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many subjects died. Those who were fortunate enough to survive suffered from diarrhea, convulsions, hallucinations, foaming at the mouth, and madness.28 The conditions faced by soldiers in the Second World War varied based on their location and branch of military. For German soldiers, freezing temperatures were often a source of concern, especially when fighting on the eastern front in the Soviet Union. German soldiers suffered greatly in the harsh Russian winter, increasing the need for additional research on the effects of freezing and hypothermia on the human body.29 In an effort to better understand the limitations of the human body, Dr. Sigmund Rascher conducted experiments at Dachau. Rascher’s experiments consisted of immersing his subjects in freezing water for various amounts of time. While his subjects were immersed in the freezing water, Rascher noted the effects of hypothermia over time. In the course of Rascher’s experiments on freezing and hypothermia, Rascher is believed to have killed at least three hundred of his subjects.30 There is no evidence of Rascher’s experiments leading to any notable advance in medical knowledge. Dr. Sigmund Rascher did not focus solely on freezing and hypothermia in his time at Dachau. Being a Luftwaffe physician, Rascher also sought to learn the effects of high altitudes on German pilots.31 Since the advent of modern warfare – that is, wars fought with airplanes – the likelihood of pilots surviving at high altitudes has always been an issue. In an effort to monitor the effects of varying altitudes on German pilots both without a parachute and without

28 Spitz, Doctors from Hell, 173 29 Bill Barry, “Stopped Cold at Stalingrad,” World War II, 21.9 (January/February 2007): 35. 30 Henderson, “German Doctors Urged to Shake Off Nazi Horrors,” 4. 31 Spitz, Doctors from Hell, 65.


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Nazi Medical Experiments  

Nazi Medical Experiments