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September 05, 2003 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-05

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BORROWED BIAS from page 17

became director and eventually an
architect of Hider's systematic medical
Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm
Institute's complex of eugenic institu-
tions was the Institute for Brain
Research. A grant of $317,000 allowed
the institute to construct a major build-
ing and take center stage in German
race biology.
The brain institute received addition-
al grants from the Rockefeller
Foundation during the next several
years. The brain institute -- also led by
Rudin — became a prime director and
recipient of murderous experimentation
and research conducted on Jews, gyp-
sies and others.
Beginning in 1940, thousands of
Germans taken from old age homes,
mental institutions and other custodial
facilities were systematically gassed. In
all, between 50,000 and 100,000 were
A special recipient of Rockefeller
funding was the Kaiser Wilhelm
Institute for Anthropology Human
Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. For
decades, American eugenicists had
craved twins to advance their research
into heredity. The institute was now
prepared to undertake such research on
an unprecedented level.
At the time of Rockefeller's endow-
ment, Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a
hero in American eugenics circles, func-
tioned as a head of the Institute for
Anthropology, Human Heredity and
Eugenics. Rockefeller funding of the
Institute for Anthropology continued
directly and through other research
conduits during Verschuer's early
In 1935, Verschuer left the Institute
to form a rival eugenic facility in
Frankfurt. Research on twins in the
Third Reich exploded, backed up by
government decrees mobilizing all
twins. At about that time, Verschuer
wrote in Der Erbarzt, a eugenic doctors'
journal he edited, that Germany's war
would yield a "total solution to the
Jewish problem."
On May 30, 1943, Verschuer's long-
time assistant, Josef Mengele, arrived at
Auschwitz. Mengele began taking twins
from the boxcars arriving at the camp
and performing beastly experiments,
writing up the reports and sending the
paperwork back to Verschuer's institute
for evaluation.
Rockefeller executives never knew of
Mengele. With few exceptions, the foun-
dation had ceased all eugenic studies in
Nazi-occupied Europe before World War
II erupted in 1939. But by that time the
die already had been cast. ❑


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