University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Medical Experiments

    Medical Experiments

    Anna Hassa Jarosky has provided informnation regarding medical experiments in Ravensbruck: "Growing up in Poland after the IIWW I was always surrounded by stories from Ravensbruck and pseudo-medical experimentation performed by Nazi "doctors" on very joung Polish Catholic women. Their suffering were described in numerous books. My mother Jadwiga Dzido (Hassa) was one of 74 Polish women operated on in Ravensbruck. She arrived in the camp as political prisoner in September 1941 ,and was the subject of medical experiments in November 1942. She survived the experiments and  left the camp in May 1945.

    Since Poland was behind the "Iron Curtain" not much was known about the group used for experiments, called " Lapins" ("rabbits")  or "guinea pigs" in the West;  but large group of them (53) were invited to the USA for medical care in 1959.

    63 of the 74 victims of medical experiments survived the ordea (hiding for instance under the barracks floor or taking the camp numbers of other prisoners to avoid death sentence for "Lapins" at  the end of the war). 57 women returned to Poland while  some emigrated to the West. At the beginning of 2004, 17 members of this group were still alive in Poland. Jadwiga Dzido ( Hassa) was disabled for the rest of her life.

    More information on this and other issues related to Ravensbreuck:

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