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Lecture: Children as Victims of Medical Experiments in Concentration Camps
Tue 6 June 2017, 18:30 – 20:00 BST
6:00pm-6:30pm – Exhibition view
6.30pm-8:00pm – Lecture by Dr. Astrid Ley
Experiments with concentration camp prisoners began immediately after the beginning of the war in autumn. In the last two years of the war, even children were misused by Nazi doctors for medical experiments in the camps: The geneticist Dr. Josef Mengele, who was the camp physician in Auschwitz from May 1943, carried out genetic research on children twins. The immunologist Dr. Arnold Dohmen undertook hepatitis experiments on Jewish boys in Sachsenhausen from September 1944. The lung doctor Dr. Kurt Heißmeyer in January 1945 infected Jewish children in Neuengamme for test purposes with tuberculosis pathogens.
Astrid Ley's talk addresses the question: why were experiments made on children in concentration camps? Where these experiments just the apex of morally uninhibited research in the "Third Reich," or were there other reasons as well?
Dr. Astrid Ley is a historian and a historian of medicine. She is working as deputy head of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial near Berlin. Her main research interest is medicine under National Socialism and, in particular, medical crimes and medical care in concentration camps. She will be in residence at the Wiener Library as an EHRI Fellow in June 2017, focusing on the moral dilemmas faced by inmate physicians.