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Hormone Used by Nazis on Prisoners is Studied for Effect on Children’s Intelligence

August 7, 1969
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Hormones used by the Nazis in their experiments to sterilize Jews, now found in one form of estrogenic birth control pills, produced an unusually low IQ in the offspring of concentration camp inmates subject to the hormone, an American psychologist reported here today.

Dr. J. Jofen of the City University of New York, at the Fifth World Congress on Jewish studies, told a section of the Congress dealing with the Holocaust that in studying the sterilization experiments performed by the Nazis on inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp, she had discovered documents revealing that Nazi Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler had been interested in the development of a drug that would cause sterilization of enemies of the Reich without their being aware of it.

The records indicate that in one set of experiments a hormone synthesized from a plant was administered through soup given to the inmates, men and women, who temporarily lost their virility. Dr. Jofen discovered that children subsequently born to women subjected to the drug were of lower average intelligence than children of concentration camp inmates not subject to the drug. Dr. Jofen said she was making a study of this to ascertain if there could be a similar effect on children born to women periodically using the contraceptive drug.

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