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This article, published in the German periodical Der Spiegel in 1961, deals with the different medical experiments carried out in the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. It also sums up Herta Oberheusers life after her premature release from prison in 1952.

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Sources

  • Article on the case of Dr Herta Oberheuser in the 1950s, in: Der SPIEGEL 46, 9 November 1960.

Extract from the German periodical Der Spiegel

[...] It was determined at Allied Military Court I in Nuremberg in 1947 that Dr Oberheuser took an active part in all these tests. A surviving Polish witness, Wladislawa Karolewska, testified after the war that: "While I lay in the hospital (at Ravensbrück), Dr Oberheuser treated me in the most appalling way."

And a German witness, Mrs Anna Heil of Frankfurt, who had heard of the violent death of her sister at Ravensbrück reported that "I went to Dr Oberheuser and - standing to attention as required - asked her whether she, who had after all been the last person to see my sister, didn’t have anything to tell me. Oberheuser had a fit of rage. She kicked me in the face and then the stomach and screamed: ‘She’s gone! Because she was just a useless mouth to feed, one we didn’t need!"

Dr Oberheuser played a no less inhuman role in the bone regeneration and transplantation trials, described in the Nuremberg protocols as following: "On the operating table, the (healthy) legs (of a prisoner) were smashed in several places with a hammer and then later reset with or without clamps."

[...]

The Military Court sentenced Dr Oberheuser, who acted either as "the main perpetrator or accomplice" in individual experiments, to twenty years’ imprisonment. She did not have to serve this term in full, however. She was released as early as 1952 from Landsberg prison, where Hitler was once also incarcerated.

The path to a new life was easier for Dr Hertha Oberheuser than is generally the case for ex-convicts. A letter from the Federal Ministry of Employment recognised her as a late returnee [from a prisoner of war camp] and recommended her for preferential career advancement. With this paper in hand, Oberheuser found a friendly reception as a doctor at the Evangelical Johannite Sanitarium in Plön, where she would probably still be active if, in 1956, Kiel Chief Prosecutor Rosga had not opened a new preliminary investigation into the doctor because there was a suspicion of further criminal offences for which she had not been sentenced in Nuremberg. 

Read the entire article in the download section.

 

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