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Dear Comrade Milch!
You will recall that through General Wolff I particularly recommended to you for your consideration the work of a certain SS Fuehrer, Dr. Rascher, who is a physician of the air force on leave [Arzt des Beurlaubtenstandes der Luftwaffe].
These researches which deal with the behavior of the human organism at great heights, as well as with manifestations caused by prolonged cooling of the human body in cold water, and similar problems which are of vital importance to the air force in particular, can be performed by us with particular efficiency because I personally assumed the responsibility for supplying asocial individuals and criminals who deserve only to die [todeswuerdig] from concentration camps for these experiments.
Unfortunately you had no time recently when Dr. Rascher wanted to report on the experiments at the Ministry for Aviation. I had put great hopes in that report, because I believed that in this way the difficulties, based mainly on religious objections, which oppose Dr. Rascher's experiments-For which I assumed responsibility-could be eliminated.
The difficulties are still the same now as before. In these "Christian medical circles" the standpoint is being taken that it goes without saying that a young German aviator should be allowed to risk his life but that the life of a criminal-who is not drafted into military service-is too sacred for this purpose and one should not stain oneself with this guilt; at the same time it is interesting to note that credit is taken for the results of the experiments while excluding the scientist who performed them.
I personally have inspected the experiments, and have-I can say this without exaggeration-participated in every phase of this scientific work in a helpful and inspiring manner.
We two should not get angry about these difficulties. It will take at least another ten years until we can get such narrow-mindedness out of our people. But this should not affect the research work which is necessary for our young and splendid soldiers and aviators.
I beg you to release Dr. Rascher, Stabsarzt in reserve, from the air force and to transfer him to me to the Waffen-SS. I would then assume the sole responsibility for having these experiments made in this field, and would put the results, of which we in the SS need only a part for the frost injuries in the East, entirely at the disposal of the air force. However, in this connection I suggest that with the liaison between you and Wolff a "non-Christian" physician should be charged, who should be at the same time honorable as a scientist and not prone to intellectual theft and who could be informed of the results. This physician should also have good contacts with the administrative authorities, so that the results would really obtain a hearing.
I believe that this solution-to transfer Dr. Rascher to the SS, so that he could carry out the experiments under my responsibility and under my orders-is the best way. The experiments should not be stopped; we owe that to our men. If Dr. Rascher remained with the air force, there would certainly be much annoyance; because then i would have to bring a series of unpleasant details to you, because of the arrogance and assumption which professor Dr. Holzloehner has displayed in the post of Dachau-who is under my command-about me in utterances delivered to SS Colonel Sievers. In order to save both of us this trouble, I suggest again that Dr. Rascher should be transferred to the Waffen SS as quickly as possible.
I would be grateful to you if you would give the order to put the low pressure chamber at our disposal again, together with step-up pumps, because the experiments should be extended to include even greater altitudes.Cordial greetings and Heil Hitler!
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946