Volume I · Page 200
|.||not until after May 1943 that he went
on active duty with the Waffen SS. He was of course supported by both
the Luftwaffe and the SS in these experiments.
The witness Neff, who was an inmate assistant in the experiments, testified that freezing experiments in the concentration camp Dachau started at the end of July or in August 1942. They were conducted by Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke. In October, Holzloehner and Finke left and Rascher proceeded alone to conduct freezing experiments until May 1943. Rascher, Holzloehner, and Finke used ice-cold water for their freezing experiments. The experimental basin had been built 2 meters long and 2 meters high in Rascher's experimental station, Block 5. (Tr. pp. 626-8.) The experiments were carried out in the following manner: The basin was filled with water and ice was added until the water measured 3º C. The experimental subjects, either dressed in a flying suit or naked, were placed into the ice water. Narcotics were frequently not used. It always took a certain time until so-called "freezing narcosis" made the experimental subjects unconscious, and the subjects suffered terribly. The temperature of the victims was measured rectally and through the stomach by galvanometer. They lost consciousness at a body temperature of approximately 33º C. The experiments actually progressed until the experimental persons were chilled down to 25º C. body temperature. An experiment on two Russian officers who were exposed naked to the ice-cold water in the basin was particularly brutal. These two Russians were still conscious after 2 hours. Rascher refused to administer an injection. When one of the inmates who attended the experiment tried to administer an anaesthetic to these two victims, Rascher threatened him with a pistol. Both experimental subjects died after having been exposed at least 5 hours to the terrible cold. (Tr. pp. 629-631.) Approximately 280 to 300 experimental subjects were used for this type of freezing experiment, but in reality, 360 to 400 experiments were conducted since many experimental subjects were used two or three times for experiments. Approximately 80 to 90 experimental subjects died. About 50 to 60 inmates were used in the Holzloehner-Finke-Rascher experiments and approximately 15 to 18 of them died. Political prisoners, non-German nationals, and prisoners of war were used for these experiments. Many of the inmates used had not been "condemned to death," The subjects did not volunteer for the experiments. (Tr. pp. 627-8.)
Even though one assumes that prisoners condemned to death were used in all of the experiments, which is not true, the "defense" that they volunteered on the agreement that their sentences would be commuted to life imprisonment is invalid. During the high-altitude experiments, Himmler had directed that in further experiments where the long continued heart activity of subjects who were killed was