1) The experiments must be necessary in order to clarify the question at issue.
2) The experiment must be thoroughly prepared by study of literature, animal experiments, and self-experiments.
3) The experimental subjects must be volunteers.
4) During the experiment proper the rules of medical skill and medical care must be observed.
In the opinion of the defense, all these conditions were fulfilled in this case.
Since, however, Dr. Becker-Freysing participated in the planning of these experiments only as was officially concerned with them in his capacity of Referent, I shall, in the following be able to touch only briefly on all matters pertaining to the actual execution of the experiments.
As a preliminary remark I should like to state the following:
I do not consider it my task to lecture again on this whole aspect in my final plea. On the contrary, I deliberately confine myself to clarifying those questions only, which are, in my opinion, decisive.
At the moment I consider, one factor above all, material. It is the following question:
Was everything done, when the seawater-experiments were being planned, to furnish all data required for establishing the necessity of the experiments?
And I think I can definitely answer this question in the affirmative.
The Defense has proved the high sense of responsibility applied to the inquiry on the necessity of the seawater-experiments. Scientists of international reputation, like Prof. Dr. Eppinger and Prof. Heubner, were consulted, and they definitely answered this question in the affirmative. More can not be expected or demanded in the way of a sense of responsibility.
In my opinion, the mere fact that these scientists were asked their opinion on the issue in question shows that everything was done on the part of the Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe and his office to reach the right decision in this question.
With regard to the purely objective judgment of the sea-water experiments and their necessity, I should like to refer to the statements made in my closing brief for Dr. Becker-Freysing.
At this point, I should, however, like to add the following:
The Prosecution has tried to make out that it was the purpose of these sea-water experiments to decide whether Berkatit removes the salt from sea-water. This contention of the Prosecution has in no way been proved. I must stress here again, most emphatically, that this was never the purpose of the sea water experiments.
All people concerned realized that Berkatit does not remove the salt from sea water. The question which was to be clarified and which necessitated the experiments was rather the following:
Under the action of the Vitamins contained in Berkatit, will the kidneys be capable of producing an urine with a higher sodium chloride concentration than is normally the case?
Dr. Eppinger has answered this question neither in the affirmative nor in the negative; he stated that this question could be decided only by experiment.
In addition there was another question to be decided, as to whether in case of shipwreck it would be more recommendable to endure thirst, or whether marooned fliers should be advised to drink small quantities of salt water. In 1942 - 1944 this question was also raised in the USA and England and there too, human experiments were carried out. But all these individual questions were only part of the great issue, of how shipwrecked persons could be helped to escape the agony and danger of dying from thirst.
These issues were the basis for the experiments conducted in 1944.
In my opinion it is not admissible, to-day to arbitrarily construe another issue, and to contend on the basis of such a never existing issue, that those experiments were not necessary.
These medical issues alone necessitated the experiments.
Other issues to which I want to make short reference, were added these.
Until 1944 the world lacked an agent to make seawater drinkable. Such an agent was an absolute necessity. Nobody denied even then, that WOFATIT, developed by the co-defendant Schaefer, would have been an ideal agent for this purpose. It was, however, equally clear that this agent could only be manufactured by withdrawing the necessary raw material, namely silver, from other war-essential uses.
Furthermore, it was not denied that Berkatit did not require in the same measure raw materials in short supply. Another circumstance to be considered, was that Berkatit could have been produced in existing plants whereas it would have been necessary to erect new plants for the production of Wofatit. Accordingly these technical reasons favored the introduction of Berkatit. It can hardly be denied that it was necessary for a medical officer conscious of his responsibilities in war, to consider these reasons when reaching a decision. Incidentally, the export of the prosecution, Prof. Ivy, also stated that these reasons were absolutely worthy of consideration.
Accordingly it had to be clarified, whether Berkatit could not, after all, be introduced for distribution to persons facing the risk of shipwreck, and the inquiry into this question was all the more necessary as, according to the opinion of Prof. Eppinger and Prof. Heubner, Berkatit apparently contained Vitamins which eliminated the risks incurred by human beings when drinking seawater.
Whether the opinion of the experts, Heubner and Eppinger, was right or not, could, at that time the same as to-day, only be established by experiment.
Hence if the defendant Dr. Becker-Freyseng in 1944, having examined all these factors and having applied all precautions possible, became convinced that the experiments could not be avoided, and if, from this viewpoint, in his official capacity as a consultant (Referent) he reported to his highest authority at that time, Prof. Dr. Schroeder, that he considered the experiments as necessary, then, in my opinion, he can in no way be charged under criminal law on that account.
Therefore, in my opinion, it has to be proved that Dr. Becker-Freyseng considered these experiments necessary and that he was entitled to consider them as necessary.
And this question alone can be made the basis for an inquiry into his guilt under criminal law.
With regard to this point, I would like in conclusion to refer to the testimony of Prof. Dr. Wolhard. This worldfamous physician, this research-scientist, recognized as such in international circles, upon whom, only a few weeks ago, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, the highest German decoration of science was bestowed, namely the Goethemedal for Art and Science, a ceremony in which nearly all European countries, also America, joined, stated before this High Tribunal and I quote:
"I regarded it as sign of a sense of responsibility that in view of the increasing flying-accidents, the sea emergency-question was taken up and these experiments were launched."
Insofar, I consider the evidence established, that the planning of these experiments was in no way objectionable.
I need only point out briefly that Dr. Schaefer, on orders of the Medical Inspectorate of the Luftwaffe, carried out the necessary studies of literature, and that Dr. Schaefer carried out experiments onhimself and on other persons, and animals, on a small scale, and that the same prerequisites had once more been given by the co-defendant Dr. Beiglboeck who had been ordered with the execution of these experiments. Thus, also, in this case, a second prerequisite was given for The experiments on other subjects.
The next question to be decided by the High Tribunal is whether the experimental subjects were volunteers.
However, also in this case I should like to point out that the following may be decisive:
Dr. Becker-Freyseng, merely took part in the planning of these experiments. He neither selected the experimental subjects, nor did he ever see them.
It cannot be decisive for the judgment of a person's guilt, who, like Dr. Becker-Freyseng, merely took part in the planning of an experiment, whether the experimental subjects were, in fact, volunteers; it is much more decisive for such a person whether he wanted such experiments to be carried out on persons who volunteered. The evidence here Also proved clearly in this direction, that Dr. BeckerFreyseng, together with the other physicians, only did think of volunteers. Beyond that, proof has been submitted that for this particular experiment, it was an absolute necessity, from medical reasons, for the experimental subjects to be volunteers.
I believe that this Tribunal may well concede that for a scientist, with the fame as the defendant Dr. Becker-Freyseng had, this medical reason sufficed, that he requested the experimental persons to be volunteers.
Beyond that the evidence here has clarified unmistakably, that the experimental subjects were, in fact, volunteers.
Accordingly I consider the evidence established to the effect that the the planning of these experiments was in no way a crime against humanity.
Finally I must point out that the experiments in themselves were in no way a torture for the experimental subjects, and that the possibility of injury was out of the question, considering the directives given to the head of the experimental station, Prof. Dr. Beiglgboeck.
When the expert, Prof. Ivy, who had been called by the prosecution, declared here, he had never heard that through a hunger or thirst-experiment an experimental subject had been permanently injured, or that such an experiment resulted indeath, then this statement can be unrestrainedly accepted by the defense.
Dr. Becker-Freyseng also knew what Prof. Ivy stated here before the Tribunal. Therefore he had every right to regard these experiments as being not dangerous.
It is hardly necessary to detail the execution of the experiments themselves.
Dr. Becker-Freyseng did not take any part in the execution.
Concerning this point I should like to refer only to Prof. Dr. Volhard's testimony. He was asked whether he would carry out the seawater experiment again, under the same conditions which were the basis of the experiments at Dachau.
He answered this question in the affirmative, and then he described an experiment on 5 of his associates amongst them his own youngest son.
No medical expert in the whole world would be able to give a more convincing justification for the planning of an irreproachable experiment.
"There cannot be any talk of inhumanity or brutality" that was the conclusive explanation of the 75 years old scientist, Prof. Dr. Volhard, concerning the question of the sea-water experiments.
Your Honors, in order to declare Dr. Becker-Freyseng's participation in the planning of the sea-water experiments a crime, it should be ascertained that Dr. Becker-Freyseng did not think these experiments necessary; it should further be ascertained, that he wanted these experiments to be carried out on persons who did not volunteer for them, and finally it should have to be ascertained, that these experiments were crimes against humanity. However, as the evidence has shown, it has not been proved that any of these assertions are correct. On the contrary I consider the evidence established that concerning this particular sea-water experiment, it was the question of a carefully planned experiment, carried out irreproachably and scientifically, and according to strict scientific rules, which lack all the characteristics of a crime against humanity.
However, in any case, the defendant Dr. Becker-Freyseng, like every defendant, is here before the Tribunal under the protection of an assumed innocence, as the Military Tribunal II formulated it in the trial against the Field-Marshall Milch.
As long as there is the slightest doubt in the guilt of a defendant, he has to be acquitted of the charge against him, according to the sound principle of the American legal idea:
"In dubio pro reo" And when passing the judgment as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant, his personality must hot be disregarded.
However, I can hardly describe the personality of the defendant Dr. Becker-Freyseng better, than his hold lecturer and superior of many years did, the present Ordinarius for physiology and collaborator of the Medical Centre Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Strughold. Summing up, I can say, that Becker-Freyseng is a highly intelligent scientist, trained according to superior principles, who by way of his scientific work, and in particular by his heroic self-experiments, accomplished great things for the progress of humanity in his youth, and who will fill his place, also in the future, as a physician, eager to help, and as a careful scientist".
Your Honors, please consider the defendant's personality, as well as the facts stated during the case, and you will come to the conclusion that in view of the evidence offered here, the motion of the defense is justified, which is, to acquit the defendant Dr. Becker-Freyseng of all the counts of the indictment charged against him.
THE PRESIDENT: The arguments on behalf of the prosecution and on behalf of the defense counsel have not been completed.
The Tribunal will be in recess until 9:30 o'clock tomorrow morning when the Tribunal will hear the personal statements by the defendants.
THE MARSHAL: The Tribunal will be in recess until 9:30 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(A recess was taken until 19 July, 1947, 0930 hours.)
Official Transcript of the American Military Tribunal in the matter of the United States of America against Karl Brandt, et al, defendants, sitting at Nuernberg, Germany on 19 July 1947, 0930 Justice Beals presiding.
THE MARSHALL: Persons in the court room will please find their seats.
The Honorable, the judges of Military Tribunal I.
Military Tribunal I is now in session. God save the United States of America and this honorable Tribunal. There will be order in the court.
THE PRESIDENT: My Marshall, will you ascertain if the defendants are all present in court.
THE MARSHALL: May it please your Honor, all the defendants are present in the court.
THE PRESIDENT: The Secretary General will note for the record the presence of all the defendants in court.
This morning Tribunal No I has convened in order to hear statements by the defendants in person. It is not obligatory upon any defendant to make a statement if he does not desire to do so. The privilege of making such a personnel statement is accorded to such of the defendants as wish to avail themselves of that privilege. The defendants sitting in the first row will make their statements, those who desire to do so, from their places. The microphone will be placed in front of each defendant. Any defendant who does not desire to make any statement will simply inform the tribunal of that fact when the microphone is placed in position before him. The defendants in the rear row, when their names are called, will step to the entrance of the dock where the microphone will be in position and will make their statements from that point.
The defendants will speak rather slowly and distinctly in making their statements, so that it may bewell and fairly interpreted. The Tribunal will now proceed to hear the personal statements on the part of the defendants. As I call the name of each defendant, he will proceed with his statement. Karl Brandt.
Defendant KARL BRANDT: There is a word which seems so simple, and that is the word order, and yet how atrocious are its implications, how immeasurable are the conflicts which hide behind the word. Both affected, me, to obey and to give orders, and both are responsibility. I am a doctor and before my conscience there is this responsibility as the responsibility towards men and towards life. Quite soberly, the prosecution charged crimes and murder and they raised the question of my guilt. It would be without significance if friends and patients were to shield me and to speak well of me, saying I had helped and I had healed. There would be many examples for my actions during danger and my readiness to help.
But all that is now different. For my sake I shall not evade these charges. But there is the attempt of human justification which is my duty towards all who believe in mo, who trust in me and who relied upon me as a man, as a doctor and as a superior.
I have never regarded the human experiments in whatever shape I might have meant it as a matter of course, not even when it was without danger. But I affirm it for the sake of reason that it is a necessity. I know that from these contradictions will arise. The things that disturb the conscience or a medical man, and I know the inner feeling that urges one when an order or when obedience decide the morale of any type.
It is immaterial for the experiment when this is done with or against the will of the person concerned. For the individual the event remains contradictory, just as contradictory as my actions as a doctor seem to be if you decide to isolate it. The sense is much deeper than that. Can I, as an individual, remove myself from the community? Can I be outside and without it? Could I, as a part of this community, evade it by saying I want to thrive in this community, but I don't want to bring any sacrifices for it, not bodily and not with my soul. I want to keep my conscience clear. Let them try how they can got along. And yet we, that community, are somehow identical.
Thus I must suffer of these controversies, bear the consequences, even if they remain incomprehensible. I must boar them as the fate of my life which allocates to me its tasks. The sense is the motive, devoted to the community. If for their sake I am guilty, then for their sake I will justify myself.
There was war. In war one's actions are all alike. Sacrifices of war affect us all and I stand by them. But are those sacrifices my crime? Did I kick the requirements of humanity and despise them? Did I step across human beings and their lives as if they were nothing? Yes, they will point at me and cry "Euthanasia" -- and wrongly; useless, incapable, without value. But what did happen? Did not Pastor Bodelschwingh in the middle of his work at Bethel last year say that I was an Idealist and not a criminal. How could he do such a thing? Here I am, subject of the most frightful charges. What if I had not only been a doctor but a man too without a heart and without a conscience. Would you believe that it was a pleasure to me when I received the order to start Euthanasia For 15 years I had labored at the sick-bed and every patient was to me like a brother, every sick child I worried about as if it had been my own.
And then that hard fate hit me. Is that guilt?
Was it not my first thought to limit the scope of Euthanasia? Did I not, the moment I was included, try to find a limit and find a cure for the incurable? Were not the professors of the Universities there? Who could there be who was more qualified? But I do not want to speak of those questions and of their executions. I defend myself against the charge of inhuman conduct and base philosophy. In the face of those charges I fight for my right to humane treatment. I know how complicated this problem is. With the deepest devotion I have tortured myself again and again, but no philosophy and no other wisdom helped here.
There was the decree and on it there was my name. I do not say that I could have feigned sickness. I do not live this life of mine in order to evade fate if I meet it. And thus I affirmed Euthanasia. I realize the problem is as old as man, but it is not a crime against men nor against humanity. Here I cannot believe like a clergyman or think as a jurist. I am a doctor and I see the law of nature as being the law of reason. From that grew in my heart the love of men and it stands before my conscience. When I talked to Pastor Bodelschwingh, the only serious warning voice I ever met personally, it seemed at first as if our thoughts were far apart, but the longer we talked and the more we came into the open, the closer and the greater became our mutual understanding. At that time we weren't concerned with words. It was a struggle and a search far beyond the human scope and sphere.
When the old Pastor Bodelschwingh after many hours left me and we shook hands, he said as his last word, "that was the hardest struggle of my life." To him as well as to me that struggle remained, and it remained a problem too.
If I were to say to-day that I wished that this problem had never hit me in its tremendous dramatic force, then this could be nothing but superficiality in order to make it more comfortable for myself. But I live in my time and I experience that it is full of controversies everywhere. Somewhere we all must make a stand.
I am deeply conscious before myself that when I said "Yes" to Euthanasia I did that in my deepest conviction, just as it is my conviction today, that it was right. Death can mean relief. Death is life - just as much as birth. Never was it meant to be murder. I bear this burden but it is not the burden of crime. I bear this burden of mine, though, with a heavy heart as my responsibility. Before it, I survive and pass, and before my conscience, as a man and as a doctor.
THE PRESIDENT: I now call upon the Defendant Handloser.
DEFENDANT HANDLOSER: During my first interrogations here in Nuernberg in August, 1946, the interrogator explained to me:
First, you have been the Chief of the Army Medical Service. Whether or not you knew of improper experiments does not matter here. As the Chief, you are responsible for everything.
Second, do not try to come with the excuse that among other nations similar things, or the same, have happened. We are not concerned with that here. The Germans are under indictment, not the others.
Third, do not rely upon your witnesses. They, of course, will testify in your favor. We have our witnesses, and we rely upon them.
Those were the guiding principles of the Prosecution until the last day of these proceedings. They remained incomprehensible to me, because I always believed that a criminal had to be a man who did wrong, and because I was of the opinion that even the Prosecution had the desire to be objective, at least until after the end of the presentation of evidence. The final plea by the Prosecution, however, told me that I made a mistake. The speech by the Prosecution did not take into account the material submitted in evidence, but it was a summary and a repetition of one-sided statements of the Prosecution without taking into account that which was submitted in the course of the presentation of evidence in my case.
I have full confidence that the High Tribunal has gained a true impression of my activity and of my attitude. Just as I have tried throughout my entire life to fulfill the tasks which were put to me by fate, according to the best of my capacity and in the full knowledge of my responsibility, I also tried to pass this most serious examination before this court with the aid of this strongest weapon which I possessed. That is the truth.
If there was anything which could reconcile me with the mental suffering of the last months, then it was to be conscious, to know, that before this court, before the German people, and before the people of the world, it would become clear that the serious general charges of the Pros ecution against the Medical Corps of the German Armed Forces have been proved to be without any foundation.
It can be seen how unjust these charges were by the fact that, according to my knowledge, not against a single leading doctor of the German Armed Forces in combat or at home, including my two chiefs of staff, were any charges raised or any proceedings initiated. As the last Medical Inspector of the Army, and as Chief of the Medical Service of the Armed Forces of Germany, I think with pride of all the medical officers to whose untiring devotion hundreds of wounded and sick patients of this dreadful war owe their lives and cure and their possibilities for existence. Never and nowhere were the losses of an Army Medical Corns, more than those among the Army in the Officers of the German Armed Forces in carrying out their duties.
More than 150 years ago, the guiding principle was created for German military doctors and their young successors, "Scientia, Humanitati, Patriae", "For Science, for Humanity, and for the Fatherland." Just as the medical officers in their entirety also remained true. That guiding principle is in my thoughts and in my actions. May the joint endeavors of all the nations succeed in recognizing the meaning of peace, and to avoid in future the immeasurable misfortune of war, the dreadful phase of which, nobody knows better than the military physician.
THE PRESIDENT: The defendant Paul Rostock.
DEFENDANT ROSTOCK: I have nothing to add to the pertinent statements by my defense counsel, Dr. Pribilla, regarding the individual points of the indictment in this trial, but with regard to the general position of German Medical Science during this war, there are a few words, which I would like to speak from this dock.
Within my direct examination, I have already stated why I, as the Chief of the so-called Department "Science and Research," I undertook it to begin to work for medical science as late as 1943 and 1944. At that time the problem was to avoid the considerable and acute danger, or, at least to reduce that, that teaching and research, and with Germany's universities, should be completely destroyed. When this had been prevented at the very last moment, there arose from it the task and the duty to improve the means and the possibilities of the basic research which had been more and more restricted in the process of the war and through their dwindling resources; research in Germany would have been completely destroyed.
Due to the chaotic development of the last year of the war, success was comparatively limited, but there was success and there were a few things which were saved beyond the end of the war.
Today on the strength of the evidence in this trial, I know the reasons which paralyzed the work at the time. It was the striving for power on the part of certain organizations which used the effective support of certain executive departments who held the unrestricted power of the Third Reich. It was the claim for a totalitarian conduct which was put forward by its organizations in the case of what they called the science of universities, but it was there where we founded the tradition of German science recognized the world over. With regard to that they pursued the aim as shown in some of the testimonies given in this trial and some of the documents submitted for a politically directed science of their own, which they wished to start. That was the reason why in this trial, the evidence given to you in this trial, the aims which I have referred to had to be without a complete success. Today at the end of this trial I know how the situation was. At that time, in the year 1944, we did not know of this masterly camouflaged and, therefore, so very dangerous opponent of that part of science which I myself had come up against. Throughout my life I have never by any means worked for one form of a state or another or for any political party in Germany, but, solely and alone, for my patients and for medical science.
THE PRESIDENT: I now call upon the Defendant Schroeder.
DEFENDANT SCHROEDER: It is very difficult for a defendant to find the right last word here. In methodical, detailed work throughout the last months, the defense has tried to rebut the charges of the Prosecution.
If the Prosecution states now in its final plea that details do not matter so much but that the entire complex of questions has to be considered as a whole, one has to look at matters as at a bundle of sticks, not as individual branches and twigs of the bundle. If, furthermore, the Prosecution refers to a sentence pronounced in the Far East by an American Military Court, by which a Japanese General and military commander was sentenced only because, as a commander, he had the responsibility for all the acts of his troops, regardless of whether he ordered them, knew of them, approved of them, or did not even know of them--if, Gentlemen of the Tribunal, these principles are decisive for proceedings, then I have to ask, why bother at all to start proceedings of that kind, to prepare them, and to carry them out? Those decisions could be made much more quickly.
What can I, as a defendant, say against these arguments? That is easily seen by my work, my actions as a doctor and soldier in 35 years of service. Not ambition for glory and honor was the content of my life's work, but the firm intention to put my entire capacity, my full knowledge, into the service of my beloved Fatherland, to help the soldier, as a physician, to heal the wounded, which war-time and peace-time service has created, as a practical physician for the individual, as well as the medical officer for the mass of troops which were in my care.
That was the path and the goal of my work. I do not believe that I have deviated from that path. My eyes were always fixed in the direction of the final goal, to help and to heal.
THE PRESIDENT: The defendant Genzken.
DEFENDANT GENZKEN: During my testimony I stated before the Tribunal that I took no part in the types of experiments of which I was accused. I have nothing to add to what my defense counsel Dr. Merkel has said. For the duration of a human life I have striven to live decently, as a doctor and as a soldier.
If my fatherly concern for my 2,500 doctor and 30,000 medical men was attacked here in this courtroom, then it is nevertheless my duty to speak from this place on behalf of those men who, in the majority, were decent and brave doctors and medical men.
THE PRESIDENT: Please speak a little slower, the interpreters have difficulty in translating.
DEFENDANT GENZKEN: I am proud to have been their leader, a leader of those who sacrificed their lives and blood with unceasing effort to help me in building up the organization of the Medical Section of the Waffen SS, and who suffered tremendous losses from the ranks of our comrades at the fronts.
The soldiers of the Waffen SS have proven historically, in the focal points of uncounted battles during an uneven struggle, that they were able to meet the best equipped troops on this earth as far as training, efficiency, readiness of sacrifice, soldierly valor, and contempt of death were concerned. Actions of modern warfare presented a picture, partly, of murder and horror, and, I say, on either side. Who wants to raise his head before God and gainsay it?
We, the men of the Waffen SS, went into captivity out of anguish, out of unheard physical and mental war distress. That captivity was not free of bloodshed, ill treatment and dishonor of various kinds. To the men of the Waffen SS there was added to the weight of such captivity the frightful realization of the fact that their supreme commander, Himmler, had misused their cloak of honor and deceived them, that they had been cheated and then deserted by him. These decent men of the Waffen SS certainly did not deserve that fate, the fate of being branded members of a criminal organization.
My request and my wish is that our former opponents should realize the true idealism of these victims, do justice to it, and give them back the true belief in justice.
THE PRESIDENT: The defendant Gebhardt.
DEFENDANT GEBHARDT: I wish to thank the High Tribunal for having granted me an opportunity, in the witness box, to describe my personal position in 1942 in that much detail.
The historical situation at that time placed me in a totalitarian state which, in turn, placed itself between the individual and the universe. The virtues in the service of the state were virtues as such. Beyond that, I did not know whether, in the world neurosis of this total war, there was a country at all where the spirit was not used as a tool for war. Everywhere, in some way, values and solutions were put in the service of the war. And here again, in the spiritual field, the first step is the decisive one.
I may be permitted to recall that in the war of nerves, propaganda with and for medical preparations caused the first step, the order to examine the problem of sulfanilamides.
In my final statement today I want to describe my entire attitude as a whole. In doing so, may I utilize the most important of the four American freedoms, that is to say, the freedom of speech, until the very end, in a manner wherein I will refrain from any denunciation or from incriminating others. Without exaggerating the importance of my own person.
However, any physician can only be measured according to his idea of medical science. Basically, I was neither a cold technical specialist nor a pure scientist. I believe that I have always tried, for example, when carrying out surgical experiments, to see every disease as a purely human condition of suffering. However, I did not see my task as something to serve my own advantage, nor in cheap gestures of theoretical pit, but, in my personal active service, to support the wavering existence of the suffering patient. That is how I saw my task. My goal as a physician was not so much purely technical therapy for the individual patient, but therapeutical care for the particularly underprivileged group of the poor, the children, the cripples, the neurotics.
I am mainly interested in succeeding in being believed that it was not for moral baseness nor for selfish arrogance of the scientist that I came into contact with experiments on human beings. On the contrary, during the entire period in question I had animal experiments carried out in my field of research.
However, since I was the competent, responsible surgical expert, I was informed about the imminent experiments on human beings in my surgical fields ordered by the National authorities. After the order was given, it was no longer a question of stopping these experiments, but the problem was the method of their being carried out.
As an expert, my conflicts consisted of the following: For one, the experiments that had been ordered had to be of practical scientific value, and with the aim that a preventive should be found to protect thousands of injured and sick. On the other hand, I considered humane safety measures for the experimental subjects most important. The focal point for me, indeed, was never the purpose and the goal of the experiments, but the manner in which they were carried out. To do that in a humane way, I did not remain aloof in the special surgical field; I did not restrict myself to theoretical instruction, but I took part with my clinic and with all its safety measures.