(Munich 488) War Crimes Trials - Subsequent Trial Proceedings, Case 1 (Medical Case), Nuremberg, Germany. SILENT: Judges enter courtroom. An unidentified woman who was a victim of the Ravensbrueck experiments on the stand, questioned by Dr. Alexander about the wound received at Ravensbrueck. She walks to dock and points out the defendants Gebhardt, Oberhauser, and Fischer. MLSs, defendants in dock. 10:13:02 SOUND: Polish survivor Jadwiga Dzido on the stand. Dr. Leo Alexander identifies the X-ray of Dzigo's leg and explains the nature of the medical experiment performed on her at Ravensbrueck concentration camp. Dr. Alexander talks about the marked atrophy of her leg and foot, he points to a scar on her leg.
Trial transcripts available in the departmental files. Photographs available in the USHMM Photo Reference Collection.
Biography / History:
Jadwiga Dzido [later Hassa] is the daughter of Katarzyna and Jozef. A Polish Catholic, she was born in Suchowola on January 26, 1918 but was raised in Lukow. Her father was killed during World War I so Katarzyna supported herself and Jadwiga by working for the pharmacist, Teodozjusz Nowinski. Teodozjusz, who had no children of his own, took a special interest in Jadwiga and encouraged her to pursue higher education. In September 1938, Jadwiga began her study of pharmacology at the University of Warsaw. She returned home on June 24 1938 to work at Mr. Nowinski's pharmacy during her summer vacation. Before she could return to Warsaw for the new term, World War II broke out. Rather than return to the university, Jadwiga remained in Lukow working at the pharmacy. She joined the ZWZ, the youth organization associated with the Polish Home Army, and assisted the underground by administering first aid, obtaining medications, and distributing illegal publications. On March 28, 1941, the Gestapo arrested Jadwiga and brought her to the prison in Radzyn. Though she was never told the specific charges against her, the Gestapo suspected that she had been supplying the underground with poisons to use in killing Germans. The Gestapo later transferred her to their prison in the dungeon of the Lublin castle where she was beaten and tortured in order to get the names of other members of the underground. Jadwiga never released any information, and after six weeks, on September 21, 1941, the Gestapo transported her to the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. As a Polish political prisoner, she had to wear a red triangle marked with the letter P and was given the prisoner number 7860. Jadwiga had to perform hard physical labor transporting construction materials and was also sent to work in the camp's shoe factory making straw inserts and sewing together strips of rabbit fur for German soldiers. However, her greatest suffering came at the hands of Nazi doctors who performed torturous medical experiments upon her. They injected a highly potent tetanus bacteria into her leg causing a high fever and then further infected the leg with bacteria, dirt and slivers of glass, in order to simulate the combat wounds of German soldiers. She then was treated with sulfa drugs. Jadwiga became extremely ill for three months. It took a full five months for her wounds to heal, but Jadwiga was left permanently scarred and she continued to suffer pain and stiffness in her leg and foot for the rest of her life. The Germans planned to execute all experimentation victims on February 4, 1945 in order to hide the evidence of their crimes. However, Jadwiga's friends succeeded in hiding her under the panels of a wooden floor and thus saved her life. Jadwiga remained in Ravensbrueck until her liberation on April 28, 1945. She returned home on crutches only to learn that her mother had been killed during the bombardments of the final days of the war. Teodozjusz Nowinski, the pharmacist in Lukow, also did not survive. He was arrested and sent to Auschwitz where he perished. After the war, Jadwiga returned to Warsaw and completed her education at Warsaw University. On December 17, 1946 she presented evidence at the Nuremberg Medical Trial of 23 SS physicians, 15 of whom were found guilty. After completing her education, Jadwiga worked for the Pharmaceutical Company in Warsaw. In 1951, Jadwiga met and married Jozef Hassa, a former Polish prisoner-of-war and later gave birth to two children. [Source: Interview with Anna Hassa Jarosky, daughter of Jadwiga Dzido Hassa]
1994.119.1 The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased this from the National Archives and Records Administration in September 1994.
NUREMBERG (SUBSEQUENT TRIALS)
WAR CRIMINALS/WAR CRIMES TRIALS
US Army Signal Corps
National Archives & Records Administration (NARA), 111 ADC 6341
Betacam SP; VHS
10:09:39 - 10:19:00