Dr. med. Sigmund Rascher, KL Dachau

On my way to work I am crossing every morning in Dachau East the former Nazi concentration camp/Konzentrationslager (KL). Its a monument of inhumanity and the deepest point in the history of “science”. A large number of prisoners were abused by SS doctors for medical experiments; an unknown number of prisoners suffered agonizing deaths in the course of atmospheric pressure, hypothermia, malaria and other experiments.

photo by 11 Dec 06

Having a longstanding interest in history (and even published on the 50th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials) I have now been very interested in a new book by Sigfried Bär, one of the outstanding German science writers “Der Untergang des Hauses Rascher”, a history of the life of Dr. Sigmund Rascher, anthroposophic scholar, medical student, DFG-scholar, minion of of Heinrich Himmlers, air pressure and hypothermia researcher at KL Dachau and finally prisoner who died by being shot in the neck.

Dr. Bär spent several years researching the life of this mass murderer. He contacted relatives of Rascher, looked at family photos, talked to people who knew Rascher and went to archives. This is a unique document showing the avidity of a researcher for recognition by scientific colleagues. Other books from my own library that I recommend: