The experiments of Horst Schumann.

Horst

I have to warn you up front, this is not an easy read. I will try to stick to the facts and keep my emotions out of it, regardless on how difficult that will be. And I will keep it only to the experiments and the post war situation for Horst Schumann.

Horst Schumann  was an SS-Sturmbannführer and medical doctor who conducted sterilization and castration experiments at Auschwitz he was especially interested in the mass sterilization of Jews by using  X-ray radiation.

He worked at Block 30 at the women’s hospital, here set up an x-ray unit in 1942.                 (the picture below is from an x ray machine in Auschwitz but I don’t know if this one was used by Schumann)

x ray

Dr. Schumann did not have any particular qualifications for medical research. His duties prior to his research into sterilization involved the direction of killing centers and selection of victims.  By 1942, the doctor and his assistants were at work on X-ray sterilization experiments at Block 30 in Birkenau.  In these experiments, men and women had their reproductive areas exposed to a five to eight minute dose of X-rays. Depending on the intensity of the dose, this resulted in external burns or worse. Following exposure, some of the women and men underwent operations to remove reproductive organs for evaluation. Ovaries and testicles were removed and examined. The men also were subject to other brutalizing medical procedures involving semen extraction.  Many of the victims died from complications following the surgeries. The survivors were not as likely as others to survive assignment to work details in their weakened condition. Roughly one thousand male and female prisoners were subjected to X-ray sterilization with about two hundred of them undergoing follow-up extractive surgery.

(. Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (Basic Books, 2000), pp. 25, 247, 274-282.)

book

Both men and women were forcibly sterilized . They were positioned repeatedly for a number of minutes between two x-ray machines, the rays were aimed  aiming at their sexual organs. Most victims succumbed  to the treatment and died after great suffering, Either that or they were gassed because the injuries they sustained made them unfit to work .Men’s testicles were removed and sent to Breslau for histopathological examination. Schumann chose his test persons himself. They were always young, healthy, good-looking Jewish men, women and girls but who would often look like old people afterwards. Often the intestines were also affected. Another element   of Schumann’s experiments was to check whether the radiation had worked, For this they used the so-called semen check. The method was by inserting  a stick covered with a rubber hose was into the rectum of the victim and the glands stimulated until ejaculation occurred so that the ejaculate could be tested for sperm. These samples were also sent to the University of Breslau  for examination.

Schumann selected several women from Block 10 at the main camp of Auschwitz.  To control the radiation on women, prisoner doctors ,Dr. Maximilian Samuel and Dr. Wladislaw Dering had to remove an ovary from a healthy woman.

Another experiment Schumann conducted was typhus experiment. He did this  by injecting people with blood from typhus patients and would then attempt to cure the newly infected subjects.

After the war he was  a sports doctor for the city of Gladbeck. But when he was identified in 1951 the East German government issued a warrant for his arrest. He managed to evade capture and worked for 3 years as a ships doctor. He had no German passport but in 1954 he applied for a passport in Japan, which was issued to him under his own name. He then fled to Egypt but shortly after he settled in Khartoum in the Sudan as head of a hospital. In 1962 he was forced to flee Sudan after he was recognized by an Auschwitz survivor. He went to Ghana where he received protection from the President

In 1966 he was extradited to West Germany where he stood trial in Frankfurt on September 23,1970. However due to bad health he only served about 18 months in Jail.

He eventually died on 5 May 1983.age 77. A lot older then most of the victims he killed.

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Sources

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/payzer2/

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/horst-schumann

http://auschwitz.org/en/history/medical-experiments/horst-schumann

 

 

 

 

 

The evil of Mengele.

mengele

I could fill this blog with pictures of the experiments Joseph Mengele conducted in Auschwitz, but I think most of the readers would not be able to stomach the images. I know I can’t ,therefore I am just going to quote some eye witness reports to illustrate how truly evil this man was. He had a particular interest in twins.

Vera Kriegel

Vera and her twin sister Olga were only five years old when they were taken from their village in Czechoslovakia and deported to  Auschwitz.

. “I was looking at a whole wall of human eyes. A wall of blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes. These eyes they were staring at me like a collection of butterflies and I fell down on the floor.”

In one experiment Vera and her sister Olga and more than 100 other twins were given injections of bacteria which causes Noma disease also known as cancrum oris which is an infection of the mouth or genitals, which causes boils and often turns gangrenous and has a high mortality rate.

Miklós Nyiszli

Miklós Nyiszli testified  thatt on one occasion , Mengele personally killed fourteen twins in one night by injecting chloroform in to the heart. If one twin died of disease, Mengele would then kill the other twin, in order  that comparative reports could be prepared after their deaths.

Vera Alexander

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Vera Alexander testifies in the Eichmann trial, she recalled one experiment by Mengele.  He sewed the hands of two gypsy twins together,a sin he sewed one hand of one child to the hand of the other child.

The truly sickening thing is that he died a free man and had lived quite a comfortable life after the war.

mengel family

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Sources

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1001717

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30933718

Would you willingly hurt someone,if someone in authority told you to?

experiment

I have already done a piece on the Milgram experiments, and this will be more of a follow up.

The Milgram experiment,was designed to observe the extent to which individuals would perform acts that violated their personal conscience when under orders from an authority figure. Basically they wanted  to investigate whether Germans were particularly obedient to authority figures as this was a common explanation for the Nazi killings in World War II.

What they found out was shocking. It more or less proved that given a certain set of circumstances the Holocaust could have happened anywhere.

The experiment was set up in the following way  a scientist” an authoritative figure”— ordered participants to ask another individual a series of questions and administer increasingly painful electric shocks for every wrong answer. The intensity of the shocks started at a level of mild pain when the experiment began but could be built up to lethal doses of electricity as the experiment continued. Not know to the participant, the setup was fake.

“The experiment requires that you continue. It is absolutely essential that you continue. You have no other choice, you must go on.” was the order given to participants.

The experiment started in 1961 and conclude in 1963.

50 years later actor/director Eli Roth repeated the experiment for a documentary on Discovery Channel titles “How evil are you” Trying to find out how people would react nowadays, knowing whet we know now.

This is the real shocking thing ,in 1963 ,65% of the participants continued with the task put do them, knowing that it could actually kill the other participant.

In 2013 the percentage rose to 77%.

 

So the answer to the question ‘Would you willingly hurt someone,if someone in authority told you to?’ would probably be Yes.

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Kurt Heissmeyer-“For me there was no basic difference between human beings and guinea pigs.”

kurt

One of the more disturbing aspects of the Holocaust is that so many perpetrators got way with murder, even after admitting to it.

Kurt Heissmeyer was a SS physician and the nephew of the senior SS officer August Heissmeyer.

In order for Kurt to receive a professorship he requires to present original research.

Even though  previously proof was dismissed , his hypothesis was that  injecting of live tuberculosis bacilli into subjects , the bacilli would function as a vaccine. Another aspect of his experiment was based on the Nazi racial theory that race played a factor in developing tuberculosis.

tb

By proving his theory he injected live tuberculosis bacilli into the lungs and bloodstream of 20  Jewish children, at the Neuengamme concentration camp.

On April 20,1945 on the birthday of Hitler and just a few weeks before the war ended, the children were sent to Bullenhuser Damm School, which had been used as a satellite camp. This was done in order to destroy evidence of the experiments. The 20 children and 4 carers were hanged.

Kurt escaped detection after the war and returned home to Maggdeburg in East Germany where he resumed his medical career, it was only in 1959 when he was discovered . He was sentenced to a life sentence in 1966, a year before he died age 61.

When asked why he didn’t use guinea pigs he responded, “For me there was no basic difference between human beings and guinea pigs.” He then corrected himself: “Jews and guinea pigs”. Heissmeyer died on 29 August 1967.

His uncle August was even luckier, Although he had been a senior SS officer who at one stage was in charge of the SS Leadership Main Office ,who were responsible of the supervision of the concentration camps,He only spent 4 years in  total in prison. After release he became the director of the West German Coca-Cola bottling plant.

august

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The Milgram experiment

milgram

One question that puzzles many people around the world is how was it possible that a sophisticated nation like Germany could be responsible for something is horrific as the Holocaust?

The scary and the brutal reality is that is was extremely easy. Another reality is that this could have happened anywhere else.

Someone once told me that it must have taken decades to turn people from law abiding citizens to either monsters or bystanders. I told her that it doesn’t take decades to condition people to commit evil, it only takes a few days.

Prime examples are the third wave experiment ,conducted by California high school history teacher Ron Jones to explain Nazi Germany. Another example is the Stanford prison experiment, conducted by a psychology study group led by Dr.Philip Zimbardo, at Stanford University. The  experiment attempted to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison officers.

Both experiments had to be abandoned after less then a week because they basically had become to successful. The key was the aforementioned law abiding citizens, fact is that people follow authority do what they are told and when this happens without any critical thinking or asking questions it is extremely easy to create a genocide.

The 2 experiments mentioned above both had students mistreating other students and even though it created  groups that perceived themselves superior to their fellow students which led to some skirmishes , there was relatively little violence.

The Milgram experiment however went a step further.

ad

 

Inspired by defense testimonies during the Nuremberg trials and especially the Adolf Eichmann trial, where it was claimed that ‘they were merely following orders” Stanley Milgram wanted to see how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person, and he was was interested to see how easily ordinary people could be influenced into committing atrocities.

eichmann

 

Three men took part in each session of the experiment:

  • The “experimenter”
  • The “teacher”
  • The “learner”,

 

At the start of the experiment, they were introduced to another participant, who was a confederate of the experimenter (Milgram).

They drew straws to determine their roles – learner or teacher – however this was fixed and the confederate was always the learner. There was also an “experimenter” dressed in a gray lab coat, played by an actor (not Milgram).

In total there  were 40 male participants , aged between 20 and 50, whose jobs ranged from unskilled to professional, from the New Haven area.They would all be paid $4 an hour + 50 cents car fare.

Two participants (one actor) were separated in two rooms where they could only hear each other.

The test subject then read a series of questions to the actor. Each time the actor would answer a question incorrectly, the test subject would push a button that administered an electric shock to the actor(In reality, there were no shocks)with shock levels starting at 30 volts and increasing in 15-volt increments all the way up to 450 volts.

shock

Although many of the test subjects expressed a desire to stop the experiment at the first signs of screams, nearly every single one continued to push the button when they were told they would not personally be held responsible for any consequences.

65%  of the participants (i.e., teachers) continued to the highest level of 450 volts. All the participants continued to 300 volts.

The experiment did show that tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or as legally based.

Killing human beings though has a complete different mindset, however these experiments do show how easy it is for people to become complacent and even complicit in unspeakable crimes if it is ordered by an authoritative body whose morals  motives aren’t questioned but just assumed to be right.

milgranm 2

 

The inconvenient truth is that despite all historical evidence,genocides still happen, not to the same scale as the Holocaust, but genocides are still a reality in the 21st century.

genocide

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Sources

Simplypsychology.org

verywellmind.com

 

 

The Sea water experiments-Evil Science.

sea water

In 1798 the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was published by he English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The most famous line of the poem is “Water, water, every where,Nor any drop to drink.”

There are several theories in relation to the inspiration of the poem but the above mentioned line refers to the fact that one or more sailors were stranded in the ocean without any fresh water. Indicating that although there was an abundance of water, it was not fir for human consumption. Because drinking sea water can lead to dehydration among other ailments and eventually to death.

This knowledge did not stop Dr. Hans Eppinger and Dr. Wilhelm Beiglböck.

From July 1944 to September 1944, experiments were carried out at the Dachau concentration camp to see if it was possible to the viability of make sea water fit for consumption.Another goal  was to see if the prisoners would suffer any severe physical symptoms or death within a period of 6–12 days.

At one stage ,a group of roughly 90 Roma prisoners were deprived of food and given nothing but sea water to drink.Witnesses reported that the test subjects  had been seen licking the floors they had mopped in an attempt to get some water. Sometimes chemicals were added to the water to eliminate the salty taste

Many of the subjects who received  sea water ended up suffering excruciating torture, diarrhea, convulsions, hallucinations, foaming at the mouth, and in most cases, madness or death.

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The era of hypocrisy-The post WWII era

Paperclip

One thing that has always baffled me was the blatant double standards applied at the end and the era just after WWII.

On one hand you had scientists like Alan Turing, whose work on the enigma code shortened the war by 2 years, and potentially saved millions of lives, but because of his homosexuality was forced to undergo ‘chemical’ treatment to suppress his homosexuality or face jail. He did choose the former option but eventually committed suicide.

alan

On the other hand you have operations like ‘Operation Paperclip’  a secret program of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency largely carried out by Special Agents of Army CIC, in which more than 1,600 Nazi scientists, engineers, and technicians, such as  were recruited and saved from legal persecution. To top things off many of them received prestigious awards and were given high positions in several government agencies, like Wernher von Braun who became the top man at NASA.

bRAUN

Braun who had willingly participated in the use of slave labour from the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp , for his work on the V2 rockets. More people had actually died from building the rocket, than were killed by it as a weapon. claim von Braun engaged in brutal treatment or approved of it.

Witnesses claimed  von Braun engaged in brutal treatment of prisoners or approved of it.

Then there is Dr. Hubertus Strughold who had conducted various medical experiments , in conjunction with the Luftwaffe, in which prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp were used as human test subjects.Most of them did not survive.

Hubertus

It would make sense that such a evil and barbaric man would be brought to justice, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact he too got a high position with NASA.And they even named an award after him. an award for Space medicine, he himself was given the nickname ‘Father of Space Medcine’ it was only in 2013 when NASA decided to remove his name from the award.

Another scientist, Kurt Blome, who had been  the Deputy Surgeon General in the Third Reich and headed its biological warfare program disguised as cancer research. He had been running  experiments involving spreading disease through insects like mosquitoes and lice. And also carried out d tests which involved dropping nerve gas and insecticides from planes as well and attempted creating  a weaponized Bubonic plague, during WWII.

bLOME

Blome had also links to Unit 731 of the Japanese army. Unit 731 were probably the most evil and barbaric unit in WWII.

He was arrested on 17 May 1945 by an agent of the United States Counter Intelligence Corps  in Munich.It is widely believed that American intervention saved Blome from execution in exchange for information about biological warfare, nerve gas, and providing advice on to the American chemical and biological weapons programs.

He was never  charged with war crimes  after his acquittal at the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial in 1947. He also was allowed to continue  practice medicine in West Germany, and was active in politics as a member of a right-wing Germany Party. He died in Dortmund in 1969.

There were several operations by the US,British and Soviet governments which facilitated Nazi scientists and other Nazis safe passage and a new start.

Scientist

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The Ravensbrück Rabbits

Rabbitts

The Ravensbrück Rabbits was the name given to 74 Polish women, who were subjected to medical experiments in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Of the 74 women, 5 died as a result of the experiments and 6 other victims whose wounds did not heal were executed. The other survived with permanent damage.

Rather then go through all 74 accounts I am focusing on the account of one sirvivor,Jadwiga Kaminska. below is the translation of her affidavit submitted to the Nuremberg trials.

Rabbis

“I, Jadwiga Kaminska, 24 Avenue de 1’Yser, Brussels, make oath and state as follows:

“I was arrested on 18 March 1941 and arrived in Ravensbruck on 27 September 1941 and left the camp on the 16 April 1946.

“I was twice operated on during my stay in the camp. The first time was August 15, 1942, in the second group of prisoners to be operated on; the following were operated on with me: Kormanska, Zofia; Kaminska, Zofia; Karolewska, Vladyslava; Jurkowska, Alicia; Karwacka, Ursula; Iwanska, Yanina; Iwanska, Krystyna; Karesman, Muria.

“In the morning of the same day we were operated on we were all sent to the Revier not knowing what was to happen to us. Five of us were sent to one room and the two Inwanska sisters and Karwacka to another. On arrival we all had baths and were given small hospital shirts and blouses. We had no medical examination and were given nothing to eat. When they were taking me to the operating theatre I fought to keep out but was held down by the nurse Ericka and two owner nurses in the corridor whilst Dr. Rosentahl gave me an anaesthetic by injection in my arm.

Dr Rose

Just before I had the injection I saw Gebhardt in the corridor and I also recognize him on No. 3 in the group of photographs. I also saw Dr. Oberhauser going into the Operating theatre. When I came round, I found that all of us had been operated on and that my right leg was in plaster up to the knee, three days later I was taken to the Dressing Room and my face was covered with a sheet so that I could not see what going on, I recognized the voices of Oberhauser, Rosenthal, Schidlauski and there were several others there whose voices I did not recognize. I heard another Doctor who I believe removed plaster ask for instruments.

“Immediately after the operation I had a temperature of 39 degree, the first week after the operation it varied between 38 and 39. When I was sent back to my block three weeks after the operation I still had some fever and felt very weak.

After the first operation Gebhardt came into the room where I was having my dressing changed with several other doctors and talked about the operations and said they were “Military Operations”. I recognized Gebhardt when he came into the room.

Gebbhardy

“About a week after my first operation Rosenthal came into our room drunk. We asked him why we had been operated on, he answered “because you are young girls and Polish Patriots.” Oberhauser was also asked the same question She answered that the operation had been ordered by the Gestapo. Dr. Fischer advised us to ask the Senior Doctor, Schidlausky, why we had been operated on, but after that we never saw Schidlausky again.

“I was in great pain after the operation, the first two days we were offered a medicine but refused to take it after which we were offered nothing.

“About a week after the operation I first saw my wound which was about 10 cms. long and 5 cms. wide and full of green pus and very inflamed. It is now 10 cms. long and about 3 cms. in width.

“Thee days after my first dressing the second one was done under similar circumstances as the first, but I managed to pull the sheet off my face for a few seconds and saw Dr. Fischer who was doing my dressing.

“I was operated on the second time on 13 September 1942, with five others who were: Wojtaski, Wanda; Rakowska, Pelagia; Gnas, Maria; Kaminska, Jadwiga; Karolewska, Vladislava,; Karwacka, Ursula.

“The day before the operation I was again put in the Revier and had a bath and then salt compresses were put on my wound by the nurse Wricke and another nurse. Before the second operation I was given something to drink which made we sleep and consequently knew no details of the operation.

“When I came to from this operation I had much more fever than the first time; we were given something to drink three times a day to alleviate the pain but it had little effect; in the evening, however, Oberhauser gave us morphine injections. We were not in plaster after the second operation. The first two times my dressings were changed by Dr. Fischer and afterwards by Schidlausky and Oberhauser and also by SS nurses.

“After my second operation I stayed in the Revier three months, during all that time I had fever and felt very weak and I was given no care.

“When I left the Revier three months after that operation my fever had almost gone but my wound was still open. Before I left the Revier Oberhauser had a look at my wound, and said I was fit to go. In March 1943 my leg was still discharging pus.

“In February 1945 the order came out that all of us who had been operated on were to remain in our blocks. We knew this meant we were to be liquidated.

“I went to the bureau and spoke to Binz and Swarzhuber; they told me that as we were still weak we would be transferred to the Gresrosen camp. I said that was not true but that we should be shot in the camp without being transferred.

“I demanded of Swarzhuber that I saw Suhren; he said it was impossible. After a few days, however, I saw Suhren and told him that we would rather be killed in the camp than at Grossrosen. Suhren said he would do everything in his power to save us.

“My leg is new healed but gets tired very quickly and during the last three months I have had intermittent fever which my doctor tells me is due to recurrence of infection in my leg and also the glands in my right groin have become swollen. Signed Jadwiga Kaminska.”

OR

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Sources

The Nuremberg Project.

Dr Schumann’s sterilization experiments in Auschwitz

Schumann

Not only was Auschwitz a death camp it also had an endless supply of humans that could be used for  experiments,without the fear of repercussions for those who carried out the experiments.

Dr Carl Clauberg and Dr Horst Schumann, were assigned to head the sterilization  experiments  in Auschwitz,

claberg

Dr Clauberg was an well known gynecologist  with expertise in infertility treatment.

Schumann had been working for  the Public Health Office in Halle. He was recruited to the Luftwaffe  as a physician in 1939. But moved on from the Luftwaffe to   joined the Aktion T4 Euthanasia program in early October 1939,

Schumann, SS-Sturmbannführer   began his sterilization experiments using X-rays at the request of Viktor Brack, the organizer of the T4 Programme.

The purpose of the sterilisation  experiments was to perfect a technique in which non-Aryans could be prevented  from reproducing while still being used  as slave laborers.

On  the 28th of  July 1941, Horst Schumann arrived in Auschwitz. Where he started  work at Block 30 in the women’s hospital, where he set up an x-ray station in 1942.

women

Here both  men and women were sterilized without consent  by being put repeatedly for several minutes between two x-ray machines, the rays aiming at their sexual organs. Most victims  died after great suffering, or were gassed immediately because the radiation burns from which they suffered rendered them unfit for work.

By 31 December 1942 about 200 men had been sterilized and would later be castrated by Shumann to determine the effects  of the radiation method of sterilization
Their testicles were removed and sent to Breslau for  examination.

The women were injected with  liquid into the uterus while they were on the X-ray table and were X-rayed while the injection went on

Schumann selected the  test ‘subjects’  himself. They were always  Jewish men, women and girls in their prime , but  who looked like they aged rapidly  after the experiments.

The parts of the body that were treated with the rays were burnt,and pus would have developed . Many times the intestines would also be affected. Many died.

camp

Part of Schumann’s ‘quality’ check to determine if  the radiation had worked, was the so-called semen check: a wooden implement  covered with a rubber hose was pushed  into the rectum of a male victim and the glands stimulated until ejaculation occurred so that the ejaculate could be tested for sperm  The samples were sent to the University of Breslau  for examination.

Schumann selected some  women of Block 10 in the main camp of Auschwitz. In this Block Jewish women had been selected for human experiments. To control the radiation on women, prisoner doctors Dr. Maximilian Samuel and Dr. Wladislaw Dering had to remove an ovary.

block 10

Horst Schmann also conducted  typhus experiments by injecting people with blood from typhus infected patients with the aim to then  cure the newly infected subjects. Schumann left Auschwitz in September 1944 and was appointed to the Sonnenstein Clinic in Saxony which had earlier been converted into a military hospital.

After the war he worked as a sports doctor in a clinic in Gladbeck,  Germany.He was only identified after he applied for a hunting rifle in 1951. A warrant for his arrest was issued then. Through a technicality he was not arrested, he claimed he didn’t have a German passport so he applied for a passport in Japan, which he got.He then fled to Egypt and later settled in Khartoum in Sudan where he got a job as the head of a Hospital.After he was recognized by an Auschwitz survivor, he fled to Ghana, where he received protection from Kwame Nkrumah. the head of state of Ghana.

ghana

in 1966 Schumann’s luck seemed to have run out when he was extradited to Germany.He stood trial in 1970, but was released from jail in 1972 due to his heart condition and generally deteriorating health. It wasn’t until 1983 before he died.

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Source

Research Gate

The wave is upon us

lesson-plan-0

This blog has nothing to do with the Holocaust and equally everything to do with the Holocaust. Nothing because the event took place decades after the Holocaust and everything because it shows how easy it was to get a sophisticated nation turn into sheep following a wolf.

I took the title from a quote from the 1981 movie “The Wave” a movie although acting wise not a masterpiece but the message it gave was powerful.Many times I have watched it , several time when I was a kid in school.MV5BMWFlMTQ0YWQtYmU5Yi00OGY4LWJlMzAtYTllYjkxNzNhMGIwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM3ODA2NDQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,654,1000_AL_

The movie was based on  an experimental social movement created by California high school history teacher Ron Jones to explain how the German population could accept the actions of the Nazi regime during the Second World War..

Ron Jones, the teacher, had arrived there straight from training college. He soon became famed for his unorthodox methods: making students at the almost all-white school use different toilets to demonstrate apartheid, for instance..

Jones, finding himself unable to explain to his students how the German population could have claimed ignorance of The Holocaust, decided to demonstrate it to them instead. Jones started a movement called “The Third Wave” and told his students that the movement aimed to eliminate democracy. The idea that democracy emphasizes individuality was considered as a drawback of democracy, and Jones emphasized this main point of the movement in its motto: “Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride.”

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Day 1

Jones writes that he started the first day of the experiment with simple things such as proper seating and extensively drilling the students. He then proceeded to enforce strict classroom discipline by emerging as an authoritarian figure and dramatically improving the efficiency of the class.

The first day’s session was closed with only a few rules, intending to be a one-day experiment. Students had to be sitting at attention before the second bell, had to stand up to ask or answer questions and had to do it in three words or fewer, and were required to preface each remark with “Mr. Jones”.

Day 2

On the second day, he managed to meld his history class into a group with a supreme sense of discipline and community. Jones based the name of his movement, “The Third Wave”, on the supposed fact that the third in a series of waves is the strongest. Jones made up a salute involving a cupped hand reaching across the chest toward the opposite shoulder and resembling a Hitler salute and ordered class members to salute each other even outside the class. They all complied with this command.

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Day 3

The experiment took on a life of its own, with students from all over the school joining in: some students who did not take the history class but had a free period decided to join the class. On the third day, the class expanded from initial 30 students to 43 attendees. All of the students showed drastic improvement in their academic skills and tremendous motivation. All of the students were issued a member card, and each of them received a special assignment, like designing a Third Wave Banner, stopping non-members from entering the class, or the like. Jones instructed the students on how to initiate new members, and by the end of the day the movement had over 200 participants.[3] Jones was surprised that some of the students started reporting to him when other members of the movement failed to abide by the rules.

Day 4

On Thursday, the fourth day of the experiment, Jones decided to terminate the movement because it was slipping out of his control. The students became increasingly involved in the project and their discipline and loyalty to the project was outstanding. He announced to the participants that this movement was a part of a nationwide movement and that on the next day a presidential candidate of the Third Wave would publicly announce its existence. Jones ordered students to attend a noon rally on Friday to witness the announcement.

Day 5

Instead of a televised address of their leader, the students were presented with an empty channel. After a few minutes of waiting, Jones announced that they had been a part of an experiment in fascism and that they all willingly created a sense of superiority like German citizens had in the period of Nazi Germany. He then played them a film about the Nazi regime to conclude the experiment.

Although it is easy to point the finger of blame to all Germans but the experiment shows how easy it is to brainwash a group. Within 5 days the dynamics in this high school completely changed without any propaganda machinery behind it.

This could have happened anywhere.

 

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