The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Dachau Low-Temperature Medical Experiments

Report by Prof. Dr. Holzlöhner, Dr. Rascher, and Dr. Finke, regarding cooling experiments, 10 October 1942

If the experimental subject was placed in the water under narcosis, one observed a certain arousing effect. The subject began to groan and made some defensive movements. In a few cases a state of excitation developed. This was especially severe in the cooling of head and neck. But never was a complete cessation of the narcosis observed. The defensive movements ceased after about 5 minutes. There followed a progressive rigor, which developed especially strongly in the arm musculature; the arms were strongly flexed and pressed to the body. The rigor increased with the continuation of the cooling, now and then interrupted by tonic-clonic twitchings. With still more marked sinking of the body temperature it suddenly ceased. These cases ended fatally, without any successful results from resuscitation efforts. (Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 226-243)

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