The Doctors Trial
The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings

The transcription of this document comes from the official trial record: Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuremberg, October 1946 - April 1949. Washington D.C.: U.S. G.P.O, 1949-1953. Page numbers corresponding to those in the trial record are provided in brackets [ ].

[page 8] INDICTMENT

The United States of America, by the undersigned Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, duly appointed to represent said Government in the prosecution of war criminals, charges that the defendants herein participated in a common design or conspiracy to commit and did commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, as defined in Control Council Law No. 10, duly enacted by the Allied Control Council on 20 December 1945. These crimes included murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhumane acts, as set forth in counts one, two, and three of this indictment. Certain defendants are further charged with membership in a criminal organization, as set forth in count four of this indictment.

The persons accused as guilty of these crimes and accordingly named as defendants in this case are--

KARL BRANDT--Personal physician to AdoIf Hitler; Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant (Major General) in the Waffen SS; Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation (Reichskommissar fuer Sanitaets- und Gesundheitswesen); and member of the Reich Research Council (Reichsforschungsrat).

SIEGFRIED HANDLOSER--Generaloberstabsarzt (Lieutenant General, Medical Service); Medical Inspector of the Army (Heeres-sanitaetsinspekteur); and Chief of the Medical Services of the Armed Forces (Chef des Wehrmachtsanitaetswesens).

PAUL ROSTOCK--Chief Surgeon of the Surgical Clinic in Berlin; Surgical Adviser to the Army; and Chief of the Office for Medical Science and Research (Amtschef der Dienststelle Medizinische Wissenschaft und Forschung) under the defendant Karl Brandt, Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation.

OSKAR SCHROEDER--Generaloberstabsarzt (Lieutenant General Medical Service); Chief of Staff of the Inspectorate of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe (Chef des Stabes, Inspekteur des Luftwaffe-Sanitaetswesens); and Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe (Chef des Sanitaetswesens der Luftwaffe).

KARL GENZKEN--Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant (Major General) in the Waffen SS; and Chief of the Medical Department of the Waffen SS (Chef des Sanitaetsamts der Waffen SS).

KARL GEBHARDT--Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant (Major General) in the Waffen SS; personal physician to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler; Chief Surgeon of the Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police (Oberster Kliniker, Reichsarzt SS und Polizei); and President of the German Red Cross.

[page 9] KURT BLOME--Deputy [of the] Reich Health Leader (Reichsgesundheitsfuehrer); and Plenipotentiary for Cancer Research in the Reich Research Council.

RUDOLF BRANDT--Standartenfuehrer (Colonel); in the Allgemeine SS; Personal Administrative Officer to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler (Persoenlicher Referent von Himmler); and Ministerial Counsellor and Chief of the Ministerial Office in the Reich Ministry of the Interior.

JOACHIM MRUGOWSKY--Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel) in the Waffen SS; Chief Hygienist of the Reich Physician SS and Police (0berster Hygieniker, Reichsarzt SS und Polizei); and Chief of the Hygenic Institute of the Waffen SS (Chef des Hygienischen Institutes der Waffen SS).

HELMUT POPPENDICK--Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel) in the SS; and Chief of the Personal Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police (Chef des Persoenlichen Stabes des Reichsarztes SS und Polizei).

WOLFRAM SIEVERS--Standartenfuehrer (Colonel) in the SS; Reich Manager of the "Ahnenerbe" Society and Director of its Institute for Military Scientific Research (Institut fuer Wehrwissenschaftliche Zweckforschung); and Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board of Directors of the Reich Research Council.

GERHARD ROSE--Generalarzt of the Luftwaffe (Brigadier General, Medical Service of the Air Force); Vice President, Chief of the Department for Tropical Medicine, and Professor of the Robert Koch Institute; and Hygienic Adviser for Tropical Medicine to the Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe.

SIEGFRIED RUFF--Director of the Department for Aviation Medicine at the German Experimental Institute for Aviation (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fuer Luftfahrt).

HANS WOLFGANG ROMBERG--Doctor on the Staff of the Department for Aviation Medicine at the German Experimental Institute for Aviation.

VIKTOR BRACK--Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel) in the SS and Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) in the Waffen SS; and Chief Administrative Officer in the Chancellery of the Fuehrer of the NSDAP (Oberdienstleiter, Kanzlei des Fuehrers der NSDAP).

HERMANN BECKER-FREYSENG--Stabsarzt in the Luftwaffe (Captain, Medical Service of the Air Force); and Chief of the Department for Aviation Medicine of the Chief of the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe.

GEORG AUGUST WELTZ--Oberfeldarzt in the Luftwaffe (Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Service of the Air Force); and Chief of the Institute for Aviation Medicine in Munich (Institut fuer Luftfahrtmedizin).

[page 10] KONRAD SCHAEFER--Doctor on the Staff of the Institute for Aviation Medicine in Berlin.

WALDEMAR HOVEN--Hauptsturmfuehrer (Captain) in the Waffen SS; and Chief Doctor of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

WILHELM BEIGLBOECK--Consulting Physician to the Luftwaffe.

ADOLF POKORNY--Physician, Specialist in Skin and Venereal Diseases.

HERTA OBERHEUSER--Physician at the Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp; and Assistant Physician to the defendant Gebhardt at the Hospital at Hohenlychen.

FRITZ FISCHER--Sturmbannfuehrer (Major) in the Waffen SS; and Assistant Physician to the defendant Gebhardt at the Hospital at Hohenlychen.

COUNT ONE--THE COMMON DESIGN OR CONSPIRACY

1. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein, acting pursuant to a common design, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly did conspire and agree together and with each other and with divers other persons, to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, as defined in Control Council Law No. 10, Article II.

2. Throughout the period covered by this indictment all of the defendants herein, acting in concert with each other and with others, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

3. All of the defendants herein, acting in concert with others for whose acts the defendants are responsible, unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly participated as leaders, organizers, investigators, and accomplices in the formulation and execution of the said common design, conspiracy, plans, and enterprises to commit, and which involved the commission of, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

4. It was a part of the said common design, conspiracy, plans, and enterprises to perform medical experiments upon concentration camp inmates and other living human subjects, without their consent, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed the murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts, more fully described in counts two and three of this indictment.

5. The said common design, conspiracy, plans, and enterprises embraced the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as set forth in counts two and three of this indictment, in that the defendants unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly encouraged, aided, abetted, and participated in the subjection of thousands of persons, [page 11] including civilians, and members of the armed forces of nations then at war with the German Reich, to murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts.

COUNT TWO--WAR CRIMES

6. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving medical experiments without the subjects’ consent, upon civilians and members of the armed forces of nations then at war with the German Reich and who were in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts. Such experiments included, but were not limited to, the following:

(A) High-Altitude Experiments. From about March 1942 to about August 1942 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, for the benefit of the German Air Force, to investigate the limits of human endurance and existence at extremely high altitudes. The experiments were carried out in a low-pressure chamber in which atmospheric conditions and pressures prevailing at high altitude (up to 68,000 feet) could be duplicated. The experimental subjects were placed in the low-pressure chamber and thereafter the simulated altitude therein was raised. Many victims died as a result of these experiments and others suffered grave injury, torture, and ill-treatment. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Ruff, Romberg, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(B) Freezing Experiments. From about August 1942 to about May 1943 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, primarily for the benefit of the German Air Force, to investigate the most effective means of treating persons who had been severely chilled or frozen. In one series of experiments the subjects were forced to remain in a tank of ice water for periods up to 3 hours. Extreme rigor developed in a short time. Numerous victims died in the course of these experiments. After the survivors were severely chilled, rewarming was attempted by various means. In another series of experiments, the subjects were kept naked outdoors for many hours at temperatures below freezing. The victims screamed with pain as their bodies froze. The defendants Karl Brand, Handloser, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, [page 12] Poppendick, Sievers, Becker-Freyseng, and Weltz are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(C) Malaria Experiments. From about February 1942 to about April 1945 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp in order to investigate immunization for and treatment of malaria. Healthy concentration-camp inmates were infected by mosquitoes or by injections of extracts of the mucous glands of mosquitoes. After having contracted malaria the subjects were treated with various drugs to test their relative efficacy. Over 1,000 involuntary subjects were used in these experiments. Many of the victims died and others suffered severe pain and permanent disability. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Gebhardt, Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, and Sievers are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(D) Lost (Mustard) Gas Experiments. At various times between September 1939 and April 1945 experiments were Conducted at Sachsenhausen, Natzweiler, and other concentration camps for the benefit of the German Armed Forces to investigate the most effective treatment of wounds caused by Lost gas. Lost is a poison gas which is commonly known as mustard gas. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the subjects were infected with Lost. Some of the subjects died as a result of these experiments and others suffered intense pain and injury. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Blome, Rostock, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, and Sievers are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(E) Sulfanilamide Experiments. From about July 1942 to about September 1943 experiments to investigate the effectiveness of sulfanilamide were conducted at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp for the benefit of the German Armed Forces. Wounds deliberately inflicted on the experimental subjects were infected with bacteria such as streptococcus, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Circulation of blood was interrupted by tying off blood vessels at both ends of the wound to create a condition similar to that of a battlefield wound. Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfanilamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness. Some subjects died as a result of these experiments and others suffered serious injury and intense agony. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Genzken, Gebhardt, Blome, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Becker-Freyseng, Oberheuser, and Fischer are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(F) Bone, Muscle, and Nerve Regeneration and Bone Transplantation Experiments. From about September 1942 to about December 1943 experiments were conducted at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp, for the benefit of the German Armed Forces, to study bone, [page 13] muscle, and nerve regeneration, and bone transplantation from one person to another. Sections of bones, muscles, and nerves were removed from the subjects. As a result of these operations, many victims suffered intense agony, mutilation, and permanent disability. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Oberheuser, and Fischer are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(G) Sea-water Experiments. From about July 1944 to about September 1944 experiments were conducted at the Dachau concentration camp, for the benefit of the German Air Force and Navy, to study various methods of making sea water drinkable. The subjects were deprived of all food and given only chemically processed sea water. Such experiments caused great pain and suffering and resulted in serious bodily injury to the victims. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Becker-Freyseng, Schaefer, and Beiglboeck are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(H) Epidemic Jaundice Experiments. From about June 1943 to about January 1945 experiments were conducted at the Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler concentration camps, for the benefit of the German Armed Forces, to investigate the causes of, and inoculations against, epidemic jaundice. Experimental subjects were deliberately infected with epidemic jaundice, some of whom died as a result, and others were caused great pain and suffering. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Rose, and Becker-Freyseng are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(I) Sterilization Experiments. From about March 1941 to about January 1945 sterilization experiments were conducted at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck concentration camps, and other places. The purpose of these experiments was to develop a method of sterilization which would be suitable for sterilizing millions of people with a minimum of time and effort. These experiments were conducted by means of X-ray, surgery, and various drugs. Thousands of victims were sterilized and thereby suffered great mental and physical anguish. The defendants Karl Brandt, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Brack, Pokorny, and Oberheuser are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(J) Spotted Fever (Fleckfieber) Experiments. [It was definitely ascertained in the course of the proceedings, by both prosecution and defense, that the correct translation of "Fleckfieber" is typhus. A finding to this effect is contained in the judgment. A similar initial inadequate translation occurred in the case of "typhus" and "paratyphus" which should be rendered as typhoid and paratyphoid.] From about December 1941 to about February 1945 experiments were conducted at the Buchenwald and Natzweiler concentration camps, for the benefit [page 14] of the German Armed Forces, to investigate the effectiveness of spotted fever and other vaccines. At Buchenwald numerous healthy inmates were deliberately infected with spotted fever virus in order to keep the virus alive; over 90 percent of the victims died as a result. Other healthy inmates were used to determine the effectiveness of different spotted fever vaccines and of various chemical substances. In the course of these experiments 75 percent of the selected number of inmates were vaccinated with one of the vaccines or nourished with one of the chemical substances and, after a period of 3 to 4 weeks, were infected with spotted fever germs. The remaining 25 percent were infected without any previous protection in order to compare the effectiveness of the vaccines and the chemical substances. As a result, hundreds of the persons experimented upon died. Experiments with yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, paratyphus [It was definitely ascertained in the course of the proceedings, by both prosecution ad defense, that the correct translation of "Fleckfieber" is typhus. A finding to this effect is contained in the judgment. A similar initial inadequate translation occurred in the case of "typhus" and "paratyphus" which should be rendered as typhoid and paratyphoid] A and B, cholera, and diphtheria were also conducted. Similar experiments with like results were conducted at Natzweiler concentration camp. The defendants Karl Brandt, Handloser, Rostock, Schroeder, Genzken, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Rose, Becker-Freyseng, and Hoven are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(K) Experiments with Poison. In or about December 1943, and in or about October 1944, experiments were conducted at the Buchenwald concentration camp to investigate the effect of various poisons upon human beings. The poisons were secretly administered to experimental subjects in their food. The victims died as a result of the poison or were killed immediately in order to permit autopsies. In or about September 1944 experimental subjects were shot with poison bullets and suffered torture and death. The defendants Genzken, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

(L) Incendiary Bomb Experiments. From about November 1943 to about January 1944 experiments were conducted at the Buchenwald concentration camp to test the effect of various pharmaceutical preparations on phosphorous burns. These burns were inflicted on experimental subjects with phosphorous matter taken from incendiary bombs, and caused severe pain, suffering, and serious bodily injury. The defendants Genzken, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick are charged with special responsibility for and participation in these crimes.

7. Between June 1943 and September 1944 the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Sievers unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder of civilians and members of the armed forces of [page 15] nations then at war with the German Reich and who were in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control. One hundred twelve Jews were selected for the purpose of completing a skeleton collection for the Reich University of Strasbourg. Their photographs and anthropological measurements were taken. Then they were killed. Thereafter, comparison tests, anatomical research, studies regarding race, pathological features of the body, form and size of the brain, and other tests, were made. The bodies were sent to Strasbourg and defleshed.

8. Between May 1942 and January 1944 (Indictment originally read "January 1943" but was amended by a motion filed with the Secretary General. See Arraignment, page 18) the defendants Blome and Rudolf Brandt unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder and mistreatment of tens of thousands of Polish nationals who were civilians and members of the armed forces of a nation then at war with the German Reich and who were in the custody of the German Reich in exercise of belligerent control. These people were alleged to be infected with incurable tuberculosis. On the ground of insuring the health and welfare of Germans in Poland, many tubercular Poles were ruthlessly exterminated while others were isolated in death camps with inadequate medical facilities.

9. Between September 1939 and April 1945 the defendants Karl Brandt, Blome, Brack, and Hoven unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed war crimes, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the execution of the so-called "euthanasia" program of the German Reich in the course of which the defendants herein murdered hundreds of thousands of human beings, including nationals of German-occupied countries. This program involved the systematic and secret execution of the aged, insane, incurably ill, of deformed children, and other persons, by gas, lethal injections, and diverse other means in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums. Such persons were regarded as "useless eaters" and a burden to the German war machine. The relatives of these victims were informed that they died from natural causes, such as heart failure. German doctors involved in the "euthanasia" program were also sent to Eastern occupied countries to assist in the mass extermination of Jews.

10. The said war crimes constitute violations of international conventions, particularly of Articles 4, 5, 6, 7, and 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, and Articles 2, 3, and 4 of the Prisoner-of-War Con- [page 16] -vention (Geneva, 1929), the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and Article II of Control Council Law No. 10

COUNT THREE--CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

11. Between September 1939 and April 1945 all of the defendants herein unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving medical experiments, without the subjects’ consent, upon German civilians and nationals of other countries, in the course of which experiments the defendants committed murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities, and other inhuman acts. The particulars concerning such experiments are set forth in paragraph 6 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

12. Between June 1943 and September 1944 the defendants Rudolf Brandt and Sievers unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder of German civilians and nationals of other countries. The particulars concerning such murders are set forth in paragraph 7 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

13. Between May 1942 and January 1944 [Indictment originally read "January 1943" but was amended by a motion filed with the Secretary General. See Arraignment, p. 18] the defendants Blome and Rudolf Brandt unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the murder and mistreatment of tens of thousands of Polish nationals. The particulars concerning such murder and inhuman treatment are set forth in paragraph 8 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

14. Between September 1939 and April 1945 the defendants Karl Brandt, Blome, Brack, and Hoven unlawfully, willfully, and knowingly committed crimes against humanity, as defined by Article II of Control Council Law No. 10, in that they were principals in, accessories to, ordered, abetted, took a consenting part in, and were connected with plans and enterprises involving the execution of the so called "euthanasia" program of the German Reich, in the course of [page 17] which the defendants herein murdered hundreds of thousands of human beings, including German civilians, as well as civilians of other nations. The particulars concerning such murders are set forth in paragraph 9 of count two of this indictment and are incorporated herein by reference.

15. The said crimes against humanity constitute violations of international conventions, including Article 46 of the Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilized nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and of Article II of Control Council Law No. 10.

COUNT FOUR--MEMBERSHIP IN CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION

16. The defendants Karl Brandt, Genzken, Gebhardt, Rudolf Brandt, Mrugowsky, Poppendick, Sievers, Brack, Hoven, and Fischer are guilty of membership in an organization declared to be criminal by the International Military Tribunal in Case No. 1, in that each of the said defendants was a member of the SCHUTZSTAFFELN DER NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHEN DEUTSCHEN ARBEITERPARTEI (commonly known as the "SS") after 1 September 1939. Such membership is in violation of paragraph I (d), Article II of Control Council Law No. 10.

Wherefore, this indictment is filed with the Secretary General of the Military Tribunals and the charges herein made against the above named defendants are hereby presented to MILITARY TRIBUNAL NO. I

TELFORD TAYLOR
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Counsel for War Crimes
Acting on Behalf of the United States of America

Nuernberg, 25 October 1946


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