Unheard Of ~ Voronoff
Discovered at OurMedia Internet Archives, Lola Radio presents this documentary/commentary/escapade in Dutch, Italian, and French. The following is a synopsis based upon the interpretations of Ingrid van der Voort, Lucia Diana Le Faer and Aaron Voronoff
The entire translation follows our synopsis, thanks to Ingrid.
It starts with a tirade against how people treat animals. A horse is born perfect, does not wish to be a better horse, and goes to the butcher as a perfect horse, then it goes off into the history that leads up to Dr. Voronoff, almost told like a fairy tale. A brief history of transplantation tells the tale of the science of Charles Brown-Sequard and metamorphs into fiction with a discussion of Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde.
The narrative jumps back and forward in time, using a rather colourful Dutch not easy to grasp but now a car arrives, more tv commercials. Apparently Voronoff not only used monkeys but experimented with sheep and goats well.
The narrator disputes the difference between man-animal but he is against the abuse done to the animals. Doctor Voronoff ‘chops’ the animal testicles, adds water, filters, etc. and then the transplant is finished. After the operation, the patient drinks a special elixir and feels younger, rejuvenated.
The narrator is off to visit someone, perhaps the gardener (the back ground radio in Italian is disturbing) a woman’s voice in French, perhaps an advertisement on tv, clock ticking. Then he is in Castle Grimaldi. It was a dangerous road, where the apartments are very close together. When they walk up to the castle they come across what looks like monkey bones.
The narrator speaks of Dr Voronoff’s first successful patient in 1920. He holds an old Belgian newspaper with an article and picture of Voronoff. The headlines read: “the discovery of eternal youth“. The facts & fame are described, the surroundings of Castle Grimaldi and Via Voronoff. He had 7 Rolls Royces and 30 gardeners and down there the monkeys were cut up. The narrator reads the explanation of how Voronoff had achieved success by administering a concotion to his patients.
Then the narrator is on a street named Via Voronoff. It is not clear if he is in Italy or France, maybe at the border. Then it is quiet- and the birds sing; it is at Grimaldi. The sound of seagulls and ocean.
The Italian gardener shows the cages were the monkey used to stay. The doctor was a true eccentric. There is an ancient Tower at the Chateau, the original from 1000 years ago. Both men are surprised to see so many monkeys who still there and other animals too. The monkeys sound angry. He and the gardener talk about Eva and sing together, “Don’t cry for me”. An old song from the 20s is played on an old fuzzy radio. Evita Peron visited his castle a few times, as a guest, not to have monkey testicles attached, she was just a friend it seems.
When the Madonna movie came out, people started to visit the village because she had been there.
The narrator tells the story of Dr Postel who had a retarded son and wanted the doctor’s help.
The idea sprung from combining various ingredients, from the achievement of the treatment of the idiot child with a monkey thyroid.
Voronoff finally had his own lab and married 3 times to wealthy women and was surrounded by charming friends. The Professor did a great deal of work at the College of France. He was reasearching for a cancer remedy in his later life. We all wonder if that was possible.
One of the former gardeners is still alive and he wished to have an interview. Violin is played. He describes the beauty all around the flowers the small house, 2 angels are painted. Angelo Moretti is the surviving gardener and the narrator is having people give him directions, and indeed Angelo is still alive. He describes Angelo in minutes details.
In the USA John Brinkley and others used goat testicles for rejuvenation and experimented on prisoners at San Quentin in California. In Australia, Henry Leighton Jones made similar headlines with his monkey experiments.
Voronoff sought to rejuvenate as well as to meet the geniuses of the world. He claimed to have met a saint in Budapest during a recent visit. One thing is certain, Serge lived a charmed life while challenging the debate about vivisection and animal rights.
There is the sound of walking on an old road. The narrator arrives at the cemetary where the Family Voronoff is buried. The caretakers told him he was the first to visit there in 30 years. There are also the graves–or just names–of his sister, other relatives and of two brothers Doctors Alexandre and Georges Voronoff murdered in Auschwitz. He left a flower on the grave, and said something like a prayer, a few thoughts, deep, but also with wit and humor, but warm.
Unheard Of ~ Voronoff
The Complete Translation
“Alexandrovich Voronoff, world famous because of his successes in the battle against the aging process. In the small operation room, hidden in the sumptuous garden of castle Grimaldi, the professor sewed monkey testicles onto his patients, and behold, 20 to 30 years younger they woke up from their narcosis. But Voronoff’s fondness of animals did not limit itself to monkeys: sheep too could bask themselves in his warm attention. In 1924 he developed a super-sheep on the operation table.
Nowadays no one does remember the name of Voronoff anymore, that is to say, a few elderly persons remember something about some issue with monkey glands. Our reporter Gerrit Kalsbeek traveled to the border region between France and Italy in search of the last reminiscences of Voronoff. This is “Unheard Of, episode 103”.
“Bonjour, Parlez vous Français?
“I’m of the Dutch radio, and I’m doing a program about le Professeur Voronoff…”
“Is it possible to see something of the castle?
—I don’t know, it’s closed
—The administrator lives in Menton
—Si, wait (something I don’t get…)
[Noise of monkeys screaming…]
Well, before we really start this program I need to take this off my heart. I find that the way how people deal with animals really sucks1, it’s awful, really fucked up. Just think of the farmers and of all those concentration camps with chicken or pigs, or how we treat our pets at home, as if they are infantile imbeciles… But especially science: now these guys are really cool… they take little monkeys, which they put in a clasp, and then they go —“ñeeñeeñee”—with a saw into their little skulls, and then they open them and start poking needles in there to see what happens—they call that brain research… Have you ever heard of Gulls, the test of gulls, who broke the spine of a little froggie, and if he then stroke the froggie over its little froggie-belly it kept croaking—which proves, according to Mr. Gulls, that with little froggies not all information goes through the spinal cord. God! You wonder how many frogs Mr. Gulls needed to tear apart before he found out about that, And you wonder how he would croak himself if someone… well, it’s horrible, sigh… or when they discovered testosterone, that is the hormone being made with men in their testicles, they needed to grind tens of thousands kilos of bull’s balls for that, imagine you are one of those bulls, it makes you puke, and you know why, why we can inflict all that upon animals, because we have a consciousness and because we have a consciousness we are better than animals, are we more worth than animals. While consciousness is precisely that which screws up everything, that ruins everything, that wants to turn everything into money, because if we hadn’t had consciousness we would still have lived in Paradise.. we wouldn’t be aware of it, but we would have lived there nevertheless… And because of that consciousness man needs to develop himself, become a more complete human being. Bullshit, have you ever heard of a horse that needs to become a better horse, bullshit, a horse is born perfect and goes to the butcher as a perfect horse, and ever heard of a pigeon, or another bird that must become a more perfect bird by developing itself? Bullshit, really, so therefore I want to dedicate this program to monkeys because there are a few of them here in the South of France locked up in this animal prisoner camp, and to and sheep, because they are the victims par excellence in the following story:
[More monkey sounds followed by a French conversation from a tape of a French Language course … “You must now take out the tape and change it to the next side”]
It was in 1849, hundred and fifty years ago, the days of the grandfather of your grandfather… his father… yes… that the German scientist on a boring Sunday afternoon wondered what would happen if I cut off the balls of these 6 roosters and sew them back in at other places in their bodies: one in the abdominal cavity, and one on the back, just think of something and do it. What then became apparent was that the roosters, that normally get fat and lazy when castrated—like the Wiener Sängerknaben: sickly and pallid—these roosters stayed lively, their comb stayed red, standing up straight, and nothing of all those ailments, and then Mr. Adolf Arnold Berthold that there must be organs that give off liquids to our body, and then influence the body, and so in fact he had discovered hormones and the glands. But well, the medical caste of Germany in those days they had just received a new microscopes, a bettered version of it, so they had thrown themselves completely onto cells, and of bodily fluids they didn’t want to know anything anymore.
In France that was different though, there you had Doctor Charles Brown Sequard. In 1889 he surprised the Societé de Biologie by announcing them he had rejuvenated himself. And how did he do that? Through chopping the balls of dozens of marmots and a number of dogs and grinding them in a mortar, into little pieces and then with mortar in hand grind them real fine, adding distilled water to it and a bit of salt, then filter it, and injecting it under the arms. Well, what happened then was terrible. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… he turned red, he was screaming of pain —oooh aaahhh arrrggghh— but after a few hours he actually felt fantastic, he felt totally young again, he lifted weights, he took the stairs again with three steps at once again, of course and he even refound his potency. Well, the whole Parisian world stood upon their heads of course, all of France stood upon its head—because imagine: the Spring of Eternal Youth!
Well, thousands of little testicles have been grinded to find this miraculous substance Sequardine that would keep us people young, but they did not really find anything because they didn’t know what they where looking for then in these little balls, and they neither got rid of those horrible side effects.
Now one of the students of Brown-Sequard is Professor Voronoff, and he was world famous between the first and second world war, by sewing monkey testicles onto old people by which he could rejuvenate them 20 to 30 years.
And I’m now near the castle of Professor Voronoff, Castle Grimaldi, where he worked and lived during many years and where he also bred his monkeys, and it must be near here…
“Is this the wrong way, no not really handy… and it should be near here…Ah right”
“Well this is it… Castle Grimaldi. The Porter’s lodge is empty, a bunch of expensive cars are parked here; Is the gate open? Yes. No. …
I have an old magazine here, “De Dag” (The Day), Impartial Morning Paper in Word and Image’ from Belgium, January 11, 1941, and it contains a whole article about Dr. Voronoff. On the cover you see him standing while he looks up to the skeleton of a monkey, and the article is titled “Voronoff and Eternal Youth”, and there also is, and maybe that’s interesting, a photo in it of Castle Grimaldi, and therefore I’m sure that we now are at Castle Grimaldi, only that they have made numerous apartments out of it, and there’s a huge fence in front of it you cannot go through… so I’ll walk around it some more, so at least we can glimpse it a bit. It’s a bit of a dangerous road here, because pedestrians they don’t know around here, at least they have no provisions for them… let’s see…
[French tape] 1920: it is the moment.. .for the first time Dr Voronoff sews balls onto a patient but it goes horribly wrong. a man wakes up from his narcosis as a ….
stay tuned for the conclusion