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Caroline Ferriday collection

Document | Accession Number: 1994.A.0334 | RG Number: RG-10.204

The Caroline Ferriday collection includes applications for reparations, medical records, photographs, correspondence, and printed material documenting survivors of Nazi pseudo-scientific experiments in concentration camps, particularly the sulfonamide experiments on Polish female political prisoners at Ravensbrück, and Ferriday’s efforts to help the victims receive medical care in America and reparations from the German government. Dr. Karl Gebhardt, Dr. Fritz Ficher, Dr. Herta Oberheuser, and others conducted the Ravensbrück experiments, which were supposedly designed to test the efficacy of sulfonamide drugs on wounds likely to be sustained in combat. The victims suffered the removal of bone mass from their lower legs and the insertion of septic materials including glass, dirt, and infected rags into the wounds.

The first series, “Applications” include questionnaires completed by experiment victims between 1957 and 1961 seeking reparations from the Federal Republic of Germany. The applications described the injuries they suffered at Ravensbrück and were submitted to the German government via the Friends of the ADIR and the United Nations. The applications are accompanied by related correspondence and testimonies. A few of the files include photographs.

The second series, “Medical records and photographs” include medical records documenting the experiment victims in 1959 and 1960, photocopies of 1951 reports submitted shortly after Bonn agreed to consider reparations for experiment victims, and name lists of victims. The series also includes photographs from the collective medical examination of experiment victims in Warsaw in 1958, of their visit with Cardinal Spellman in America in 1959, and of Auschwitz and the experiments conducted there in Block 10.

Correspondence files include correspondence among Caroline Ferriday, the Association des déportées et internées de la Résistance (ADIR) in France, the Friends of ADIR in New York, United Nations officials, the Society of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy in Poland (ZBOWID), and the Ravensbrück experiment victims committee. The correspondence documents Caroline Ferriday’s interest in the efforts of Nazi experiment victims to receive reparations for their suffering and her work facilitating their claims to the German government. It further documents the interest in their cause generated by Norman Cousins’ 1958 article in The Saturday Review, the victims’ visit to America in 1958 and 1959, and the 1961 decision by the German government to award compensation to the victims via the International Committee of the Red Cross. Many of the photocopies in this series appear to have been created using a gelatin dye transfer process.

News reports and published materials include clippings and reports documenting pseudo-scientific experiments conducted at Nazi concentration camps, efforts to obtain reparations from the Federal Republic of Germany for those victims, and the Ravensbrück experiment victims’ visit to America.

inclusive:  circa 1948-1983
bulk:  1951-1966
4 boxes
5 oversize folders
Record last modified: 2023-06-02 10:27:01
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