Fears of attacks by bacteriological warfare have been on the minds of way more than a few people since the Age of Terror began with 9/11. It’s worth noting, though, that there is nothing new about the deadly technology and the fears surrounding it. Bacteriological Warfare in the United States is a decades-old, still-partly-classified FBI document. Portions of it are now in the public domain, thanks to the Freedom of Informati0n Act.
The more than 700 pages that are available tell an intriguing and sinister story. A comprehensive study of the very earliest entries in the file reveals that of great significance to the FBI was a paper titled The Bacteriological War. It written by a medical expert, O. Hartmann, and it was published in 1938, in Volume 42 of the Norse Journal of Military Medicine. An English translation of the article, in the hands of the FBI, states in part that “…in a war of the future every manner of attack will probably be seized upon and the further development of bacteriology could furnish better possibilities than those of that time. The attack will apparently be directed chiefly against the civil population, insofar as one’s own troops cannot be protected against contagion by immunization – during use at the front.”
The FBI, no doubt, read with alarm as Hartmann speculated that: “Virus infections are possible. As means of attack, the airplane will apparently be used and the infection result from the throwing down or strewing of cultures which will be probably mixed with indifferent substances of heavier specific gravity or from infected flies which are kept immovable at 10 degrees centigrade. Attack is to be expected soonest against thickly populated cities.”
Similarly, an entry in the file that dates from July 8, 1941, titled Bacteriological Warfare by Hitler, refers to an account published in a book titled The Voice of Destruction, written by Hermann Rauschning, to the effect that “Hitler was experimenting with the use of diseased germs, such as tularaemia, which germs, it was contemplated, would be refrigerated and then thrown from airplanes on civil population.”
In 1941, and of even greater alarm to the FBI, was a nine-page paper titled Is a War of Bacteria Possible? It revealed some disturbing facts. Written by Dr. Martin Gumpert, it makes for highly relevant reading. Asking the question: “Is such a war of bacteria actually thinkable and feasible?” Gumpert stated: “There were times during which pestilence and cholera devastated the world. These epidemics ravaged more momentously and more cruelly, than wars with large casualty lists. Old people, women, children fell victims to them indiscriminately. By tremendous efforts and at great pains humanity has conquered these enemies. We owe it to measures of hygiene and the findings of medical research that the most dangerous epidemics today hardly constitute a threat to the civilized parts of the world.”
The doctor continued: “Only a diseased brain could evolve the thought of misusing the progress of science and its heroic discoveries: not to prevent epidemics but to engender their outbreak. Undoubtedly everyone has heard or read of the ‘war of bacteria’ now and then, the fewest among us we have been able to form any definite conception of it. Only a small minority divines that the ‘war of bacteria’ is the most horrible, the most criminal weapon that the urge to destroy on the part of man has ever conceived.”
The paper added that “this threat is to be taken seriously;” “that it can be carried out and that forces are now at work to convert it into actuality;” and continued thus: “The idea of the war of bacteria is traceable to a circumstance almost, totally unknown, namely that the fate of a war is decided far more by the amount of disease, than by the number of wounded…Gradually it becomes clear to us, what demands bacteria must fulfill, in order to function properly in warfare: it must be possible to breed them in huge masses, the bacteria cultures must possess a high and durable virulence, it must be possible to transfer them readily and unnoticed and they must breed diseases, against which there is no protection and for which there are practically no remedial possibilities.”
Dr. Gumpert concluded: “Since no madness is impossible in these wretched times, when the fate of millions is subject to the fancies and notions of a few, it is imperative that steps be taken to safeguard mankind from this extreme madness. Civilization must be spared the disgrace, that the great deeds of her progress have led to nothing more, than back to the road of the most sinister and inhuman barbarism.”
And from the files of the FBI, we learn much more about the career of Dr. Martin Gumpert. According to FBI records on the man: “Dr. Martin Gumpert, reported to be the former head of the Berlin City Dispensary, is credited with certain statements in a book on sabotage published by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In this, it is reported that Hitler was experimenting with the use of disease-producing organisms such as tularaemia, which, it was contemplated, would be refrigerated and thrown from airplanes on civilian populations in the prosecution of the war.
“He has apparently quoted extracts from an official German Army journal published in September, 1939, which discussed the possibilities of unleashing disease-laden germs upon the civilian populations in France and Great Britain. The irreconcilable statement that tularaemia, for which there is no possibility of treatment or vaccination, could be spread by dropping refrigerated flies and lice by airplane is also reported to be Dr. Gumpert’s. He is further credited with stating that Hitler’s secret weapon may be ‘horrible bacteria warfare that Hitler might not hesitate to unleash when he finds himself at bay.’”
Fortunately, that crazed, deranged lunatic named Adolf Hitler did not succeed in his terrible plans, as history has shown.