When Rock N Roll and Science collide.

Hugh

It might surprise some of you that Rock N Roll and science can be, and indeed often are good bedfellows. Below are just a few examples.

Eels.

Eels an American rock band, formed in California in 1995 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett, known by the stage name E. It is the father of this same Mark Oliver Everett who was a highly regarded scientist. Hugh Everett III  was an American physicist who first proposed the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics, which he termed his “relative state” formulation.

After graduation in September 1956, He joined the Pentagon’s newly-forming Weapons Systems Evaluation Group . There is so much to say about this man ,but I won’t have enough space or time to cover all his life. I would highly recommend the watch the documentary “Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives (2007)” about Hugh Everett III which is narrated by Mark Oliver Everett.

eels

 

Brian May

Brian May one of the best guitarists in the world and of course known from the band Queen.  Brian has a Ph.D. in astrophysics. He studied physics and mathematics at Imperial College London and was in the process of getting his Ph.D. when Queen became big. Thirty years later, in 2007, he completed his dissertation.  The man who wrote “We Will Rock You” also wrote A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud. QUEEN

Greg Graffin

Greg Graffin is the lead singer with the LA based punk band “Bad Religion”, but he also double-majored in anthropology and geology at UCLA and got a master’s degree in geology from the same school. His Ph.D. in zoology comes from Cornell University and was titled “Monism, Atheism and the Naturalist Worldview: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology.”

Yes, sometimes Truth is stranger then fiction

bad

Dexter Holland

Dexter Holland is best known as the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and primary songwriter for the punk rock band The Offspring.

However he is also a molecular biologist.He was a doctoral student at the Laboratory of Viral Oncology and Proteomics Research,  In March 2013, Holland and co-authors published a paper in PLoS One regarding micro RNA in HIV genomes,titled “Identification of Human Micro RNA-Like Sequences Embedded within the Protein-Encoding Genes of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus”.

That must have worked wonders on his self esteem.

Dexter

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Why do we still blindly trust what scientists say?

science

Although this blog is set for the WWII and Holocaust narrative, it does tie in with scientific reports produced recently which do not necessarily tie in with that narrative. However it is important to highlight them to illustrate how we trust scientists without questioning them.

Let me say upfront, although people have accused me before for denying climate change, I absolutely do not deny climate change. As a matter of fact I totally believe it is happening, and why should that not be the case because climate change has been around since the dawning of time. We have had several ice ages. In the Jurassic era fossil evidence of ferns and cone-producing plants at the poles suggests that the climate in these regions was much warmer during the Jurassic period than in present day.

The issue I have with some current climate change reports is that this sort of evidence is often omitted , and it is often hard to determine who funds these reports and what agenda is at play.

Recently the EAT Lancet  report was published a report on on food, planet, health compiled by  more than 30 world-leading scientists from across the globe to reach a scientific consensus that defines a healthy and sustainable diet. The problem I have with this report it was funded by Dr Gunhild Stordalen, a former model and vegetarian who clearly had vested interest in producing a report endorsing her vegetarian lifestyle and company, Additionally it was reported she had flown these 30+ scientists all over the world to compile this reports. Producing a massive carbon foot print in the process. Yet no one questioned the validity of the report, just because it was compiled by scientists.

I sincerely mean this when I say , I am pretty sure all these people did this with the best intentions. But as history teaches us ‘best intentions’ used in a political setting can often become disasters and lead to awful crimes.

Where does this fit in to the WWII and Holocaust narrative, I hear you ask. Below are just some examples of scientists who in their mind were doing things with the best intentions, and they were given cart blanche by a government whose agenda was death and destruction, additionally hardly anyone asked questions because some of these things were done in the name of science.

The picture at the start of the blog is of Kurt H. Debus, seated between John F Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Kurt Debus was a German V-2 rocket scientist during World War II. He was also a member of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and Himmler’s SS, As a leading scientists of the V2 facilities in Peenemunde he would have been aware of the slave labot required to built the facilities, and more then likely will have actively ordered some of this slave labor himself. Yet after the war he was not convicted but got a great job with NASA.

aSPERGER

The picture above is from Dr Asperger and one of his patients.Best known for his early studies on mental disorders, especially in children,and especially children with Autism. He was not a member of the Nazi party. Although he was not  a member ,he was a scientist who allied himself so closely with the Nazi ideology that he regularly referred children to the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, which was set up as a collecting point for children who failed to conform to the regime’s criteria of “worthy to live”.Nearly 800 children died at the clinic between 1940 and 1945, many of whom were murdered under the notorious child “euthanasia” scheme. Including Herta Schreiber, who suffered from encephalitis and died of pneumonia three months after her admittance to Spiegelgrund, on Asperger’s orders, a day after her third birthday.She had suffered from encephalitis.Encephalitis is a swelling of the brain and can be caused by infection or an allergic reaction.Assessed in late June 1941, the young girl suffered from ‘severe personality disorder’, ‘idiocy’ and ‘seizures’.

Asperger added that she ‘must be an unbearable burden to her mother’ and then recommended permanent placement at Spiegelgrund.

Herta was admitted to Spiegelgrund on 1 July 1941.

Hubertus

Dr. Hubertus Strughold MD, Ph.D was a German-born physiologist and prominent medical researcher. For his role in pioneering the study of the physical and psychological effects of manned spaceflight he became known as “The Father of Space Medicine” and every year  since 1963, the Space Medicine Association has given out the Hubertus Strughold Award to a top scientist or clinician for outstanding work in aviation medicine.

In October 1942, Strughold  attended a medical conference in Nuremberg at which SS physician Sigmund Rascher delivered a presentation outlining various medical experiments he had conducted, in conjunction with the Luftwaffe, in which prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp were used as human test subjects.

These experiments included physiological tests during which camp inmates were immersed in freezing water, placed in air pressure chambers and made to endure invasive surgical procedures without anesthetic.

in 2004 following an investigation conducted by the Historical Committee of the German Society of Air and Space Medicine, uncovered evidence of oxygen deprivation experiments carried out by Strughold’s Institute for Aviation Medicine in 1943. According to these findings six epileptic children, between the ages of 11 and 13, were taken from the Nazi’s Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre to Strughold’s Berlin laboratory where they were placed in vacuum chambers to induce epileptic seizures in an effort to simulate the effects of high-altitude sicknesses, such as hypoxia.

These are just a few examples of scientists who were never questioned but caused so much harm, but yet their names are praised on the highest level. To be honest these 3 were not even the worse, far from it, there were many who carried out much more devastating experiments. Not only in Nazi Germany but also in Japan, unit 731 from the Japanese imperial army conducted brutal experiments in the name of science, And some of their ‘research’ is still used today.

I am not saying to turn your back to science, far from it. I want everyone to embrace science. I love science. especially when it comes to medical science and space exploration, But I do want to warn not to trust science blindly. Always question the motives behind the science and who benefits most of it. Otherwise we are doomed to repeat the mistakes from the past.

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Jan Ingenhousz-Scientist

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This blog is about one of the best known scientists in the history of the world,Jan Ingenhousz.

Jan Ingenhousz or Ingen-Housz  (8 December 1730 – 7 September 1799) was a Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist.

He is best known for discovering photosynthesis by showing that light is essential to the process by which green plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration.In his lifetime he was known for successfully inoculating the members of the Habsburg family in Vienna against smallpox in 1768 and subsequently being the private counsellor and personal physician to the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa.

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Okay, lets be fair. He actually wasn’t a well known scientist at all and most of you(including me) probably only saw his name for the first time today, either because of this blog or more likely because Google reminded us of his Birthday today.

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Photosynthesis is so essential to life on this planet that it’s easy to forget we didn’t even know about it 250 years ago.

The process of plants converting water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen, using light as a catalyst, was first discovered by Dutch scientist Jan Ingenhousz in 1779.

Ingenhousz began studying medicine at the age of 16, and spent the first part of his career developing a vaccination for smallpox.

In the 1760s he travelled to London and on to Hertfordshire, where he immunised 700 village people in a successful effort to combat an epidemic.

This involved the fairly gruesome process of pricking the skin with a needle that had been dipped into the pus of an infected person’s wound.It worked, however, and after word of Ingenhousz’s success spread, he was invited by the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa to inoculate her entire family.

Over the years, he turned his attention to other scientific pursuits including energy generation, particle motion and gaseous exchange in plants.

Alhough it was already known that plants produced and absorbed gases, it was Ingenhousz who first noticed that oxygen was produced by leaves in sunlight, and carbon dioxide produced in darkness.

This demonstrated that some of the mass of plants comes from the air, and not only the water and nutrients in the soil.

He published his findings in 1779, significantly influencing further research on plant life in the centuries to follow.

Today’s Google doodle focuses on Ingenhousz’s lasting contributions to our understanding of the natural world, on what would have been his 287th birthday.

He died September 7, 1799, Bowood, Wiltshire, England.

Jan-Ingenhousz

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Wolfram Sievers-MD of Sick scientists

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Wolfram Sievers was the Reich Manager of the Ancestral Heritage Society (“Ahnenerbe”) and Director of its Institute for Military Scientific Research (Institut fuer Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung)

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In order to understand how sick and twisted this man and his colleagues were I will demonstrate this not by horrific images but by a letter he send to another ‘sceintist’ Dr Brandt. The letter was used in the trial against Wolfram Sievers during the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg following the end of World War II(the picture below shows his ‘comrade’ Dr Barndt, during the trial)

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“Subject: Securing of skulls of Jewish-Bolshevik commissars for the purpose of scientific research at the Reich University, Strassburg.

We have a nearly complete collection of skulls of all races and peoples at our disposal. Of the Jewish race, however, only very few specimens of skulls are available, with the result that it is impossible to arrive at precise conclusions from examining them. The war in the east now presents us with the opportunity to overcome this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of the Jewish- Bolshevik commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive but characteristic subhuman, we have the chance now to compile good, scientific documents.

The best practical method for obtaining and collecting this skull material could be handled by directing the Wehrmacht to turn over alive all captured Jewish- Bolshevik commissars to the Field Police. They, in turn, are to be given special directives to inform a certain office at regular intervals of the numbers and place of detention of these captured Jews and to give them close attention and care until a special delegate arrives. This special delegate, who will be in charge of securing the material (a junior physician of the Wehrmacht or even the Field Police or a student of medicine equipped with a motor car and driver), will be required to take a previously established series of photographs, make anthropological measurements and, in addition, determine as far as possible other personal data of the prisoners.

Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head should not be damaged, the physician will separate the head from the body and will forward it to its proper point of destination in an hermetically sealed tin can, especially made for this purpose and filled with a conserving fluid. Having arrived at the laboratory, the comparison tests and anatomical research on the skull, as well as determination of the race membership and of pathological features of the skull form, the form and size of the brain, etc., can proceed by means of photos, measurements and other data supplied on the head, and the skull itself.”

That was the report which you forwarded to Brandt?

A. Yes, that was the report of Professor Hirt.”

 

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It was Hirt who mainly carried out the ‘collecting’ but it was Sievers who was his direct superior and it was his wish to have a collection after the war of a extinct race.

Sievers was sentenced to death on 20 August 1947 for crimes against humanity, and hanged on 2 June 1948, at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

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The experiments

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The worst crimes by the Nazi regime were those conducted in the name of science, the human experiments, there were many experiments below are only a few of them.

Experiments on twins

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Experiments on twin children in concentration camps were created to show the similarities and differences in the genetics of twins, as well as to see if the human body can be unnaturally manipulated. Josef_MengeleThe central leader of the experiments was Josef Mengele, who from 1943 to 1944 performed experiments on nearly 1,500 sets of imprisoned twins at Auschwitz.

 

Mengele’s research involved injecting blue dye into children’s eyes and stitching kids together to make sets of conjoined twins. Mystery substances and infectious agents were injected into one twin, then the other twin would be killed within hours of the infected twin’s death so that both could be autopsied at once. In a single year at Auschwitz, Mengele experimented on 3,000 children.

 

 

 

 

Head injury experiments

In mid-1942 in Baranowicze, occupied Poland, experiments were conducted in a small building behind the private home occupied by a known Nazi SD Security Service officer, 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.

Sea water experiments

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From about July 1944 to about September 1944, experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp to study various methods of making sea water drinkable.

B11354522T11354527 At one point, a group of roughly 90 Roma were deprived of food and given nothing but sea water to drink by Dr. Hans Eppinger, leaving them gravely injured. They were so dehydrated that others observed them licking freshly mopped floors in an attempt to get drinkable water.

A Holocaust survivor named Joseph Tschofenig wrote a statement on these seawater experiments at Dachau. Tschofenig explained how while working at the medical experimentation stations he gained insight into some of the experiments that were performed on prisoners, namely those where they were forced to drink salt water. Tschofenig also described how victims of the experiments had trouble eating and would desperately seek out any source of water including old floor rags. Tschofenig was responsible for using the X-ray machine in the infirmary and describes how even though he had insight into what was going on he was powerless to stop it. He gives the example of a patient in the infirmary who was sent to the gas chambers by Dr. Sigmund Rascher simply because he witnessed one of the low-pressure experiments.

High altitude experiments

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In early 1942, prisoners at Dachau concentration camp were used by Sigmund Rascher in experiments to aid German pilots who had to eject at high altitudes. A low-pressure chamber containing these prisoners was used to simulate conditions at altitudes of up to 20,000 m (66,000 ft). It was rumored that Rascher performed vivisections on the brains of victims who survived the initial experiment. Of the 200 subjects, 80 died outright, and the others were executed.Rascher

In a letter from April 5, 1942 between Dr. Sigmund Rascher and Heinrich Himmler, Rascher explains the results of a low-pressure experiment that was performed on people at Dachau Concentration camp in which the victims were suffocated while Rascher and another unnamed doctor took note of his reactions. The person was described as 37 years old and in good health before being murdered. Rascher described the victim’s actions as he began to lose oxygen and times the changes in behavior. The 37 year old began to wiggle his head at 4 minutes, a minute later Rascher observed that he was suffering from cramps before falling unconscious. He describes how the victim then laid unconscious breathing only 3 times per minute until he stopped breathing 30 minutes after being deprived of oxygen. The victim then turned blue and began foaming at the mouth. An autopsy followed an hour later.

In a letter from Heinrich Himmler to Dr. Sigmund Rascher on April 13, 1942, Himmler orders Rascher to continue the high altitude experiments and to continue experimenting on prisoners condemned to death and to “determine whether these men could be recalled to life”. If a victim could be successfully resuscitated, Himmler ordered that he be pardoned to “concentration camp for life.

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Star Trek to boldly go… hey wait a minute we are there already.

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Netflix has released a new series in the Star Trek franchise called “Star Trek Discovery” I don’t want to judge because I have only watched the first episode so far, which left me a bit underwhelmed to say the least.

There were just a few things that annoyed me and maybe I was to focused on that, For starters the ship isn’t called Discover but Shenzhou, and the main character although a woman is called Michael.

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Maybe there are trying to be just too political correct which leads me to the purpose of this blog. Star Trek has always been politically correct but in a positive way, for example they were the first show to show an  interracial kiss.

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But were they were really ahead of their time was in the actual science, especially the original season. Lets have a look at some of the scientific gadgets used in Star Trek that we now use on a daily basis or are available in some part of it.

The communicator

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Whenever Captain Kirk left the safe confines of the Enterprise, he did so knowing it could be the last time he saw his ship. Danger was never far away. And when in distress and in need of help in a pinch, he could always count on Bones to come up with a miracle cure, Scotty to beam him up or Spock to give him some vital scientific information. He’d just whip out his communicator and place a call.Fast-forward 30 years and wouldn’t you know it, it seems like everyone carries a communicator. We just know them as mobile or cell phones. It even looks like companies like Motorola took the ideas for their flip phones from Star Trek.

motorola-razr-v3-unlocked-phone-silver

The Tricorder

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In the TV show, a tricorder is a handheld device that scans for geological, biological, and meteorological anomalies, however it is main purpose is as some kind of medical scanning device. It is basically a handheld MRI Scan, although the current MRI scanning machines are very big, they are working on more mobile ones and good progress is made. So soon enough they will be handheld.

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In fact  NASA employs a handheld device called LOCAD, which measures for unwanted microorganisms such as E. coli, fungi and salmonella onboard the International Space Station.

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Geordi laForge’s Visor

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What made Geordi unique, perhaps even mysterious, was his funky eyewear. Geordi was blind, but after a surgical operation and aided through the use of a device called VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement), Geordi could see throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. Though it may sound far-fetched, in reality, similar technology exists that may someday bring sight back to the blind.

In 2005, a team of scientists from Stanford University successfully implanted a small chip behind the retina of blind rats that enabled them to pass a vision recognition test. The science behind the implants, or bionic eyes as they’re commonly referred to, works much the way Geordi’s VISOR did. The patient receives the implants behind the retina, then wears a pair of glasses fitted with a video camera. Light enters the camera and is processed through a small wireless computer, which then broadcasts it as infrared LED images on the inside of the glasses. Those images are reflected back into the retina chips to stimulate photodiodes. The photodiodes replicate the lost retinal cells then change light into electrical signals which in turn send nerve pulses to the brain.

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The Replicator

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Captain Jean-Luc Picard used to say ‘Tea, Earl Gray, hot!” and it would be replicated instantly. Today’s 3D printers don’t tackle tea, but there are machines that actually can print food. And other printers, like the MakerBot Replicator 2 are quite adept at making small objects—just as they were shown to do on later episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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PADD

PADD

PADD or Personal Access Data Device. Some of you might actually be reading this blog on a  Personal Access Data Device.It is basically a tablet computer. And I don’t think it is a coincidence that Apple called their tablet computer an iPad.

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Teleporting

Kirk, Spock and crew get there fast in Star Trek

Before I get you hopes up, unfortunately Teleportation is not possible yet and never may be, but how great would it be. Visiting family in Australie or New Zealand just to have a cup of coffee and be home on time for dinner.

Some scientists believe it is not possible to teleport macroscopic objects such as human beings, but there may be teleportation in the microscopic world. Three possible kinds of teleportation in quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics have been proposed: state teleportation, energy teleportation, and particle teleportation..

In 1993, Bennett et alproposed that a quantum state of a particle could be teleported to another distant particle, but the two particles do not move at all. This is called state teleportation. There are a lot of following theoretical and experimental papers published.Researchers believe that quantum teleportation is the foundation of quantum calculation and quantum communication.

In 2008, M. Hotta proposed that it may be possible to teleport energy by exploiting quantum energy fluctuations of an entangled vacuum state of a quantum field. There are some papers published but no experimental verification.

In 2016, Y. Wei proposed that particles themselves could teleport from one place to another. This is called particle teleportation. With this concept, superconductivity can be viewed as the teleportation of some electrons in the superconductor and superfluidity as the teleportation of some of the atoms in the cellular tube. Physicists are trying to verify this concept experimentally.

But perhaps one day we could just teleport ourselves from a dreary rainy city to a tropical beach.

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To a beach were no man had boldly gone before.

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August Hirt’s Jewish skeleton collection

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Science is very important hence scientists are very important, but unchecked and uncontrolled they can become masters of evil. If there is one thing that WWII as taught us that would be it.

August Hirt (April 28, 1898 – June 2, 1945) was an anatomist with Swiss and German nationality who served as a chairman at the Reich University in Strasbourg during World War II. He performed experiments with mustard gas on inmates at the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp and played a lead role in the murders of 86 people at Auschwitz for the Jewish skeleton collection. The skeletons of his victims were meant to become specimens at the Institute of anatomy in Strasbourg, but completion of the project was stopped by the progress of the war. He was an SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain) and in 1944, an SS-Sturmbannführer (major).

 

The Jewish skeleton collection was an attempt by the Nazis to create an anthropological display to showcase the alleged racial inferiority of the “Jewish race” and to emphasize the Jews’ status as Untermenschen (“sub-humans”), in contrast to the German race which the Nazis considered to be Aryan Übermenschen. The collection was to be housed at the Anatomy Institute at the Reich University of Strasbourg in the annexed region of Alsace, where the initial preparation of the corpses was performed.

The collection was sanctioned by Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler, and designed by and under the direction of August Hirt with Rudolf Brandt and Wolfram Sievers, general manager of the Ahnenerbe, being responsible for procuring and preparing the corpses.

 

Work by Hans-Joachim Lang published in 2004 revealed the identities and family history of all the victims of this project, based on discovery of the prisoner numbers found at Natzweiler-Struthof in records of those vaccinated against typhus at Auschwitz. The list of names has been placed on a memorial at the cemetery where all were buried, at the facility used to murder them, and at the Anatomical Institute where the corpses were found in 1944.

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In 1943, 86 Jews were sent to the gas chambers and their bodies brought to Strasbourg, which was then under Nazi occupation, where Hirt was assembling a macabre collection of corpses.The bodies, some intact, others dismembered or burned, were found in November 1944 after the liberation of Strasbourg, in bins filled with distilled alcohol. The faces of these corpses were burned off in order to prevent identification.

 

The project was designed by August Hirt, who directed the phases that were performed before the end of the war ceased the project prior to its completion. Originally the “specimens” to be used in the collection were to be Jewish commisars in the Red Army captured on the Eastern front by the Wehrmacht. The 86 individuals ultimately chosen for the collection were obtained from among a pool of 115 Jewish inmates at Auschwitz concentration camp in Occupied Poland. They were chosen for their perceived stereotypical racial characteristics. The initial selections and preparations were carried out by SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. Bruno Beger and Dr. Hans Fleischhacker, who arrived in Auschwitz in the first half of 1943 and finished the preliminary work by June 15, 1943.

 

Due to a typhus epidemic at Auschwitz, the candidates chosen for the skeleton collection were quarantined in order to prevent them from becoming ill and ruining their value as anatomical specimens. In that time, the physical measurements were taken from the selected group of people. An excerpt from a letter written by Sievers in June 1943 reports on the preparation and the typhus epidemic: “Altogether 115 persons were worked on, 79 were Jews, 30 were Jewesses, 2 were Poles, and 4 were Asiatics. At the present time these prisoners are segregated by sex and are under quarantine in the two hospital buildings of Auschwitz.” In February 1942, Sievers submitted to Himmler, through Rudolf Brandt, a report from which the following is an extract read at the Nuremberg Doctors Trial by General Telford Taylor, Chief Counsel for the prosecution at Nuremberg:

1389.8 Holocaust I

“We have a nearly complete collection of skulls of all races and peoples at our disposal. Only very few specimens of skulls of the Jewish race, however, are available with the result that it is impossible to arrive at precise conclusions from examining them. The war in the East now presents us with the opportunity to overcome this deficiency. By procuring the skulls of the Jewish-Bolshevik Commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive, but characteristic subhuman, we have the chance now to obtain a palpable, scientific document.

The best, practical method for obtaining and collecting this skull material could be handled by directing the Wehrmacht to turn over alive all captured Jewish-Bolshevik Commissars to the Field Police. They in turn are to be given special directives to inform a certain office at regular intervals of the number and place of detention of these captured Jews and to give them special close attention and care until a special delegate arrives. This special delegate, who will be in charge of securing the “material” has the job of taking a series of previously established photographs, anthropological measurements, and in addition has to determine, as far as possible, the background, date of birth, and other personal data of the prisoner. Following the subsequently induced death of the Jew, whose head should not be damaged, the delegate will separate the head from the body and will forward it to its proper point of destination in a hermetically sealed tin can especially produced for this purpose and filled with a conserving fluid.

Having arrived at the laboratory, the comparison tests and anatomical research on the skull, as well as determination of the race membership of pathological features of the skull form, the form and size of the brain, etc., can proceed. The basis of these studies will be the photos, measurements, and other data supplied on the head, and finally the tests of the skull itself”

Ultimately, 87 of the inmates were shipped to Natzweiler-Struthof.

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These people were kept for about two weeks in Block 13 of the camp so that they might eat well to improve their appearance for the desired casts of their corpses. Next, 86 were gassed in the small facility outside the camp proper, an existing building jury-rigged for gassing people. The deaths of 86 of these inmates were, in the words of Hirt, “induced” in an improvised gassing facility at Natzweiler-Struthof and their corpses were sent to Strasbourg — 57 men and 29 women. The gassing occurred on August 11, 13, 17, and 19th, conducted by commandant Joseph Kramer, who directed the victims to undress, placed the poison in the ventilation, and watched the people fall to their deaths. One victim was shot for fighting to avoid being gassed and thus was not part of the collection.Josef Kramer, acting commandant of Natzweiler-Struthof (who became the commandant at Auschwitz and the last commandant of Bergen Belsen), personally carried out the gassing of the victims, per his testimony at his post-war trial. It is believed that three men died in transport from Auschwitz to Natzweiler-Struthof.

 

The next part of the process for this “collection” was to make anatomical casts of the bodies prior to reducing them to skeletons. With the approach of the Allies in 1944, there was concern over the possibility that the corpses could be discovered, as they had still not been defleshed. In September 1944, Sievers telegrammed Brandt: “The collection can be defleshed and rendered unrecognizable. This, however, would mean that the whole work had been done for nothing-at least in part-and that this singular collection would be lost to science, since it would be impossible to make plaster casts afterwards.”

Some work had been done at the Anatomical Institute, but the project was never completed. The body casts were not made, and the corpses were not defleshed as skeletons. When the Allies arrived, they found the corpses, some complete and some beheaded, preserved by formalin.

Brandt and Sievers were indicted, tried, and convicted in the Doctors’ Trial in Nuremberg, and both were hanged in Landsberg Prison on June 2, 1948. Hirt committed suicide near the town of Schluchsee, in the Black Forest in Germany on June 2, 1945 with a gunshot to the head. Josef Kramer was convicted of war crimes and hanged in Hamelin prison by noted British executioner Albert Pierrepoint on December 13, 1945.

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In 1974, Bruno Beger was convicted by a West German court as an accessory to 86 murders for his role in procuring the victims of the Jewish skeleton collection. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment, the minimum sentence, but did not serve any time in prison. According to his family, Beger died in Königstein im Taunus on October 12, 2009.

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August Hirt, who conceived the project, was sentenced to death in absentia at the Military War Crimes Trial at Metz on 23 December 1953.It was unknown at the time that Hirt had shot himself in the head on June 2, 1945 while in hiding in the Black Forest.

For many years, only a single victim was positively identified through the efforts of Serge and Beate Klarsfeld: Menachem Taffel (prisoner no. 107969), a Polish born Jew who had been living in Berlin.Deported to Auschwitz in March 1943 along with his wife and child who were gassed upon arrival. He was chosen to be an anatomical specimen, shipped to Natzweiler-Struthof and executed in the gas chamber in August 1943.

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In 2003, Dr. Hans-Joachim Lang, a German professor at the University of Tübingen, succeeded in identifying all the victims by comparing a list of inmate numbers of the 86 corpses at the Reichs University in Strasbourg, surreptitiously recorded by Hirt’s French assistant Henri Henrypierre, with a list of numbers of inmates vaccinated at Auschwitz. Lang recounts in detail the story of how he determined the identities of the 86 victims gassed for Dr. August Hirt’s project of the Jewish skeleton collection. Forty-six of these individuals were originally from Thessaloniki, Greece. The 86 were from eight countries in German-occupied Europe: Austria, Netherlands, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Belgium, and Poland.

In 1951, the remains of the 86 victims were reinterred in one location in the Cronenbourg-Strasbourg Jewish Cemetery. On December 11, 2005, memorial stones engraved with the names of the 86 victims were placed at the cemetery.

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One is at the site of the mass grave, the other along the wall of the cemetery. Another plaque honoring the victims was placed outside the Anatomy Institute at Strasbourg’s University Hospital. In 2015, scientists at the Anatomical Institute discovered forensic tissue samples hidden away, presumed to be from Menachem Taffel. These last remains were buried in the Jewish cemetery.As journalist and researcher Lang stated, once his long research was published on the identities of the 86 people killed under Hirt’s orders, “The perpetrators should not be allowed to have the final word.”

Elizabeth Klein, murdered at the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp. Her mother, Elizabeth Klein, was born in Thalheim on 29 May 1878. While in Vienna she married a Hungarian merchant Koloman Klein from Kisnána, with whom she had a daughter, Elizabeth Klein. The family emigrated to Belgium in 1938. Elizabeth was arrested during a raid in February 1943. On 19 April 1943 she was deported to Auschwitz from the Mechelen internment camp. There she was selected for the Jewish skeleton collection directed by August Hirt. She was one of 86 people murdered in the Natzweiler-Struthof

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