschwitz Chronicle indicates that Clauberg kept hundreds of women available for his work. Lengyel's position in the camp during much of that year made her "well informed on the sterilization experiments," because she tried her best to care for their victims. There was not much she could do to heal the abuse they had experienced. Lengyel stresses that men were targeted as well as women, but in that same hell the horrors differed. Their bodies subjected to X-ray and short-wave ray" procedures, their genitals infused with caustic substances, their uteruses and ovaries surgically removed--in these experiments, and more, women bad fundamental aspects of their womanhood stripped away. The brutal techniques of the Nazi doctors often killed