Another large award from the AHRC to Oxford Brookes historiansProfessor Paul Weindling and Dr Marius Turda, both of the History Department and Centre for Health, Medicine and Society, have been awarded £403,232 (inclusive of two doctoral studentships) to do a detailed, Europe-wide study on the victims of Nazi medical experiments. Although coercive human experiments are among the most notorious features of Nazism, there is no overview as to their extent, or guide to the fragmented literature and sources. Estimates of the overall numbers of experiments vary greatly. Recent historical opinion that the number of victims was relatively few is contradicted by the unexpectedly high number of compensation claimants by victims of experiments over the past five years.
This project, entitled 'Human Experiments under National Socialism: Victims, Perpetrators, and Post-war Trials', aims to provide a biographical analysis of the persons who were experimented on or otherwise abused for medical research in National Socialist Germany and in territories under German occupation 1938-45. The basic task is to identify how many victims and perpetrators there were, and develop biographical profiles, by comprehensive trawls through war crimes and Holocaust archives. The analysis will establish a structural history of the unethical experiments in terms of when and why they occurred. The outputs of the project will be a comprehensive database, a monograph on the perpetrators and victims of Nazi coerced experiments, and a biographical dictionary concerning the victims, and the reasons why they were experimented on or otherwise abused. Two PhD dissertations will examine records and the political policies shaping institutions for war crimes documentation in Central Europe, and the Soviet Union.
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