Talk:Nazi human experimentation

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Former good article nominee Nazi human experimentation was a Natural sciences good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Why Remove the Name of the Nazi Officer from the Account?[edit]

Someone removed the name Dr. Wichtmann, from this brief account as it originally appeared: In the summer of 1942 in Baranowicze, Poland, experiments were conducted in a small building behind the private home occupied by Nazi SD Security Service officer Dr. Wichtmann, in which "a young boy of eleven or twelve [was] strapped to a chair so he could not move. Above him was a mechanized hammer that every few seconds came down upon his head." The boy was driven insane from the torture. That name is recorded by an eye witness who worked for some time in Wichtmann's private home, as made clear by the easily accessible source provided in the footnote. Did it violate a standard or the scope of this article to include the name? Bob Enyart, Denver radio host at KGOV (talk) 14:40, 4 November 2012 (UTC)


This article seems rather biased. All it does is list ways in which the Nazis were evil to Jews, nowhere is there any mention of the success or failure of the experiments, any results or any knowledge gained. Now, I'm not saying that there neccessarilly was any good science being done, but the article should at least try to establish that, instead of just going on and on about how horrible Nazi treatment of Jews was. (talk) 15:31, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

The introduction is rather POV, and far too emotional to meet Wikipedia guidelines.JohnC (talk) 01:02, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe it's Wikipedia's role to determine if these experiments were a "good science". (talk) 14:37, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

I think needs to be some mention of the fact that the results of the experiements are viewed as not scientifically valid, and not just unethical, by many. The results of the experiments fail all the tests of fair and valid science because there were no controls - the background of the 'patients' (any pre-existing conditions, medical history etc.) is not known, and the conditions they were kept in were incomparable to those the results would be applied to (starving camp prisoners compared to fit and healthy soldiers, for example), and this affected the experiments' outcomes. The lack of background knowledge means it can't really be applied to patients or experiments today. Wikipedia shouldn't determine whether or not this is 'bad science', but it should reflect the fact that a debate exists. ( (talk) 11:18, 9 October 2013 (UTC))

Source does not support statement - Twin Experiments[edit]

The cited source for the assertion that twins were sewn together in an attempt to create conjoined twins says nothing of the sort (FN8). I am rather skeptical of this —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

This is believed to be true, though you were correct about the source not support it. I have added a better source. AniMate 06:38, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Early discussion[edit]

I paraphrased the first 2 sections as I was unsure about copyright. Someone else pasted in the rest. I hope it was OK to paste. I don't know if it was copyright. Barbara Shack 07:28, 30 January 2004 hahahaha I have now copyedited, expanded, merged in some material from the Mengele article, and added links to other relevant articles. -- The Anome 14:06, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

You should note the the first head of the german institute for aerospacemedicine was a defendant in that trial. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 01:39, 20 March 2004.

unanswered questions[edit]

how did this whole thing get going in the first place? the results obtained from these "experiments" are miniscule in comparison with the financial and organisational cost of setting them up..... and vanishingly small when compared to the tortures inflicted on the victims... how did the impetus behind organising all this nonsense evolve? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

While it's speculation, I'm guessing that it was just another use for what the Nazis saw as 'human waste.' Any minor benefit from these prisoners would be better then just wasting them. And actually, the organization for all this would be minimal compared to the gas chambers et al. It might even be the Nazi Oberfurher of the camps themselves humoring the medical staff with human guinea pigs, a 'fatherly' sign of favor? Who knows but those responsible and they are mostly dead. (talk) 06:54, 26 June 2010 (UTC)


are there any reports analyzing the overall results of these experiments? was any worthwhile science achieved during this horrible process, ignoring the moral crimes? Vroman 05:24, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

In brief, no. The issue was raised some years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine in reference to the ethics of using or publishing the results of Nazi research, particularly the Dachau hypothermia "experiments". Several pertinent points were made:
  • United States Brigadier General Telford Taylor stated "these experiments revealed nothing which civilized medicine can use" (i.e., they have no utility)
  • Arnold Relman, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine pointed out that one cannot trust results reported by men willing to grossly violate all human standards (i.e., they have no credibility).
  • If these experiments had not been carried out, science would be no different today. (i.e., they had no significance)
  • The methodology is so substandard it can hardly be considered science at all. (i.e. they had no validity)
  • The theories espoused were so suffused with racial ideology as to make them worthless.
  • Others, of course, argued that there was data that could be salvaged, and that it was moral so to do.
  • What is, however, clear is that these experiments were so crude they produced no important information and no significant discoveries. - Nunh-huh 06:04, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Would it be useful to move move the above arguments to the main article? I looked up on this subject primarily to see if the results of these experiments were used later, in addition to why/why not. --mabahj 23:56, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

However, keep in mind that, during the times of the trial, Leo Alexander, U.S. Medical Army Corps, same man who proposed the Nuremberg Code, found the studies to be conducted in a reliable manner. ----

No more pain[edit]

I am fully aware that all these experiments are dehumanizing and inflicted unbearable suffering onto the victims. However, stating several times "they suffered and had great pain" does not contribute to the impact or the image of this subject. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Blikschade (talk • contribs) 23:20, 30 June 2005.

I agree with this assessment and find it offensive that so many adjectives are used to describe the suffering of the Jews. I think this is bordering on POV. 22:45, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
I was thinking the same thing as I read this page: it seems unnecessary to keep repeating that the victims suffered pain after the descriptions of the experiments which make the pain quite clear. That's three votes for and none against, so I'll make the change. If anyone wants to revert, it's fine, but please give reasons. 17:46, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

i wanted to raise a similar point : referring to research subjects/participants as, well, subjects, is not common anymore, but does still suggest some kind of ethical research code. The experiments were not carried out in such ethical manner, perhaps the style of writing should emphasize this. i suggest using "victims, sufferers, cases". (talk) 00:45, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

HELLO!? This article does list ways that experimentation victims suffered, yet it does not even begin to list the pain of the sufferers, the survivors, and the families left behind. If you're going to be like that to those people, talk somewhere else. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Were the victims given anesthetic or at least some pain reliever? (talk) 20:05, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Numbers of Subjects/Victims[edit]

This sentence appears to make no sense. Can someone clarify? "The central leader of the experiments was Dr. Josef Mengele, who performed experiments on over 1,500 sets of imprisoned twins, of which fewer than 1 million individuals survived the studies." 1500 sets is 3000 individuals. How can 1 million individuals have survived? This should probably be deleted if it cannot be corrected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The article states "large numbers of people" were experimented upon, are there any ballpark figures as to exactly how many were subjected to experimentation? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Killridemedly (talk • contribs) 18:38, 3 October 2005.

Shame on You
I think it is wrong that this article partially condones the Nuremberg Experimentations. In this article, it says that although these experiments were wrong, they did hold dubious scientific value . It is wrong to say that the deliberate annihilation of the Jewish race, in the name of science, is condoned.If these experiments hold, "dubious scientific value", then why were these literally mad scientist put on trial for their CRIMES. They werent worthwhile scientific hypothesis' being tested, they were CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!!!!!!!! -----Andrew N. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 16:34, 8 December 2005.
You might want to look up the word "dubious" in a dictionary. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 15:30, 9 December 2005.

I have to agree with about the numbers on Mengele's twin experiments: 1500 sets of twins is 3000 people; the statement about 1 million people makes no sense at all. Also in the same paragraph, the statement about Munich being one of Hitler's focal points during the revolution -- what revolution? German history is not my specialty, but I recall no revolution associated with Hitler. He was elected to office. I believe some clarification is required in this section, but leave it to someone with greater knowledge. (talk) 04:35, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

That's just vandalism. The correct number is 200. AniMate 05:40, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


I think that MORE should be written on the UNscientific experiments performed by Mengele and others on prisoners. I speak of the dissection of live infants; the surgical removal, sans anesthesia, of the heart of a living and fully conscious person; the sex changes performed on adolescents who didnt want them... This article paints these vicious men as true scientists, by focusing solely on the experiments they performed which may have had some scientific value. The men who performed these experiments are the same men who committed the aforementioned acts of sheer violence. We should not leave these other, unscientific violent acts unmentioned when we speak of these men. I request that someone with a deeper well of historical knowledge undertake this. -- Erika. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 18:44, 6 December 2005.

Errr, whether a not the adolescents 'wanted' the sex change operations doesn't affect their scientific value in the slightest--if the surgeon notes that procedure XYZ failed to produce an aesthetically or functionally appealing vagina/clitoris/penis, well then that sounds like a scientific observation to me. The lack of consent from the subject doesn't magically make the experiment unscientific. And I imagine that dissection of an live infant or the removal of a live heart could actually reveal a great deal--tissues behave very differently with they are ALIVE. (Anesthesia, too, affects things like heart rate.) A corpse that has been dead for merely an hour has already undergone substantial chemical and physical changes. But even if I am wrong and these brutal details didn't contribute to science, you are most certainly wrong in saying that they detracted from science. Science doesn't care about whether the subjects suffered or not. Neither making them suffer more NOR making them suffer less will inherently affect the scientific validity of an experiment. I emphasized "inherently" because, as I have just shown, there are conceivably some applications where being more cruel can yield more information (and there are likewise similar cases where being less cruel yields more information.) Science does not REQUIRE morality. Am I in favor of moral science and moral scientists, and against scientists who would commit these atrocities? ABSOLUTELY. But, my reasons for opposing them are moral, not scientific.
It's an important distinction to make. Saying that they're immoral and should never be repeated is VASTLY different from saying that they're immoral AND unscientific. If you want to argue about their records and the *scientific* (not the moral) aspects of their methodology, go right ahead... but (by analogy) just because someone is--let's say--a murderer and a rapist, that doesn't automatically mean that person is also a thief and a counterfiter and a jaywalker and a pigfucker. In other words, it's possible for someone to be a shitty human being and yet still be a decent scientist. --Lode Runner 05:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Results, again[edit]

This is copied from Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science:

Did any of those awful non-consensual experiments make any significant or lasting contributions to medical knowledge? moink 04:13, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

This question is addressed at Talk:Nazi human experimentation. Short answer, no. Melchoir 06:19, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The U.S. made a secret deal with Shiro Ishii, Unit 731, and Unit Ei 1644 leaders that germ warfare data based on human experimentation would be offered in exchange for immunity from war-crimes prosecution in 1948. The US also made secret deals with Nazis. How many have not been since unclassified is unknown. WAS 4.250 16:02, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Untrue, I recall reading in Hans Rudel's book, Stuka Pilot, there was a discovery about how pilots could survive in freezing water. This was discovered using human experimentation. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 15:00, 7 March 2006.
Ah. That deserves checking on, if anyone has access to the book. I'll copy this discussion to the talk page. Melchoir 02:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Melchoir 02:25, 8 March 2006 (UTC)


1. Why did Dr.Mengele take a liking to dwarves, gypsies, twins, and infants?

2.I have heard that Dr. Mengele was phycologically normal. How is this possible?

1: Dwarves, gypsies and twins seem logical. And to some degree infants as well.
Gypsies are, like jews, a more or less "pure" race they dont intermarrige with other races on any larger scale.
Thus it seems logical to test gypsies, jews and germans to discover and document
any difference between the races to underline the germen superiority.

Twins seems logical as well, two absolutely identical individuals to be used in same experiment.
In the same way docters today use 2 groups to try out new drugs, one drug group and one control group.

Dwarwes were back then a raciel mystery, why did some people give birth to dwarfs, had this to do with ancestory? Was the dwarf superior to the jew?
What where the fysiological differences between dwarfs and normal people, did they respond differently to drugs and so forth. I don't know about infants, but it might be due to the difference in regeneration capacaties and imune defenses between infants and adults.

Hope it helps... -- 15:16, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I always thought that the Jews intermarried frequently. Look at the Sephardi Jews and the Ashkenazi Jews.Caval valor 15:22, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

The followning is a quote from the Ashkenazi Jews article.
"For roughly a thousand years, the Ashkenazi Jews were a reproductively isolated population in Europe, despite living in many countries, with little inflow or outflow from migration, conversion, or intermarriage with other groups, including other Jews. Human geneticists have identified genetic variations that have high frequencies among Ashkenazi Jews, but not in the general European population. (...) But since the middle of the 20th century, many Ashkenazi Jews have intermarried,"
As the aricle clearly states, the race was very very pure until the middle of the 20th century. Which is around 1950, and that is after the experiments were conducted. -- 16:52, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

  • But from what I have heard, there was plenty of inflow of genes down the centuries from children conceived by Jewish women's sexual services being demanded by non-Jewish feudal overlords and suchlike. Anthony Appleyard 17:14, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I have purposefully refrained from answering your question until now, because first of all. I'm not in the mood to disguss human experimantation and mass murder during christmas. Second, because your question is off-topic and i really hate clogging up talk pages with off-topic chatter. The inflow from feudal lords you mention is negligabel. And have had no influence on the purity of the jewish blood. If you want a longer explanation, ask in the Ashkenazi Jews talk pages. -- 01:53, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

On this page we say that *all* of the people Mengele experimented on were dissected. On another page we say that at least a few of the people he experimented on were killed simply to be dissected. This is obviously an inconsistency and calls for citations. 04:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Little scientific value?[edit]

"Almost all of Mengele's experiments were of little scientific value"

I question this statement, because testing drugs on living subjects is commonly done on animals such as dogs or monkeys to this day, and is indeed a federal requirement for new drugs. Utilizing actual humans as test subjects is actually better, since a monkey isn't modeling a human's reaction to a drug, it's modeling a monkey's reaction to a drug. Using an actual human, models a human acurately, and is of scientific value.

While human experimentaion is cruel, I think this statement is POV in attempting to debunk the usefulness of such experimentations. Malamockq 16:10, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps he didn't follow the scientific method? - Francis Tyers · 15:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Trying to claim this is "POV" is ludicrous. Read Baumslag and Weindling for your answer. For example, Mengele injected dye into children's eyes to see if he could change their eye color. By no stretch of the imagination would that be an experiment of any scientific value. Mengele also removed organs and limbs just to see what would happen to the victims. Again, not a valid scientific experiment. Mengele would also shock people with increasingly higher voltages just to see what would happen, another invalid scientific experiment. 23:37, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
"For example, Mengele injected dye into children's eyes to see if he could change their eye color. By no stretch of the imagination would that be an experiment of any scientific value."
You're wrong--it's perfectly scientific. Or rather, it could be--I do not know all of the grisly details--but your opinion of goal of the scientific endeavor does not have any bearing on whether or not it is, in fact, a scientific endeavor. Let's put aside the humanitarian issues for a moment (Yes, it was wrong. He was evil. I'm not justifying what he did. Etc.) and pretend that it was a Beverly Hills doctor performing the experiments on willing test subjects, with the intention on marketing the eye coloring-changing surgery to the rich and vain. He does the experiments, notes the complications (chance of blindness?), notes whether the dye is permanent (and if not, how long it lasts), etc. The fact that the goal is, in my (and apparently yours too) opinion utterly stupid and cruel does not preclude it from being science. Proving that it's possible to inject dye into someone's eye without causing blindness is science. Proving that it's NOT possible to inject dye into someone's eye without causing blindness is also science. My point is, "stupid" science is still science, regardless as to whether or not you agree that the thing being tested has any merit.
"Mengele also removed organs and limbs just to see what would happen to the victims."
Again, I do not know the details, but it very well could be scientific. If he found out that most people can live for around an hour after a hand amputation, well, that's a notable discovery is it not? Even if he didn't do anything like test out various methods of stopping the blood flow, the research could still conceivably have applications, e.g. in triage.
I don't like the guy and I do NOT agree that it was worth the cost in human lives, but that doesn't make it bad science. If you're going to argue that he didn't do ANY methodical collection of data or make any attempt at all to follow the scientific method, then fine--but the mere subject matter alone is not enough to call him unscientific. --Lode Runner 23:13, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

In order for the experiments to have true value they must be performed using very specific and controlled criteria. An experiment must be able to be recreated for it to be valid. There would be no way to exactly recreate these experiments (morality aside) because they did not provide the proper documentation. The eye-color changing experiment for example, Mengle left no documentation about the exact chemical structure of the dye and made no effort to be sure that each of the experiments in one group were performed in exactly the same manner, with exactly the same amount of dye, etc. Had these doctor's controlled their experiments and provided the copious documentation required to fulfill the "must be repeatable" clause, then there is a distinct possibilty that their work would have been of useful. However, their slipshod manner and blatant disregard for the rules of proper research techniques insured that they can be remembered only as cruel frauds. BonnieJosephine 19:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

While I still cannot specifically comment on whether Mengele's experiments were scientifically sound, you are wrong in implying that ALL Nazi human experimentation was bereft of scientific merit. See the the "Citations of Shame" section--apparently, the Nazi's cruel experiments did at least give us an insight into how to treat hypothermia.
You have to understand, even if Mengele's (or any of the other experimenter's) data was incomplete or shoddy, that does not render them completely useless to science. Science uses the best data at its disposal--if the evidence is anecdotal but is at least plausible and theoretical, then perhaps it is "worth investigating." If there are some small studies done that show significant results, but the methodology wasn't closely monitored--the test subjects were not sufficiently random, the instruments perhaps not ideally suited, causality not sufficiently isolated, etc.--then there is a tentative, but still very useful scientific link. Scientists endeavor to build up to a reasonably reliable foundation of proof, but sometimes this is not always possible--indeed, in this case it may be completely impossible to build upon (and thus replace) the detestable Nazi data. Not because we lack the money or the desire, but because we are not willing to commit the same immoral behavior. You CAN'T do a large-scale, randomly-selected, double-blind study on the lifesaving effects of rewarming methods as applied to people who are chilled nearly to the point of death. You can use other primates (which have fur, different metabolisms, etc.) as test subjects, but that's still not anywhere near the surefire reliability that human subjects provide (in a scientifically-controled environment, mind you... no, field studies on accidental hypothermia victims are NOT the same--the variables involved are far too, er, variable.) Thus, it may be that the Nazi data on hypothermia will be quoted for a long, long time to come. It is BECAUSE it is so morally reprehensible that it is irreplaceable--if the experiment can never be duplicated (let alone improved), then it will always remain the best data available. --Lode Runner 04:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Pardon my ignorance, I am usure how to cite the above statements I made. There is an excellent Wiki article on the Scientific Method, seen here, that supports my conclusion that these experiments can have no scientific value. 17:02, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

There is a guide to citing Wikipedia articles here. The best citation would be a book by an expert in the field, including page number and ISBN. Web sources are more problematic, ranging from random blogs, which are not acceptable, to the websites of respectable academic bodies, such as United States Holocaust Memorial Museum [1], which are fine. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 17:17, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Squiddy. Okay, citations for my statements, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer of the USDA (, Office of Science and Technology, USA (, and Office of Science and Innovation, UK ( Does that work? I'm new to this and would like to help without being that irritating newbie.

I agree with Lode Runner. How do we know that Mengle left no documentation on his experiments? Isn't it likely that he would destroy such things to prevent them from incriminating him? If he honestly wanted to know if dye would change person's eye color, he would have conducted the tests properly and with correct documentation, otherwise the test would serve no purpose. If he wanted to just torture people, there are other ways to do that other than with experiments like this. He was testing various things on humans and observing their results. It was cruel, but cruel isn't necessarily the same as unscientific. For example, a man got a nobel prize for lobotomy, and that was first tested on humans which involved the deaths of two people. In any case we probably don't know enough about his experiments to say if they were scientific or not, so we shouldn't make the claim either way. If this is a neutral encyclopedia, we must always remember that. 23:31, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree: on the page we're talking about, we read "The full extent of Mengele's work will never be known because the two truckloads of records he sent to Dr Otmar von Verschuer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute were destroyed by the latter." I think that pulls the rug from under any claim that his work was definitely void of scientific merit. - Alec.brady 20:12, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

"The full extent of Mengele's work will never be known because the two truckloads of records he sent to Dr Otmar von Verschuer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute were destroyed by the latter."

== So your saying no results were made availible? So it has no value? and then you say it cant be said theres no value?

And read the above clown, he didnt record results, there are assistants of his who wittnessed his "work" saying it held no value and it was HEAVILY biased by his own views on race. He spent YEARS trying to prove a disease caused by malnutrition was racialy based.

I can tell you that peer-reviewed medical journals even today contain many reports of studies, both retrospective and prospective, that are flawed to the point that their conclusions cannot be trusted. This is often not recognized by their authors or the reviewing peers and journal editors, because the defects are not necessarily easy to spot except by experienced medical statisticians. Sometimes the error is in claiming a therapeutic effect for which the evidence is inadequate, and sometimes there is a claim that no effect exists, when upon critical appraisal it is found that the study was insufficiently powered to justify that conclusion. My point would be that, if legitimate biomedical research in peer-reviewed journals is error-prone, and therefor lacking in scientific value, or is even scientifically pernicious, how much more likely is that to be the case of experiments conducted in "cowboy" fashion without peer review by apparent moral defectives? Just asking. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:15, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

With regard specifically to the scientific value of the hypothermia experiments, a special article in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that, "On analysis, the Dachau hypothermia study has all the the ingredients of a scientific fraud, and rejection of the data on purely scientific grounds is inevitable. They cannot advance science or save human lives." ... "Future citations are inappropriate on scientific grounds." The full citation of this article, and more information from it, are here. --AJim (talk) 05:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Possible POV[edit]

I'm fairly sure the "Citations of shame": referring to Nazi results in later work section is POV, so I tagged it to be checked. Paj.meister 15:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

The Daily Telegraph is not WP and has no obligation to maintain NPOV on anything. Could you provide a fascimile of this article, for starters? Until I see evidence otherwise, I assume that there is a conversation on the scientific community about how to deal w/ Nazi research, and we should report on this contours of this conversation, rather than informing the world that citing Nazi research is at best slightly shameful. Readers can verify the claim "some people claim citing the Nazis is shameful," but the sources don't bear out a stronger claim about what is generally accepted. 04:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I would say that the citation noted above, on its own, does not warrant the POV tag. What does warrant the POV tag in this case, is that these types of citations are provided as the information for the section "References to Nazi results in scientific work". There is not much talk about references to nazi results, rather, the section is on the ethics of doing that. If the section was retitled, much (but not all) of the POV problems would be dealt with. I'd vote for changing the title of this section to "Ethical considerations in citing Nazi results", emptying but keeping the "References to Nazi results in scientific work" section, and keeping the POV tag until the section is tweaked to not represent the POV that "nazi work should always be condemned when cited". For example of another POV, consider a scientist who might condemn the Nazi work personally, but feels that condemning the Nazi work in his published paper was not appropiate. Mystyc1 00:16, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It seems that here we in the Wikipedia community are ordered by Wikipedia to be NPOV in reporting an order that in another community (the general scientific community) there is an order to be non-NPOV about a matter. Anthony Appleyard 07:37, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
The section was titled "Citations of shame" (with the dbl quote marks) until quite recently. Several of the external links in the section use this phrase in the title, and as Mystyc1 points out, the section is more about the ethical considerations in using Nazi experimental results than about the actual use of those results. I'd favour going back to the earlier title, but the section needs work (ie using the external links as refs for some actual prose). As usual, we take an NPOV stance, but if the majority of scientists think that it's shameful to cite Nazi results, we can of course say so. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 09:52, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I would think that there are some occurrences, mostly historical, where the whole of humanity has a certain point of view(im not saying SHOULD have as that would be a very unconstitutional statement, but that they DO have), or at least is societally or instinctually encouraged to have a certain point of view(again i dont mean forced, but encouraged, and yes there are some points of view you arent exactly allowed to have and still function in normal society *cough*serial killers*cough*). Is Wikipedia so concerned about offending people that they would determine it necessary to take into account the offense of people who according to the generally accepted views of society really have no right to such offense on the basis either they would not in turn extend that courtesy or that their views would be so ridiculous as to be hardly worthy of note to anyone of marginal intellectual capabilities? Put simply, who the h**l cares if we offend nazis when a.) there are no REAL nazis to offend and b.) they GREATLY offended more people than i think i will ever meet in my lifetime. Also, in regards to my point a. abovem do a sufficient amount of said people still exist to take offense or is it some percieved minority that in reality does not exist? to me, "nazis" are as to the real nazis as people termed "Goth" are to members of the Church of Satan. they not only in truth have nothing to do with the originating society but are generally uneducated as to the specifics of that society anyway and so could not really have a basis for offense as they are a third party. It would be like me, a part irish, part german, part english, part irish whiteboy taking offense at the N word. A ridiculous notion to be sure. On a final note, if wikipedia DOES worry about offending these sort of people i think they need not worry as when in doubt it is generally better to side with all of humanity than a minority. For i can say that i, and I'm sure most people out there would be quite offended by a portrayal of the nazis actions in world war II as anything BUT negative. (with the possible exception of the fact that they contributed quite a bit to the field of medicine) Thus is it better to offend many or to offend a few( and at that a few that is not documented to exist)?

Nope, unsigned. Wrong. You are essentially stating that wikipedia should pander to the majority. Whilst I don't agree with the nazi view point, it is a dangerous and slippery slope to simply start excluding groups based on what the majority think, after all, what does the majority think? And why limit ourselves to the Nazi's? There are plenty of other groups in the world that I (and others) would disagree with. At what point should we say 'We can discriminate against group X but not Y' and lets be clear, what you propose amounts to discrimination.

What is being discussed hear is a very evocative and controvertial topic, however the best and indeed, by Wiki rules, only way to tackle it by being NPOV. Information on what was carried out should be stated in a NPOV manner in the article. If a link is provided to NPOV material then I'm not sure what the policy is. Perhaps rather than using the link name it could be modified to read "An article on the subject by XYZ". Lets please maintian the NPOV 13:43, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Mustard gas[edit]

what is mustard was mentiond erlier but never really explaind what it was.

good point, I've linked to the relevant article, mustard gas. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 18:48, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Needs Tweaking[edit]

According to their respective articles, typhus and tetanus aren't bacteria. Also, "The extreme winters of Auschwitz made a natural place for this experiment." This isn't a proper sentence: 'made this a natural place...' Unless the weather near Auschwitz is more severe than the rest of the country, 'the winters of Germany' is a more accurate statement. I think this whole article needs an overhaul. 15:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

According to their respective articles, both typhus (caused by Rickettsia) and tetanus (caused by Clostridium tetani) are bacterial diseases. So that portion is correct.

Germany is a VERY large country, so yes weather near Auschwitz may very well be different from other parts of Germany. I mean, in the U.S. California is hot while New York is freezing cold. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:49, 21 April 2007 (UTC).

Auschwitz or Oświęcim is in Poland, not in Germany. Please check the map. 00:40, 22 April 2007 User:

Which proves his point, now the land mass in discussion is even bigger.


Someone tagged a portion and it was deleted. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gothsavant (talkcontribs) 23:42, 29 April 2007 (UTC).

I believe Dr Rascher was executed by the SS for abusing prisoners ( maybe for kidnapping? kids - there is little written about him, most everything that you see appears to be "imaginative", hard to tell what is a lie ). The SS shot him before the war ended. The information we hear came largely from Dr Blaha ( Blaha diescripts in great detail his knowledge of and Rascher work in gassing prisoners - Only one small problem noone was ever gassed at Dachau - But at least Blaha tried to be of help.) I believe. Robert Wolfe of the National Archives has a completely different take on the fatality rate, etc of his experiments and the trustworthiness of information on Rascher. ( Interestingly, Mr Wolfe claims that the US was doing similar experiments at the same time as the Nuremeberg trials were in progress - on unsuspecting civilians, not condemned prisoners.) 17:32, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

American experiments on unsuspecting civilians or army conscripts was worse than Nazi experiments on prisoners. The true American attitude to atrocities is indicated by their cover-up of Japanese medical experiments (and their own), and vilification of German experiments. The only difference is that there were no Jews in American or Japanese experiments. It used to be said that history is written by the victor. If so the Jews must have won the war.JohnC (talk) 01:13, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

A dubious allegation at best ... and off topic for this page anyway. The whole point of NPOV is that we don't waste time arguing who was "teh mostz evulls" ... or engaging in tedious antisemitism. (talk) 15:17, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Dr. Mengele[edit]

  • Under "See also", Mengele is reffered to as "Dr." The Universities of Munich and Frankfurt revoked his degrees in 1964. He should not be listed as a doctor. See the article on mengele. This should be removed. Ostap R 03:06, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Officially. But very many people still know him as "Dr. Mengele". Anthony Appleyard 05:18, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
    • And, when his crimes were committed, he was indeed a doctor, regardless of what retroactive action was taken regarding his degrees. (Wow, while I was looking at the list there I found a piece of vandalism I missed reverting last November...) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:50, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Fetal Experiments[edit]

I recall reading about numerous experiments by Nazi "Doctors" on fetus, surgeries, extractions, examinations. They arranged for women to get pregnant and performed at least weekly removals to document the progress of a fetus in the womb. I think more should be given on what happened to Mengele after teh War. I found an article that said he fled to Brazil and was given credit for an adnormally high rate of twin births to German women. (Dan, V. (n.d). Mengele had no hand in rise in twin births. USA Today, Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Malibu065 (talkcontribs) 00:43, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

References to Nazi results in scientific work edit[edit]

Under "References to Nazi results in scientific work" it is not fair or showing a neutral POV to state that "It is widely considered unacceptable to cite Nazi data without any comment or qualification" without a direct reference to any study citing such results. Thus, the comment was removed. Lordkyran 11:13, 2 August 2007 (UTC)Lordkyran

Old woman's tale?[edit]

Writer's please get this article up to the standard of an encyclopedia. I am no professional. But as i was reading it, i was suprised how many times the citations were missing. If the article is kept like this it has no value. Its an old woman's tale. Please, increase the standard and include some citations. Where did the writers get the numbers of people tested for example? There has to be credible sources stating all these. Otherwise just delete this article and put it in your blogs.

I have come across this article by watching a documentary on a survivor of this incident. Its a really sad story. But by putting it in this way just harms the truth of what has happened. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree and am adding references. AniMate 23:18, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

The current version of the article is basically a very good listing, with details, of many of the various experiments done by Nazi scientists during the regime. However, very little, if any, information is included on the aftermath of these experiments, and I think a section covering this is necessary for the article to be complete. I therefore cannot say that it meets the Good article criteria, and cannot promote it at the present time. That being said, it is still very good, and I think I can safely promote the article from the Start-class up to the B-class.

Other issues include:

  • The lead section is far too short, and doesn't summarize the article. Please see WP:LEAD for more information on improving this section.
  • You might be able to reduce the amount of links in the 'see also' section by removing links to articles that are mentioned previously in the article, which shouldn't appear in 'see also'. For example, the link to Josef Mengele is unnecessary since it's linked to in the 'experiments on twins' section.
  • Eliminate the subsections under 'further information'; list all sources alphabetically (whether print or video; you might want to distinguish that the one source is a video by putting "(video)" or "(film)" at the end of the source. Or, better yet, see WP:CITE for information on how to properly cite a film or documentary. Move the items in the 'internet' subsection to the 'external links' main section.
  • Reference citations in the 'references' section should be fully cited; external links need more information than just the link. Include author, title, publisher, date of publication, date URL was retrieved, so that if the link ever disappears, the citation can still be used to track down and verify the content being cited.

Hope this helps improve the article! Good luck! Dr. Cash (talk) 18:51, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


I won't do the deletion myself because I'm just a passerby, but I think the following sentence (from the Freezing Experiments section) quote should be reconsidered. "The German forces were ill prepared for the bitter cold. Thousands of German soldiers died in the freezing temperatures or were debilitated by cold injuries." I think the preceding sentence is all the justification we need; continuing to talk about it sounds like someone wants me to nod and say "OK, I can hear that." (talk) 00:44, 25 February 2008 (UTC) well i disagree i think the idea of death and debilitation of an order of magnitude o troops is of more interest to a tactical analysis of any campaign —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

GA Review 2[edit]

The article has definitely improved from the previous GA review. The main issue holding this article back from GA status is "Broad in coverage". This is a really big topic, which has generated a lot of historical scholarship; this makes it a very tough subject to cover broadly. Something that is missing throughout the article is historical context. A good article on this topic should address the major issues scholars have written about with this topic, such as:

  • The standards of human experimentation and human rights at the time (e.g., informed consent; see [2])
  • The social and cultural conditions in Germany that made these experiments possible (see the many works on Nazi medical ethics)
  • The connections between the sterilization experiments (among others) and Nazi eugenics
  • More detail about the discussions over citing Nazi research (this is a pretty big topic)
  • More about survivors of the experiments, and the roles they have played in subsequent developments in medical ethics
  • The significance of each type of experiments needs to be discussed (both historical significance and significance for the Nazi doctors and the Nazi regime)

Some good starting points for scoping out the breadth of historical and other issues related to Nazi human experimentation might be: Medicine, Ethics, and the Third Reich: Historical and Contemporary Issues edited by John J Michalczyk (1994); this historiographical article, if you have institutional access; a recent popular book, Doctors from hell: The horrific account of Nazi experiments on humans by Vivien Spitz, a Nuremberg court reporter (2005).--ragesoss (talk) 19:24, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

"Twins" Section[edit]

Why is this section, for the most part, a biography of Mengele? It just seems wrong to me... (talk) 03:42, 11 June 2008 (UTC)Oyster


The constant mentioning that the experiments were done without patient consent should be rephrased. Patient consent is a fairly new idea and was not required or given at that time for most experiments either in the Axis countries or among the allies. The article makes it seem that this absence of patient consent was unique to the Mengele experiments. Maybe this could be rephrased to reflect this. Weeddude (talk) 14:28, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

This issue of wether or not informed consent was part of German medicine is actually raised here: Nazi_human_experimentation#Aftermath. AniMatetalk 22:58, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

The first sentence of this article describes Nazi medical "experiments" as "controversial"....[edit]

So, do you mean to suggest that someone, somewhere is arguing that they had value? Are you kidding? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Trigley (talkcontribs) 00:34, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there is some argument that they did have value. Please read Nazi_human_experimentation#Modern_ethical_issues. AniMatetalk

22:55, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that "controversial" is an inaccurate description because there is no reasonable point of view other than they were abhorent. You might as well say that the existance of the flat earth society makes the idea that the earth is spherical "controversial."
The Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing claimed in his autobiography that he saw X-ray film footage of a human whilst at university. He claimed the film was from nazi experimentation sources. When he asked how they could use such footage, considering the subject would have died in great pain, he was asked how they could not make use of them when someone died to provide them ( (talk) 08:59, 1 May 2011 (UTC)).


I am concerned that nazi human experimentation is referred to as controversial. What is controversial about it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

They're controversial because some of the results are in fact used today. Please read Nazi_human_experimentation#Modern_ethical_issues for some insight into this. AniMatetalk 22:54, 21 March 2009 (UTC)`

Sulfonamide section[edit]

Sorry to be anal, but gas gangrene and tetanus are not bacteria, they are the resulting pathologies. Have ammended the section as necessary. Bassophile (talk) 11:56, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

That's not anal, good work! (talk) 23:51, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Category:Political repression in Nazi Germany[edit]

Maybe also political, but mostly racial/national.Xx236 (talk) 10:08, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Proposed name change to Human subject research in the Nazi Germany[edit]

You may be interested in my proposed rename proposal at Talk:Human_subject_research#Human_subject_research_vs_human_experimentation_.28NPOV_title.29. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:12, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Dr. Mengele Afterwards?[edit]

Shouldn't thre be more information on what happened to Mengele? I found an article that is interesting that says he fled to Brazil and was given credit for a abnormally high birth rate for twins among German women. (Dan, V. (n.d). Mengele had no hand in rise in twin births. USA Today, Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Malibu065 (talkcontribs) 00:46, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Try the Josef Mengele page. (talk) 15:14, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Learning tools to increase credibility?![edit]

I know that many see this topic as an inhumane and unethical tragedy but does this mean that learning tools cannot be posted. While pictures and footage may be graphic, they would add great detail and credibility to this article. An encyclopedia article should display the facts and part of that would be examples whether they be photos, interviews and footage. This article displays one picture thus far and could use a little more credibility. Visual cues such as photos could express the tragedy without the article being biased through its words. A youtube video can be found at and pictures on the web as well. Things such as these would dramatically change the overall reliability. Allstar295 (talk) 10:17, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Incendiary bomb experiments - Phosphorus[edit]

Mention should be made of the use by Israel of White Phosphorus bombs in the 2008-2009 Gaza war [3]. The capacity of human beings to learn from past inhumanities in order that they might not be repeated is questionable, to say the least. There would seem to be irony in this demonstration of the continued inhumanity of humans to other humans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Still has nothing to do with the topic of the page. Take your rant somewhere else. (talk) 15:12, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Children of Bullinhuser Damm.jpg[edit]

The image File:Children of Bullinhuser Damm.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --07:36, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

The image has fair use justification under Wiki rules. It is of direct interest to the article and section, and is of considerable educational use. Peterlewis (talk) 18:33, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


Were the victims given anesthetic or at least some pain reliever? I'm just wondering if they really had to go through all of that while wide awake. (talk) 20:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Freezing Experiments Table[edit]

The second last table cell (Verweildauer im Wasser) means 'Time in Water' or 'Length of time in Water', not Length of Time in bath. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Fixed, thanks for pointing it out. Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 09:36, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Were all the experiments coerced?[edit]

The title paragraph says that all the experiments were involuntary and coerced, yet testimonies on quick google searches suggest that the prisoners were convicted criminals sentenced to death and that some were willing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

... that's what you get from a "quick Google search". Although it's amazing what you can bribe starving people to volunteer for with food, and likewise what they'll agree to to step out of the line for a gas chamber. Nietzsche was right about the nature of hope. As for "convicted criminals sentenced to death" ... look at the accounts above: Jews, Roma, Soviet POW ... convicted, possibly, but not of widely recognized crimes. (talk) 15:22, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Why not tell us more about these "testimonies"? Why hide them if they are out there on the web? Most convicted criminals were employed by the Nazis as kapos or camp guards, and known for their brutality to the innocent inmates.Peterlewis (talk) 17:32, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

The Nuremberg Code-A critique.[edit]

Should we discuss this?

Abstract The Nuremberg Code drafted at the end of the Doctor's trial in Nuremberg 1947 has been hailed as a landmark document in medical and research ethics. Close examination of this code reveals that it was based on the Guidelines for Human Experimentation of 1931. The resemblance between these documents is uncanny. It is unfortunate that the authors of the Nuremberg Code passed it off as their original work. There is evidence that the defendants at the trial did request that their actions be judged on the basis of the 1931 Guidelines, in force in Germany. The prosecutors, however, ignored the request and tried the defendants for crimes against humanity, and the judges included the Nuremberg Code as a part of the judgment. Six of ten principles in Nuremberg Code are derived from the 1931 Guidelines, and two of four newly inserted principles are open to misinterpretation. There is little doubt that the Code was prepared after studying the Guidelines, but no reference was made to the Guidelines, for reasons that are not known. Using the Guidelines as a base document without giving due credit is plagiarism; as per our understanding of ethics today, this would be considered unethical. The Nuremberg Code has fallen by the wayside; since unlike the Declaration of Helsinki, it is not regularly reviewed and updated. The regular updating of some ethics codes is evidence of the evolving nature of human ethics. Ref:

Abhijeet Safai (talk) 07:12, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

98.6° Fahrenheit[edit]

The article does not state what normal body temperature is in Celsius. Varlaam (talk) 21:02, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


The article has been vandalized, with the random insertion of "eww" and "yucky". I'm not sure how to fix it, I just thought I should bring it to someone's attention. (talk) 07:42, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Done. RashersTierney (talk) 13:06, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Killings for anatomical studies[edit]

Perhaps killings for anatomical studies should be treated here too. (Or added as a related topic.) For very many years after the war the "Voss-Herrlinger", as it was known for short, was the reference textbook for each and every student of human medicine in Germany (east and west). Both authors were in fact deeply involved in nazi-murders for the sole purpose of obtaining human material for their studies. (Although insiders seemed to have known about their past, it was deeply concealed and only came to light very much later on.) See: Hermann Voss, Hermann Voss (Anatom), german WP and Robert Herrlinger, german WP -- CaffeineCyclist (talk) 16:22, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I found a citation on lack of anesthesia for the transplantation section[edit]

But I don't have a Wikipedia account, so someone else can add it. (talk) 12:26, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Time in water[edit]


Excuse my ignorance, but can somebody please explain this form of time notation? I do not understand what this type of notation is to mean. Thanks. 2602:304:59B8:1B69:3DFE:8698:6402:748A (talk) 22:15, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

I suspect the tick mark reflects minutes, akin to the use of ticks and double-ticks for minutes and seconds of arc. I've seen people swim for two minutes in essentially 0 degree C water, and not die from it, so the only other possibility (seconds) seems less likely. --j⚛e deckertalk 04:46, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Mescaline experiemnts[edit]

What is the reason for the complete absence of the notable mescaline experiments at Dachau? Viriditas (talk) 02:17, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Twins - there were nowhere that number. Also most are still alive and belong to a group of survivers. What a garbage article. Is there any documentation - other than witness claims? (talk) 15:32, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 September 2014[edit]

Please could we put the word "cure" in quotation marks? I'm referring to the opening paragraph, discussing homosexuality. The medical and psychiatric establishment now accepts that there is no "cure" for homosexuality. The Wiki article on quotation marks has this to say about their usage "Quotation marks are also used to indicate that the writer realizes that a word is not being used in its current commonly accepted sense". As homosexuality cannot be cured, it should be in quotation marks. Thanks (talk) 21:23, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. As this is a bit more historical, I think not using the quotation marks in that way makes more sense - the Nazis seem to have been trying to cure homosexuality when they did these experiments, and presumably it was thought at the time that it was possible Cannolis (talk) 22:11, 28 September 2014 (UTC)