Bearing Witness to the Holocaust: Children Experimented upon at Auschwitz



The children above were subject to medical experimentation by the Auschwitz doctor, Horst Schumann. The blackening of their bodies was probably the product of burns from exposure to high dosage radiation, but the specific experiments conducted upon these particular children is not known.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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20 Responses to Bearing Witness to the Holocaust: Children Experimented upon at Auschwitz

  1. Tony Fiorentino says:

    I was in boarding school with Volker and Horst Schumann, the children of Dr. Horst Schumann who was then hiding in the forests of South Sudan. To this day I cannot understand how the priests that ran our school could have accepted to speak to Dr. Schumann and allow his kids to be with us.

    • saga de says:

      because a priest has no other option but to forgive. the wrongdoing was him not notifying anyone of Dr. Horst Schumann apearence.

    • Daniela says:

      I am actually writing a book about Dr. Horst Schumann’s time in Ghana and I am searching for Horst Schumann (his son) to interview him on his experiences. Would it be ok to ask you some questions on your experiences in the Sudanese school with the two kids of Schumann? I would really appreaciate your reply.
      Please send me an email to
      Thanks so much

  2. Jayne says:

    To saga de…
    So because of the priest religion – you say he has to forgive – is this at the cost of putting children into contact with a man who has committed violent and criminal acts?

    Religion means nothing. Its the way you act throughout your life that matters..

    • Ana says:

      We are all the children of God, and no matter how twisted we get he still loves all the same.
      Just imagine having two children one is a perfect child and the other is rapist, murderer and drug attic. Which child do you love more?

      • deisy bby says:

        still lovethem no matter how bad it ggets …lyk how god loves us no matter wat

      • Anonymous says:

        deisy blue, God loves them?? Are you kidding? Is God the type of thing that allows medical experiments on children? ‘Oh it’s ok because he loves the,’ The Monster, but I don’t really mean that because ‘THERE IS NO SUCH THING/PERSON AS GOD’

  3. hannah belle says:

    this is very sick if i were alive back then i wouldve have spit on the nazis

  4. Juliet says:

    The child (for I cannot clearly tell if it is a girl or boy, though i think it a girl) in the first row and to the far left of this photo, scarily so, looks a lot like me. It reminds me of how I looked as a child. Some of my friends, one of which who showed me this picture, agree. We’re curious about the story of these children. If possible could anyone let me know how to find out more? Please leave a reply if you can. Thank you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I can talk in public, take that school

  6. Anonymous says:

    We are all children of god…?!!! What a tall story. I am the daughter of my parents. My religion is the mountains… There is no god.
    No one should be forgiven for the horror of the holocaust.

  7. Anonymous says:

    God makes everything, God allows things to happen, for these reasons people are atheist. Christians can’t have it all one way, ‘he works in mysterious ways’, ‘he has his reasons’, we will all be forgiven’ and so on, these are excuses made up by blind people who refuse to admit their doubts. The simple facts are that a group of humans took another group of humans and did horrific things, it IS that simple, however difficult that is to understand as an action or reason that is what happened. If ‘God’ was almighty, was in fallible, was unequalled, then these things would not have happened, if God exists then surely he is as much to blame for letting it happen?????

  8. Nick says:

    This photo breaks my heart. I can’t imagine what these poor children went through. I do not blame God though. I blame Hitler and those who blindly followed and obeyed him. God gives us free will. To create a perfect world He would first have to create perfect people. Things were perfect in the beginning till Adam and Eve disobeyed Him and sin came into the world. From sin can come the utmost evil. It’s all about taking responsibility for one’s actions. People don’t do evil things because God allows it or the devil makes them. They do it because they choose to. God gives us the free will to choose right from wrong, good from evil. I look at God as our Father. Do you blame the Parent for the choices the child makes when the Parent has tried to give the child everything good and the chances to make the right choices that He can but the child still rejects his Father’s teaching? I don’t understand all the bad things of the world but I know I could not begin to deal with them as well if not for my faith and the promise of a better tomorrow. You may not agree with me but that’s your choice. When I look at this picture I do wonder why something like this had to happen but I also look at it and the anger and sickness I feel about it is directed toward the evil people who done these things, not God.

    “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he did not exist”
    -Charles Baudelaire

  9. Staffan says:

    Somehow the Holocaust always becomes a religious matter, even for atheists it seems. What if the Holocaust was caused by something that happened earlier? Most things seem to have rational explanations.

    • Nicole says:

      I think it becomes a religious matter because its hard to accept that something like this could happen and go on as long as it did. Maybe that’s people’s way of trying to make sense of something so senseless. I feel like its the perfect example of what hate of a specific race and/or religion can cause. Hitler was nothing more than a power hungry racist with delusions of grandeur yet he managed to convince people to believe his poison. Its scary to think someone so evil could yield so much persuasion over some people. I still cannot understand how anyone could do such sadistic things to fellow human beings. When I look at someone I don’t see their skin color or religion or sexual orientation. I see a human being and that’s whats so hard for me to understand how people could do such things to others. Reminds me how important it is to always think for oneself and hold sacred the truth of what’s right and what’s wrong.

      • Staffan says:

        Yes, you’re probably right. What I mean is that it is only hard to understand if you ignore the pre-history. The Versailles Treaty, the occupation of the Ruhr District and the hyperinflation. Imagine your country being bled dry by other nations and that Jews in all those nations took part in it. If ordinary middle class lost everything and ended up on the street. People snap under such circumstances, and people are tribal. The Jews were the most conspicuous outgroup. It’s all just human nature. Hitler didn’t persuade the Germans; he was just a catalyst and an opportunist.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Children… Children are trustfull and happy by nature. They are playfull and dont understand evil. Children. Its so very sad

  11. Anonymous says:

    When religion gets in the way for accountability for actions, chaos soon ensues.

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