Thursday, February 13, 2014

Insect research in Dachau - Nazi tested mosquitoes for warfare - Sü

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13 February 2014 19:15

The Anopheles mosquito is the carrier women of malaria – in Dachau Nazi scientists experimented with the insects

(photo: dpa )

War of mosquitoes: The Nazis reasoned, according to a biologists at the University of Tübingen, exposing malaria infected mosquitoes over enemy territory. The research had to be held in secret.

The Waffen-SS has done research at the end of the Second World War on mosquitoes as biological weapons. Consequently, there were considerations to suspend malaria infected mosquitoes over enemy territory, the biologist Klaus Reinhardt reported by the University of Tübingen in the journal Endeavour .

The head of the Waffen-SS Heinrich Himmler personally had 1941 the establishment of an Entomological Institute on the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp has. Although Himmler allegedly suffered even a phobia of flying, but the research on insects occupied him very much. The German troops were heavily affected by lice, which can cause diseases such as typhus. In addition, in the Neuengamme concentration camp threatened a typhus epidemic to break out.

“Every other night a rabbit”


historians previously suspected, the insect research in Dachau was created to protect the soldiers against the diseases and to reduce pests. In Dachau the Nazis bred malaria infected mosquitoes on a large scale. “The females get every other night a rabbit, so they can suck blood,” one of the participating researchers described in a letter to a friend. The later sentenced to death camp doctor Claus Schilling also infected inmates with malaria.

What purpose served the experiments, was far controversial. “It is difficult to disentangle defensive and offensive purposes in weapons research,” wrote Reinhardt, since attack research could be concealed under the guise of defense. So feared the Nazis that the Allies could resort to biological weapons. But Minutes of the institute’s director Edward May made the biologist Reinhardt suspicious. In view of experiments with Anopheles mosquitoes recorded May: “A transport [the mosquito] is of the breeding station to the discharge station possible.” As May compared the survival rates of two mosquito species, he wrote: “For the practice one should use the type A. maculipennis .” This choice of words makes it likely that “May about the offensive nature of his research and knew gave a recommendation,” wrote Reinhardt.

influenced by esoteric research

The entomologist had also operate therefore secrecy because Hitler had expressly forbidden biological weapons. “They could do it only in private,” says Reinhardt. Himmler, however, attempted to circumvent the ban. His research program was “a bizarre mix of Himmler’s half-knowledge, personal fears, esoteric views and serious concerns about his SS troops.” “Ridiculous research in comparison to the biological knowledge of the Allies,” says Reinhardt.

all backgrounds about the biological warfare research the Nazis might remain hidden – before the liberation of Dachau concentration camp, the Nazis destroyed many documents, while others went to the Soviet Union or in U.S. archives. As the researchers were blinded, but can be read on a detail: Only 19 days before the Americans liberated Dachau, was director of the institute May still place an order. He needed rats.

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