Herta Oberheuser

Last updated
Herta Oberheuser
Herta Oberheuser.jpg
Oberheuser in 1946 or 1947
Born(1911-05-15)May 15, 1911
Cologne, German Empire
DiedJanuary 24, 1978(1978-01-24) (aged 66)
Linz am Rhein, West Germany
NationalityGerman
OccupationPhysician
Medical career
InstitutionsAuschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps
Oberheuser is sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment at the Doctors' Trial. Oberheuser during sentencing.jpg
Oberheuser is sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment at the Doctors' Trial.

Herta Oberheuser (15 May 1911 in Cologne, German Empire – 24 January 1978 in Linz am Rhein, West Germany) was a Nazi physician and a war criminal who worked at the Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps from 1940 until 1943.

Cologne Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and its 1 million+ (2016) inhabitants make it the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. The largest city on the Rhine, it is also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.

German Empire empire in Central Europe between 1871–1918

The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

Linz am Rhein Place in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Linz am Rhein is a municipality in the district of Neuwied, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is situated on the right bank of the river Rhine near Remagen, approx. 25 km southeast of Bonn and has about 6,000 inhabitants. It is the sister city of Marietta, Georgia in the United States, Linz in Austria and Pornic in France.

Contents

Education and Nazi Party membership

In 1937, Oberheuser obtained her medical degree in Bonn, having specialized in dermatology. [1] Soon thereafter she joined the Nazi Party as an intern, and later served as doctor for the League of German Girls. [1] In 1940, Oberheuser was appointed to serve as an assistant to Karl Gebhardt, then Chief Surgeon of the Schutzstaffel and Heinrich Himmler's personal doctor. [1]

Bonn Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km (15 mi) south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants. It is famously known as the birthplace of Ludwig Van Beethoven in 1770. Beethoven spent his childhood and teenage years in Bonn.

Dermatology field of medicine dealing with the hair, nails, skin and its diseases

Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin, nails, hair and its diseases. It is a specialty with both medical and surgical aspects. A dermatologist is specialist doctor that manages diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the skin, hair and nails.

Medical intern is a term used in some countries to describe a physician in training who has completed medical school and has a medical degree, but does not yet have a full license to practice medicine unsupervised. Medical education generally ends with a period of practical training similar to internship, but the way the overall program of academic and practical medical training is structured differs depending upon the country, as does the terminology used.

War crimes

Oberheuser and Gebhardt came to Ravensbrück in 1942 in order to conduct experiments on its prisoners, with an emphasis on finding better methods of treating infection. [1] They conducted gruesome medical experiments (treating purposefully infected wounds with sulfanilamide, as well as bone, muscle, and nerve regeneration and transplantation) on 86 women, 74 of whom were Polish political prisoners in the camp. [2] She killed healthy children with oil and evipan injections, then removed their limbs and vital organs. The time from the injection to death was between three and five minutes, with the person being semi conscious until the last moment. She performed some of the most gruesome and painful medical experiments, focusing on deliberately inflicting wounds on the subjects. In order to simulate the combat wounds of German soldiers fighting in the war, Oberheuser rubbed foreign objects, such as wood, rusty nails, slivers of glass, dirt, or sawdust into the cuts.

Nazi human experimentation was a series of medical experiments on large numbers of prisoners, including children, by Nazi Germany in its concentration camps in the early to mid 1940s, during World War II and the Holocaust. Chief target populations included Romani, Sinti, ethnic Poles, Soviet POWs, disabled Germans, and Jews from across Europe.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

Political prisoner someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment

A political prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment.

Trial

Herta Oberheuser was the only female defendant in the Nuremberg "Doctors' trial", where she was sentenced to 20 years in prison – a sentence later reduced to five years.[ citation needed ]

Nuremberg trials series of military trials at the end of World War II

The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held by the Allied forces under international law and the laws of war after World War II. The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial and economic leadership of Nazi Germany, who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the Holocaust and other war crimes. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg, Germany, and their decisions marked a turning point between classical and contemporary international law.

Doctors trial Post-World War II trial of German doctors for war crimes

The Doctors' trial was the first of 12 trials for war crimes of German doctors that the United States authorities held in their occupation zone in Nuremberg, Germany, after the end of World War II. These trials were held before US military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice. The trials are collectively known as the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials", formally the "Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals" (NMT).

Later life

Oberheuser was released in April 1952 for good behavior and became a family doctor in West Germany. She lost her position in 1956, after a Ravensbrück survivor recognized her, and her license to practice medicine was revoked in 1958. However, she appealed and regained the right to practice medicine in April 1961, after which she worked in a laboratory at the Bodelschwing Institute. [3] She died in January 1978. [1]

West Germany Federal Republic of Germany in the years 1949–1990

West Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, and referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its capital was the city of Bonn.

Related Research Articles

Irma Grese German concentration camp guard

Irma Ida Ilse Grese was an SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Auschwitz, and served as warden of the women's section of Bergen-Belsen.

Female guards in Nazi concentration camps

The Aufseherinnen were female guards in German concentration camps during the Holocaust. Of the 55,000 guards who served in German concentration camps, about 3,700 were women. In 1942, the first female guards arrived at Auschwitz and Majdanek from Ravensbrück. The year after, the Nazis began conscripting women because of a guard shortage. The German title for this position, Aufseherin means female overseer or attendant. Later female guards were dispersed to Bolzano (1944–45), Kaiserwald-Riga (1943–44), Mauthausen, Stutthof (1942–45), Vaivara (1943–44), Vught (1943–44), and at other Nazi concentration camps, subcamps, work camps, detention camps, etc.

Margot Elisabeth Dreschel, also spelled Drechsler, or Drexler, was a prison guard at Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Herta Bothe Nazi concentration camp guard

Herta Bothe was a German concentration camp guard during World War II. She was imprisoned for war crimes after the capitulation of Nazi Germany, and was subsequently released early from prison on 22 December 1951 as an act of leniency by the British government.

Fritz Fischer (medical doctor) Nazi war criminal

Fritz Ernst Fischer was a German medical doctor who, under the Nazi regime, participated in medical experiments conducted on inmates of the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Herta Ehlert Nazi guard

Herta Ehlert was a female guard at many Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Hamburg Ravensbrück trials

The Hamburg Ravensbrück trials were a series of seven trials for war crimes against camp officials from the Ravensbrück concentration camp that the British authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Hamburg after the end of World War II. These trials were heard before a military tribunal; the three to five judges at these trials were British officers, assisted by a lawyer. The defendants included concentration camp personnel of all levels: SS officers, camp doctors, male guards, female guards (Aufseherinnen), and a few former prisoner-functionaries who had tortured or mistreated other inmates. In total, 38 defendants were tried in these seven trials; 21 of the defendants were women. Executions relating to these trials were carried out on the gallows at Hamelin prison by British hangman Albert Pierrepoint.

Elfriede Hildegard Mohneke was a guard at two Nazi concentration camps in World War II.

Luise Danz Nazi concentration camp guard

Luise Danz was a Nazi German concentration camp guard in World War II. She was born in Walldorf (Werra) in Thuringia. Danz was captured in 1945 and put on trial for crimes against humanity at the Auschwitz trial in Kraków, Poland. She was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1947, but released due to general amnesty on August 20, 1957.

Karl Gebhardt Nazi doctor and war criminal

Karl Franz Gebhardt was a German medical doctor and a war criminal during World War II. He served as Medical Superintendent of the Hohenlychen Sanatorium, Consulting Surgeon of the Waffen-SS, Chief Surgeon in the Staff of the Reich Physician SS and Police, and personal physician to Heinrich Himmler.

Ludwig Stumpfegger SS physician

Ludwig Stumpfegger was a German doctor who served in the SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was Adolf Hitler's personal surgeon from 1944 to 1945. Stumpfegger was present in the Führerbunker in Berlin in late April 1945.

Herta may refer to the following:

German camp brothels in World War II

In World War II, Nazi Germany established brothels in the concentration camps (Lagerbordell) to create an incentive for prisoners to collaborate, although these institutions were used mostly by Kapos, "prisoner functionaries" and the criminal element, because regular inmates, penniless and emaciated, were usually too debilitated and wary of exposure to Schutzstaffel (SS) schemes. In the end, the camp brothels did not produce any noticeable increase in the prisoners' work productivity levels, but instead, created a market for coupons among the camp VIPs.

The Sanitätswesen was one of the five divisions of a Nazi concentration and extermination camp organization during the Holocaust. The other divisions were the command center, the administration department, the Politische Abteilung and the protective detention camp.

Fritz Suhren was a German SS officer and Nazi concentration camp commandant.

Orli Wald member of German Resistance against Nazism

Orli Wald was a member of the German Resistance in Nazi Germany. She was arrested in 1936 and charged with high treason, whereupon she served four and a half years in a women's prison, followed by "protective custody" in Nazi concentration camps until 1945, when she escaped.

Ravensbrück concentration camp Womens concentration camp in Germany during World War II

Ravensbrück was a German concentration camp exclusively for women from 1939 to 1945, located in northern Germany, 90 km (56 mi) north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück. The largest single national group consisted of 40,000 Polish women. Others included 26,000 Jewish women from various countries: 18,800 Russian, 8,000 French, and 1,000 Dutch. More than 80 percent were political prisoners. Many slave labor prisoners were employed by Siemens & Halske. From 1942 to 1945, medical experiments to test the effectiveness of sulfonamides were undertaken.

Jadwiga Lenartowicz Rylko

Dr. Jadwiga Lenartowicz-Rylko was a Polish Catholic physician imprisoned in the Ravensbruck, Gross-Rosen, Neusalz, and Flossenbürg concentration camps operated by the German Third Reich during World War II. While Lenartowicz was incarcerated as a political prisoner, she was assigned to medically treat the prisoners held captive in Adolf Hitler's multiple Nazi concentration camps by working as a camp doctor. Lenartowicz was the daughter of a feldsher. As Lenartowicz grew up, she watched her father take care of his patients in the city of Łódź. She went on to follow in his footsteps going into the medicine. Once completed with medical school, she would go on to her residency at the Anna Maria Hospital. World War II would affect her life the most when she would be arrested by the Gestapo.

Martin Hellinger German dentist

Martin Karl Hellinger was a German Nazi dentist who in 1943 was assigned to work at the concentration camp for women at Ravensbrück, with the duty of removing dental gold from those killed at the camp.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Mikaberidze, Alexander (2013-06-25). Atrocities, Massacres, and War Crimes: An Encyclopedia [2 Volumes]: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN   9781598849264.
  2. Dawson, Mackenzie (2016-05-08). "After Hitler's pal died, Nazis recreated his injuries in a sick experiment". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  3. Cymes, Michel (2015-01-14). Hippocrate aux enfers - Chapitre 13 - "Elle n'était pas mauvaise" - Herta Oberheuser (in French). Éditions Stock. ISBN   9782234078413.