Steroids

Question:

I am doing a Research paper on the Effects and Usage of Synthetic Drugs on Athletes. I would like to know if the originality of Synthetic Drugs, such as steriods. Developed through the medical experiments during the holocaust, and if so, can you provide information that supports this answer. This information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you for your recent message addressed to the Holocaust History Project. As one of the volunteers who responds to such questions I will attempt to give you some answers. It is possible that other colleagues of mine will also respond.

I have been transcribing the entire series of The Nuernberg Military Tribunal onto the web. It will soon appear in our web-page, but you may peruse the first 391 pages of Vol. I which deals with "The Medical Case" by visiting my personal web-page at:

http://www.mazal.org

Although "The Medical Case" covers two full 1000 page volumes, you can get an idea of what experiments were conducted by the Nazis by looking at the table of contents of NMT Volume 1:

http://www.mazal.org/archive/nmt/01/NMT01-C001.htm

I seriously doubt that any of the experiments conducted by the Nazis had any major influence on any aspect of modern medicine. You might, however, also look into:

The Nazi Doctors
Robert Jay Lifton
c. 1986, Basic Books Inc. (New York)
ISBN 0-465-04904-4

which is arguably the best book on the subject. Synthetic steroids were not, of course, known in Europe until an American scientist named Marker discovered ( in the late 1940's) the active ingredient (diosgenin) in a Mexican yam (barbasco) from which he synthesized progesterone, giving birth to the Syntex Corp. Many famous organic chemists such as Carl Djerassi, Peter Lehmann, Edward Schulz, etc., were the ones responsible for the production of modern synthetic steroids.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal

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