By Calvin Palmer
More than 150 gynecological and surgical instruments have been found in a house near the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland.
“This is one of the greatest discoveries in recent years,” Auschwitz museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel said today. “Everything indicates that these instruments were used by the gynecologist Carl Clauberg.”
The instruments were recently offered to the museum by a historian who acquired them from a family who found them shortly after the Second World War at their house, which was located on the former concentration camp grounds.
The location of where the instruments were found and their design makes it “almost certain” they were used by Nazi death doctor Clauberg, said Bartyzel.
Clauberg was a member of the infamous SS and experimented with methods for the mass sterilization of women. Hundreds of women held prisoner at Auschwitz whom he used in pseudo-medical experiments died due to the procedures he performed.
When the Soviet Red Army closed in on Auschwitz, Clauberg transferred to the women’s concentration camp at Ravensbrück, near Berlin, and continued his experiments.
I take it he had to acquire a new set of surgical instruments, having left the others behind in Auschwitz.
Clauberg was eventually taken prisoner by the Russians and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was released in 1955 and went back to the then West Germany where he faced another series of charges brought by survivors. He died in 1957.
Given that just over one million people were systematically killed in Auschwitz, one of the darkest chapters in the human story, perhaps a little more reverence is in order.
Considering the manner in which these instruments were allegedly used, describing their discovery as “great” flies in the face of common decency.
Perhaps it is one of the “greatest discoveries” because it means the museum is likely to sell more ice-creams, t-shirts and manufactured memorabilia to the thousands of tourists who flock there each year.
Why have these instruments surfaced now? What motivated the family to keep them for all these years before finally passing them on to the nameless historian? Were they family heirlooms?
These kinds of questions arouse my innate skepticism and beg to be answered.
Those of us with long memories can recall the infamous Hitler Diaries published in 1983, which turned out to be forgeries, although they did dupe several respected historians and the editors of Stern magazine.
It would not come as a surprise to me, if someone eventually scratches at the surface of these instruments and reveals a “Made in China” mark.