« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
selves in their madness. They would beat the walls with their hands and head and scream in an effort to relieve pressure on their eardrums. These cases of extremes of vacuums generally ended in the death of the subject. An extreme experiment was so certain to result in death that in many instances the chamber was used for routine execution purposes rather than an experiment. I have known RASCHER's experiments to subject a prisoner to vacuum conditions or extreme pressure conditions or combinations of both for as long as thirty minutes. The experiments were generally classified into two groups, one known as the living experiments and the other simply as the X experiment which was a way of saying execution experiment.
Q. Were there any other personnel involved in these things? A. Yes, DR. BUNZCNGRUBER, a civilian employee and the station's KAPO JAUK. There was another civilian employee FEIX, who together with Dr. BUNZCNGRUBER had been prisoners at this camp before becoming civilian employees.
Q. Where are these people now, if you know?
A. Civilian employee FEIX and former prisoner NEFF, Assistant to Dr. RASCHER, are now employed at a government owned plant for the manufacture of a hemostatic remedies to stop blood flow. This plant is located between the towns of Lindau and Briggins in Baden. I do not know where the others are. CROSS-EXAMINATION by Captain CLYDE WALKER,
Q. What were the other tests, if any?
A. There was one to test flight clothing for the Luftwaffe. The victims for this were dressed in various types of flight suits with life jackets and were thrown into vats of water, too deep for a man to stand in and the rim of which was too high to grab into so that a man would have to remain as he was thrown. His hands were always chained together. The water was the temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean or of the North Sea in middle winter. The temperature was important to the experiment. The victim would be left floating for about four hours, or sooner if he fainted, but he would not be removed until the heart beat went down to a certain minimum. After that tests for revivals would be made. I would like to state that on all these experiments, pictures, both still and moving, were taken. Charts and graphs were drawn and all sent to Berlin. At the headquarters of the Luftwaffe and upon decision by the experts of the Luftwaffe all of the aforementioned experiments were declared scientifically worthless with the result that Dr. RASCHER
was fired from his position and reduced to the rank of SS Hauptsturmfuehrer.
Q. Was this in punishment or a feeling of humanitarianism?
A. It was deemed punishment for inefficiency and inexperience and a waste of time when he did so much without knowing first what he was doing.
Q. What else did RASCHER do?
A. Next Dr. RASCHER, in his capacity of SS Hauptsturmfuehrer, conducted experiments to find a remedy to stop bleeding from all causes. He would extract about an eighth of a liter of blood from a prisoner who previously had to swallow certain tablets for the single purpose of causing blood to coagulate in case of an open wound. They would then examine this blood and check the time of coagulation from the time it was extracted.
Q. Did Dr. RASCHER have any assistant that you remember in this work?
A. Yes, there was a prisoner by the name of WALTER NEFF who was the doctor's constant aid. He was discharged from Dachau on 5 April 1944 to accept an appointment in Munich in the office of "Reichsfuehrer SS Personal Staff", which was the bureau in charge of our experiments in this vicinity.
Q. What was the average daily toll from this experiment? A. I counted daily from one to as many as sixteen bodies left from a day's work. I would say the weekly average was about twenty. These experiments were conducted until September 1943 beginning in 1941.
Q. Was Dr. RASCHER in charge of this work for this whole period?
A. Yes. RASCHER told me that he had been put on this work by HIMMLER personally and he was there until it was abandoned. I forgot to mention that in the early part of the work in 1942 Russian civilians, prisoners of war and Jews of all nationalities were used. Particular attention was paid in being sure that the man was a Russian commissar or some sort of intellectual. Q. Is there anything else that you would like to add about this. experiment?
A. Yes. I can never forget the way RASCHER acted. RASCHER used to go for the prisoners personally and would bring them in at pistol point. He would casually shoot any who tried to make a break or any who did not move fast enough. Once herded into the room he would sneer and tell them that they had fifteen minutes to live and he would relax the prohibition of no smoking among prisoners and that they could have a smoke. The most disgusting part was that when the prisoners lined up,
RASCHER would go along and make what he called a leather inspection. He would grab a man by the buttocks and/or thighs and say "good." After the group had been killed, the skin from these bodies would be removed from those thighs and buttocks. I was in the office many times when human skin with blood still on it was brought in to RASCHER. After the bodies had been carted away, RASCHER would inspect them carefully, holding them up to the light for flaws, and would pass on them before they were tanned. They were always stretched over small wooden frames when they came to RASCHER. I saw the finished leather later made into a handbag that Mrs. RASCHER was carrying. Most of it went for driving gloves for the SS officers of the camp. Q. Was this so-called "Doctor" a doctor of medicine or science? A. He was a doctor of medicine, I do know that. He was about thirty-four years of age. I have been told that RASCHER was killed by the SS before the Americans got here but I have no proof of that.
Q. Were there any other experiments conducted other than those you have mentioned?
Q. What were they?
A. The "cold test" was one. RASCHER conducted this one also with the help, of course, of his personal assistant NEFF. The test was to determine the degree of cold temperature that a human being could stand and still have his faculties. This was for the Luftwaffe also. As well as determining what a man could stand the experiment would usually go on until the man passed out completely. Then there was an experiment to find a way to revive a prisoner who had so collapsed.
Q. Where were these experiments performed?
A. They were performed in the outdoors during the winter time. It was always at night as a rule because the weather was coldest at that time. Men would be put outdoors naked, lying in metal carts from two to twelve hours depending upon the individual's constitution. Some fainted sooner than others. Examinations or written tests were made constantly to record pulses, temperatures and general physical reactions. When a man fainted he was wrapped in a life preserver and thrown into a tank of water at room temperature. He was kept there until he revived or until he was pronounced dead. In addition to this, there was the testing of the heart, blood count, respiratory system, etc. Another experiment conducted with these half-frozen, unconscious people was to take a man and throw him in boiling water of varying temperatures and take readings on his physical reac
tions from extreme cold to extreme heat. The victims came out looking like lobsters. Some lived but most of them died. Scientifically, I cannot understand how they lived. Still another method was to revive a half-frozen man by the warmth of another body. For this test healthy, normal women were brought from Ravensbruck and two women would be undressed and the half-frozen body of a prisoner placed between the two warm, nude bodies of the women. The three bodies were kept this way until the warmth of the women's bodies revived a man, or until he was declared dead.
Q. Who was present at such an experiment?
A. HEINRICH HIMMLER and his staff generally witnessed these important experiments here at Dachau or any new experiment. Standartenfuehrer SIEVERS was always present with HIMMLER. Another experiment as told to me by NEFF personally was done in the following manner: The prisoner would be taken into the gas chamber at the new crematorium and extremities of the body amputated without the use of anaesthetics, i. e., living bodies were used to simulate battle field condition wounds and shell fire wounds. The coagulation tests were being conducted during this time. Dr. RASCHER conducted this experiment and would later dictate his findings for the official report. Q. Were there any other things of this nature that went on? A. I remember in particular any report I made out almost always ended with the remark "Experiment successful but the patient died." This may sound like a joke as I have heard it before but I have never had to write it before and realize it was true.
Q. Are there any more experiments you remember wherein you can give names of personnel conducting them?
A. None, except I would like to tell what I know of the dungeon here. I was thrown into the dungeon after having escaped from camp. The circumstances of my escape were that in RASCHER'S absence I cleaned out his safe and took all signed receipts of sale for gloves and pocketbooks that RASCHER had sold, i. e., gloves and pocketbooks made from human skin. There were other documents also which I can't remember now. My English friend in camp who has since been killed made a contact for me on the outside. When I left camp I met this intermediary from the British and handed him all these compromising documents. This person took them on to Switzerland. I do not know where he is now nor where the documents are. I came back under guard and thought I would be killed but RASCHER saved my life. RASCHER was in trouble, charged with negligence and he thought I could save him. He in turn said he had burned the
documents in question and I was merely thrown into the dungeon where I remained for nine months in chains. RASCHER was convicted of negligence and many other things and was later dismissed from the service and I understand has since been killed by the SS. RASCHER's wife was convicted for embezzlement and imprisoned. I gave RASCHER 5,000 marks to keep from being killed even before this came up. I had money on the outside. RASCHER had told us when I gave him the 5,000 marks that the SS was afraid something would go wrong in Germany and that the American invasion might be successful and if it was every prisoner would be killed.
Q. Who was in charge of the dungeon? A. Sturmfuehrer STILLEP. I don't remember the name of his assistant. Most of the punishment I received in the dungeon was inflicted by an SS man from Munich who came from the Gestapo to question me. I don't know their names and in all the time I was there I can hardly remember all the things they did to me, nor can I remember the names. It was the usual beatings, sometimes for long periods standing in chains, and questions that tortured my mind. They could torture your mind as well as your body. They would take me out of the cell for interrogation and, when in answering a question in a proper manner, they would beat me to their great satisfaction with their fists and hit me on either side of the face causing me to reel across the room and faint. They would take a pail of water and throw it over me for revival. One day I was taken out of my cell for interrogation very early in the morning and it seems they were in a bad humor because upon entering the room one of the SD Gestapo men took a wet towel, wrapped it loosely around my neck and dragged me all over the room until I lost consciousness. When I woke up again I found myself completely soaked from a drenching of water and then I was taken back to my cell without any interrogation taking place. Once during my stay in the bunker, one of those larger cells, I was able to observe Oberscharfuehrer BACH with a few other SS men walk up to a cell and, opening the little trap door, fire point blank at the prisoner in that cell. It was customary among prisoners in the bunkers to refer to these shootings as another "Schuetzenfest"-this means shooting party.
Q. Can you remember any other names of SS or other personnel who treated you cruelly or abused you in the camp or any of the other prisoners?
A. None that I have not already mentioned. I will think of these things in years to come and names and faces will come to