The World War II battle against STDs Nazi medical crimes | DW Documentary 1 day ago   12:20

Not all of World War II’s battles were public. Venereal disease was a major front in the war.

Subscribe to our channel!

Venereal disease has long been an issue for militaries, but during World War II, the problem became bigger and more global. That required unusual tactics and unorthodox strategies to beat syphilis and gonorrhea during the war. In this episode of Vox Almanac, Phil Edwards explores some of the ways the United States military fought this epidemic.

Starting with Bousbir in Casablanca, it’s a tour of the uneasy relationship the military had with prostitution, recreational sex, and the venereal diseases that soldiers contracted. Both in America and around the world, it was a significant problem that resulted in health troubles and days lost on the battlefield.

This piece uses numerous sources, but the most useful resource might be the history found here: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

Watch our full video catalog:
Follow Vox on Facebook:
Or Twitter:

Comments 1071 Comments

Can't get enough Vox Almanac? Want to learn more about how it's made? Check out the Vox Video Lab, our membership program bringing you behind the scenes of Vox Video in brand new ways. You can learn more about the other perks of joining the Video Lab at
Alexander Tijerina (student)
I know exactly what happened from 12-10-1942 to 12-13-1942. ;)
Misty Stewart
Back when Americans understood that education was a good thing.
1:16 Ahh come on why is it Always the black guy who gets gonorrhea first!?

No but seriously. Black people where not well represented in media back then. Why did they go with a black guy in the first place?
Wtf?? You never tell us what happened within the walled city!
Thomas James
They've been warning against STD's & unwanted pregnancies for 100 years, but now some of us want abortions when we knew what was at stake and had the resources available to us. Shameful.
Hawtgawd-from-Turtle Island
9:44 commentary by JFK😎
oppsy thats JBK😴
Christa Lencastre
Watch out for Butt pirates
Oscar Sandström
9:40 French aristocracy moments before public execution, 1792 (illustrated)
Sean Harlow
Joey is the poster boy of VD in New York 😅
Ling li
Mandatory that any serviceman must carry a balon to protect them from infamous sex disease
Primal Mgtow
Mgtow men can't get STD
It’s goddamn STI not STD
Trump must have watched this show and came to the conclusion that we have eradicated lots of STDs in the United States. but the people the world have a lot of diseases. Dirty women. men contracted diseases outside our country. Or the simple fact that when you add 100,000 people at the lug garbage they're going to produce and stick on the ground somewhere.
Casablonca please say it right
Georgia Moona Sam
the more i find out about wartimes and etc, it makes me feel sick ugh
8:18 Castillo de San Cristóbal?
What about HSV and other ones?
Add Reply

Nazi medical crimes | DW Documentary The World War II battle against STDs 1 day ago   42:26

The Allied occupation of Strasbourg on November 23, 1944, spelled the end of the Reich University. Most professors had fled, but Johannes Stein, Dean of the Medical Faculty, stayed on. What did he know about the crimes of the National Socialists?

Most professors had already fled, only a few had stayed on. One of them was Johannes Stein, Dean of the Medical Faculty and grandfather of Kirsten Esch, the author of this film. This documentary is her coming to terms with her own family history. During the Third Reich, this university was seen as a prestige project of National Socialism. Intended as a spiritual bulwark of German culture in occupied Alsace, it was meant to spread Nazi ideology westwards and even eclipse the Sorbonne in Paris. The faculties were staffed with what were purportedly the best minds in Germany, including the Third Reich’s leading lawyer Ernst Rudolf Huber, and the physicist and later peace researcher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. In her film, the author looks at her grandfather’s role as Dean of the Medical Faculty. What did he know about the crimes committed there? Did he ever visit the nearby Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, where August Hirt conducted unspeakable "experiments" on human beings? But Kirsten Esch also looks at the Reich University as a place of resistance, and talks about the local students who, led by Alphonse Adam, opposed the compulsory conscription of Alsatian men to the German Wehrmacht. For their resistance, many were sentenced to death.
Subscribe to DW Documentary:
For more information visit:

DW netiquette policy:

Related Videos