Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II
Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II

Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II

Khalid Elhassan - January 15, 2021

Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II
German troops marching into Paris in 1940. United Press International

3. During World War II, This Doctor Had a Good Dr. Jekyll Side, That Was Eclipsed by His Evil Mr. Hyde Persona

Paris agreed with Dr. Petiot. He used fake credentials to attract patients, and before long, he had established a thriving practice in the 9th Arrondissement. It helped that his office gained a reputation as a pill mill, handing out controlled drug prescriptions to all and sundry. Nor did it hurt that the doctor was more than willing to perform illegal abortions for the right price. However, despite his thriving and highly lucrative practice – made even more lucrative by his tax evasion – Petiot persisted with the thefts, petty and grand, of anything that was not nailed down.

In 1936, he was institutionalized for kleptomania, but was released the following year. After France was defeated and conquered by the Nazis in 1940, French citizens were drafted to toil in Germany as forced laborers. Dr. Petiot helped labor draft evaders by furnishing them with fake medical disability documents. He also treated returning workers who had been sent back from Germany, broken down and in poor health. That was his good side – the Dr. Jekyll part. Unfortunately, it was eclipsed by the doctor’s evil Mr. Hyde side.

Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II
Marcel Petiot on the dock during his trial. La Venir

2. Dr. Petiot Exploited the French Resistance to Indulge in Serial Killing

Dr. Petiot claimed to have been member of the French Resistance. According to him, he developed secret weapons that killed Nazis without leaving a trace, planted booby traps, met Allied commanders, and worked with an anti-fascist cell. It was all bunk. What was not bunk was his evil scheme to profit from the Holocaust by murdering dozens of Jews in order to steal from them. Using the alias “Dr. Eugene”, Petiot claimed to have an escape route to get those wanted by the Nazis or the collaborationist Vichy French government to safety outside of France.

Charging 25,000 francs per person, “Dr. Eugene” promised to get fugitives to Argentina or other South American countries, via an escape route that went through Portugal. There was no escape route. Accomplices led victims desperate to escape the Germans – particularly Jews, but also Resistance members and ordinary criminals – to Petiot’s house. There, he told them that Argentina required that immigrants be vaccinated against diseases. Petiot then injected them, not with a vaccine, but with cyanide. In addition to the payment already received, the ghoulish ring seized whatever other valuables the victims had. They then destroyed their corpses in Petiot’s basement, buried them on his property, or disposed of them elsewhere.

Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II
Marcel Petiot’s mugshots after his arrest. Aventuras na Historia

1. This Evil Doctor Met His End Beneath the Guillotine’s Blade

Things began to unravel for the evil Dr. Marcel Petiot in March of 1944, when his neighbors complained of foul stenches coming from his house, and of copious smoke coming out of his chimney. Upon entering the house, authorities discovered a roaring coal stove fire in the basement, and human remains. More human remains were found in a canvass bag, and in a quicklime pit in the backyard. Police also found clothing, goods, and suitcases belonging to numerous victims. Petiot was not at home, however, and he went on the lam.

Evil Doctors and Scientists From World War II
Contemporary reporting on the discovery of Marcel Petiot’s basement of horrors. Wikimedia

Adopting an alias, he joined the Resistance – for real this time – during the liberation of Paris later that year. He rose to captain in charge of counterintelligence and prisoner interrogations. However, his real identity was eventually uncovered, and he was arrested. Marcel Petiot was eventually charged with 27 murders for profit, although he might have killed over 60 people. Prosecutors estimated that he made over 200 million francs from his scheme. Tried in 1946, he was found guilty, sentenced to death, and guillotined.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Air & Space Magazine, January 1st, 2008 – What Did Wernher Von Braun Know, & When Did He Know It?

Alliance for Human Research Protection – Operation Paperclip Nazi Rogues

Encyclopedia Britannica – Marcel Petiot, French Serial Killer

Freeman, Marsha – How We Got to the Moon: The Story of the German Space Pioneers (1993)

Holocaust Encyclopedia – Nazi Medical Experiments

International Churchill Society – Their Finest Hour

Jacobsen, Annie – Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America (2014)

Listverse – 10 Historic Serial Killers You Don’t Know

Medical Bag – Pure Evil: Wartime Japanese Doctor Had No Regard For Human Suffering

Murderpedia – Marcel Petiot

Neufeld, Michael J. – Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War (2007)

Operation Paperclip – Kurt Blome

PBS American Experience – Shiro Ishii

Space Medicine Association – The Controversy of Hubertus Strughold During World War II

Wall Street Journal, December 1st, 2012 – A Scientist’s Nazi Era Past Haunts Prestigious Space Price

War History Online – Japan’s Dr. Mengele: Medical Experiments on POWs at Unit 731

Wikipedia – Shiro Ishii

Wikipedia – Walter Schreiber

Wikipedia – Wernher Von Braun

World War II Database – Friedrich Hoffman

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