Redemption of Nazi Science? |
Friday, 23-Feb-01 21:09:27
The following article appeared today in the San Francisco Examiner:
Nazis' science getting noticed
Health-obsessed elite found dangers of smoking long before Allies
The Independent (London)
Can good science come from an evil regime? The question is reopened today by the publication of a hiterto unknown reserach project funded by Adolf Hitler which was among the first to suggest a link between soking and lung cancer.
Hitler feared that threats to the health of the Nazi elite might undermine his ambitions for Europeon conquest and genocidal extermination.
The consquent obsession with hyggiene and the damaging effects of pollution in food, air and water in Nazi Germany led to scientific discoveries whose importance are only now being recognized. Asbestos, artificial food dyes, radiation, X-rays and mercury dental fillings were all issues that worried the health-conscious political elites more than half a century before they became issues of widespread public anxiety in the West.
Dismayingly, however, the very fact that the tobacco research had emerged from Nazi Germany where it fostered a powerful anti-smoiking movement, led to its being perceived as tainted and slowed the acceptance of the enrmous harm caused by tobacco around the world.
The study was conducted at the Scientific Institute for Research into the Hazards of Tobacco, the first institute of its kind in the world, established at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena in 1941. It is published in English for the first time today in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Tobacco was viewed as one among many threats to the health of the chosen. Volk and the reserach had the personal support of Hitler, who was a militant non-smoker.
It originally appeared in the German Journal Z Krebsforsch in 1943, seven years before the famous paper co-authored by Sir Richard Doll, the leading British cancer epidemiologist who is credited with being the first to establish the deadly effects of tobacco.
The reserach by Professor Dietrich Eberhard Schaierer and Erich Shoniger in the LJE is one of the first methodoloically sound studies to demonstrate the causal link between smoking and lung cancer. It showed very few nonsmokers developed the cancer, with the risk being 16 times higher among heavy smokers. The results were virtually identiical to those published by Professor Austin Hill and Dr. Doll, as he then was, in the British Medical Journal in 1950.
Prfessor George Davey Smith, editor of the LJE, defended publicvaiton of the research on the grounds that it registered a genuine scientific advance which went unrecognized at the time. The work of German wartime scientists was often ignored as it was seen either as Nazi propaganda or tainted by the Nazi connection.
"It is comforting to think you can dismiss this stuff because of the ideologcial links that were made. But there is no evidence to make us think this particular study can be dismissed as Nazi science." Smith said.
"It was not designed to show a threat to the chosen Volk even though it fitted in with the Nazi notions that bodies were the property of the state and your own health was not just your own concer," he said. "The abhorrent legacy of the Nazis, and especially the memory of the medical experiments of Josef Mengele and his collaborators, means that we have overlooked any positive scientific contributrions from this era and this is one such example."
Nzi health nuts
According to Robert Proctor, of Pennsylvania State University, author of the "The Nazi War on Cancer," "Nazism was a movement of health-conscious young men worried about the influence of Jews in German culture and the evils of communism, but also about the injurious effects of white bread, asbestos and artrificial food dyes. Hitler himself was a vegetarian and did not smoke or drink. Naz anti-tobacco activists often pointed out that while the three leading fascist leaders all abstrained from tobacco (Mussolini, Franco and Hitler,) the three leading Allied leaders (Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin) were all heavy users."
We have to assume now that everyone is a Nazi Body Snatcher, psychologically but there are ways to find those who are not Nazi Body Snatchers
Face in the Crowd