Herta Oberheuser

Dr. Herta Oberheuser (* 15. May 1911 in Cologne; † 24. January 1978 in Linz on the Rhine) was responsible as a lady doctor in the KZ Ravensbrück for cruel people attempts with Sulfonamiden, for which it was accused and condemned with the Nürnberger physician process.

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Oberheuser buildup in Duesseldorf , where it put 1931 down the Abitur. Subsequently, it studied medicine in Bonn and Duesseldorf. 1937 attained a doctorate it to the Dr. med.

Already 1935 joined it the National Socialist federation German girls (BDM). 1937 became it member in the NSDAP, later also in the National Socialist sister federation (NSSV), in the LV physician federation and in the LV air defense association.

The family Oberheuser was not financially well, so that Herta had to finance itself their study partially. After conclusion of the study it received its first place as Assistenzärztin in Duesseldorf.

In the year 1940 it became attentive to a job advertisement in a medical technical periodical. A place was written out as a camp lady doctor in one „woman re-education camps “. It concerned the concentration camp Ravensbrück. On its application it was trained first three months and finally conscripted in the year 1942 into the KZ Ravensbrück.

people attempts in the KZ Ravensbrück

medical experiments in Ravensbrück served usually the study of the vital functions under extreme conditions, often with view to a military use for the treatment of Erfrierungen or injuries, which can suffer soldiers in the fight. The appropriate injuries were added to the test persons and one provided statistics and experimented with cures. After forerunner experiments in the KZ Saxonia living in Ravensbrück among other things attempts with Sulfonamiden were undertaken, on which one set large hopes as antibiotics with the treatment of wounding. The victims of the attempts bacteria, to rot exciter, were brought Holzsplitter and glass into particularly for this caused wounds, with which one imitated injuries by bomb fragments. The Wundverlauf and the effect of the tested medicines were documented and analyzed. The agonies of the victims of these and similar attempts were and are inconceivable. Many of the victims still deceased during the experiments, other years later at the consequences.

With the Nürnberger physician process stated Oberheuser to their activity:

In August 1942 the so-called rabbit operations, I began call it attempts at the living object [...] me were the therapy and support of the so-called with us in the district. Rabbits in the district 1 leave. I made the syringes and treated the rabbits in such a way, as it was prescribed for me by my superiors [...] before I left, left I the rabbits to demonstrate itself again and gave instructions for their subsequent treatment.

The rabbits in the quotation are Oberheusers name for the female prisoners of the KZs Ravensbrück abused as „guinea pigs “. From the perspective of the victims sounds however completely differently:

On the previous day the operated companions told me, into our room spirit-disturbed had been brought. The woman, who cried in such a way, was a Tschechin from Lidice. The Germans had ignited the house, in which their small children still were, who cried, but one permitted it not, her to save. Sometimes it had instants, in which it answered clearly questions. She spoke continuously of the children and wanted to save her. In an angle a small, cramped woman shape sat. As soon as someone approached it, she frightened back and covered the frightened eyes, her trembled. It was a Jugoslawin, whose man and son one had shot before its eyes. And in the opposite room corner a Russian lay, with whom one could not inform oneself at all. She spoke continuously with itself, and from their words it came out that one had packed her in ice and her thereby had caught cold. It had Erfrierungen at the whole body. It lay naked there and wound themselves everything that had it, around the head. And finally an old German, a “greener angle”; it had operation seams at the legs, saw and heard badly. To everything that reached your consciousness, it reacted, in that it with shrill voice “welfare Hitler!” cried.“(from Klier)

judgement during the process

to 20. August 1947 was condemned Oberheuser in the Nürnberger physician process to 20 years prison. The judgement was reduced 1951 on 10 years, and already 1952 became Oberheuser to dismiss. It had sat approximately 5 years in detention.

return to the civil life

after its dismissal established itself Oberheuser as a practical lady doctor in stick lake with new cathedral . 1956 were recognized it by a former prisoner from Ravensbrück. In the consequence you were extracted the medical license to practise medicine. One against it of Oberheuser raised contestation complaint did not have a success. It twisted after bath Honnef, where it lived close convenient Linz on the Rhine up to its death in the 1978.

sources, literature


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