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[Perspectives] Naming the victims of Nazi medicine

On Dec 18, 1943, The Lancet reported on an investigation of typhus vaccination made by the German doctor Erwin Ding. It described Ding’s findings in a straightforward way, comparing his results to those obtained in the UK and the USA, while commenting in passing that Ding was a member of the German SS. But the report concluded by noting a statistical oddity in the data: the infection of participants seemed strangely synchronised. “Thus”, it read, “it seems that particularly heavy infections occurred in some hundreds of persons on known days during the investigations of a storm-trooper leader.

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