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tv   Doc Film - In the Name of Science - The Reich University of Strasbourg  Deutsche Welle  December 24, 2018 4:15am-5:01am CET

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because more than football online. or first economy lots of. doors grand the moment arrives. joining your reckoning on her journey back to freedom. in our interactive documentary during the regular returns home on t w dot com tanks. not all think it's a wild guess sometimes out but i said nothing which at that point i don't think sneak into the german culture of looking at stereotypes the question to me is think the solution the truth i don't. mean to say it will take for this drama day out. it's all about ok look i might show joins me from the edge of a sunday w.
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post. on november twenty third one thousand nine hundred forty four the allied forces arrived in schlossberg france the liberation of the city spelled the end glorious and to one of the nazi regime showcase projects the right hewn of our city strasbourg. which causes the german i hear of a city strasburg was to be the breeding ground for the new european elite the jamaat of fall european elite to. in the midst of the second world war the men leading germany's scholarly and scientific efforts joined forces here their mission was to spread germanic thinking to the west but it was a criminal enterprise and professors from the medical faculty conducted experiments on human beings ostensibly for research. on the.
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claim they had to obey orders but that's not true that was the doctors themselves who asked for backing for their experiments who are fairly thick and you know. the man in charge of the medical faculty was its dean professor yana stein johana stein was my grandfather. sunday november twenty third one nine hundred forty one a year and a half after the german invasion and the fall of france the rice university was inaugurated in strasbourg. amid pomp and pageantry a detachment of the german armed forces marched into the main university building.
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they carried with them regimental banners from the imperial era and from the nazi regime. from the i shouldn't shot. they will followed by parades with students from the imperial era wearing traditional fraternity uniforms and bearing flags together with military units it was a major event something like eight hundred people were invited to. the ceremony was also attended by many berlin functionaries as well as. now and s.s. officer and appointed mayor amherst. right. through. you are going to be and i can try to play up to you. when. seated at the front where seventy one faculty deans and professors they've been brought in to provide the german face to the newly established rice university on french soil. like the rush itself the university was intended to last
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a thousand years the regime planned that it would eventually eclipse even the sorbonne in paris with germany still in the midst of war the university president karl schmidt was in a combative mood. when i would. start . and. give one of the. right back here who was to head the anatomical institute of the medical faculty was also in attendance at the opening ceremony he first met vote sievers sievers was rushed manager of the ancestral research agency co-founded by. head of the notorious s.s.
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the organization was tasked with providing scientific proof to support the nazis racial doctrine. sievers had heard about here its research and the two wasted no time agreeing on what would become their murderous collaboration so they were extremely interested in talking to each other and this was not just an amicable meeting at the opening ceremony it was about research projects and making introductions very practical common interests here who do please do contact. just three months later on feb ninth one thousand nine hundred two here it presented both sievers of the ancestral research agency with a concrete proposal for research. we have extensive skull collections for practically all races and peoples the number of skulls available from jews however is so small that studies cannot deliver dependable conclusions as the war in the east now gives us the opportunity to remedy this deficit.
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from the outset the anatomical institute in strasbourg was a center for inch human experiments planned and perpetrated within a university setting. sitting in the front row at that opening ceremony was johann ish time my grandfather. as dean of the medical faculty he bore responsibility for everything that happened there. what was his response to hear its plans. even on family photo. he always posed in uniform later after the war our family would say that he was only a fellow traveler to the regime far too absent minded and cerebral to be involved in anything political his daughter is my mother and she suspected that this couldn't be the whole story. but does.
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it by two youngest children i suspect were the nazi children. because back then families were expected to have five children not just three. my belief i adored my father he was so wild and full of ideas that i had even if there was never a dull moment with him i want to hudson and i enjoyed that as he helped us good enough and. they didn't. want that. in nazi propaganda it was german land since time immemorial. for centuries the region next to the rhine river had been fought over by germany and france between eight hundred seventy one and one nine hundred forty five the territory changed hands four times between the two countries for the nazi regime and many germans
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transport was a place of myth a lost paradise. the fall of france in one nine hundred forty installed germany with renewed nationalist fervor pride and satisfaction on june twentieth strasbourg was occupied by german troops. hitler visited the city in person and visited the cathedral for many germans a symbol of german culture and german history. the national socialists laid claim to. the city's central square was renamed to karl plots after a pro german leader of the autonomy movement germany's academic elite were eager to follow on the heels of the military triumph of. the germans had returned and
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strasbourg was a lucrative proposition all just financially but in terms of it being a desirable destination for many german professors. prior to his assignment to hunnish dion lived in heidelberg where he enjoyed a successful university career following the nazi. seizure of power in one nine hundred thirty three the university was brought into line with the regime all jewish professors were dismissed with my grandfather's active involvement. as an example of an academic you felt that his career under the nazis it was only after nine hundred thirty three that he was granted a full professorship at heidelberg university. north of the university chancellor and vice rector he assumed a very active role in the school's policy making. on may first one nine hundred thirty three my grandfather joined the s.s.
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opening the doors for his career advancement in an official party assessment my grandfather was described as extremely capable and talented and as a man who ranked among the leading national socialist professors. in the summer of one nine hundred forty he began making regular visits to straw school here he met future university president carr schmidt and. who would later become dean of be philosophical faculty together they made all professorial appointments in accordance with nazi racial concepts. scholarship was to say the german people draw its inspiration from so-called germanic culture so the university was not a place of pure scientific research subject to the ideological principles of blood and soil. the three men lived in the best hotel in town situated on the renamed. this was also where they interviewed potential candidates they often occupied
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a table at home until late into the night. legal scholar and. was among those invited to strasbourg for a preliminary interview at the restaurant he described the evening in his memoirs. the meal was of assumptions less beyond anything we knew the white house sation wine a super burgundy and elegant champagne and in between the brutal armagnac. and was a preeminent legal expert serving the third reich his most significant work was a synthesis of nazi constitutional law which sought to provide a legal underpinning for the regime. the book was typical of who in that it was an overwhelming compilation of material and he was a perfectionist in many respects and try to take everything into consideration including regulations that for example address the exclusion of jews. from. the
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decree also determines who is to be regarded as a citizen of german or related blood. jews are precluded from being a citizen. who enjoyed an outstanding academic reputation and became the advisor for the appointments to the new faculty of law. there were a range of players in this game some of whom knew nothing about each other while others competed with their rivals. the one area where there was commonality was that the faculty was supposed to fulfill three main criteria and. the professors had to be the type of men who would assimilate to what was expected of them. with one strong in their field and politically reliable. and that was maintained with very few exceptions because of. the
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positions were eventually filled and the university opened its doors in the fall of one thousand nine hundred forty one the course catalog reflected nazi ideology ancient germanic saugus racial eugenics and military medicine. you know hamish dein the only professor to always hold his lectures in uniform was head of the largest faculty half of the university students were studying medicine field doctors were in huge demand because of the war could only go on some bridges often on small if you're look at the university's budgets this accounted for almost half of the total us. some stock a medical division was probably the most important one balmy difficulty you. would want to present. the faculty was in doubt with state of the art technology and electron microscope was ordered for biomedical research purposes one of only two in
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the whole of germany here too the aim was to demonstrate german superiority over france twenty eight professors worked at the faculty. there was he put his narrative for these from the professors well or luminaries in their fields they were also all actively involved in the nazi party or in the as s. or as a you could measure is not the case that other german universities at this time to poke. the head of the and atomico institute outpost here also became a member of the s.s. in one thousand nine hundred thirty three he was a leading scientist prior to his work in transport he had already conducted experiments on animals with battlefield mustard gas. the racial heritage agency back to what they called functional military research here it was soon granted official permission from berlin to carry out tests on human subjects.
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not swallow strolled off fifty five kilometers southwest of shaw spork in the votes mountains was the only concentration camp run by the nazis on french territory. lou com podcast on that i learned a specific location of not violent was chosen because an s.s. engineer had found a block of granite here when i finally figured it would be a good idea to mine the area to provide material for buildings and monuments of the third reich in particular for hitler's nuremberg complex and you have a bear. camp inmates had to perform forced labor in grueling conditions most were political prisoners communists and so-called enemies of the right from both germany and occupied countries the remaining prisoners were mainly homosexuals and sinti and roma. ghost here it was
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a regular visitor this is where he would find the people he would exploit for his experiments with mustard gas on nov twelfth one thousand nine hundred two he conducted his first experiments. in continually took about fifteen prisoners and administered them drops of mustard gas under their arms after giving them an antidote he then observe the reaction as the days and weeks progressed in those three months of testing there were three fatalities three germans the same time he continued working on his jewish anatomical collection of all the. wanted jewish prisoners for what he called his skeleton collection but there were none at the nazi wyler camp. so one november second one nine hundred forty two the ancestral research agency in berlin sent a request to the auschwitz extermination camp asking for inmates they were to be brought to knotts wyler wrote the agency's manager.
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had my grandfather ever been to a concentration camp was he aware of what here was planning. in june one thousand forty one the family moved to shell. schlosser seven in the north east of strasbourg. as if it was a lovely old house with a large hallway and the chair and. where my father always has officers kept when he was there. in this flight i remember that very clearly. by my father would put us two little ones on the grand piano one on the right one on the left. and tell us made up fairy tales while playing the piano and. everything lovely about my childhood was because of my father. dishy that's why i simply couldn't fathom that he'd been one of those nazis yes it was that there were
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things i read about him that i thought impossible which made me. germans in occupied strasbourg had a comfortable life the professors moved into large vacated buildings in the leafy university quarter pencilled off also lived in a sumptuous villa with his family. and have this kind of good uncle mark to be people didn't care who might have lived there before hand that house or apartment was now that. stross book was now the stage for regular military processions on the city's major streets and squares the german occupiers were eager to demonstrate that it was now their. local residents were divided not everyone was opposed to the germans the issue was one that split entire families. many residents signed up voluntarily to join the s.s. and the german armed forces school lessons were now taught entirely in german.
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at the rice university their proportion of local students rose to almost forty percent like their german counterparts they had to provide a certificate of arion heritage for many the occupation had become an unremarkable part of their daily lives. in china things moved the turning point came in the autumn of one nine hundred forty two with a conscription of young alsatian man to the armed forces the van with a fiber then drafted progressively by age group we beginning with the false recruitment of local people began to distance themselves from the rice university of ife. a group of young students from the all sas region decided to actively challenge compulsory conscription. they formed a resistance group called the entourage a nest does sus their leader was literature student our forms adam.
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bellow a handsome man. his sister simone is now eighty nine years old together with mia. whose husband also fought in the resistance she looks at old photos she remembers how her brother alfonse was warned of the gestapo's plans to arrest him. she designed a missile goal i was at home do best so this will be a new two men arrived. they were young. and they asked if my brother was home it did it they said tell him he has to get out of here because otherwise he'll be arrested if he's good at it they pushed him off. the resistance group organized hiking trips in the votes mountains and reality they
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were smuggling young men who wanted to escape the draft across the main ridge and into central france. anyone who wanted to join the catholic oriented resistance group had to swear an oath before the french flag in the crucifix that they would follow the network's rules. at night the group's members distributed leaflets calling on the sation population to engage in open resistance. no decent alsatian will turn up at the conscription board every one of us must refuse to sign up. the governor of the region a whole bunch wagner was outraged which in turn spurred the group to carry out for their operations eventually they were betrayed by one of their own members and from then on they worked under terrible. risk.
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in september one thousand nine hundred forty two a young scientist moved to schloss book from berlin karl three dish. since he was not a member of the nazi party the thirty year old theoretical physicist had faced a lengthy wait before being appointed professor. i think of us the up it was five seconds first professorship and a promotion previously been working at the kaiser wilhelm research institute because he was an important member of the u. raney i'm association the german association for research on nuclear energy and the atomic bomb personally registered a patent for the production of a plutonium bomb a state. research team successfully applied for a neutron summary. it was housed in a specially built facility on the medical faculties ground. the neutron accelerator was to be used by both physicists and the biomedical research but the project was
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beset by problems from the outset especially with the electricity supply. the research results from the strasburg neutron accelerator basically amount to nothing because the device did not arrive until later in the war to light during the time in which the device was operational they were able to produce a small amount of radioactive phosphorus but it was only operational for a couple of hundred hours so basically not at all because the morning. many of the cutting edge devices at the rice university were used only briefly if at all. following the liberation of strasbourg in one thousand nine hundred forty four one of america's priorities was to examine the results of the university's nuclear research but they found little of substance. to the war fight second moved away from nuclear research instead devoting himself to more
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philosophical issues. and by teka like many of his colleagues took up residence in a villa in the north east of the city he was joined by his wife and their three children. and also how i can still remember this big house we had in a big garden i can still see the chickens running around i remember we were happy there and we had a happy childhood he sighed thoughtfully. living next door to the vice sectors was anatomist here and his family. relations between the two families were not always congenial. secor would later tell her daughter. to presume one top aide or two months or even a professor here would come by and talk about the characteristics of different nations dortch not as active when it came to the germans he said come on we wouldn't hurt a fly by and all's well that made my mother's blood boil. because as she
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said but professor here it is you know exactly what's going on in the prisoner of war camps for russians. or and often had. so you're one of those people who listen to the b.b.c. . which was strictly forbidden. dolfin later my mother would always tell us that for weeks she was scared the gestapo would come to our door one day and take her away those dogs for the. poor that. despite their differences the professors families would visit and invite each other over their sense of being a part of a nazi elite lent them a feeling of solidarity. my own family was on friendly terms with professor here. didn't really mean hill it was much better for us for that terrible here at what we later found out. i want to
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see ed net once we were celebrating easter at his place and it was all very nice although i didn't like the look of him. two. of us was in it but we had a very nice time we had to climb trees and hunt for eggs. on top. of the nuts while a concentration camp the prisoners lived under catastrophic conditions physical abuse hunger and disease were the norm all of this was ignored by the doctors from the rice university who continued their research. in addition to august here at two other professors from the racial hygiene department were granted permission by the racial heritage agency to carry out human experiments there ologist oig and haagen was working on a treatment for typhus. auto pick and box tested the poison gas fos gene in experiments that became ever more horrible to be made uku the utter bacon
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used only people who had been deported for racial reasons those who were classified as gypsies is the i'm sixteen sinti and roma had survived haag ns typhus experiments and of those eight were subsequently used by become boss of the new experiments they were treated like animals and move. a gas chamber was located near the barracks in which the prisoners lived it had been built in one nine hundred forty three to hold professor here it's a collection of jewish skeletons but here it was not yet ready to take occupancy. because he had had numerous problems and that there was no elevator for the corpses and nothing for removing the fat from the corpses he faced a wide range of problems which led to delays in his project to conclude. as a result it was auto picken bach who became the first to use the gas chamber to
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test his antidote for the phos gene gas on and mate. after being administered. the antidote euro trope and the inmates were forced into the gas chamber and had to smash the vials of faustina on the floor. they were then left to breathe in the gas for twenty to thirty minutes. at a later point the gas was tested on a group of inmates without the antidote. four of them died during or as a result of these experiments one of them was just seventeen years old his name was bat eckstein had been arrested for the simple reason that the nazis objected to his ancestry. the sister of young resistance member our fans saddam was thirteen years old at the time she and her brother lived just outside strasbourg she was still asleep when the gestapo raided their home early
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one morning in january one thousand nine hundred forty three the hosts how they said rouse rouse out out i was in bed it was six in the morning the marshal they forced their way into my room they wanted to check whether anyone was hiding in the wardrobe. they searched all the other rooms too in washington was shaking the entire time out of fear the perpetrator. her brother alfonse had advance warning together with two other resistance members he tried to flee across the border into switzerland to push off to finish the group failed to reach safety they were picked up on a train in baghdad just before the swiss border and arrested him for declined to finish my frequent them they were then tried in strasbourg at the people's court the folks got laid off by pfizer in person in early july one thousand nine hundred three not the divine for. judge hold on for eisler wanted to make an example of the
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students as president of the people's court chrysler was notorious for parading defendants and for his cruel sentencing and what were little more than show trials . cmon mr big brother their mother had already died and their father had left them to live with his new family for punishing the youngest of the three sisters alfonse was a substitute father while he was in prison she wrote him a series of letters. dear alfonse the other thing that i feel homesick i read your loving words. how dearly i would like to be with you. since we are so alone i have complete faith that our mother will not forget us and will make sure that you are returned to earth. fonts wrote in reply. be brave and follow your orders sisterhood of the surest the fashion.
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she wanted to attend her brother's trial when it began on july sixth one thousand nine hundred three but she was too young and was instructed to leave the courtroom she was left to wait alone outside. as chrysler unleashed his torrent of abuse at a phone saddam said again and again we are friend sure you want despite his young age our phones are dumb refused to be intimidated about impressive how such a young man was able to stand up to what do you hate. on july fifteenth one thousand nine hundred forty three. and five fellow resistance members were executed by a firing squad his sister learned of the news by chance. just she's really lucky if i was walking the streets when i noticed a couple of notice if you see you said that my brother and his comrades had been shot at six o'clock that morning martha. says he'll do much about. the young
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students had fought for their beliefs and for freedom. that cost them their lives. as in two thousand to one was interesting is that the right university of strasbourg was also one of the very few examples of resistance of analytical resistance to the nazi regime where we systems has been largely forgotten by historians and quite on fairly so including in strasbourg. beach. meanwhile the tide had turned on the eastern front and the. war was also making itself felt in shaw school with fuel and food now in ever shorter supply daily life became less comfortable the newspaper provided tips on running a more efficient household. almost forty percent of the professors had now been drafted into service by grandfather janusz was also sent to the eastern front. here
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took over as deputy head of the medical faculty here it was not drafted his research was considered indispensable to the war effort by that time he had completed his preparations for the jewish skeleton collection. his plans now required the selection of inmates from auschwitz the inmates were to be in good health. anthropologist. a member of the german ancestral research agency visited the extermination camp in june one thousand nine hundred three to select the candidates. began to really there is no doubt that hill and on a big wanted to exploit the enormous potential provided by our fits their vote if they had access to what they termed human material jews from all across europe you needed to grew up. in august one thousand nine hundred three eighty nine its
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inmates from eight different nations were sent to the knots while a camp in the vote was mountainous three died during the journey from poland. the survivors wouldn't live much longer beginning on august eleventh twenty nine women and fifty seven men were killed with cyanide in the camps gas chamber. their bodies were taken by truck to the rice university's anatomical institute while still warm they were then stored in the basement here it would never complete his project. is the only german university where these kinds of human experiments were carried out. all the other experiments we know about what conducted by s. as doctors in concentration camps. but in this case it was university professors who conducted these deadly human experiments mention experiment to do if you are.
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an atomic institute was just a stone's throw away from the medical faculty headed by my grandfather. surely he must have known what was going on at this faculty and had been aware of the murders and human experiments it's a question to which our family still has no definitive answer. emotes soon from whom i believe that the murder of eighty six jews who helped had ordered from auschwitz for his skeleton collection was kept secret from other people in the university. in addition to being a university professor ellis was also a member of the s s ancestral research agency. so he had his own separate institute s. s. institute in with i could carry out these matters it's institute. in the. if you were taught.
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so it is possible that my grandfather had known about the murder jews but he certainly must have known of some other crimes committed at the university on march seventeenth one nine hundred forty three department h. of the institute for military research met in strasbourg august here and auto pick and reported on the results of their human experiments the meeting was attended by both of us and my grandfather you know hamish dion. there is further evidence suggesting that my grandfather took an interest in research on race. biology in a letter dated july sixteenth one thousand nine hundred three he personally supported the idea of carrying out so-called racial examinations on indian prisoners of war.
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in june one thousand nine hundred four the allies landed in normandy in strasbourg it was clear that the war was drawing ever closer many more students were drafted into the german armed forces the professors were already making plans to bring their families to safety. that not mine it's an ordinance my parents brought us to my aunt and linda so i know tom won't mind if he stayed behind for a while longer. i think they also wanted to find a safe place for their furniture or. to prevent it from being destroyed should a bomb hit our house. once us houses all. three pm on aug eleventh one nine hundred forty four. experienced its first major air raid. yvonne. when we were in the cellar and my brothers and sisters stayed in their rooms up in the attic. in months. the bin it ran up and begged them
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to come down the give freely eight that's you want to call. the shrine family's home escaped damage but the houses of the vita and the here it's next door on. we're both in. our guest here it's wife and son were killed. the next air raid came just a few weeks later my grandmother madelyn a shrine had already fled to the black forest with the youngest children eckart and copy. nineteen year old stayed behind with her father to help out in the house. she then fled across the rhine river to calle probably on november twenty second the day before she was liberated. my grandfather stayed in the clinic believing right until the end that germany would win the war. on nov twenty third he was taken prisoner by the allies
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the german occupation and the rice university were now history. in my family my grandfather was always described as merely a fellow traveller a storyteller who loved music the fact that he was an active nazi and supporter of nazi racial hygiene who in all likelihood approved of the human experiments is something that his children still struggle with to this day. does me. well move off it was devastating. it's here my not my neighbor consoled me and said i should separate my memory of my father from that of the nazi. this time and not. us. in my heart they didn't make him
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a worse father right. in tests but i never thought him capable of that. yes i suppose a lot of other people say the same thing and that's how it is that. after their arrival in schlossberg allied troops found the remains of the eighty six jewish prisoners in the basement of the anatomical institute here tad dismembered them to cover up the evidence of his crime. and asked do you know when the bodies arrived at the anatomical institute one of our biggest hertz assistants an alsatian man named a pia immediately realized this was the result of criminal action. and secretly made a note of the numbers that have been tattooed into the arms in auschwitz and recorded them in the anatomical institute's register of bodies. who only released the their ability to lead to. the remains of the eighty six victims were buried after the war
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and stross books jewish cemetery using the numbers recorded by only only pierre seventy years later a german historian managed to ascertain the identities of the victims. now they had names not just numbers. but its inauguration the right university set itself the mission of spreading nazi racial doctrine to the west to accomplish that mission leading scientists from across the german my ship were brought to schlossberg. says he saw this when the see saw in fact there was no easy separation between pure scholarship and research on the one side and evil nazis on the album that would be far too easy it was a combination of the two and i believe it's important to realize that you can't just say it was the stupid people who became nazis while the intelligent ones kept their distance. after the downfall of the rice university none of its
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professors acknowledge their role as part of the nazi. intellectual vanguard most of them continued their careers in science and academia and other institution.
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