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Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, 1890–1945$
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Paul Weindling

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206910.001.0001

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Clinical Trials on Trial

Clinical Trials on Trial

Chapter:
(p.393) 13 Clinical Trials on Trial
Source:
Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, 1890–1945
Author(s):

Paul Julian Weindling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206910.003.0052

Before World War II ended, allied medical experts devised stringent measures to prevent a massive ‘blow up’ of epidemic typhus in Germany. The United States of America Typhus Commission (USATC) conducted chemotherapeutic and clinical trials in US-liberated camps. While the typhus problem was most acute in the liberated camps, it also shaped responses to ‘displaced persons’ (DPs), who were suspect as potentially criminal, disorderly, and diseased, and so required detention, and sanitary processing by delousing and DDT dusting. When epidemic hazards declined, the possibility of migration loomed once again. The medical techniques of disinfestation, fumigation, and disinfection which were devised to facilitate safe migration were unleashed by the Nazis for genocide. With the end of the war a new climate of compassion slowly dawned. The defeat of Nazism meant the demise of typhus. The fear of an epidemic recrudesence in 1945 meant that the Americans wished to maintain the Behringwerke as a functioning entity. The Nuremberg Trials were carried out to prosecute war criminals from Nazi Germany.

Keywords:   United States, Germany, Nuremberg Trials, delousing, typhus, DDT, displaced persons, clinical trials, genocide, Behringwerke

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