Foreign News: Out of the Pit

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The first shock of horror had been absorbed, but this week came news of a monstrosity that appeared to top all previous tales of Nazi inhumanity.

To U.S. Army questioners a captured German doctor, Gustav Wilhelm Schuebbe, casually admitted that the Nazi Annihilation Institute at Kiev had killed from 110,000 to 140,000 persons "unworthy to live" during the nine months he had worked there. Dr. Schuebbe, a crippled drug addict who was head of the Institute, added coolly that he himself had killed 21,000 people.

The Nazi medico was very candid. The Institute had been established after the Germans took Kiev in 1941. Its human material included schizophrenics, Jews, foreigners, gypsies. Each doctor on the staff "processed" about 100 persons per working day with injections of morphine tartrate. Explained Dr. Schuebbe: the subject showed "breathing difficulties and a shrinking of the eye pupils; the face assumed a blue color; there was sporadic breathing; then a breathing stoppage and a heart stoppage. Exitus lethalis."

Dr. Schuebbe was scientifically detached in his motives. Said he:

"Of course, we, the circle of German physicians at Kiev, were aware of the importance of this job. Aside from certain devious phases of this action I still maintain that, just as one prunes a tree—by removing old, undesirable branches in the spring, so for its own interest a certain hygienical supervision of the body of a people is necessary from time to time."

Flame and Floggings. With this revelation in mass murder came flesh-creeping details of other crimes from Germany's own cancerous camps. Examples: ¶ For breaches of discipline at Buchenwald prisoners were dispatched in wholesale lots. They were marched into an incinerator and there converted into bone-ash in four fast, efficient stages: 1) pushed down a 13-ft. chute to a strangling room; 2) garrotted by SS guards with a short double-end noose; 3) hung on hooks along a side wall (those who still struggled on the hooks were stunned with wooden mallets); 4) carted to the furnaces, 18 at a time, by incineration crews. The cremation capacity was 400 per ten-hour day. ¶ Sergeant William Sandier, a U.S. prisoner of war, saw three young Frenchwomen flogged to death at his camp near Chemnitz. SS guards thought the women, slave workers in the camp, were becoming too friendly with the Americans. One morning 250 prisoners were assembled on the prison ground. The three women were lined up before them and stripped. 55 men then lashed them with a cat-o'-nine-tails till they died. Said the sergeant: "It took about 20 minutes."