Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Document No. 1618-PS

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Intermediate report on intense chilling experiments in the Dachau Camp, started on 15 August 1942
Experimental procedure

The experimental subjects (V P) were placed in the water, dressed in complete flying uniform, winter or summer combination, and with an aviator's helmet. A life jacket made of rubber or kapok was to prevent submerging. The experiments were carried out at water temperatures varying from 2.5° to 12°. In one experimental series, Occiput and brain stem protruded above the water, while in another series of experiments the Occiput (brain stem) and back of the head were submerged in water.

Electrical measurements gave low temperature readings of 26.4° in the stomach and 26.5° of in the rectum. Fatalities occurred only when the brain stem and the back of the head were also chilled. Autopsies of such fatal cases always revealed large amounts of free blood, up to 1/2 liter, in the cranial cavity. The heart invariably showed extreme dilation of the night chamber. As soon as the temperature in these experiments reached 28°, the experimental subjects (VP) died invariably, despite all attempts at resuscitation. The above discussed autopsy finding conclusively proved the importance of a warming protective device for head and Occiput when designing the planned protective clothing of the foam type.

Other important findings, common in all experiments, to be mentioned. Marked increase of the viscosity of the blood, marked increase of hemoglobin, an approximate five fold increase of the leukocytes, invariable rise of blood sugar to twice its normal value. Auricular fibrillation made its appearance regularly at 30°.

During attempts to save severely chilled persons, it was shown that rapid re-warming was in all cases preferable to slow rewarming, because after removal from the cold water, the body temperature continued to sink rapidly. I think that for this reason we can dispense with the attempt to save intensely chilled subjects by means of animal heat.

Rewarming by animal warmth-animal bodies or women's bodies-would be too slow. As auxiliary measures for the prevention of intense chilling, improvements in the clothing of aviators come alone into consideration. The foam suit which suitable neck protector which is being prepared by the German Institution for textile research [Deutsches Textilforschungsinstitut] Muenchen-gladbach deserves first priority in this connection. The experiments have shown that pharmaceutical measures are probably unnecessary if the flier is still alive at the time of rescue.

(signed) Dr. S. Rascher
Muenchen-Dachau, 10 September 1942.
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

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