Nürnberger physician process

of the Nürnberger physician process found of 9. December 1946 up to 20. August 1947 before the first American military court yard in Nuremberg instead of. It is first of twelve follow-up processes of the process against the main war criminal of the third realm, who was negotiated before the international military court yard (IMT) in Nuremberg.

20 physicians as well as three non--physicians were accused as supervisors of medicine crimes. 14 of the accused was already designated during the process against the main war criminals as responsible. Some authors had deceased, suicide had committed or in the Dachauer processes had been already condemned. The whereabouts of some authors were unknown and to evidence not yet available. The final selection of the accused oriented itself therefore at the goal of accusing prominent representatives of the “national medical services” of the third realm in order to demonstrate a working of the criminal system and not only criminal individuals.

For the medicine crimes of the third realm involuntary people attempts during the process, which killing of prisoners treats for the plant of a skeleton collection ( August Hirt, became exemplary) or euthanasia crime. Not all criminal medical attempts and practices of the third realm found however area with the process. A good list is here.

To table of contents

the charges

the indictment of 25. October 1946 accuses the accused:

Upon the request of the defense and after examination of the legal basis the court seized the resolution not to treat the charge conspiracy.

the judges

Karl Brandt during the judgement notice

the accused (A-Z)

23 accused,
“United States vs. Karl Brandt et al. “,
Judgement to 20. August 1947:


  1. Dr. med. Hermann Becker Freysing, medical officer of the Air Force - 20 years - 1951 converted into 10 years detention
  2. Dr. med. William Beiglböck, Consulting Physician/advisory physician of the Air Force - 15 years - 1951 converted to 10 years detention
  3. Professor. Dr. med. Briefly Blome, deputy of the realm health leader Leonardo Conti, deputy director/conductor of the realm physician chamber - acquietal
  4. SS-group leader (weapon SS) Professor. Dr. med. Karl Brandt, Begleitarzt Hitler and Reichskommissar for the medical and health service, (euthanasia) - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed
  5. SS-Sturmbannführer (weapon SS) Fritz Fischer, Assistenzarzt into high lynching lifelong - 1951 into 15 years detention converted
  6. Professor. Dr. med. Karl Gebhardt, Chefarzt of the mental hospital Hohenlychen, highest clinician with the realm physician SS, body physician Heinrich Himmlers, president of the German red cross - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed
  7. lieutenant general (weapon SS) Dr. med. Karl Genzken, boss of the medical office of the weapon SS - lifelong - 1951 converted into 20 years detention
  8. Professor. Dr. med. Siegfried of handloose, boss of the Wehrmachts medical service and army medical inspector, general upper medical officer - lifelong - 1951 converted into 20 years detention
  9. SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. med. Waldemar Hoven, camp physician KZ beech forest - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed
  10. SS-Oberführer Professor. Dr. med. Joachim Mrugowsky, boss of the institute for hygiene of the weapon SS, highest public health specialist - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed
  11. Dr. med. Herta Oberheuser, lady doctor converted in the KZ Ravensbrück, female assistant from Gebhardt - 20 years - 1951 into 10 years detention
  12. Dr. med. Adolf Pokorny physician for skin and sex diseases - acquietal
  13. SS-Obersturmführer Dr. med. Helmut Poppendick, leading physician in the SS race and settlement principal office, boss of the personal office in the staff of the realm physician SS - 10 years - 1951 dismisses
  14. professor Dr. med. Gerhard rose, surgeon general of the Air Force; Deputy president of the institute for Robert cook for tropical medicine - lifelong - 1951 converted into 15 years detention
  15. Dr. med. Hans Wolfgang Rome mountain - acquietal
  16. Professor. Dr. med. Paul Rostock, director of the surgical university clinic Berlin, advisory physician of the army, bureau chief of the agency medical science and research, surgeon general of the reserve - acquietal
  17. Dr. med. Siegfried Ruff - acquietal
  18. Dr. med. Konrad shepherd - acquietal
  19. Professor. Dr. med. Oskar Schröder, boss of the medical service, general upper medical officer - lifelong - 1951 converted into 15 years detention
  20. Professor. Dr. med. George August Weltz - acquietal


  1. SS-Oberführer Viktor Brack, upper service leader in the “Kanzlei of the leader” - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed
  2. SS-Standartenführer Dr. jur. Rudolf Brandt, personal adviser of the Reichsführers SS, director/conductor of the Minister office in the realm ministry of the Interior - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed
  3. SS-Standartenführer tungsten they verse, Secretary-General of the society ancestor inheritance (research and training community of the SS), director of the institute for militaryscientific Zweckforschung, - death penalty - to 2. June 1948 executed

the medicine crimes in detail

vacuum tests and undercooling attempts

Vorgeblich went it with these attempts around aviation-medical questions, i.e. the question, which conditions are exposed to military pilots, if they must in large height the machine leave and/or in cold water make an emergency landing.

The attempts became in the KZ DAK-strike at KZ-prisoners (and prisoners of war?) accomplished, from which a large number died with the attempts. These deaths were not accidents, but planned part of the experiments; no precautions were taken, which would have moderated a suffering of the prisoners and/or would have prevented their death. The attempts were accomplished at 150 to 200 prisoners. Between 70 and 80 of the test subjects died. Were accused Rome mountain, Ruff and Weltz.

The vacuum tests tied, where Ruff and Rome mountain had broken their self attempts off. With them in an altitude chamber a case from 21,000 meters height was simulated, the physical reactions up to the death of the test subjects were noted. With the undercooling attempts the prisoners were dipped likewise into ice water and the physical reactions up to the death of the test subjects were noted. The results of the undercooling attempts are to today reference for the survival behavior of humans with different water temperatures.

There is not a doubt to the fact that the taken place attempts were inhuman and criminal. Doubt existed however whether Rome mountain, Ruff and Weltz about all details of the people attempts were sufficiently informed. Could they know on the one hand that the prisoners had not voluntarily announced themselves, and on the other hand that the attempts had been accomplished not exclusively on to death condemned criminals, how her indicated? The experimenter SS - main tower leader Dr. Victory mouth more rapidly, which the concrete execution and organization of the attempts were incumbent on, was pushed over the debt. (More rapidly 1944 because of child putting underneath and were 1945 were arrested in DAK-strike before release shot.) Rome mountain about had read off during a deadly attempt Raschers the ELECTROCARDIOGRAM and so - by abort of the attempt avoidable - the death of the prisoner pursued, did not see themselves however not for intervention in the situation. Rome mountain: “No, as smooth murder I could not regard the attempts, because he was officially assigned from the responsible highest superiors to these attempts.“The court were not sufficient the indications for a condemnation of Rome mountain, Ruff and Weltz. All three were acquitted.

sea water attempts

also these attempts had a military background: In the aviation medicine the problem consisted to supply fallen pilots in life rafts with sufficiently drinking water. To the selection two solutions stood: a genuine demineralization by means of chemicals (Konrad shepherd), or so-called Berka water, with which the salt taste was covered and improved by the supply of Vitamin C allegedly the salt elimination.

The controversy between the technical office (Berka water) and the medical inspection of the Air Force (demineralization) should be decided by people attempts. After a discussion to 19. and 20. May 1940 got Dr. med. Becker Freyseng the order for the experiments. Professor. Schröder suggested Raschers of prisoners with reference to the experiments as test subjects. Third in the federation was Professor. Dr. William Beiglböck.

The “freiwilligen” 44 test subjects were selected under feigning wrong facts on suggestion Arthur Nebes under Sinti and Roma from the concentration camp beech forest.

Becker Freysing was condemned to 20 years, which were converted 1951 into 10 years detention. Beigelböck received 15 years, which were moderated 1951 to 10 years detention. Schröder was condemned to a lifelong detention, also this punishment was reduced 1951 into 15 years detention. For the condemnation the Nichtfreiwilligkeit of the attempt was crucial excluding. 1948 an assigned commission of the German society consisting for internal medicine, of Professor. Oehme (Heidelberg, chairman), Professor. Heilmeyer (Freiburg) and Professor. (Goettingen) again the basis of the judgement examined beautifully. It confirmed the Nichtfreiwilligkeit, answered however the criminal nature in the negative of the experiments, with which no test subject had come to damage. The appraisal was passed on at John McCloy.

typhus fever vaccine attempts and hepatitis - epidemic disease approx. virus research

the experiments in the KZ beech forest and KZ Natzweiler Struthof were accomplished.

beech forest

source basis for the experiments in beech forest are the station diary of Dr. med. As well as Erwin thing pupil SS main tower leader, statements of the European medical profession in the KZ were arrested prisoners such as Eugen the Kogon. Vorgeblich developed the SS its own vaccine against typhus fever , material tested it here only well-known vaccines. Different vaccines were tested at 392 test subjects, a control's group of 89 persons remained without inoculation protection. 383 persons got sick, to 97 deceased, of it to 40 from the control's group.



from 1943 to release 1944 were accomplished here experiments. Initiator of the attempts was Professor. Dr. med. Eugen Haagen.

sulfone amide, bone transplant ion and Phlegmonversuche

of sulfone amide experiments in the KZ Ravensbrück (July 1942 until August 1943)

the death realm tread of Böhmen and Mähren of the pure hard Heydrich after a Czech assassination attempt moved the problem into the center that Wundinfektion was the main cause for the losses of German soldiers at the east front. The treating physician Karl Gebhardt, a schoolmate Himmlers, which supplied also Heydrich, had set too much on Amputationen of the infected member masses and thought few from the new sulfone amide medicine. Gebhardt received now the order in series of tests to prove that Sulfonamide for the treatment of Wundinfektionen were insufficient. As test subjects for these experiments young, pretty and healthy Polish women from the KZ Ravensbrück served. Goals of the test series were the analysis of gas fire, examination that so far admitted to therapeutic means and the analysis of „banal “Wundinfektionen under treatment of the conventional surgery and the new Sulfonamiden. The test series were divided in each case into two groups:

  1. Infecting operations: The test subjects the calves were cut open and the artificial wound was infected with wood and glass fragments.
  2. Asepti operations: They were divided into bone, muscle, and nerve experiments.

Statement by Maria Halina Pietrzak 1946: „After one and a half year old detention in the camp Ravensbrück I became in a zehnköpfigen group to 29. September 1942 brought in the district. On the next day one took me after a dose liquid Morphiums into the operating room, where I was beta-practiced by ether arcose. When I had strong pain in the right leg, which was up to the knee in a federation after approximately 4 hours on my bed awaked, I. The temperature rose up to 41 degrees. Eight days later I was operated a second time. Already on the second day after the first operation one removed the seams for me from the wound and scraped out something. After the second operation I felt a hurting pressure on the rear top side of the right calf, the leg was up to the border area in a gypsum federation. At my bed a board was attached with the designation „K2 “. After some days the gypsum federation was removed and the leg was geschient. After approximately 4 weeks I could see for the first time the wound. Which I determined at that time, she was handbroad and was at the exterior of the right calf. A drainage tube stood out. Dr. Schiedlausky, which was thereby, said höhnisch, pointing to the wound: “Beautiful, not truely? “. The federation was changed each second or third day. The wound healed fast and after approximately 8 weeks was not closed it only in a small place. In this time the temperature, the right leg rose swelled on and became red. One put on a rail, bedded the foot high and made themselves envelopes. In the spring 1943 I began to make the first steps from own Kraft. Of hearing legends I know that the first operation of Dr. Gebhardt, also the first federation was made by it was put on, the further of Dr. Fischer and Dr. Schiedlausky. Up to the today's day the right leg swells to me still often on. “

draw and phosgene attempts

draws and phosgene is chemistry weapons.

Jewish skeleton collection for the “realm university Strasbourg”

in August 1943 murdered the SS in the Gaskammer of the concentration camp Natzweiler Struthof (Elsass) 86 Jewish women and men, who had been picked out before by the two Anthropologen Bruno Beger and Hans's meat hacker in the KZ Auschwitz Birkenau. Clients of the crime were anatomy professor August Hirt (“realm university Strasbourg “) and the managing director of the SS-Wissenschaftsorganisation” ancestor inheritancetungsten they verse. Was planned to extend the Schädelsammlung with propagandistic intention, existing in anatomical Institut: In the sense the skeletons in future “Jew-free” times of the research and teachings should serve the racistic LV ideology as opinion objects. Because of technical problems the exhibition could not be carried out. 16 of the conserved corpses was found after the release of Strasbourg completely, those remaining was carved up. The remnants were buried at the Jewish cemetery in the Strassburger quarter Kronenbourg. They were identified 2004.

Literature: Hans Joachim long: The names of the numbers. As it succeeded to identify, the 86 victims of a LV crime. Hamburg 2004.

Additional information as well as a list of the 86 names together with Kurzbiografien under: [1]

euthanasia program

documentation of the process in the book

already the reporting over the process turned out to the problem: When the working group of the West German physician chambers looks for a physician, who is to arrange in the process to day the facts come to a documentation, is no prominent scientist. After some looking for the choice falls on the still unknown Alexander Mitscherlich, which became just only private lecturer, and its coworker Fred Mielke. 1949 appear their documentation, which offers also today still fundamental data to the medicine crimes of the third realm - however just like the Nürnberger physician process only treats one part of the LV medicine crimes. This documentation is printed despite paper scarceness and the restrictions at that time in a relatively high edition by 10.000 copies, which goes however only to physicians. Only 1960 appear a generally available edition in Fischer publishing house.

1996 organized the IPPNW (International physicians for preventing the nuclear war/physicians within social responsibility) an international conference to 50. Anniversary of the Nürnberger of physician process with the congress volume medicine and conscience.

The publication of the complete documentation, verbatim minutes, the accusing and defense material took place only 1999 via the Saur publishing house, Munich. The analysis in addition supplies 2001 Angelika Ebbinghaus/Klaus Dörner (Hg.): Destroying and healing. The Nürnberger physician process and its consequences. The Federal Medical Society refuses supporting this edition financially. Only single donations of 8.000 physicians make possible it.

An English and a French documentation, the French with many data concerning the character of the accused, appear already short against it after process end.

reducing the judgements

numerous ones of judgements of the Nürnberger of processes starting from 1950 in the measure of punishment substantially, this concerned also the judgements of the physician process were reduced. The remission of a penalty was based not on a new estimate of the debt of the condemned ones, but on a change of the political basic conditions.

medical ethics

of the Nürnberger physician process led to a back meditation from a medical ethics referred to the collective to on the individual a referred. Typical components of the collectivistic medicine of the third realm such as eugenics were touched if necessary at the edge of the process. In the Nürnberger Kodex the framework for future medical (and psychological) people attempts one specified, which possesses also today still validity.

the Nürnberger Kodex (1947)

(statement I. American military court yard over “permissible medical attempts”)

1. The freiwillige agreement of the test subject is absolutely necessary. That is, that the person concerned must be able in the legal sense to give their consent; that it must be able, uninfluenced with force, fraud, cunning, pressure, illusion or any other form of persuading or the obligation to make from its faculty of judgement use; that she must sufficiently know and understand the area concerned in its details to be able to meet in order a reasonable and informed decision. This last condition makes it necessary that the nature, the length and the purpose of the attempt are made clear to the test subject before the obtainment of her agreement; as well as the method and the means, which are to be used, all incommodities and dangers, which with join to be expected are, and the consequences for their health or their person, which may themselves result in from the participation. The obligation and responsibility to determine the value of the agreement are incumbent on everyone, which arranges, leads the attempt or accomplishes it. This is a personal obligation and responsibility, which cannot be passed on unpunished to others.

2. The attempt must be so arranged that fruitful results for the well-being of the society are to be expected, which not by other research means or methods are to be attained. It may not be after its nature arbitrary or redundant.

3. The attempt is to be developed in such a way to flat and on results of bioassays and naturkundlichem knowledge over the illness or the research problem that the results which can be expected will justify the execution of the attempt.

4. The attempt is to be implemented in such a way that all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and damages are avoided.

5. No attempt may be accomplished, if from the beginning with join be accepted can that it will lead to death or a continuing damage, at the most those attempts excluded, with which the test manager at the same time serves as a test subject.

6. The endangerment may never go beyond those borders, which are given by the humanitarian meaning of the problem which can be solved.

7. Suitable devices concern are to be carried, in order to protect the test subject also against the smallest possibility from injury, permanent damage or death to for sufficient preparation and.

8. The attempt may be accomplished only by scientifically qualified persons. Largest skill and caution are to be required on all stages of the attempt from those to, which lead or accomplish the attempt.

9. During the attempt must for the test subject remain released to terminate the attempt if she reached physically or psychologically one point, at which you its continuation appears impossible.

10. In the process of the attempt the test manager must be prepared at any time to break the attempt off if he must assume due to the good faith required by it, its special experience and his careful judgement that a continuation of the attempt could entail an injury, a lasting damage or the death of the test subject.

see also

to literature

  • Angelika Ebbinghaus, Klaus Dörner, Karsten Linne (Hrsg. and others), the Nürnberger physician process 1946/47. Verbatim minutes, accusing and defense material, K.G. Saur publishing house 1999. German expenditure. Hrsg. on behalf the donation social history 20. Century. Microfiche edition. Munich: K.G. Saur publishing house, 1999, 381 Fiches with development volume. Read factor 24x. ISBN 3-598-32020-5 (Erstveröffentlichung of the complete documents)
  • Alexander Mitscherlich; Fred Mielke: Science without humanity: Medical and eugenische erring ways under dictatorship, bureaucracy and war. 1. Aufl., Heidelberg: Cutter 1949 (today as paperback well available)
  • Alexander Mitscherlich; Fred Mielke: Medicine without humanity: Documents of the Nürnberger of physician process, 1. Aufl., Heidelberg: Fischer 1960
  • Angelika Ebbinghaus, Klaus Dörner (Hrsg.): Destroy and heal. The Nürnberger physician process and the consequences. Berlin 2002
  • Jürgen Peter: The Nürnberger physician process in the mirror of its processing on the basis the three document collections of Alexander Mitscherlich and Fred Mielke. Münster 1994, 2. Aufl. 1998
  • François Bayle: Croix gammée contre caducée. Les of expériences humaines EN Allemagne counterpart la deuxième guerre mondiale. L'Imprimerie national. New city (Palatinat) 1950 (only second-hand and only French, but very extensively)
  • information services division Office OF the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany: Landsberg - a documentary report, Munich, self publishing house, o.J.
  • Ulf Schmidt: Justice RK Nuremberg. Leo Alexander and the Nazi doctors' trial. Pc. Antony's Series. Hampshire, New York 2004. ISBN 0-333-92147-X
  • Paul Julian Weindling: Nazi Medicine and the Nuremberg Trials: From Medical was Crimes ton of Informed Consent. Hampshire, New York 2004 (Palgrave Macmillan)

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