The Nuremberg Trials Documents Image Archive HLSL HOME

Medical Case Transcript
11 December 1946

Previous     Page 231     Next     
First Page  |   Last Page  |   Go to Page  
   |   Search Transcript

"I, Rudolf Emil Hermann Brandt, being duly sworn, depose and state:

"1. I am the same Rudolf Brandt who has heretofore sworn to an affidavit on the 30th day of August, 1946, concerning certain low pressure experiments performed on human beings at the Dachau Concentration Camp.

"2. For the same reason set forth in paragraph 1,2, and 3, of my affidavit of 30 August, 1946, I am able to make this statement concerning freezing experiments performed on human beings.

"FREEZING EXPERIMENTS

"3. In the late spring of 1942, Field Marshall Milch of the Luftwaffe in a letter to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Karl Wolff (Chief of the Personal Staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS), authorized the freezing experiments on human beings. Oberstabsarzt A.G. Weltz was ordered to make these experiments and Rascher was to assist him. Milch expressed his thanks to the SS for their cooperation with the Supreme Command of the Luftwaffe in conducting the low pressure experiments. To the best of my recollection, Rascher wrote Himmler a few weeks later to the effect that General Oberstabsarzt Prof. Dr. Hippke had requested freezing experiments to be carried out on concentration camp inmates at Dachau. Rascher requested that Himmler approve the pardon of several inmates at Dachau who had assisted him in performing autopsies on guinea pigs who were killed during the course of the low pressure experiments.

"4. The Luftwaffe was interested in having the cooling experiments conducted because of the fact that a number of German aviators were forced to parachute into the North Sea and consequently were sometimes subjected to extreme cold for extended periods of time. The purpose of the freezing experiments was to learn the most effective way of rewarming such aviators, thereby saving their lives.

"5. The freezing experiments were begun in August 1942 and Rascher submitted a preliminary report in September 1942. The test-persons were partially submerged in ice water to lower their body temperature. This report stated that some of the experimental subjects were killed as a result of the experiments. Rascher attempted to revive the frozen subjects by rapid rewarming with hot water. He stated that rewarming by animal heat had not yet been utilized but that he thought it would be too slow.



Last reviewed: February 2003
© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College Contact: nuremb.harvard.edu