Why have the terms “Nazi Germany” and “Mengele” become trending topics on Twitter? The words dominated the social media platform on Monday after it was revealed that a whistleblower has alleged “high numbers” of immigrant women at a U.S. concentration camp in Georgia were sent to be given unnecessary hysterectomies. Many of the women reportedly didn’t know why they were being sent to have the surgery and were all sent to the same doctor, according to the complaint, with one woman describing the facility as an “experimental concentration camp.”
Twitter users made several analogies to various Nazi atrocities on Monday, like the sadistic medical experiments performed on Jews by Josef Mengele during the Holocaust in the 1930s and ‘40s. And while U.S. concentration camps aren’t currently operating as anything close to the European death camps of the Holocaust, there’s still reasonable concern about what the fuck is happening in the U.S. right now under the Trump regime.
The whistleblower, a nurse named Dawn Wooten, worked full time at a concentration camp run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement called the Irwin County Detention Center, until her work hours were cut in July, a result of alleged retaliation for speaking up internally about health and sanitary conditions in the prison. The facility is technically owned by a private company called LaSalle Corrections, much like several other ICE and CBP concentration camps across the U.S. that currently house tens of thousands of detainees under a for-profit model.
The complaint, which was submitted to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security on September 14 by several human rights advocacy organizations like Project South, provides a disturbing peek behind the curtain of a highly secretive system. The American public has read about the psychological torture of children, the denial of basic necessities like soap and toothpaste, and the deaths of at least six immigrant children in U.S. custody since President Trump took power. But it’s apparently even worse than we previously imagined.
The conditions in the Georgia facility are abysmal, according to the complaint, citing several prisoners and unnamed medical staff. Detainees explained that the food provided was sometimes spoiled and that meals would even have ants and cockroaches.
“This is the dirtiest facility I have ever been in: everything is dirty; one shower for more than fifty people; one bathroom for all of us; I don’t even know how to give more details because it is all nasty, really nasty; only God is taking care of us here,” one immigrant told human rights workers, according to the complaint.