Bettina’s thoughts on the documentary by Adam Horowitz.
Two weeks ago I saw a documentary by my friend Adam Horowitz, called ‘Nuclear Savage’, a very moving, very disturbing, even devastating documentary. It chronicles the nuclear experiments the United States Government conducted close to the Marshall Islands and Bikini Islands between 1946 to 1958. The islands were (and are) populated by what they called ‘savages’. After the nuclear tests of huge proportions (!) they studied the impact of the nuclear fallout on the inhabitants of these islands.
Adam likened some of their activities to the studies Dr. Mengele conducted for the Nazis: very disturbing indeed! I don’t want to get into all the details of the film, but Adam spent a large part of the last 20 years of his life to document this – and to this day the US Government has not been owning up to the truth. And they were the ones who prior to those experiments conducted the Nuremberg trials in 1946, where they convicted Nazi war criminals, amongst them my granduncle, Hermann Goering.
Now more and more information is surfacing: during and after World War 2 – across the Atlantic – the US Government experimented with syphilis on African American prisoners, and on street people in Guatemala for other veneral diseases. I do recall a recent apology about the latter, but maybe that happened only because it involved a foreign nation.
What is so disturbing about all this is that there is hardly any general knowledge about it. You might have heard about a ‘black appendectomy’ on Native Americans, i.e. sterilisations some doctors practiced into the 70’s on Native American women, without their knowledge or consent. But the full truth has never been revealed.
Behind it all seems to be little difference compared to Nazi philosophy: the white race is better, knows better and it is perfectly OK for them to experiment on people if they are either not white – as in savages – or of a lower class like street people or prisoners.
My friend Adam received some funding from PBS for his film, but now it seems to be too controversial to air it, so they are still negotiating and trying to cut out many of the most cruel bits of the film.
How come there is so little awareness of all this in America? So little soul searching?
We don’t even hear much about the atrocities that happened during the times of slavery, of the genocide of the Native Americans. Since World War 2 the US has a self-image of being the heroes that liberated the world, that came to help out. Now that the empire is crumbling wouldn’t it be the right thing to do?
I don’t claim to have all the answers, but coming from my background, where part of my family were highranking Nazis – and part were anti-Nazis – I had to deal a lot with this issue and try to do some healing and shine some light on the matter.
The first step in any healing process, just like in alcoholics anonymous, is to acknowledge that there is a problem. And then one can start dealing with it.
For more information or a copy of the full length, 87 minute film, contact:
Adam Jonas Horowitz firstname.lastname@example.org