During World War II humanity reached one of its highest, most heroic eras; but also has known some of the darkest periods in history. Nazi concentration camps were partly meant for forced labour but were also used extensively as a means for exterminating huge numbers of people (the exact numbers are still discussed, but they go no less than ten million victims).
However, what some people tend to ignore are the thousands of prisoners who died due to Nazi experiments. This research was done with the purpose of obtaining new technologies, or enhancing what the Nazis understood as "racial purity." Either way, they caused nothing but pain and horror; and some of the most chilling tales survive until now.
5 Freezing Project
During World War II, Nazi Germany saw Russia as one of their biggest threats when it came to the domination of Europe. Since Hitler knew what happened to Napoleon during his military campaign in Russia and how the Russian winter basically destroyed his "Grande Armée," the Nazis decided that it would be a good idea to seek scientific methods to avoid this problem in troops. This is why Nazi scientists took subjects and submerged them in cold water, with no clothes; or just outright placed them outdoors in the middle of harsh winter conditions to see how much freeze humans could resist. After this, they tried different methods to try and make the subject "catch heat" again.
These methods included electro shocks, fire heat, and even sex with women. However, none of these were able to trump hypothermia, which resulted in the deaths of countless subjects. As history later proved, the Russian winter still hit the Nazis; and that was a big demoralising factor, especially in events such as the battle for Stalingrad. Not even the cruellest science in the world was able to prevent the inevitable.
4 Poison Bullets Experiments On Russian Prisoners
Just in the way indigenous tribesmen used to poison their arrows, the Nazis looked for ways to poison their bullets so they could kill faster; without giving the target any time to recover. For this purpose, they employed the concentration camp at Buchenwald as a centre for these sorts of experiments. They focused mainly on Russian prisoners. New poison formulas were developed every day, most of them containing cyanide (which was one of the strongest poisons known as of yet). Sometimes, the poison was injected directly; in other cases in food.
However, the most shocking case was in bullets. They used to shoot the prisoners with poisoned bullets and tried to see how much time it took them to die. However, if for some reason the prisoner managed to survive, they took him to a different chamber and killed him anyway; in order to perform an autopsy and study the effects of the poison in their organism. It is also important to note that cyanide was the main substance used in gas chambers through a compound known as Zyklon-B. This was originally used as a way to treat lice problems but was later on found to be just as "efficient" at exterminating huge numbers of people.
3 Nazi Tuberculosis Experiments
The Nazis, as most people know, were not only concerned about winning the war and attaining complete dominance over Europe. They were also obsessed with the idea of "enhancing" the Aryan race. One of the things that concerned them most regarding the subject of racial enhancement was getting rid of the most common diseases that took German lives or those which weakened the body.
One of these diseases, and one they paid special attention to was tuberculosis. For this, their basic centre for experimentation was the Neuengamme concentration camp. The experiments consisted of injecting the tuberculosis bacteria directly into the patient. These inoculations had the objective of finding the right volume ratios of tuberculosis necessary to develop an efficient vaccine. Needless to say, the same syringe was used plenty of times, just to make sure that the infection was strong enough. Around two hundred people died due to these experiments, and no vaccine was ever found.
2 Dr. Joseph Mengele Experiments With Twins
Dr Joseph Mengele is perhaps one of the most infamous characters in World War Two (and perhaps in world history). What characterised this man was his obsession with twins. He constantly asked himself the same question about how nature could reproduce exactly the same genes. For this reason, he experimented with around a thousand pair of twins. The experiments were as cruel as the human mind can conceive: they consisted in transplanting arms, eyes, legs (besides other limbs and organs) from one twin to another.
Sometimes, he even took two different bodies and sewed them together to see if he could create a single body. He also employed special substances in the prisoner´s pupils to see if he could change their colour, which usually led the subjects to go through extreme pain, and ending up blind. This was all done with the intention of trying to reproduce the Aryan race, as much as possible, in a strict scientific way. Only two hundred, from the original thousand pairs of twins, actually survived these horrid experiments. However, once Mengele felt that they were of no use anymore, he ordered them to be executed with a chloroform injection directly to their hearts.
1 Heinrich Himmler Secret Female Artificial Insemination Project
During the Third Reich, Heinrich Himmler was known as one of the most important figures, right after Hitler himself. He hired Dr Carl Caulberg in order to experiment with women and their pregnancy cycles. Women were tied and imprisoned. In these experiments, they used artificial insemination mixed with diverse hormones and stimulants, which usually had disastrous effects on the test subjects.
Some sources state that the Nazis were actually injecting animal semen to see if they could give birth to some sort of monster-like creatures; while others say that they only told that to the women in a kind of sick psychological game. Either way, the truth is that many of these females ended up cutting their own bellies to prevent themselves from giving birth to such aberrations.