To look back at my childhood is to remember my experiences as a human guinea pig in the Birkenau laboratory of Dr. Joseph Mengele. To recount such painful memories is to relive the horrors of human experimentation, where people were used as merely objects or means to a scientific end. I envision the chimneys, the smell of burning flesh, the medical injections, the endless blood taking, the tests, the dead bodies all around us, the hunger, and the rats. Nothing that is close to human existence existed in that place.
I hope that what was done to me will never happen again to another human being. This is the reason I have told my painful story. Those who do research must be compelled to obey international law. Scientists should continue to do research. But if a human being is ever used in the experiments, the scientist must make a moral commitment never to violate a person’s human rights and dignity. The scientist must respect the wishes of the subjects. Every time scientists are involved in human experimentation, they should try to put themselves in the place of the subject and see how they would feel. The scientists of the world must remember that the research is being done for the sake of mankind and not for the sake of science; scientists must never detach themselves from the humans they serve. I hope with all my heart that our sad stories will in some way impel the international community to devise laws and rules to govern human experimentation.
The dignity of all human beings must be respected, preserved and protected at all costs; life without dignity is mere existence. I experienced such loss of dignity every day as a guinea pig in Dr. Mengele’s laboratory. Forty-five years later, I still feel deep pain and anger for the way I was treated by the doctors. These same doctors had taken an oath to help and to save human life.
Read more of Eva’s personal account…
If a human being is ever used in the experiments, the scientist must make a moral commitment never to violate a person’s human rights and dignity