Prisoners of war were subjected to horrifying ordeals under the nazis, who conducted experiments on them for the purpose of medical research and going against medical ethics.
The book is called "The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany from Conquest to Disaster", and has been authored by Richard Evans.
AdvertisementAccording to a report in the Telegraph, the book indicates that medicine was both dominant in the world of science under the Third Reich, and closely allied to the Nazi project.
German scientists used to conduct experiments on concentration camp inmates to gratify their own cruel impulses, according to Evans.
Much of what scientists did under Hitler's rule was regarded as "normal science", subject to standard protocols of peer review in conferences and journals.
The infamous Dr Josef Mengele's research at Auschwitz, in particular, shows how the system worked.
His experiments there were intended to be a contribution to his second doctorate, the Habilitation, which all German academics needed to qualify for a university professorship.
Under his teacher's guidance, Mengele selected twins from the trainloads of Jews who arrived and injected them with chemicals to see if they reacted differently from one another.
He collected prisoners with physical abnormalities, such as heterochromia - having a different colour in each eye - to investigate if their condition was hereditary.
He treated gipsy and other children for starvation-related diseases, using vitamins and sulphonamides, to see if there were hereditary differences in their response to the therapy.
Mengele's work was pure research, without any obvious practical application.
He gained his notoriety from his willingness to kill his subjects under certain circumstances - such as settling an argument about a diagnosis by executing patients and performing an autopsy.
However, most survivors remembered him not for his experiments, but for his ruthless and brutal behaviour on the selection ramp, or in the camp hospital, where he frequently consigned sick inmates to the gas chamber on the slightest of whims.
Many such projects were directly conceived as practical contributions to the German war effort.
In a variety of camps, SS doctors used inmates to test treatments for injuries sustained in battle, cutting open their calves and sewing bits of glass or wood or gauze impregnated with bacteria into the wounds, sometimes even smashing the prisoners' bones with hammers to create a more realistic effect.
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