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The Nazis tested the use of mosquitoes as a biological weapon in the Dachau camp

"We will fight them with mosquitoes" recommended the director of the entomological institute in the Dachau camp Edward May from documents revealed this week by a researcher from the University of Tübingen


The prison cells in the concentration camp were oppressive. Photo: shutterstock
The prison cells in the concentration camp were oppressive. Photo: shutterstock

Scientists have discovered historical evidence of biological weapons research in Nazi Germany. The researchers came to the conclusion that although an entomological institute was established with the aim of dealing with diseases spread by insects such as typhus, they also carried out studies on the question of whether mosquitoes that host the malaria parasite can also be used as biological weapons.
Why was the military arm of the Nazi expedition required to study insects? Dr. Klaus Reinhart from the University of Tübingen who studied documents of the Institute of Entomology that operated in the Dachau concentration camp. It made no sense that during World War II the Nazis would operate centers for entomological research, the SS did not even study insects that posed a threat to Germany's food supply which was entirely based on imports.
After a combination of work on archives from the Nazi era and documents written after the war, Reinhart came to the conclusion that although the institute was designed to fight diseases of insect origin such as typhus, it also carried out research on the question of whether mosquitoes that host the (host) of malaria could be used as a biological weapon. The results of Reinhart's research were published this week in the journal Endeavor.
Historians differ as to whether Nazi Germany thought of producing biological weapons despite Hitler's ban on the use of such weapons. Dr. Reinhart's findings are likely to reignite the debate. Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS was in charge of the entomological institute in Dachau in January 1942, most likely after a report of an epidemic of lice among the SS troops, followed by an outbreak of the typhus epidemic in the Neuingam concentration camp. The order that Himmler wrote in 1942 was to carry out the basic research needed to combat germ-borne diseases, including the life cycle, diseases, and parasites carried by beetles, lice, bedbugs, and flies.
Dr. Reinhart says that in 1944, the Entomological Institute of the SS was also asked to test several species of mosquitoes to test their ability to survive without food and water and therefore also their resistance against malaria infection, in order to drop them from the air in enemy territory.

More on the science website:

Dr. Reinhart also examined notes from the director of the institute, Edward May, and laboratory reports detailing the experiments with the Anopheles mosquito, which can carry the malaria parasite as part of its developmental stages. May recommended using one species of Anopheles mosquito that can survive for over 4 days. Reinhart saw this as proof that the insects were meant to be used as an offensive biological weapon.

In his article, Dr. Reinhart describes how better candidates were rejected in favor of May, who is considered by the regime to have a strong ideological background. One of the reasons for choosing the Dachau concentration camp as the place where an insect research facility was established is because it was a notorious place for the research program that was carried out there, including experiments with malaria vaccine compounds on prisoners and their infection with the disease by Klaus Schilling (who was later executed in Nuremberg). However, Dr. Reinhart found no evidence of cooperation between May and Schilling. "May knew that someone was conducting research related to malaria in the prison camp, but it was not clear whether he was aware of them or whether he simply did not have permission to enter the prison camp. A senior SS official, Wolfram Sievers, testified at the Nuremberg trials that May refused to conduct research on humans.

For information on the University of Tübingen website

7 תגובות

  1. Miracles,
    Apparently, zoology was not the strong point of the life of the Hebrew language in the first years of the state. Otherwise it's hard to explain why the American eagle became an eagle or the Playboy bunny became a bunny.

  2. Asaf
    You are of course right .. but …. For some reason, a flea market is a flea'll understand 🙂
    It's like "chick chicken"... Is the danger really an eagle in the sky?

  3. "beetles, lice, fleas and flies" the correct translation is "beetles, lice, fleas and flies" according to the English value "beetles, lice, fleas and flies" and according to common sense because fleas do not transmit diseases.

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