Online Module: The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights

Doc. 2: SS-Doctor Oberheuser's affidavit concerning medical experiments

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Affidavit made by Herta Oberheuser in 1946 in which she tries to minimise her role in the experiments but admits having murdered at least five inmates.

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  • Trials of War Criminals before Nuernberg Military Tribunals, 2 November 1946, HLSL Item No.: 1798, Evidence Code No.: NO-487, Harvard Law School Library.

Extract from Dr Oberheuser’s affidavit


4. The operations were performed by Dr. Fritz Fischer. Sometimes I helped and assisted at these operations, and had the duty, to attend the patients after the operation. Different series of experiments were conducted; in some glass or wood splinters and cloth fibers were forcibly brought into the wound, in order to cause gangrene. For this purpose, a cut on the calf of an approximate length of 10 centimeters was usually made. I don’t recall how deep these wounds were, and I don’t recall either, which muscle was used for the purpose of the experiment.

5. I cannot say, how many persons, on whom experiments were conducted, suffered permanent injuries. But I know, that three died as victims of these experiments. I found that their heart failed. But since I had examined these three persons before the experiments were conducted on them, it is very probable that they died because of the infection which was caused by the experiments.


10. It was no rarity at Ravensbrueck, that persons who were already approaching death, were killed by injections. I myself have given 5 or 6 such injections. [...]

The entire affidavit is provided in the download section.


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