Monday, February 24, 2014

Did Nazis Study Insects for Use in Biological Warfare?

aerial photo of the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany 

Here, the entomological institute (marked by "J"), which was located on the margin of the Dachau concentration camp, marked by red.

 Was the Nazi SS studying insects with the intent of launching a bug-based attack? A new analysis of archived documents concludes that, yes, they were.

Scholars have known for decades the feared SS (Schutzstaffel or "protection squadron") in Nazi Germany had established an entomological research institute at the Dachau concentration camp. Documents that survived World War II describe experiments related to biological warfare. However, it can be difficult to parse whether these experiments were intended to protect against insect-borne Allied attacks, or to devise ways to use insects as bioweapons against the enemies of the Third Reich.

After reading through historical documents, including those descriptions of experiments and their results, a modern-day entomologist has concluded the SS wanted to create creepy-crawly weapons.
[7 Absolutely Evil Medical Experiments

"You cannot suggest this was defensive research anymore," said Klaus Reinhardt, who studies bedbugs and fruit fly sperm biology at the University of Tuebingen in Germany. But, he said, "in technical terms it was far away from a bomb, or a massive malaria infection and breeding program being carried out."

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