Nazi doctors, pt 1

Below I’ve posted links to the English- translated documents from the Nuremberg trials against the Nazi doctors.This was evidence submitted as proof of the Nazi doctors’ use of prisoners in inhuman and often deadly experiments. [mazal page fixed, should be visible now]

US HMM GRAPHIC video on the Holocaust.


Dr Grawitz, top Nazi doctor, committed suicide at the end of April 1945.

Several Nazi Doctors were indeed convicted of Mustard gas experiments, in the Nuremberg Trial.

Dr. Fritz Klein (1888-1945) – One of the worst SS doctors making selections at Auschwitz and was present at most of them, like Mengele. In 1944, Klein was transferred to Bergen-Belsen where he gave people death injections. He was put on trial by the British along with about 50 members of the Bergen-Belsen staff and he was executed with commandant Josef Kramer on December 13, 1945.­ide/MedicalCaseTrialI­ndictment.html

Trial against Drs specifically mentions “poison”­iewtopic.php?f=38t=19222
Nazi SS Doctors, and their crimes against humanity.­rnst-Robert Grawitz
Dr Grawitz advised Himmler on gas chambers

Copy of secret order by Hitler to Dr Grawitz, who was in charge of the Doctors in the camp system.

HLSL Item No.: 502

Personal Author: Ernst Grawitz (Dr., Lt. Gen. Waffen-SS, Reich Physician SS)
Descriptive Title: Telegram to Rudolf Brandt concerning secret order by Hitler.
Document Date: 17 March 1944
Evidence Code No.: NO-14 (Click for all versions of this document.)
Language of Text: English
Notes: This Staff Evidence Analysis was prepared by Manfred Wolfson on 26 June 1946. The telegram is a reply to a letter from Brandt, NO 13-a. The order by Hitler apparently concerned poison gas.
Document Type: A non-trial evidence files document from which a trial document was derived.
Evidence File Name: NO
Source of Text: IMT/NMT Staff Evidence Analysis
Trial Transcript Citation: Trial Name: NMT 01. Medical Case – USA v. Karl Brandt, et al., English Transcript: p. 1039 (3 January 1947)

Dr. Grawitz, 22 Nov 1944 to HH
re: use of poison gas

Grawitz To Heinrich Himmler
Seawater experiments
“jews at dachau ” to be used as guinea pigs in dangerous experiments

more on the same

Sachsenhausen experiments

Clauberg, sterilization of women

Sepsis experiments (artificially induced)’s+polygal+experiments+and+the+secrecy+of+experiments+in+concentration+camps.&color_setting=C

no. 37
Dr reprimanded for Publication of results because it shows that
‘experiments have been done on prisoners.”

typhoid experiments at Ravensbrueck



nazi dr, sterilization of millions

Dr Pokorny * see bottom of page

Action reinhard(t) completed

Heinrich Himmler on Action reinhard

100 million Reichmarks stolen from the victims of Action Reinhard (t)

Heinrich Himmler on medical experiments

Heinrich Himmler on Mauthausen
experiments on prisoners, natzweiler

mustard gas on wounds
mustard gas on people

Found out that sometimes “Action Reinhard” is also spelled “Action Reinhardt”, aka “Operation Reinhardt”. They all refer to the same 4 camps – Lublin-Majdanek (Maidanek), Sobibor, Treblinka, and Belzec.

Hitler speech, Dec 12 1941, to the Gauleiters, p.212, “The Holocaust on Trial”, Guttenplan. Hitler makes clear his intentions are extermination.

Natzweiler , the Waffen SS left behind a rare document in which, contrary to the coded terminology generally employed by the Nazis, specific mention was made of “the construction of a gas chamber at Struthof.”
source:, wikipedia


The inheritors of IG Farben admit  that there was a death camp at Auschwitz.Birkenau -Monowitz.

*In May 1944, Himmler claimed in a speech that
The Jewish question in Germany and the occupied countries has been solved.
*Dr. Edwin Katzenellenbogen, a former member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School, asked the court for his death sentence. “You have place the mark of Cain on my forehead,” he exclaimed. “Any physician who committed the crimes I am charged with deserves to be killed.” He was given life imprisonment.

“A lecture at the Berlin Military Medical Academy in May of 1943 given by two of the most notorious of the doctor-killers, Karl Gebhardt and Fritz Fischer, on the subject of gas gangrene experiments on prisoners.”
source: Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, pp 979-91 , on the Doctors

“Dr. Ernst Grawitz, SS and Police Gruppenfuehrer (Lt. Colonel) was the top doctor in the SS. He was the one who suggested to Himmler in the summer of 1941 gas chambers as means to the `Final Solution,’ i.e. the mass extermination of Jews. He knew of and kept an executive’s eye on numerous other experiments with human guinea pigs at various concentration camps, for instance body resistance to freezing, jaundice, typhus (research done for I.G. Farben), and the drinkability of sea water. He committed suicide in 1945.”

Extracted from- “WOMEN IN THE RESISTANCE AND IN THE HOLOCAUST: THE VOICES OF EYEWITNESSES” Edited (and with introduction) by Vera Laska. Greenwood Press, Westport London, 1983. LOC 82-12018, ISBN 0-313-23457-4 p. 226
Trial against Doctors specifically mentions “poison”

The Camp Men, by French MacLean, gives ample proof of the crimes of the SS, and their connection to the Drs in the camps. SS trained at Dachau, making it part of the ‘Death Camp system.’

my comment: Courts after the war, including the German-led trials, convicted Nazis after reviewing the evidence of gassing in numerous camps, including Mauthausen and Auschwitz Trials. ‘ No one could have been convicted on a ‘maybe.’ There is conclusive evidence the Nazi doctors sent people to gas chambers, as these trials proved .

Lifton, The Nazi Doctors; also Vivian Spitz, Doctors from Hell (books)

From all the documents and indications available, it is clear that between March 1942 and 28 April 1945, gassings claimed more than five thousand victims at Mauthausen (see note 39). Most of them were Soviet citizens, but there were many Czechs, Slovaks, and Poles as well, and, in the last period of the murders, mostly members of the Austrian resistance, though also Germans, Italians, Yugoslavs, Frenchmen, and citizens of other countries.

from: Nazi Mass Murder, a documentation of use of Poison Gas.

Dr Muench was at Auschwitz, and knew that people were being gassed. (Lifton, the Nazi doctors).

Dr Lolling.­azi_human_experimentation
Many of the subjects died as a result of the experiments conducted by the Nazis, while many others were murdered after the tests were completed to study the effect post mortem.[22] Those who survived were often left mutilated, suffering permanent disability, weakened bodies, and mental distress.[­laus Schilling
Dr Schilling’s malaria experiments on humans at Dachau resulted in 3-400 deaths.

Several Nazi doctors were indeed convicted of Mustard gas experiments.

my comment: The fact is that Nazis did experimentation on humans that led to deaths at Dachau, as proved in the court case against the Head of the German Red Cross, Gebhardt..,+Wolfram+Sievers,+and+SS+Obergruppenfuehrer+Juettner,+enclosing+a+decree+by+Hitler.&color_setting=C

1 Mar 44 Hitler decree, top secret, regarding Chemical weapons program

Proves that Hitler order re: chem experiments, was sent to Brandt, and received by Grawitz.

my comment: This document proves that the Nazis did have Waffen SS drs. working on a typhus vaccine at the Robert Koch Institute; so why didn’t they distribute typhus vaccine to the concentration camp victims? The source is the courtroom testimony of a a secretary to one of the chief Nazi doctors. She states that Himmler had decreed that the prisoners be used instead of animals.

The Prosecutor specified a number of Allied countries from which, he claimed, many of the persons gassed had originated. ** Wilhelm Bahr told how he himself had gassed two hundred Russians. **Pery Broad mentioned Jews from Belgium, Holland, France, Czechoslovakia and Poland, among those gassed at Auschwitz. Also, Gerstein’s report.­nb.htm#Remainingwitz.­yklon-BTrial/Zyklon-095.htm

Trial of IG Farben for zyklon B in camps; also Pohl Case.

Dr Brandt was convicted in the Doctors Trials for having taken part in Himmler and Dr Hirt’s collection of skeletons. The prisoners from whom these skeletons were taken were poisoned in the gas chamber at Natzweiler , France. This testimony and evidence were reviewed by the court. The French police took photographs of the gas chamber.

Nazi Dr Theodor Mollison, d. 1952, racial hygiene and anthropology. Along with Eugen Fischer, one of Mengele’s mentors.

Dr Eduard Krebsbach
English translation

In July 1941, Eduard Krebsbach to his service as a medical officer in the Austrian concentration camp Mauthausen. Property in his position was Krebsbach placed directly under the Office D III (medical care and camp hygiene) of the SS Economic and Administrative Headquarters and had the oversight of the medical care and the entire medical staff of the camp. Krebsbach under the action of certain 14f13 handicapped and sick inmates to the lethal gas injections into the heart. 1942 under his supervision, 900 tubercular Russian, Polish and Czech prisoners were murdered by a syringe. This activity is among the prisoners to him the nickname “Dr. Spritzer”.

Krebsbach was for the installation of a gas chamber in the basement of the infirmary at Mauthausen, and for the purchase of a “special vehicle”, which should replace the practice of death by injection. End of 1942 were gassed in the presence of Dr Krebsbach, 120-130 Czechs because of their involvement in the assassination of the Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich.

Due to an incident in which Krebsbach, 22 May 1943 an army of nocturnal holidaymakers due to disturbance was shot outside his house, he was dismissed from his position as chief medical officer of Mauthausen in August 1943 and was disease-Inspector of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania [2].

He was hanged at Nuremberg for these crimes.


Nazi Drs., in German
Auschwitz, zyklon b case
some Nazi scientists:

Bruno Tesch (found guilty; executed)
Joachim Drosihn (found not guilty)
Karl Weinbacher (guilty; executed)

other Nazi Doctors:
German to English translation
Dr. Erich Hippke (* 1888 † 1969) was the Surgeon General. From 1935 to 1944 Chief of Medical Service, the Air Force.
*Never put on trial
Prof. Dr. Erich Hippke (1888-1969):
General Surgeon. From 1935 to 1944
Chief of Medical Service, the Air Force. In
his tenure were the altitude tests. In
Nuremberg only because he was not sitting on the
Dock, allegedly because his stay
was unknown. For him sat his successor,
Surgeon-General Dr. Oskar Schroeder, in
Nuremberg trial. Because involvement in
the sea water drinking tests, Schroeder received a
life imprisonment, which ended in 1954
was. Schroeder became an expert in the U.S.
to the U.S. Air Force.

After 1945 inter alia in West Berlin Dr. Hippke
worked as a doctor.

Dr. Oskar Schroeder

More: German to English translation
05/24/1943 – 05/26/1943 Participants to the 3rd session of the Consultative doctors “in the Academy of Military in Berlin. Dr. Fischer gives a lecture on “Special experiments on sulfonamide-response” (human experiments in the women’s concentration camp Ravensbrück)
01/01/1944 09/30/1944 leaders Reserve (RdLuOb.dL), the Scientific Advisory Board’s representative for health care (durchgebalkt)
30/09/1944 Farewell, then medical officer at AEG in Berlin
1945 in Bavaria “hidden” (source: Ernst Klee)

Authority to issue directives to all luftfahrtmedizinischen Institute
The Board of Trustees of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research

10/10/1942 Thanks Himmler for their support in the human experiments at Dachau

03.06.1943 at SS General and General of the Waffen-SS Karl Wolff:
“All the work in the field of aviation medicine – ie the altitude – were under my supervision in my capacity as scientific director of the German aviation medicine.”

In late 1946, claimed the defense of ex-Field Marshal Erhard Milch, Dr. Friedrich Bergold, and Dr. Fritz Sauter, Defender of the Doctors’ Trial, the Hippke subpoena as a witness. Statement on 07.02.1945 in the process

to 1962 panel doctor (practitioner) in Berlin
thanks to: Dieter Zinke for this info.


**Dr. Pokorny, acquitted of planning sterilization. b. 1895, d. (?)

In October 1941, Pokorny turned in a letter to Himmler, in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German nationality. In her own words must be “Driven by the idea that the enemy not only defeated but destroyed,” [5] He submitted the proposal, sterilization experiments on humans with the South American Schweigrohrpflanze (Caladium make seguinum). Pokorny Himmler pointed to a release of Madaus AG, to this plant. It was Gerhard Madaus discovered that the sap of the Schweigrohrs particularly in animals a permanent sterility caused. [6] He spoke in reference to “three million currently made in German captivity located Bolsheviks” for immediate human attempts to make them “from reproduction” to exclude . not to endanger [7] In the experiment, he gave Himmler the Council to begin immediately with the plant breeding and to allow further Madaus any other publications in order to avoid that the “enemy” would be aware of these plans. [8 ] Himmler pointed Oswald Pohl and Ernst-Robert Grawitz to pursuing Pokorny instructions and to communicate with Madaus friend to “the possibility of criminal attempt to persons who are sterilized in and of itself would have to explore.” However, soon turned out that the plant native to South America due to the climatic conditions too slow and would have no adequate measures can be produced, so they Himmler and its experts for the planned mass sterilizations appeared inappropriate. Nevertheless, Himmler insisted that at least with the already existing substances of plant, carry out experiments in concentration camps. Until the war ended there were no usable results of tests before the Schweigrohrpflanze [9].

Pokorny as a defendant in the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial

Last physician, Pokorny worked in the year 1945 in the health department in Munich. In 1946 he was indicted in the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial. In the group of defendants took Pokorny one as a practicing dermatologist a special position. [10] The only one of them he had not been a member of the Nazi party and never a responsible position had occupied in the hierarchy. [3] defended the process progresses, Pokorny so that the ineffectiveness of the Schweigrohrs was aware and had Himmler by his proposal to the application of proven methods of sterilization to dissuade. He pretended to have provided for the sterilization of programs for Jews and people experienced in the eastern territories .. The plans he had, want to avoid by referring to the Schweigrohrpflanze as a red herring [11].

The court followed the presentation Pokorny not said it yet free:

“We of the defense, which has argued the defendant not impressed and it is hard to believe that he of the noble motives, which he claims was headed when he wrote the letter. Rather, we tend to think that Pokorny wrote the letter for quite different and more personal reasons. […] In the case of Pokorny, it is the prosecution failed to prove his guilt. So monstrous and low, the proposals in this letter are lies, but not the slightest evidence to suggest that any steps have ever been made to bring them through tests on humans to use. We state that the accused must be acquitted not because of, but despite the defense, which he has put forward. “[12]
*He was not convicted.

Dr Bouhler (1899-1945), Philip , Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on 23 February 2009, accessed 1 September 2010, URL :, ISSN 1961-9898

Bouhler was already member of the Nazi party in 1920. He then took Axmann’s function as manager of the party finances. He was one of the putschists of 1923 and became chief of the Führer chancellery in 1934. One of his tasks consisted in writing Hitler’s decrees. Considered as a discreet person, Bouhler was nevertheless one of the most important men in the Nazi state apparatus. He was largely involved in the euthanasia operations practiced in the psychiatric establishments and also in the Eastern territories. Shortly after the invasion of Poland, on September 1, 1939, Hitler named him responsible for the euthanasia operations in a letter that constitutes one of the rare written orders signed by the Führer himself. Bouhler was the coordinator of the whole operation but delegated its working process to Victor Brack. The euthanasia program was called “T4” because the head office was located at number 4 in the Tiergartenstrasse. After the suspension of the operation, a major part of the staff was sent to death centers located in the Eastern territories and operated within the Reinhard Action. Later on, Bouhler advised Himmler during the gassing operations of the action 14f13. Goebbels, in his diary, confirmed that Bouhler was the right person at the right place. Bouhler committed suicide a few hours before the allied forces arrived.

Arad, Y., Gutman, Y., Margaliot, A. (Eds.), 1981, Documents on the Holocaust, Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland and the Soviet Union, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, Document nº. 212, pp. 471-473.

German to English translation
Camp doctor in concentration and extermination camps

Dr. Entress, son of an employee of the Poznan University Library, completed a medical and joined in November 1939, the Waffen-SS (membership number at 352 124). In 1943 he was promoted to SS Captain. His service began as a camp doctor on 3 January 1941 in Gross-Rosen concentration camp. There practiced Entress the activities of the medical officer to 10 From December 1941. From December 1941 to October 1943 was Entress camp doctor in Auschwitz III Monowitz. In Auschwitz, together with proven Entress Hellmuth cousin and Eduard Wirths on behalf of the Group IG Colors on prisoners, the safety and efficacy of new pharmaceutical products. In many cases, the detainees for the investigation were infected with diseases. Entress was probably from May 1942 to command incurable mentally ill, incurable tuberculosis and to permanently unfit for work by killing injections. From autumn 1942, also fell ill prisoners killed, within four weeks were recovered.

His Ph.D. in 1942 without the presentation of a dissertation by a Regulation concerning the preferred treatment of persons from the so-called Eastern Territories [1].

From 21 October 1943 until 25 July 1944 was in the Austrian concentration camp doctor Entress Gusen, a sub-camp of Mauthausen concentration camp. 1944 Entress returned back to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, from January 1945 to the end of the war, he served as physician of the 9th Division SS-Division Hohenstaufen at the front.

Process and sentencing
1946 was negotiated against Frederick Entress in the Mauthausen main process, one of the Dachau Trials, before a U.S. military court. Entress was in the course of his career as a camp doctor in the concentration camp accused Chancellor 1943-1944, to have been responsible, together with the medical officer Waldemar Wolter for the selection of sick inmates to be gassed. Entress was on 14 April 1947 an affidavit (Document No. NO 2368, Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes) from the selections of the detainees after their arrival in Auschwitz, the facilities for the gasification of the prisoners and the killings by injections.

Entress appealed to obey orders and did not as a witness on its own behalf. On 13 May 1946 Entress found guilty along with 57 co-defendants sentenced to death. Following the dismissal of a petition for clemency to his wife he was on 28 May 1947 in Landsberg prison for war criminals executed.

“The Dutch medical establishment would not give in…” to performing Euthanasia.

THREE IGF board,
Heinrich Horlein d.
Wurster, Karl
Wilhelm Rudolf Mann
d. 1992

All acquitted
Joachim Drosihn, acquitted
Adolf Butendandt , d. 1995. Not proved to have done anything wrong
But did give recommendation to Dr Verschuer
Dr Victor Capesius
July 2, 1907, Reußmarkt / Transylvania – 20 March 1985, Göppingen)
The Doctor of Pharmacy found a job at a subsidiary of IG Farben, married in 1934, and went to Transylvania doctors and pharmacists to sell the products of his company. The pharmaceutical representatives got to know people to whom he in the summer of 1944 on the ramp

The site along railroad tracks, where the Jews were deported to Auschwitz selected, then “ramp” is mentioned. In Auschwitz there was for the transportation of the → Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) with Jews from all over Europe, two ramps selection: the → “Old ramp” and the → New ramp. Birkenau

:: Since October 1941 by the SS as a “prisoner of war camp” called Birkenau camp was built, which was to continually expanded in 1944. In the camp at Birkenau and since mid-1942 four crematoria were built with gas chambers, which were the places of extermination.
should meet again. After the Vienna Award in 1940 Transylvania became part of Hungary and the Romanian citizens Capesius went to Bucharest from the Romanian army and did his military service. The rank of captain in the Romanian army service he did and led the hospital pharmacy of an army site. Meanwhile, he went to August 1943, working as a representative of IG Farben

:: The company “community of interest Farben” built east of town since April 1941, the Auschwitz a plant for the production of synthetic rubber (Buna →) and synthetic fuel. The Group and the staff employed by contractors charged him thousands of civil and eastern workers, prisoners of war and concentration camp prisoners. Since the end of October 1942, immediately adjacent to the premises a proprietary concentration camp, which was administered by the → SS. In Stock Buna / Monowitz end 1944 10,000 prisoners were housed, had to pay for IG Farben slave labor.

Under an agreement between Germany and Romania, the ethnic German Capesius in the late summer of 1943, drafted into Hitler’s army, and performed in Central Medical Store service in Warsaw, Berlin and Dachau. Even at his first stop in Warsaw, Capesius was placed under the Waffen SS and was awarded the rank of the approximation so-called SS-Hauptsturmführer. Now term as the Waffen-SS member, he was of his superiors, the SS Economic Administration Main Office

:: In 1942, formed from several administrative bodies of the SS Economic Administration Main Office (SS-WVHA) was in charge of the concentration camp.
ordered and sent to Oranienburg in early 1944 to Auschwitz. Capesius should aid the ailing head of the SS pharmacy

:: In the department that was responsible for the medical care of the SS personnel and prisoners from camps in the Division V: SS garrison doctor, there was a pharmacy, were maintained in drug and medical equipment. ***The SS-Pharmacy in Auschwitz had the peculiarity that there encamped also the means by which people were killed. It was → → phenol and Zyklon B. The head of the SS-pharmacy in the summer of 1944, the defendant Dr. Victor Capesius has, according to an official meeting, which the superior of the SS medical personnel, SS medical officer Dr. Eduard Wirths conducted in May 1944, also called “service” done on the ramp. “Ramp services” was: Implementation of the → selections. represented by Auschwitz.

The death of the chief pharmacist in February 1944 Capesius unexpectedly made him the lead of the agency. Until the stock clearance in January 1945 Capesius remained in that capacity.

The flight from the Red Army ended for him in the capital Berlin, the war he lived in Schleswig-Holstein, where he was in British captivity. dismissed after a year Capesius went to Stuttgart and began studying electrical engineering at the Technical University of. In Munich to visit him again saw an Auschwitz survivor who later process-Leon Czekalski witness on the street and pointed to the former SS Major leaders of Auschwitz. The American military police intervened and Capesius was being held in detention camps in Dachau and Ludwigsburg.

Since he believes the American body had no crimes to prove it, the Americans let him off during August 1947. Capesius found employment in his profession at a Stuttgart pharmacy, made himself independent in October 1950 and acquired the pharmacy market in Göppingen. In Reutlingen later he ran a beauty salon. Most recently, the successful businessman 12 employees and in 1958 a turnover of DM 400,000.
In early December 1959, Capesius arrested in Göppingen. His detention lasted eight years.

Even before the Assize Court ruling became final in August 1965, February 1969, sentenced to nine years in prison Capesius came in January 1968 released from custody. Göppingen citizens know to report the murder to aid in four cases at least 2000 people Persons judged – was welcomed on the day of his release from prison when visiting a city concert with applause – as stated in the Tribunal’s ruling. His business had had Capesius his wife, himself a pharmacist, overwritten.

So he spent 3 years in prison, and had been detained for ten years total. Yet he states he was on the ramp doing ‘selections’ for the gas chamber.
Helmut Poppendick
The court considered it proven that Helmut Poppendick knew about almost all the experiments that were conducted in the era of National Socialism in concentration camps on prisoners, had knowledge, but saw no criminally relevant responsibility given [7].

After being released on 1 February 1951 worked from the Prison Landsberg Poppendick as an internist in Oldenburg, 1957 with cash approval.

Another Nazi doctor who got away with it. Lived till 1994 in Germany, free.­yklon-BTrial/Zyklon-095.htm

Trial of IG Farben for zyklon B in camps; also Pohl Case.


Natzweiler , the Waffen SS left behind a rare document in which, contrary to the coded terminology generally employed by the Nazis, specific mention was made of “the construction of a gas chamber at Struthof.”

source:, wikipedia


Finally, the inheritors of IG Farben Company admit that there was a death camp at Auschwitz.Birkenau -Monowitz.

Participation in the T4-action [edit]
Conti was one of the persons, which was in January 1940 at the old Brandenburg prison, the killing of people in a gas chamber and for comparison purposes with the killing presented injections. Conti should have made it even injections. [7] This so-called “Brandenburg test gassing” was part of the preparation of the Action T4, the mass killing of sick and disabled. In addition to the “euthanasia” programs, Leonardo Conti was also involved in typhus experiments at Buchenwald concentration camp. [3]




3 Responses to “Nazi doctors, pt 1”

  1. paolosilv Says:

    Mauthausen Concentration Camp
    The Gates at Mauthausen

    Mauthausen concentration was camp created shortly after the Anschluss of Austria in March 1938 near an abandoned stone quarry about three miles from the town of Mauthausen in Upper Austria. On 16 May 1938 work began in the quarry, initially employing thirty civilian workers. The first prisoners were brought to the camp on 8 August 1938 and were put to work in the construction of the camp and at the quarry.

    Most of the prisoners brought to Mauthausen in the first year of its existence were criminal offenders and the rest were “asocial elements.” Almost all were transferred from Dachau. The first consignment was accompanied by 88 SS guards from the Dachau Totenkopfverbade.

    In 1938 a total of 1100 prisoners arrived. The first political prisoners, also from Dachau arrived in May 1939 and soon afterwards groups of political prisoners were brought from jails in Czechoslovakia. Late in September the Dachau “Punishment Squad” arrived at the camp.

    In December 1939 there were 2,666 prisoners almost all Germans interned in Mauthausen. During the course of 1940 about 11,000 new prisoners were recorded in the camps “book of numbers,” which served to record each new prisoner, together with their camp number.

    Map of Austrian KL’s and sub-camps

    The minority were German prisoners from the camp of Sachsenhausen 1032 and Buchenwald 300 who were all transferred to the first sub-camp of the main camp- Gusen. A further three consignments brought an unknown number of Spanish republicans who had fled from Franco’s regime and been caught in France after its defeat by Germany. The number of prisoners in 1940 reached 3833.

    Seven consignments of Spanish prisoners arrived in 1941 and their number in the camp reached 7241. Many Jews were also sent together with groups of Czech prisoners. On 12 May 1940 the first Jews from the Netherlands arrived, and on 20 October 1941 an initial 4205 Soviet Prisoners –of – War, of whom about 2,000 were transferred to Gusen.

    During 1941 Mauthausen received a total of 18,000 new prisoners. The mortality rate was high and the number of prisoners in Mauthausen and Gusen reached only 11,135. In 1942 in addition to Czech, Dutch, Soviet and Yugoslav prisoners, internees also arrived from France, Belgium, Greece and Luxembourg.

    A new category of prisoners those in protective custody were transferred from various prisoners. A despatch of 218 such prisoners reached Mauthausen on 26 November from the Regensburg jail. Altogether 13,000 new prisoners came to the camp in 1942.

    On 19 August Reinhard Heydrich published an edict that divided the concentration camps into categories. Only Mauthausen and Gusen were placed in the harshest classification. The stream of prisoners of different nationalities continued throughout 1943, during which 21,028 new prisoners were recorded of whom only a few were Jews.

    Himmler tours the Mauthausen Camp

    That year 8,334 prisoners were entered in the records as having died at Mauthausen and Gusen along with 147 Prisoners – of – War. In addition many victims were killed by order of the Gestapo immediately upon their arrival at the camp and did not go through the registration procedures.

    In 1944 the number of prisoners reaching Mauthausen increased considerably – many sub-camps were built and the new prisoners were sent to them. A record 65,645 new prisoners were listed in the “book of numbers.” The maximum prisoner population at any one time in 1944 was 114,524.

    Beginning in May 1944 the camp received large transports of Jews from Auschwitz in May and June 1944 four such transports brought a total of 7500 prisoners.

    On 10 August 1944 a transport of 4589 Jewish prisoners came from the Plaszow Labour camp near Krakow. The last large transport in 1944 arrived in late September bringing 6449 prisoners of whom half were Jews. According to the camp records a total of 13,322 Jewish males and 504 Jewish females entered Mauthausen in 1944. The number of Jews who died that year was 3437.

    On 9 September 1944 a group of thirty-nine Dutchmen, one American, and seven Englishmen, all of them active, in the anti-Nazi underground, were brought to Mauthausen.

    The “Death Stairs” at Mauthausen

    After spending the night inside the bunker they were driven, barefoot and in their underclothes, to the quarry, where the 186 steps were lined on both sides by SS and Kapos swinging their cudgels and anticipating a spectacle.

    The forty-seven prisoners were loaded with stone slabs of up to sixty pounds in weight, and then forced to run up the steps. The run was repeated again and again, and the blows fell faster and faster as the exhausted prisoners stumbled on the uneven steps. One of the prisoners was a British Jew, Marcus Bloom, who had operated a clandestine radio in Nazi- occupied Europe. He was the first to fall, he was shot in the head at point – blank range.

    On 25 January 1945 the first transport of Auschwitz evacuees reached Mauthausen. In one week 9,000 prisoners of various nationalities arrived, the majority of them Jews.

    One of the deportees from Auschwitz, Yehuda Bakon later recalled how on the march, “The children said – it is good that our parents were killed in the gas –chambers. They did not have to undergo all this torturing and suffering – because we saw they shot everyone who fell.”

    In April 1945 another gigantic flow of Jewish prisoners, who had been transferred from their native Hungary to camps along the Austrian – Hungarian border reached Mauthhausen.

    A total of 24,793 new prisoners were recorded in the camps books for 1945. The number of the last prisoner 139,157 was allocated on 3 May 1945 – two days before the camps liberation.

    The camp area was divided into 3 sections

    The Prison Camp

    The Command Area
    The SS Dwellings

    The prison camp occupied the main part of the camp area and had 3 sectors.

    Camp Number 1 was the residential camp, with 20 wooden huts, 4 of these were quarantine huts, where the new prisoners lived for three weeks, after which they were transferred to other sections of the camp. The last hut Number 20 was separated by a stone wall and initially housed the Soviet Prisoners – of – War.

    Camp Number 2 the workshops area, contained 4 huts – from early 1944 this was also a quarantine area.

    Camp Number 3 built in the spring of 1944 initially contained 6 huts. Beginning in the summer of 1944 the sick and debilitated prisoners were transferred here prior to being killed.

    Each hut was designed to hold 300 prisoners, but in most instances double that number and even more were packed into them. Opposite the main gate was the assembly ground, where the prisoners had to stand for the morning and evening roll-call and where certain prisoners were taken to be killed in the presence of all others.

    Corpses stacked outside the prisoner barracks

    On one side of the parade ground were three stone buildings. Two were used for the camp services – kitchens, showers, and laundry. The third housed the prison bunker and the gas chamber disguised as a shower. Beneath the bunker was the crematorium – in a nearby cell prisoners were shot. Outside the camp enclosure was the “Russian Camp” which was converted into the camp hospital in the spring of 1943.

    About a month before the liberation, in April 1945 a tent camp was set up outside the camp enclosure, with 14 large tents. It was designated for Hungarian Jews who had been brought from camps along the Austrian- Hungarian border and for Jews from the entire network of Mauthausen’s camps to stay in until they were taken to Gunskirchen. The entire Mauthausen camp covered about 37 acres.

    The first commandant of the Mauthausen camp was SS- Standartenfuhrer Albert Sauer. In August 1939 he was replaced by SS- Standartenfuhrer Franz Ziereis, who retained this post until the end of the war. There were seven SS Officers and heads of divisions that served under him.

    Ziereis deputy and the Commandant of the prison camp was SS- Hauptsturmfuhrer Georg Bachmayer, who had two deputies. Beneath them were the Rapportfuhrer the recording officer, the labour service officer and the officer responsible for roll-calls and general administration work as well as block officers and labour gang officers.

    Himmler, Ziereis and Kaltenbrunner

    On 3 September 1944 there were 91 SS- Blockfuhrers and Kommandofuhrers in Mauthausen. The camps Political Department was headed by SS- Hauptsturmfuhrer Karl Schulz who was in command of 19 NCO’s and many more prisoners. The camp guard units belonged to the Mauthausen SS – Totenkopfverbande.

    Most of the prisoners in Mauthausen holding supervisory and other posts were criminal offenders, and the camp authorities encouraged them to treat the rank and file prisoners harshly. They had complete control over the lives of the prisoners under their command.

    The principal positions held by prisoners were those of Camp Elder, and his deputies and camp registrar. The work in the camp was supervised by the Kapo’s and the blocks were under the authority of the block elder, the block registrar and the room elder. All enjoyed a large number of privileges.

    The Poles were the largest national group at Mauthausen, the first Polish prisoners arrived on 9 March 1940 and during the same year another 9 transports arrived.

    The Polish students and members of the underground in the first transports were killed in the autumn of 1940. The camps record of the dead lists 30,203 Poles, including many Polish Jews. Altogether there were nearly 50,000 Poles in the Mauthausen camps complex.

    Slave laborers at Mauthausen

    Until the spring of 1941 only a few Jews arrived at Mauthausen – most died within a short time from the work at the quarry and from maltreatment. Beginning in 1941, groups of Jews began arriving.

    The first consisted of Czech Jews who were brought with the transports of Czech political prisoners. The SS officers, the Kapos, and the block elders treated this group of Jews harshly, and all soon perished.

    After the assassination in Prague of Reinhard Heydrich by the Czech underground on 27 May 1942 , two hundred and fifty-three Czechs were brought to Mauthausen and killed. The women among them were taken in groups to the gas chamber. Most of the Czech prisoners were murdered were murdered in the three months, following Heydrich’s assassination.

    On 19 February 1941 a German patrol in Amsterdam entered a tavern run by a Jewish refugee from Germany, Ernst Cahn. In the tavern, a protective device which Cahn had installed, an ammonia flash, went off by accident, spaying the Germans with ammonia.

    Cahn was at once arrested, and three days later, as a reprisal for his act of “resistance” , the SS raided the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, seized 425 Jews, most of them young men, subjected them to beatings and abuse and then on 27 February 1941 deported 389 of them to Buchenwald and after two months 361 of them were deported to Mauthausen.

    To protest against the raids against the Jews in Amsterdam Dutch workers organised a strike on 25 February 1941, in Amsterdam, Zaandam, Hilversum, Utrecht and Rotterdam followed their example.

    Toiling in the quarries of Mauthausen

    At Mauthausen the Dutch Jews were all put to work in the stone quarries, hauling massive blocks of stone up the steep incline. As they climbed the 186 steps, they were whipped and beaten.

    On the third day after the arrival of the Dutch Jews the camp guards began machine-gunning the climbers on the steps. On the fourth day, some ten young Jews linked hands and jumped to their deaths. The Germans referred to those who had jumped as “parachutists.”

    In order to prevent a recurrence of this collective suicide, the remaining prisoners were placed under the charge of two particularly sadistic guards, one known as “the blonde fraulein”, the other as “Hans the killer.” By the autumn, there were no survivors.

    From mid-1944 on, far larger groups of Jews began to arrive. The six thousand Hungarian Jews brought to work in the Mauthausen camps after Selektionen at Auschwitz in May and June 1944 were followed by forty-six hundred Jews from the Plaszow labour camp.

    The planning for the deportations of Jews from Hungary, was carried out by Adolf Eichmann and his key subordinated at Mauthausen, of all places, on 10 March 1944. These Jews too were treated far more harshly than the other prisoners, being employed in digging tunnels for the munitions factories. The work was conducted in three shifts, at an extremely accelerated pace.

    No effort was made to spare the labour force, after a month or two they were broken men who could hardly put one foot before the other. Each month thousands of new prisoners arrived to replace those who had died.

    Ziereis poses on the walls of Mauthausen

    The Jews subsisted in conditions far worse than those of other groups. Starvation and diseases caused by starvation accounted for more than 95 percent of the deaths. From 25 January 1945 with the general evacuation of Auschwitz, a second wave of transports began to arrive at Mauthausen. The majority of the nine thousand new prisoners were Jews.

    Like their predecessors, they were sent to work principally in digging underground tunnels at various sub-camps. The last large group consisted of Hungarian Jews. Beginning in the autumn of 1944, tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews had been sent to build a line of fortifications along the border between Austria and Hungary.

    As the front drew near in March and April of 1945, the camps there were evacuated and the prisoners sent by foot to Mauthausen – many died during these evacuations. They were then housed in a tent camp, where they slept on the muddy earth in greatly overcrowded conditions, with no sanitation, no running water, and no toilets.- they had to relieve themselves in pits that they dug.

    Food was supplied in small quantities – mass epidemics of typhus and dysentery soon broke out, causing many deaths. On 9 April when there were already more than 8,500 prisoners in the tent camp, the transfer to this camp of all the Jewish prisoners in the main camp and at Gusen commenced.

    An estimated 3,000 prisoners died in the tent camp. On 16 April the first group of prisoners was taken from there to the Gunskirchen camp about 37 miles west of Mauthausen. The rest of the prisoners were transferred to Gunskirchen in two groups, a few days apart. They were taken by forced march, and all who fell by the way were shot on the spot.

    Mauthausen Corpses

    In the second half of 1944, the stream of prisoners brought to Mauthausen increased. The mortality rate rose to maximal dimensions. According to the official camp records, 24,613 prisoners died between January and May.

    The actual number of dead was far greater however, since the frequent transfers made exact record keeping impossible. Transports arrived from the camps that had been evacuated – Gross Rosen, Bergen –Belsen, Orainienburg, Dora-Mittlebau, Neuengamme, Buchenwald, Ravensbruck, Sachsenhausen and other small camps.

    In late March and in April 1945 the prisoners from the satellite camps were marched to the main camp. All those who could not march were killed with phenol injections, and their bodies were buried in the camps.

    The main camp was now full to overflowing and in total disorder. The severe over-crowding and reduced food rations hastened the death of many. In the hospital, cases of cannibalism were documented. The crematoria could not burn all the corpses, and a gigantic grave was dug near the camp enclosure for the concealment of ten thousand corpses.

    At the same time, in April 1945, the Germans began to burn documents and to release favoured prisoners, particularly criminal offenders, inmates of long standing, and those holding posts in the camp.

    Liberation of Mauthausen

    Prisoners of Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Belgian, and French nationality were released and handed over to the International Red Cross which took them to Switzerland. The Jews were all transferred to Gunskirchen under the most severe conditions, an act interpreted by the prisoners as a step toward their slaughter.

    On 3 May 1945 the guarding of the camp was handed over to a police unit from Vienna, on the following day work ceased and the SS officers left the camp. That same day the officer in charge of the Bunker killed all the prisoners employed in the crematorium and in the Bunker, with a single exception.

    The next day at 11:30 in the morning American army tanks entered Mauthausen – the prisoners opened the gates and the camp was liberated.

    The number of prisoners who passed through Mauthausen is estimated at 199,404. It is believed that 119,000 of them died, of whom 38,120 were Jews.

    Theodorakis after conducting the ballad in the former camp (circa 1995)

    This number includes the victims at the Hartheim castle euthanasia centre. From August 1941 to October 1942 and from April 1944 to the end of that year, sick and debilitated prisoners and “undesirable” prisoners, including Jews, were regularly sent from the network of Mauthausen camps to the Hartheim castle near Linz, to be killed in the gas chamber there.

    The suffering of the Mauthausen internees has been expressed in the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis’s Ballard of Mauthausen, based on a work by the Greek Jewish poet Jacob Kambanelis.

    One of Mauthausen’s most famous prisoners was Simon Wiesenthal recalled the liberation; weighing only 110 pounds laying in Hut B of the so-called death block, where those unfit to work were left to die. On the morning of 5 May 1945 he staggered outside – “I don’t know how I managed to get up and walk” – to meet the first American tank.

  2. paolosilv Says:

    Was Nuremberg too harsh?

    All defendants sentenced to death were hanged on June 2, 1948, a better chapter in American justice.

    However, these Nazis were released:

    Karl Genzken – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, 1951, released in 1955.
    Gerhard Rose – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, 1951, released in 1955
    Siegfried Handloser – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, 1951, transferred to hospital, 1953, died 1954.
    Oskar Schröder – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment, released in 1954.
    Fritz Fischer – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment, 1951, released in 1954.
    Hermann Becker-Freyseng – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, 1951, released in 1952.
    Wilhelm Beiglböck – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released on December 15, 1951.
    Helmut Poppendick – Released on January 31, 1951.
    Herta Oberheuser – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, released in April 1952.
    Erhard Milch – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment in 1951, released in 1954.
    Josef Altstötter – Released in 1950, serving his full time.
    Guenther Jöl – Released on January 31, 1951.
    Ernst Lautz – Released in January 1951.
    Oswald Rothaug – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, released in 1956.
    Franz Schlegelberger – Released in 1950 due to health issues.
    Rudolf Oeschey – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, released in 1956.
    Curt Rothenberger – Released in 1950.
    Herbert Klemm – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, released in 1956.
    Wilhelm von Ammon – Released on January 31, 1951.
    Wolfgang Mettgenberg – Died in prison, 1950.

    August Frank – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment, 1951, released in March 1954.
    Georg Lörner – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment, 1951, released in March 1954.
    Heinz-Karl Fanslau – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprsionment, January 1951, released in 1955.
    Hans Lörner – Released in January 1951.
    Erwin Tschentscher – Released in January 1951.
    Max Kiefer – Released in January 1951.
    Franz Eirenschmalz – Sentence commuted to 9 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, died later that year.
    Karl Sommer – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released in 1955.
    Hermann Pook – Released in January 1951.
    Johannes Baier – Released in January 1951.
    Hans Hohberg – Released in January 1951.
    Leo Volk – Sentence commuted to 8 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released December 1951.
    Karl Mummenthey – Sentence commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released in 1955.
    Hans Bobermin – Released in January 1951.

    Carl Krauch – Released in 1950.
    Hermann Schmitz – Released in 1950.
    Hans Kugler – Released immediately since his time was considered to be served.
    Georg von Schnitzler – Released in 1950.
    Fritz ter Meer – Released in 1952.
    Otto Ambros – Released in 1952.
    Ernst Bürgin – Released shortly after his sentence due to the fact that his time was considered served.
    Heinrich Buetefisch – Released in January 1951.
    Paul Häfliger – Released shortly after sentencing since his time was considered to be served.
    Max Ilgner – Released, 1949.
    Friedrich Jaehne – Released immediately since his time was considered to be served.
    Heinrich Oster – Released immediately since his time was considered to be served.
    Walter Duerrfeld – Released in 1952.

    Wilhelm List – Released on December 24, 1952 due to health issues.
    Lothar Rendulic – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released December 1951.
    Wilhelm Speidel – Released in January 1951.
    Walter Kuntze – Released on February 10, 1953 due to health issues.
    Ernst von Leyser – Released in January 1951.
    Helmuth Felmy – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released 1952.
    Ernst Dehner – Released in 1950.
    Hubert Lanz – Released in January 1951.

    Rudolf Creutz – Released in 1955.
    Herbert Huebner – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released in December 1951.
    Werner Lorenz – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment, released in 1955.
    Heinz Brueckner – Sentence commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released December 1951.
    Otto Hofmann – Sentence commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment, released in 1954.
    Richard Hildebrandt – Extradited to Poland, hanged by the Poles in 1952.
    Fritz Schwalm – Released in January 1951.

    Ernst von Weizsäcker – Released in 1950.
    Wilhelm Stuckart – Released right after conviction since his time was served.
    Hans Kehrl – Released in January 1951.
    Otto Dietrich – Released on August 16, 1950 on good behavior.
    Wilhelm Keppler – Released on February 1, 1951.
    Richard Walter Darre – Released in 1950.
    Emil Puhl – Released on December 21, 1949.
    Gottlob Berger – Sentence commuted to 10 years imprisonment in January 1951, released on December 15, 1951.
    Ernst-Wilhelm Bohle – Released on December 21, 1949.
    Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk – Released on January 31, 1951.
    Hans Heinrich Lammers – Sentence commuted to 10 years imprisonment, January 1951, released on December 15, 1951.
    Walter Schellenberg – Released in June 1951 due to his failing liver.
    Ernst Wörmann – Released in January 1950.
    Paul Körner – Released in January 1951.
    Karl Rasche – Released in 1950.
    Paul Pleiger – Sentence commuted to 9 years’ imprisonment, January 1951, released December 1951.
    Gustav-Adolf Steengracht von Moyland – Released in February 1950.
    Edmund Veesenmayer – Sentence commuted to 10 years imprisonment in January 1951, released on December 15, 1951.
    Karl Ritter – Released a month after being convicted, serving his full sentence.


  3. paolosilv Says:

    Gerhard Hartmut von Schubert, Spain
    Franz Pfeiffer Richter
    Lars Anderson
    Nicola Malaxa
    Viorel Trifia
    Prince Gutierez de Spadafor
    Emest Schmitz

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