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Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna by Edith Sheffer

Chapter 1: Enter the Experts
“Lazar was particularly interested in “dissocial” youths who had fallen afoul with the law. He felt it important to differentiate what he called endogenous and exogenous causes—between children whose disociability stemmed from internal factors (physical or psychiatric) versus external factors (illness or milieu).In endogenous cases, Lazar boasted that his Curative Education Clinic was “the first attempt” to distinguish between “the mental and physical defects of the wayward and criminal.” Committed to physiological detail, for example, Lazar would examine the genitals of a child “right away,” and send boys whose testicles had not dropped to a surgeon….

For all his purported idealism, Lazar could be damning in his judgements. As his coworkers put it, “He was not sentimental,” and would pronounce children “morally” damaged, “degenerate,” or even “waste.”….

Chapter 5: Fatal Theories
Jekelius wrote to her parents that he had done them a service: “you and the child will be spared much suffering.” Because Paula had “Mongolian idiocy” (Down syndrome), she “would never have walked or learned to speak, and would have been a constant burden for you.”

However, the true intent of the child euthanasia program was not to make life easier for parents, but to purge the Reich of undesirable citizens. And child killers were holding very different conversations among themselves.

*(Should note that the author is not educated in endocrine disruption science nor fetal development or she would have understood the significance of an epidemic of boys born with undescended testicles and children born with Down Syndrome. Their munition technology causes have been known since the 1950s. Since IG Farben had market expansion plans it would have been in their best interest to destroy any evidence that their products caused harm.)

 

Chapter 6: Asperger and the Killing System
While Asperger effectively worked down the hall. Hamburger who supervised numerous medical experiments on children at the Children’s Hospital. One medical student exposed children and infants to extreme temperature changes and measured the effects. Elmar Turk, one of Asperger’s associates as a postdoctoral student under Hamburger, used premature infants to study the effect of vitamin D on rickets; knowing that premature babies were particularly susceptible to the condition, Turk withheld prophylaxis, allowing thirteen of the fifteen infants in his control group to develop rickets.

Hamburger took special interest in Turk’s lethal tuberculosis experiments on children. Turk selected babies as his test subjects who he considered to be “severely damaged from birth trauma, unviable, and idiotic.” He administered a tuberculosis vaccine, Calmette-Guerin (BCG), to two of them, and then infected all three babies with “virulent tuberculosis bacillus.” He sent them to Speigelgrund for observation and, eventually, autopsies. The two vaccinated babies died within a month—not of tuberculosis, but reportedly of pneumonia, the main official cause of death at Spiegelgrund. The unvaccinated child overcame the tuberculosis after a painful four-month ordeal but still died.

Turk repeated his tuberculosis experiment one year later on an “idiotic, syphilitic” three-and-a-half-year-old, Adolf Guttmann, whom he did not. As he transferred little Adolf to Spiegelgrund for observation, Turk sent a macabre so-called “wish list” to the director for the boy’s death and postmortem study: “I would request that you inform me in the event of the child’s death so that I may be present at the autopsy, as I intend to conduct various histological examinations.” While the child still lived, Spiegelgrund staff were to take specialized notes on Adolf’s condition and conduct x-rays at regular intervals. Turk added, “I hope you are not burdened by this.” After Adolf arrived at Spiegelgrund, staff reported that the boy “was quiet and peaceful, laughs occasionally when one strokes him on the cheek.” Adolf was killed two and a half months after his arrival…

Hamburger’s postdoctoral student Heribert Goll, with whom Asperger had copublished in 1939, also conducted experiments on babies at the Children’s Hospital. Overseen by Hamburger, Goll explained that he selected “only infants unfit to live.” For his 1941 publication in the Munich Medical Weekly, Goll deprived babies of Vitamin A in order to measure the vitamin’s effects on the development of keratomalacia, a common cause of blindness. The condition dried the cornea and membrane that covers the white of the eye, resulting potentially, over time, in frothy patches called Bitot spots, ulceration, infection, and rupture of the eye. After Goll, withheld vitamin A from the infants for months, a number of them did, indeed, develop preliminary keratomalacia. Then, in a second experiment, Goll sought to infect babies with keratomalacia by placing secretions from the eye of one girl with the disease onto the eyes of four healthy children. When the method failed, he tried again by localizing the bacteria, which again failed.

Goll raised the stakes of his research in his 1942 publication for the Munich Medical Weekly, depriving twenty babies of fats and vitamin A in periods of up to three hundred days. After the infants died—perhaps forcibly killed, perhaps perishing from their maltreatment—Goll examined their livers from autopsies. Six-month-old Anna Mick was selected for the study; her health had been “robust” despite her hydrocephalus and bed sores on her head. She wasted away on Goll’s diet, lying in the Children’s Hospital while staff prodded her eyes and body for fluid and tissue samples. In less than four months, Anna died from “increasing feebleness.”

Asperger worked in the midst of his colleagues’ human experiments at the Children’s Hospital and would have known about their deadly methods, which they touted in prominent journals. He walked past babies in daily life who were injected, infected, and starved… Asperger—in cofounding the Vienna Society for Curative Education with Franz Hamburger, Erwin Jekelius, and Max Gundel in 1941—was collaborating with three top perpetrators of child killing in Vienna…

Asperger then brought up “eugenic issues” before the Vienna Society, pointing out that “proper assessment” of children was “already a good portion of their ‘treatment.’” Again, one could take these words at face value, as advocating careful care of children. But “treatment,” or Behandlung, was a euphemism that euthanasia personnel used for killing a child. It is curious that Asperger used quotation marks around the word, which suggests he might, indeed, be signaling a veiled meaning for “‘treatment’” —especially on the heels of recommending “prolonged and stationary observation” at Spiegelgrund. After all, the Vienna Society was run by notorious Spiegelgrund leaders, and Jekelius’s inaugural address had already set the stage with his reference to children unworthy of care. Given widespread knowledge of the euthanasia program in Vienna, it is likely that many in the audience were aware of the potential consequences of sending “difficult cases” to Spiegelgrund, as well as the regime’s desire to eliminate children deemed to be defective…..

Heirich Gross, one of the most notorious figures, came to work at Spiegelgrund in mid-November 1940 as child killing were gaining momentum. He was barely twenty-six, having graduated from the University of Vienna Medical School just the year before and worked for a short time at the psychiatric institution Ybbs an der Donau. At Spiegelgrund, Gross served under medical director Jekelius, ten years his senior. Like Jekelius, Gross had been a Nazi enthusiast when the party was still a fringe terrorist organization in Austria; he joined the Hitler Youth in 1932 and the SA in 1933, gaining successive promotions to SA squad leader by 1938.

Seven months after Gross came to work at Spiegelgrund, in June 1941, he went to Germany to train for six weeks under curative education proponent Hans Heinze, who taught killing methods to spiring euthanasia doctors, one of the top three figures in child euthanasia in the entire Reich.

When Gross returned to Vienna after his training with Heinze, the death rate at Spiegelgrund more than tripled… Gross also emulated Heinze in harvesting and preserving victims’ brains. Heinze was distributing many hundreds of adult and child brains to German physicians for research as Gross began his collection of children’s brains at Spiegelgrund for his own work. Children at Spiegelgrund called Gross, who practiced medicine in military uniform, “scythe” or the “Grim Reaper.” (The preservation and research of victim brains is evidence that they would have been able to examine and see the morphological changes to the brain from their organochlorine munition technologies.)

The second director of Spiegelgrund, Ernst Illing, also trained with Heinze. Like Heinze, Illing had spent his early career at the University of Leipzig, and Illing then followed Heinze to Gorden in 1935. Illing worked under Heinze for seven years, conducting some fo the Reich’s first child killings. Illing was highly trained, then, when Heinze and Vienna’s Public Health Office tapped him, at age thirty-eight, to succeed Jekelius as medical director of Spiegelgrund, where he served from July 1, 1942, until April 1945….

And child euthanasia came to pervade Vienna’s medical community at large, reaching far beyond just curative education, as many doctors acquiesced and even welcomed the measures. Illing described in his October 1945 deposition how Viennese physicians readily ridded their wards of children they deemed disabled. He singled out Hamburger and Asperger’s Children’s Hospital by name:

My clinic was always overcrowded since the other clinics, the Welfare Clinic, the Children’s Hospital Glanzing, and the University Children’s Hospital handed over, or wanted to hand over, these hopeless cases—obviously in the belief that euthanasia was legally possible at my clinic due to the aforementioned directive [euthanasia order], while they themselves were not allowed to conduct euthanasia. I am completely confident that the leaders of these institutions were in the know about euthanasia and the aforementioned directives.

Asperger had publicly encouraged his colleagues to transfer “difficult cases” of children to Spiegelgrund—and he followed his own recommendation…

Austrian scholar Herwig Czech has uncovered that Asperger’s panel reviewed the files of 210 children in a single day, slotting them into special schools supposedly appropriate to their level of disability. The commission deemed 35 of the 210 children, 9 girls and 26 boys, “incapable of educational and developmental engagement.” These youths were sent to Spiegelgrund, as the written committee instructions required, to be “dispatched for Jekelius Action.”

“Jekelius Action” was an instruction to kill. All of the 35 youths transferred by Asperger’s commission died. …

At Spiegelgrund, Herta’s photograph showed her crying, her dark hair shaved, and staring straight into the camera. Herta’s mother reportedly beseeched doctor Margarethe Hubsch, in tears: “If the child could not be helped, perhaps it would be better if she would die, as she would have nothing in this world anyway, she would be a laughing stock of the others.” Hubsch explained that, “as a mother of so many other children, she would not wish that on her, so it would be better if she died.” Herta’s mother conveyed at least some of her sentiments to Asperger, too, as he noted in his Spiegelgrund transfer order that “when at home, this child must present an unbearable burden to the mother.” On August 8, Jekelius sent Herta’s records to the Reich Committee in Berlin for authorization to kill the girl. Herta died soon thereafter, two months after Asperger’s transfer. Pneumonia was Herta’s official cause of death. (Herta was only two-years-old)

Chapter 7: The Daily Life of Death
Spiegelgrund’s second director, Ernst Illing, inflicted diagnostic practices on children that could be deadly. Pneumatic encephalography, for example, was an excruciating procedure that injected air into children’s brains after the removal of spinal fluid in order to conduct X-rays showing the cerebral ventricles. Spiegelgrund doctors also collected children’s body parts for research. Most notorious was Dr. Heinrich Gross, who preserved the brains of over four hundred children in jars meticulously stacked and labeled on shelves in the basement, which he used in his research through the 1980s. Indeed, the body parts of children killed at Spiegelgrund were disseminated among a number of research facilities, providing the basis of research long after the war….

Deaths also became part of the daily routine. Marianne Turk and Heinrich Gross even resided on the Spiegelgrund grounds, with Ernst Illing choosing to live with his family in Pavilion 15, the death ward. After the war, Turk reflected on just how habituated she had become to the life of murder, ordering overdoses of Luminal, Veronal, and morphine in injections and in pulverized tablets added to cocoa powder or other foods that children would gladly eat. “With the cases that we had by the dozens in the institution, putting an end to this human wretchedness was an automatic thought.” Turk outlined how the implementation of death orders was quotidian, too:

“The nurses—who undertook the actual execution since they added the sleeping pills to the food—had access to the medicine cabinet. They would be told by Dr. Illing or me that the decisions about child X or Y had arrived, and the nurses knew what they had to do.”…

The mother of Herta Gschwandtner, Luise, openly confronted Spiegelgrund staff about the killings. Herta was born “mongoloid,” and transferred to Spiegelgrund in 1943 at one-and-half years old. She died just eleven days after her transfer, ostensibly of pneumonia. Luise Gschwandnter was incredulous at the speed of her daughter’s death. She wrote to Ernst Illing and Spiegelgrund nurses, “I still can’t grasp why my dear little Herta had to leave me so fast, to die so quickly. […] We still can not believe that our child Herthi was not curable.” Gschwandtner went on, “I am completely heartbroken. I would gladly sacrifice my life for my child…. Please excuse me for my bad writing, which I wrote with very tearful eyes.” In her letter, Gschwandtner went so far as to suggest that Herta was murdered. “Now I have to bear twice the pain because people are saying straight to my face that she was simply poisoned, so to speak, eliminated.” Illing wrote back that nothing was amiss with her daughter’s death. He warned Gschwandtner that he would launch police action if the deaths at Spiegelgrund continued to be questioned: “I would also ask you to vigorously oppose rumors of that kind; if necessary, I will lodge a complaint against such rumormongers.”

But rumors about the killings were rife in Vienna, and exacerbated families’ anguish over the deaths of their children. The parents of two-month-old Hermann Dockl were devastated when their daughter, diagnosed as “mongoloid,” perished five weeks after her admission to Spiegelgrund, reportedly of pneumonia. The Dockl’s family doctor, Hans Geyer, asked Illing to give him a medical accounting of Hermine’s death in order to alleviate the relatives’ torment; he said a proper explanation would bring the family “peace and dispel all the hushed rumors and conjectures.” Hermine’s mother, Geyer warned, was “expressing suicidal intentions and cannot be left alone.” Illing replied simply that the infant had “severe weakness of life” and that the good doctor should surely know that “mongoloid” children had shorter life expectancies.”

The majority of parents’ letters in the case files of children killed at Spiegelgrund are heart wrenching. They voice sorrow, disbelief, anger—and frequently demand more information about how their children died. There was, nevertheless, a wide range of responses. A number of families expressed acceptance, even approval of their child’s untimely death. After all, many in the Reich even sought their child’s admission to killing wards in the hopes their child might perish. They might complain about the burden of caring for their child, perhaps while struggling to make ends meet, with other children at home or a husband away at war. Yet discussions of child-killing was not just limited to to the strains of the Third Reich. The idea of ending “life unworthy of life” had circulated long before the Nazis came to power. In 1925, Ewald Meltzer, the head of the asylum in Saxony, grew so concerned about the ethics of the issue that he asked the parents of children at his institution: “Would you agree to the painless curtailment of the life of your child if experts had established that it was suffering from incurable idiocy?” To his dismay, 73 percent of the parents who participated in the survey answered “yes.”

Spiegelgrund staff said that some parents held explicit conversations about death wishes for their children. The mother of a toddler who Asperger transferred to Spiegelgrund, Herta Schreiber, allegedly told doctor Margarethe Hubsch, “It would be better if she died.” Marianne Turk noted that one mother of a child with epilepsy “thought it would be a comfort and a reassurance to her if the child could close her eyes forever.” Both children were, indeed, killed…

Survivor Leopoldine Maier, contemplating her experience at Spiegelgrund, suggested that complicity in the cruelty—and in the Nazis system as a whole—was pervasive and inescapable. She said people’s potential for depravity would torment her throughout her life.

“Each person raises the question in me: Are you for me or against me? It was always a question of survival. And that question still lingers with me somehow when I meet somebody: With whom is he siding now and with whom was he siding then. And would he have helped you had he known or would he not have helped you at all. […] I am not angry with anybody for how can you be mad with somebody when the evil has no name, when the evil is just part of life, like it was the case there. But the evil belonged there, it was everyday life, and nobody questioned it.”

Chapter 9: In Service to the Volk
The mission of eliminated undesirable children mirrored the Reich’s ambition to eliminate undesirable populations. While Nazi psychiatrists killed youths at home, sequestered behind the walls of hospitals and sanatoria, the Reich wreaked Armageddon across the continent…

The Nazi state aimed to establish a new order in Europe. From 1939 until 1942, its goal appeared to be in sight. The Reich occupied territories, created satellite states, and forged alliances across eastern and western Europe, from Bulgaria to Estonia to Norway to France. Germany even had aspirations in North Africa, too, waging war in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.

In Vienna, most people, including Asperger, supported the Reich. Many were pleased that the Nazi state invested in rebuilding the Austrian economy; Germany coordinated Austria into its war machine, unemployment dropped, large firms boomed, commerce modernized….. The former nation became seven Reich districts, or Reichsgaue, that were collectively called the Ostmark and, after 1942, the “Danubian and Alpine Districts.” The new boundaries tripled the size of greater Vienna, making it the second-largest city in the Reich—yet the regime reduced Vienna’s power from a capital to a provincial city and kept Austria peripheral to the Reich overall…

For Asperger and his associates in Vienna, quality of life remained relatively high throughout the war. Reich citizens fared well compared to the populations they subjugated, typically better fed, housed, and spared the ravages of the battlefield.

*(This author clearly never read the book, The Last Train From Berlin, by Howard K. Smith, 1942. Independent journalists tell a far different story about the state of “Reich citizens.” )

Vienna was also spared the worst of Allied bombing. The Allies unleashed explosives on sixty-one Reich cities during the war, destroying one in five homes and killing around six hundred thousand civilians; the fire-bombing of Hamburg and Dresden raised street temperatures over 1,500 degrees Celsius that turned people into ash in seconds. But Vienna, known as the “Reich’s air raid shelter,” was out of reach until the Allies established bombing flotillas in Italy in the spring of 1944. Missions then aimed for tactical targets in the city rather than carpet bombing, and killed twenty-four thousand civilians.

As Europe collapsed, Germans and Austrians continued to sustain the Reich. Asperger and his colleagues worked through the destruction, publishing, debating, and delivering lectures to one another. Nazi child psychiatry was only a small pocket of activity within the regime’s efforts to remake Europe. But practitioners took their task seriously, and continued to work in earnest even as the continent descended into mass slaughter.
The Third Reich harnessed a curious juxtaposition of efforts, of total war versus erudite debates, of genocide versus journal articles. But the task to mold the mind mattered, as psychiatrists discussed the finer points of Nazi philosophy while carnage raged around them…

Later in life, Asperger emphasized what he had gained from his time in Yugoslavia, highlighting his fortitude and heroism. Echoing longstanding masculine ideals of proving one’s mettle in battle, Asperger recalled, “I was in Croatia, deployed in the partisan war. I wouldn’t want to have missed any of these experiences. It is good to know how you behave when facing danger, as the bullets whistle by—it is also a place where you are tested.”

Apparently Asperger found fulfillment amid the carnage and the Wehrmacht’s notoriously vicious conduct in Yugoslavia. Reich reprisal policy, for example, meant killing one hundred citizens for every German soldier killed….

Chapter 10: Reckoning.
Spiegelgrund survivors continued to suffer after their release. For Franz Pulkert, life did not improve much. “The violence, that was commonplace at the time, I mean, with my parents this wasn’t different either, because my mother wasn’t any better.” Friedrich Zawrel recalled, “My father continued drinking. At home, it was as bad as before.” Karl Hamedler, who was in his mid-teens, was bitter. “At that age you just don’t know what to do with yourself. There you are in the world, and nobody gives a shit about you, to put it bluntly. Even Leopoldine Maier, whose mother had journeyed to Spiegelgrund every week and rescued her, was troubled. She confessed, “I also very often ran away from my mother. I always had my bag with leftover food so I would not starve.”….

For Leopoldine Maier, legal recognition was cold comfort. She was still “crippled by these childhood memories,” she explained. “When I do not watch myself, I always pull my neck in as if I were in constant fear of being hit in the neck with a stick or something else. […] Whenever I wake up in the morning, I tell myself that I am old and it is over and that to me it will never happen again. This is my ritual each and every morning. I tell myself it is over and I survived it.”

Maier dedicated her life to sustaining life. She became a nurse in Vienna and, she said, “I would have loved to have a child just to spare the child what I had to go through.” But Maier found her fallopian tubes were blocked. Although there is no record of it in her files, she suspects she was sterilized during the Third Reich. Haunted by Spiegelgrund’s physical and mental abuse, Maier confided, “The term ‘unworthy of life’ is still ringing in my ears. There is still a sign above my life that says: strictly speaking, you have no right to live.”….

Even top Reich-level euthanasia figures, Hans Heinze and Werner Villinger, had flourishing postwar careers as Germany’s leading psychiatrists. Franz Hamburger, who had become emeritus in 1944, never faced trial. The enormous role Hamburger’s Children Hospital played in the killing system also went unrecognized. Hamburger’s student, Elmar Turk, who conducted tuberculosis experiments on children with Hamburger, practiced through the 1990s and drew on his human experiments from the Third Reich. The body parts of children killed at Spiegelgrund continued to circulate among Vienna’s research laboratories, the basis of its physicians’ publications for decades.

Spiegelgrund doctor Heinrich Gross published thirty-eight articles over twenty-five years—several based on the preserved brains of over four hundred children that he had harvested at Spiegelgrund during the Third Reich, collaborating with associates (such as Andreas Rest, who named Rett syndrome). Gross became a preeminent physical in Austria and was awarded the government’s Honorary Cross for Science and Art in 1975. Despite court proceedings against him in 1948 and 1981, Gross managed to evade conviction for murder. A rock solid case against Gross finally headed to court in 2000, but Gross was deemed unfit to stand trial due to advanced dementia—a condition many observers disputed. Gross died in 2005 at age ninety….

In 2002, the remains of Spiegelgrund’s victims were buried and memorialized—including the brains Gross had collected, which were discovered in Spiegelgrund’s basement, in neatly stacked glass jars. *(Thus they buried the evidence of the morphological and structural damages from IG Farben’s munition technologies branched from their ethylene tree)

Asperger was cleared of wrongdoing after the war… Asperger benefited from the vacuum and was appointed interim director of the University of Vienna Children’s Hospital from 1946 to 1949… He enjoyed a long career. In 1957, Asperger was named director of the University of Innsbruck Children’s Hospital; in 1962, Asperger followed in Hamburger’s footsteps as permanent director of the University of Vienna Children’s Hospital. Asperger wrote a textbook, Heilpadagogik, which found success in several editions—and his field of “curative education” expanded and shifted toward mainstream “special education.”

The Curative Education Clinic sent children to Spiegelgrund’s successor institution, Wilhelminenberg…. Anna Theresa Kimmel, seen in Asperger’s clinic, later described her encounter with Asperger. “I stood facing a tall, tall man in a white coat. Light-haired. The size difference was enormous. And I only know that he greeted my mother, and then looked at me and punched me in the stomach with full force. Yes? My reaction was: no howling, nothing, but I probably looked at him angrily. And so he told me, he told my mother that I had aggression.” Kimmel said she was institutionalized, held in a cage bed for a month. Afterward, Kimmel reflected, “I never heard from Asperger again. I don’t know, was I a test subject? Was I a person? Was I a piece of wood? A guinea pig? I have no idea.”…

Asperger held that the souls of the terminally ill youths “were always very different from the ‘normal’” As he put it, “Their fine spiritual differentiation results from a weakening in their primitive vitality through the existing disease—a consequence of the disease. In other words, illness changed children’s souls and permanently aged them, completing their development. It was appropriate that they perished earlier than others. In his 1975 article, “The Dying Child,” Asperger invoked scripture to conclude the point, citing the Wisdom of Solomon: children who die young “live a long life in a short span of time.”…

In Asperger’s view, the doctor’s role was to guide the child and his or her parents, particularly the grieving mother, down the path of death—to “fulfill his noble duty as guide into the realm of the natural.”

In his 1975 article, “The Dying Child,” Asperger also wrote that the doctor should “serve in death.” It is unclear exactly what Asperger meant by the phrase, but juxtaposed it with what he called “active euthanasia.” – Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna by Edith Sheffer

The IG Farben employees, Vienna doctors, destroyed the evidence of the harm of their employer’s munition technology products. Theo Colborn called their benzene technology products, womb terrorists. They didn’t destroy the technologies causing all the harm. They expanded their ethylene tree based munition markets and exterminated the infants and children destroyed by them.
The Last Train From Berlin by Howard K. Smith
“Other vegetables came to count as luxuries. Tomatoes were rationed too for a while, then disappeared altogether to canning factories where they could be preserved and sent to the Eastern front. Two-vegetable meals became virtually extinct. Scarcities were made more severe by the prudence of the food ministry which, having its palms slapped once, began to play it safe by preparing more and more canned goods for the troops in the event that the war should last through the winter….

Ersatz foods flourished. Icing for the few remaining pastries tasted like a mixture of saccharine, sand and cheap perfume. White bread was issued after the third month of the campaign only on the ration cards formerly for pastry. A red coloured paste called Lachs Galantine, resembling salmon in color and soggy sawdust in taste, appeared in restaurants on meatless days. Several strange bottled sauces made of incredible combinations of acid-tasting chemicals made their appearance in shops to answer the public’s growing demand for something to put a taste of some kind in their unattractive and scanty meals…

Cigarettes suffered the most rapid decline in quality… My tobacconist told me “Johnnies” were made of the same dry, powdery, inferior tobacco as other cigarettes, but the leaves were sprayed with a chemical to give them a distinctive flavour and kill their original one. The chemical, he said, was severely damaging to the lungs, which I can believe…

It caused visible pain to the old bar-tender to answer an order for a cocktail saying he was dreadfully sorry but today, precisely today, he had run out of all the ingredients. But perhaps tomorrow. Actually, all he had was some raw liquor the management had been able to squeeze out of a farm-house outside Berlin, Himbeergeist, or a fake Vodka that took the roof off your mouth, or wood alcohol with perfume in it which was served under the name of Sclibovitz, two fingers to a customer and no more…

Civilian hospitals are overcrowded and doctors overworked. Environment, which has a great deal to do with mental health and well-being has grown seedy and ugly. Hours are longer and real wages immeasurably lower than they were before the Russian war. Families are losing their youngest and strongest members, or seeing them some home legless and armless. The horizon of the average German is desolate….

Today, also after two years of war, there are only two meat dishes on the menu, one of which is struck through with a pencil mark along the strategy of the Kaiserhof Hotel. The other is generally two little sausages of uncertain contents, each about the size of a cigar butt. Before the meat they give you a chalky, red, warm liquid called tomato soup, but which a good-natured waiter-friend of mine always called: Ee-gay Farben Nummer zwei nulleex! all of which means, “Dye trust formula number 20-X.” With the meat you get four or five yellow potatoes with black blotches on them…

Hitler’s solution to the crisis was not by making useful goods but by producing the greatest aggregation of arms, which nobody can eat, or wear, in all history…”
Portions from pages 120 – 149)*(You can actually consume munitions, Americans consume so much splenda that it’s the number 1 artificial sweetener. It’s an organochlorine and you can guarantee that it destroys your brain like all the rest of those sulfur chlorine carbon creations…)

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Merck to Pay More than $650 Million to Resolve Claims of Fraudulent Price Reporting and Kickbacks

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2008
WWW.USDOJ.GOV

WASHINGTON — Merck & Company has agreed to pay more than $650 million to resolve allegations that the pharmaceutical manufacturer failed to pay proper rebates to Medicaid and other government health care programs and paid illegal remuneration to health care providers to induce them to prescribe the company’s products, the Justice Department announced today. The allegations were brought in two separate lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.

“Not only is the combined recovery in these two cases one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements ever achieved by the Justice Department,” said Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, “it reflects our continuing effort to hold drug companies accountable for devising pricing schemes that deliberately seek to deny federal health care programs the same lower prices for drugs that are available to other commercial customers.”

H. Dean Steinke, a former Merck employee, alleged in his suit filed in Philadelphia that Merck violated the Medicaid Rebate Statute in connection with its marketing of its drugs Zocor and Vioxx. (Zocor is a cholesterol lowering drug and Vioxx, pulled from the market by Merck in September of 2004, was used for the treatment of acute pain and in the treatment of arthritis.) Merck allegedly offered deep discounts for the two drugs if hospitals used large quantities of those drugs in place of competitors’ brands.

The Medicaid Rebate Statute requires that drug manufacturers report their “best prices” and other cost information to the government in order to ensure that Medicaid obtains the benefit of the same discounts and price concessions that other purchasers enjoy. An exception to this rule allows manufacturers to exclude from the prices they report any discounted prices that are “nominal” in amount. Merck improperly termed as “nominal” the prices it offered to hospitals to boost their sales and excluded those discounts from the prices it reported to the government.

Steinke’s suit further alleged that from 1997-2001, Merck had approximately fifteen different programs used by its sales representatives to induce physicians to use its many products. These programs primarily consisted of excess payments to physicians that were disguised as fees paid to them for “training,” “consultation” or “market research.” In fact, the government alleged that these fees were illegal kickbacks intended to induce the purchase of Merck products. Merck agreed today to pay $399 million plus interest to settle the Medicaid Rebate as well as the kickback allegations.

In a separate suit filed by physician William St. John LaCorte in New Orleans, it’s alleged that Merck had established a marketing scheme in which it provided substantially reduced prices for its Pepcid products once the hospitals agreed to primarily use the drug instead of a competitor’s. (Pepcid is used to reduce stomach acid and to treat heartburn and acid reflux.) Merck allegedly offered these incentives to hospitals in order to obtain the benefit of spillover business when patients would continue to purchase Pepcid once he or she was discharged. Merck improperly termed as “nominal” the prices it offered to hospitals to boost the sales of Pepcid, excluded those discounts from the prices it reported to the government, and thus effectively denied the government the benefit of these lower prices. Merck agreed today to pay $250 million plus interest to settle these allegations.

Under the two settlement agreements, the federal government will receive more than $360 million, and forty-nine states and the District of Columbia over $290 million. In addition, Mr. Steinke will receive $44,690,000 from the federal share of the settlement amount and an additional $23.5 million from the states. Similarly, Dr. LaCorte will receive a share of the proceeds from the federal and state settlement amounts under their respective qui tam statutes.

“Our health insurance programs rely upon the integrity of health providers, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, when they report to the government programs which reimburse their products and services with scarce funds,” said Patrick L. Meehan, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, whose office led the investigation of the Steinke matter.

“Particularly in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it is critical that precious government resources not be lost to fraud and abuse,” said Jim Letten, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, whose office led the investigation of the LaCorte matter. “This office is dedicated to prosecuting pricing fraud so that healthcare dollars go to help the most vulnerable of our citizens – the disabled and the poor.”

“The Office of Inspector General has a strong record of pursuing violations in the Medicaid drug rebate program and is working closely with Federal and State law enforcement to hold accountable pharmaceutical companies engaged in illegal practices resulting in Medicaid fraud,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Today’s settlement was the result of close cooperation between the Justice Department, state attorneys general and other law enforcement entities including Medicaid Fraud Control Units, and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

As part of the resolution of these two cases, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and Merck have entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement to ensure that such improper conduct does not occur in the future.

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Merck Settles Clean Water Act Violations at its Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Plant

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOV

WASHINGTON—Merck, the global pharmaceutical research company, has agreed to resolve violations of federal and state water pollution control regulations arising from spills including a June 2006 spill at its pharmaceutical plant outside of Philadelphia, announced Pat Meehan, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Ronald J. Tenpas, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

In one of the most comprehensive remediation settlement agreements for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Merck will pay $10 million to put into place systems that will prevent future dangerous discharges at their facility. Merck will spend approximately $9 million for extensive environmental projects. A consent decree requires Merck to pay $1,575,000 in penalties and civil damages for past violations divided as follows: $750,000 to the United States; $750,000 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; $75,000 to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

“Perhaps more than anything else, this settlement says to every company that discharges dangerous chemicals as part of its operations that it is accountable to the environment and the community,” said U.S. Attorney Meehan. “Because when you get right down to it, no one should have to wonder, when they walk into the kitchen for a glass of water, if what they are about to drink is going to make them or their children sick.”

“Merck’s actions led to an extensive fish-kill and caused the Philadelphia Water Department to temporarily shut down its drinking water operations,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tenpas. “This settlement ensures that Merck will take steps to prevent future illegal discharges including installing an early warning system to protect drinking water.”

The Merck facility, a pharmaceutical plant located in West Point, Pa., houses pharmaceutical and vaccine research as well as the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products and vaccines. The facility consists of approximately 400 acres, 110 buildings employing approximately 8,500 employees. Merck discharges pollutants from this facility to the Upper Gwynedd Township Publicly Owned Treatment Works (UGT POTW). The treated effluent is discharged into the Wissahickon Creek, a tributary of the Schuylkill River.

The federal court complaint, filed today, along with the settlement papers, alleges that Merck violated the Clean Water Act with several discrete discharges that caused numerous pass through and interference violations at the UGT POTW:

-On June 13, 2006, Merck discharged potassium thiocyanate (KSCN) that reacted with the chlorination at UGT POTW and after discharge caused extensive fish kills in the Wissahickon Creek on June 14th and 15th; also causing the Philadelphia Water Department to close its Schuylkill River drinking water intake on June 14th and 15th; and causing PA DEP to issue health advisories to ban all recreational uses on the Wissahickon Creek for the period June 14, 2006, through July 10, 2006.

-On Aug. 8 and 9, 2006 Merck discharged a large batch of spent substrate used for vaccine production which when treated at UGT POTW caused extensive foam discharge into the Wissahickon Creek.

-On Aug. 16, 2006, Merck discharged a large amount of cleaning agents that when treated at UGT POTW caused extensive foam discharge into the Wissahickon Creek.

The proposed consent decree includes interim measures undertaken already to: prevent discharges without pre-approval; create a tracking system for waste handling; create a task force to assess the system throughout the facility, and impose increased testing and assessment tools for waste stream. The decree contains Merck’s commitment to long term remedial measures including: a prevention program; an enhanced wastewater management program; and a chemical management accountability system for the facility. The estimated costs of these measures are in excess of $10 million.

“The resolution of this case and its special projects will bring both short and long-term environmental benefits to the community and the Wissahickon,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “When you consider that the source of 40 percent of Philadelphia’s drinking water is just downstream of this facility, these improvements and Merck’s environmental accountability has implications extending beyond the boundaries of its facility.”

The proposed consent decree also includes extensive environmental projects designed to improve the water quality and/or protect the Wissahickon as a source of drinking water. Merck has committed to: restoration of a segment of the Wissahickon Creek to improve the water quality of this key tributary of the Schuylkill River; creation of a wetlands on a 10 acre parcel of property adjacent to the creek; purchase and installation of an aquatic bio-monitoring system that monitors fish activity to give the Philadelphia Water Department an early warning system regarding materials in the Wissahickon Creek that may constitute a threat to the drinking water; the purchase and installation of an enhanced Automated Dissolved Oxygen Controls at the Upper Gwynedd Treatment Plant.

Each supplemental environment project, or SEP, is designed to improve water quality and/or protect the Wissahickon as a source of drinking water.

In addition the decree calls for Merck to contribute $4.5 million toward the purchase of a parcel of land adjacent to the creek that will have restricted use and open space easements in perpetuity.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30 day public comment period and final court approval. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret L. Hutchinson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Martha Blasberg, Supervisory Counsel, PADEP, represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The matter was investigated by EPA Region III Water Protection Division, PADEP and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

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