Criminal tuberculosis experiments conducted in Nazi German concentration camps during the Second World War

How to cite: Kłodziński, S. Criminal tuberculosis experiments conducted in Nazi German concentration camps during the Second World War. Bałuk-Ulewiczowa, T., trans. Medical Review – Auschwitz. February 22, 2021. Originally published as “Zbrodnicze eksperymenty z zakresu gruźlicy dokonywane w hitlerowskich obozach koncentracyjnych w czasie II wojny światowej.” Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim. 1962: 77–81.


Stanisław Kłodzinski, MD, 1918–1990, lung specialist, Department of Pneumology, Academy of Medicine in Kraków. Co-editor of Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim. Former prisoner of the Auschwitz‑Birkenau concentration camp, prisoner No. 20019. Wikipedia article in English.

A preliminary report from the Kraków Medical Academy Lung Disease Clinic
(Head: Prof. Stanisław Hornung, MD)

Just like every war, so too in just a couple of years the Second World War accumulated an abundant collection of materials for the study of numerous medical problems. In the forthcoming post-war years the task will be to examine and publish the results of this study, because the determination, analysis, and assessment of these facts will be a point of departure for further progress in science.

German medicine under Hitler, with its criminal experiments carried out in the concentration camps, constitutes a special chapter of the history of medicine during the Second World War. In this period German medicine was under the dominance of physicians who subscribed to the maniacal Nazi ideology, and so it went astray. It stopped serving the interest of humankind and became anti-humanitarian, which always happens when science loses its freedom.

Three years before Hitler’s rise to power a tragedy befell the nation of Robert Koch.1 It happened in the port city of Lübeck, and its consequences—to quote Telatycki and Zajączkowska—“nearly brought about a worldwide stoppage lasting for many years to the use of the most effective method there is to prevent TB,” that is BCG vaccination.2 Here is a summary of the Lübeck disaster after Kenneth Neville Irvine. Batches of BCG vaccine obtained from a strain sent from the Paris Pasteur Institute3 were cultivated in the vaccine preparation laboratory of Lübeck municipal hospital for the children’s clinic, which was headed at the time by Prof. Deycke and attended by laboratory assistant Schutze. Three successive doses of the BCG vaccine, as it later turned out contaminated by live M. tuberculosis bacteria, were administered orally to 251 infants (according to Irvine, it was to 249 neonates), causing the death of 73 (or according to some authors, 79) children. The inquiry that followed found that the cause of the deaths was the contamination of the BCG culture with a virulent strain of M. tuberculosis (the Kiel, Lange4 and Pescatore strain) of human origin.

Fourteen years later in the same country, homeland of Robert Koch, discoverer of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and commemorated worldwide on the fiftieth anniversary of his death (1960)—there was a recurrence of the Lübeck tragedy involving a virulent TB strain. It happened in the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg,5 this time in conditions which were vastly more tragic, and it was done by the hands of Nazi German doctors in a criminal experiment carried out on children who were prisoners in the concentration camp.

While the Lübeck disaster is a well-known fact and frequently referred to in medical publications throughout the world,6 the Neuengamme atrocity—a crime against humanity—is a shameful embarrassment for some, better left unmentioned and kept quiet about. So I shall remind you of it with a somewhat incomplete reconstruction pieced together from a set of highly laconic references we have available on the subject in publications on the concentration camps. Most of the publications on the Nazi German criminal medical experiments focus only on subjects that came up in the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial.7

The Neuengamme concentration camp was established in 1938 and had 55 sub-camps. About 90 thousand prisoners were held in it, of whom about 40 thousand died. About 10% of the prisoners were Germans, half of them criminals, and the rest were political prisoners from countries occupied by Nazi Germany. Only 600 out of the 13 thousand Frenchmen sent to Neuengamme survived and returned home. In the history of German concentration camps Neuengamme is associated with the Cap Arcona tragedy.8 About 8 thousand out of the 10 thousand survivors on board this ship on 3 May 1945, the day Neuengamme was liberated, died in the disaster. The camp’s commandant was Max Pauly,9 and Anton Thumann10 was his deputy. The SS physicians working in the camp were Alfred Trzebinski,11 who was Standortarzt (garrison physician) from the autumn of 1943, and his assistant Bruno Kitt,12 who was Lagerarzt (camp physician) as of January 1945.

Crematorium Grate. Marian Kołodziej. Photo by Piotr Markowski. Click to enlarge.

In November 1944, 25 children were sent from Auschwitz to Neuengamme. According to Dr Tadeusz Kowalski,13 they included 18 boys and girls aged 6–12 from Katowice. According to Lord Russell, there were 20 Jewish children (10 boys and 19 girls), deported from France and the Soviet Union in February 1945. The names of two of the French children were Georges and Jacqueline. There were also two or three children from Holland. They had all been shortlisted for experiments “for progress in medicine” by Dr Kurt Heissmeyer of Berlin.14 At Neuengamme the children were looked after by prisoner doctors Gabriel Florence,15 René Quenouille,16 and Billiet,17 who were all professors of medicine, and two Dutch paramedics.18 The children were not allowed to leave their room, which was strictly out of bounds for other prisoners. Symptoms of mild anaemia were observed in all of the children. A chest X ray showed that one of them had a fairly recent perihilar infiltrate, and that another had a calcified primary [Ghon] complex. The former of these two children was an outright case of lymphocytosis. All of the children had a slightly increased ESR [erythrocyte sedimentation rate]. Half of them tested positive for Moro’s tuberculin test. The children were placed in fairly good accommodation and fairly well fed. The medical experiments started two to three weeks after their arrival in Neuengamme. Dr Heissmeyer visited the camp quite frequently. He came from Berlin at an average rate of once every ten days to apply doses from a TB bacteria culture to cuts in the children’s skin, rubbing the samples subcutaneously into incisions on the children’s left or right forearm or on the chest muscles. The administration of M. tuberculosis brought about a side effect, a general or local reaction (or both) which could be observed after a few days in the form of a slightly reddened swollen patch in the area where the TB culture had been rubbed in. The general reaction was a temperature rising over a few days and returning to normal after a week.

After a week a side effect was observed in the form of expanded lymph glands in the armpit nearest the area where the TB culture had been applied. A week after the application the children had one of their lymph glands removed, put into a sterile test tube, and sent to Berlin. Each of the children received successive doses of the TB culture at regular intervals. Franciszek Czekalla and other witnesses testified that the children were operated in the sixth week after being infected with the virulent TB culture. They were given a local anaesthetic (novocaine) and were operated in the operating theatre of No. I prisoners’ hospital by Dr Bogumil Docklik19 of Prague, who cut a 5-cm incision in the patient’s armpit to remove the lymph nodes. Each operation lasted about 15 minutes. The wound was stanched and bandaged. The removed lymph glands were put into alcoholic formalin in test tubes which were carefully numbered and marked with the child’s first name and surname. In Berlin these specimens were used to grow new TB strains, from which fresh doses of “vaccine” were obtained, for successive administration to the child guinea pigs. Each child was “inoculated” several times at intervals of about a fortnight with a “vaccine” obtained from its own lymph node. The children’s skin reactions attenuated with each successive injection of the “vaccine,” but their lymphocyte count went up to 60%. The children were X-rayed at monthly intervals. After four to five months, most of the children were running a fever, but 15–20% of them did not develop a high temperature at all. By the third month (January) the mediastinal lymph nodes of 80% of the children had increased in size. By the fourth month (February) there were isolated changes in the lungs (bilateral infiltrates and foci). By the sixth month (April), tuberculosis caseosa-cavernosa cavities had started to develop in the lungs. Georges, the little French boy, was in bed all the time from the time he received the first injection. While these experiments were going on, adult prisoners secretly brought the children sweets and toys. We have to thank Dr Kowalski, himself a Neuengamme prisoner, for a record of the course the disease took in the children. According to the testimony of Joannes Everdert, another Neuengamme prisoner, Prof. Florence tried to inactivate the bacteria administered to the children. On 18 April, when Allied troops were rapidly approaching Neuengamme, General Pohl20 issued an order at the request of Dr Heissmeyer to move the children to the Bullenhuser Damm sub-camp (Russell), (or according to Kowalski to Hamburg), where they were to be murdered to cover up the experiments.21

The children, Florence, Quenouille, and the Dutch paramedics, along with six Russian prisoners, who were all to be killed, were brought to Bullenhuser Damm. In the late evening of the same day another 24 Russians arrived. At the gate the group was admitted by Ewald Jauch,22 who was in charge of the Bullenhuser Damm camp. Jauch was in the know as to the purpose of Dr Trzebinski’s visit and took him down to the basement, where the prisoners had been assembled and Johann Frahm23 was waiting for Trzebinski. The adults were then taken to another room and hanged. Luckily for the children, they did not know what their fate would be. They were immediately stripped naked. In a sudden humanitarian impulse, Trzebinski gave each of them an injection of morphine to make them unconscious when they were being hanged. Next Frahm put a noose round each of their necks and they stiffened, going still “like little pictures hung up on hooks on a wall” (to quote his words). The criminal experiments carried out on children were observed by Prof. Marcel Prenant24 and Dr Kaufmann,25 prisoner doctors held in Neuengamme. In his testimony before the British military court, Dr Prenant, professor of comparative anatomy at the Sorbonne and Neuengamme prisoner No. 34190, said that all the medical experiments Heissmeyer carried out on children were kept strictly confidential. Drs Florence, Quenouille, and Billet, the prisoner doctors working and accommodated on the site of the project, were warned that they would be hanged if they disclosed the secret.

Dr Kowalski remembers that another set of experiments involving a virulent strain of TB was carried out in April 1944 in the same concentration camp. Dr Heissmeyer selected a group of 25 male prisoners (including a Pole called Jakubowski) with minor unilateral tubercular changes and sent them to Block IVa in the prisoners’ hospital. They had all been receiving treatment in Dr Szafrański’s TB ward. All of these patients had a probe containing spittle contaminated with spittle infected with TB bacteria lowered down through the trachea and bronchia into their healthy lung. Dr Szafrański26 was transferred to the experimental block along with his patients, and he was told to keep temperature charts and medical records for them, test samples of their spittle etc. He did not speak German, so after a short time he was replaced by Dr Florence.

X rays showed that by about a fortnight later an infiltrate had formed in the place where the probe had reached the patients’ healthy lung. Radiographic methods were used to monitor the further development of tubercular changes in the healthy lung. When Dr Heissmeyer finished his experiments the patients were killed.

We may conjecture that the aim of the experiment was to investigate TB superinfection. Heissmeyer introduced virulent TB bacteria into the healthy lung to obtain an infection induced artificially via the bronchia in favourable conditions for progressive infiltration.

However, virulent tuberculosis was not the only instrument of murder Nazi German doctors used during the Second World War. The German chemical industry, especially the influential and notorious chemical concern I.G. Farbenindustrie,27 canvassed the German medical milieu, with recommendations addressed to SS physicians to test their new pharmaceutical products. SS doctors had no scruples about carrying out such tests on human guinea pigs in the concentration camps, and sent detailed reports on their results to their business partners at the Bayer company in Leverkusen, in return getting new instructions from their contractors and samples to test. Costs in human victims did not prevent the management of the Bayer company from continuing their R&D. I shall give an example from the field of tuberculosis research, and cite the following document:

Bayer, Group WII28
Leverkusen No. 326, 15 December 1943
Dr W/T/ No. 118423, Dec. 1943

Product 3582, Rutenol

We were pleased to hear from Dr Vetter and interested to learn of his research results, so we have arranged for 250 100-gram samples of 3582 Rutenol granulate to be dispatched to him, as requested.

Our position on the experimental results is that 3582 is a highly polyvalent nitroacridine product. Its therapeutic properties are effective over a relatively broad range, however, it is not as successful as an anti-tuberculosis drug as it is against other diseases. Hence, two explanations may be offered for Dr Vetter’s results. Either 3582 has a good effect on TB patients suffering from a secondary infection, or the conditions in humans are different from the ones observed for animal experiments. Currently we are unable to continue our research using experiments on animals. Nonetheless, our long-standing reservations concerning the therapeutic effects reported for diverse anti-TB products should not stop Dr Vetter from continuing his experiments in the same way he has done up to now, in order to collect more evidence.

signed by Dr Weber for Dr Bockmühl
I.G. Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschafft

As we learn from this letter and several other documents, “since at present we are unable to conduct animal experiments, Dr Vetter should continue with his experiments in the same way he has done up to now and collect more evidence.”

250 new 100-g samples of Granulate B-10 34 3582 were dispatched. Another letter from the same authors, that is Drs Bockmühl and Weber of I.G. Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschafft, sent on 20 April 1944, says that Dr Vetter was administering 3582 to his patients only to collect data on their tolerance to it…

[N]eedless to say, Dr Vetter has been administering treatment to his patients only to observe their tolerance [to the drug].29

In addition, Bockmühl and Weber understood that the reason why Vetter was testing the drug would not be disclosed to third parties, and information on the circumstances would be confidential:

In addition we understand that no information on the purpose of Dr Vetter’s tests using the drug will be passed on to third parties, and that the circumstances are to be kept confidential.30

I shall now present a tabular set of data available to the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, which will throw more light on the matter.

40 out of the 75 patients subjected to these experiments died.

Number of persons3582Rutenol3582 PneumothRutenol-Pneumoth
Total number of cases75382377
Total number of deaths40251023
Number crossed off treatment programme5311
Fully recovered321
Currently receiving treatment2781144
With negative results217733
With good results6141

If there is any need for commentary, it can only be for information about Dr Hellmuth Vetter. Dr Hellmuth Vetter joined the SS in 1933. On 17 February 1938 he became an employee of I.G. Leverkusen [Bayer], and from 1941 to the end of the War served in the Waffen SS while keeping his appointment with I.G. He worked as an SS physician in Oranienburg, Dachau, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen‑Gusen concentration camps.31 Polish physicians Prof. Władysław Fejkiel, Dr Władysław Tondos, and Dr Stanisław Kłodziński,32 who were prisoners of Auschwitz and Mauthausen, had seen Vetter’s experiments with Rutenol, B-1034, and 3582 in Auschwitz I and testified against him before the Nuremberg Tribunal. They had a bad opinion of the effects of Rutenol and 3582 for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. When these drugs were administered, patients had persistent and exhausting bouts of vomiting up bile, lost their appetite and their weight went down. On orders from Dr Vetter, Dr Tondos drew up a set of medical records for a special group of 20 patients, showing the negative effects of treatment with these substances. Prisoner Wołkowicz, a solicitor from Warsaw, managed to save 10 of these medical records along with Dr Tondos’ notes, thanks to which they were presented to the Nuremberg Tribunal. Dr Tondos made a statement on the way TB patients were treated in Auschwitz I. He said that in 1941 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis were not treated at all, but killed with phenol injections administered intravenously, and later straight into the heart. This was done on orders from SS physicians Drs Entress33 and Jung,34 and the procedure was carried out chiefly by SDG35 Klehr.36 In the first three months of 1942 about 200 patients were killed in this way in Block 20 on orders from Dr Entress. Drs Entress, Jaeger,37 and Vetter, who were all SS physicians in the camp, spent about 3 months learning from Dr Tondos how to apply the pneumothorax therapy to treat patients.38 During the training course, patients were given double food rations, but after the three months they were all killed with a phenol injection. Throughout the whole of 1942, TB patients were killed in the gas chambers or with a phenol injection. It was not until the first months of 1943 that permission was granted for the establishment of a TB treatment station on the first floor of Block 20. Nonetheless, there were still individual cases of patients being sent to the gas chamber or for a phenol injection. These statements concur with the reports sent out of the camp by the International Resistance Group.39 The Group’s letter of 24 November 1942 says that a remorseless drive was going on to “eradicate TB.” A report on the Roma camp in Auschwitz says that prisoners who were seriously ill with TB or general exhaustion were being “sent off for a jab, that is a phenol injection into the heart.” A report dated April 1943 says that “there is no mercy for anyone with open TB, even Reichsdeutsche40 are being dispatched.” In May 1943 the letters asked for calcium gluconate to be sent into the camp, because by that time TB, “even open tuberculosis” was being treated: “we already have about a hundred patients.” Most of the subsequent secret messages sent out of the camp had requests for calcium for TB patients; calcium was regarded as an indispensable medication for the treatment of tuberculosis.

Alfred Trzebinski, Bruno Kitt, Kurt Heissmeyer, Hellmuth Vetter, and Emil Christian Schmitz,41 the German SS doctors who conducted criminal TB experiments on defenceless concentration camp prisoners, and the management of Bayer, have blackened the reputation of German phthisiatry. Fourteen SS men who managed the Neuengamme concentration camp stood on trial before the British Military Court in Hamburg. The Curiohaus Trial lasted from March to 3 May 1946. Eleven of the accused were sentenced to death, and the sentences were carried out later that year in Hameln. The SS doctors who were hanged included Trzebinski and Kitt. Klein,42 a third SS doctor from Neuengamme, who had been transferred to Bergen-Belsen a few months earlier, was tried by the Military Court in 1945, sentenced to death, and executed.

Professor Heissmeyer, who came from Berlin, has still not been apprehended.43 He was responsible not only for the criminal experiments conducted on children in Neuengamme, but also for sterilisation experiments on women prisoners in Ravensbrück.

Dr Emil Christian Schmitz, Lagerarzt (camp physician) of Sachsenhausen, carried out TB experiments on the prisoners of that camp and in 1942 murdered prisoners with TB. He has not been sentenced yet, even though court proceedings against him have been going on since 1959.

In this paper I have deliberately passed over the principles which should be followed in medical experiments, because this subject has been discussed on many occasions. However, it must be said that during the Second World War German science left the path staked out by Roman Nitsch,44 who injected a large dose of rabies virus into his own arm, and by Max von Pettenkofer, professor of hygiene at Munich University. On 12 November 1892 von Pettenkofer swallowed 1 ml of a fresh broth culture of cholera to prove that the presence of the pathogen in a person’s body was not enough for that person to develop the disease.

If the pioneers and leading figures in German phthisiatry—people like Peter Dettweiler,45 Paul Ehrlich,46 Karl Turban,47 Albert Brecke, Hermann Brehmer,48 Ludolph Brauer,49 Ludwig von Muralt ,50 Karl Ernst Ranke,51 Otto Roepke,52 Otto Naegeli,53 Gustav Baer [1865–1925],54 or Hanns Alexander55—had found themselves in a Nazi German concentration camp and suffering from TB, their fate would have been sealed with a death sentence handed down by their students, the SS physicians.

I would like to express my profound gratitude to colleagues from Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme, especially Mr. Secretary Hans Schwarz, for sending me transcripts of the court records.


Translated from original article: S. Kłodziński, “Zbrodnicze eksperymenty z zakresu gruźlicy dokonywane w hitlerowskich obozach koncentracyjnych w czasie II wojny światowej.” Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim, 1962.


The above article has retained academic value mainly as a historical source. Some of the information given in it is nowadays considered not fully accurate or less relevant in the view of the current state of knowledge, which has been developed considerably.

  1. Robert Koch (1843–1910) German physician and bacteriologist, discoverer of the tuberculosis bacterium. Pioneer of bacteriology and Nobel prizewinner for Medicine (Physiology).
  2. Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine, in widespread use against TB since 1921.
  3. Louis Pasteur (1822–1895), French chemist, pioneer of bacteriology, creator of anthrax and rabies vaccines. The Paris institute named after him was founded in 1888 for research in microbiology and immunology.
  4. The Lange brothers (Ludwig and Bruno) were asked by the German authorities to conduct an investigation on the 1929–1930 epidemic. See H. L. Rieder, “Die Abklärung der Lübecker Säuglingstuberkulose.” (Clarification of the the Luebeck Infant Tuberculosis), Pneumologie, 2003; 57(7): 402-405. See also Lange L, Pescatore H. “Bakteriologische Untersuchungen zur Lübecker Säuglingstuberkulose.” Arbeiten ad Reichsges-Amt. 1935; 69: 205–305
  5. Neuengamme—Nazi German concentration camp established in 1938 near Hamburg.
  6. For more on the Lübeck disaster, see Gregory J. Fox, Marianna Orlova, and Erwin Schurr, “Tuberculosis in Newborns: The Lessons of the Lübeck Disaster (1929–1933),” PLOS Pathogens, Jan. 2017.
  7. The Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial was the first trial of German war criminals held before a US military tribunal after the Second World War. 20 of the 23 defendants were medical doctors accused of having been involved in criminal experiments on human subjects and mass murder. 7 were sentenced to death and hanged; 7 were acquitted; and the rest received prison sentences.
  8. The Cap Arcona was accidentally bombed by Allied aircraft and sank. See Sarah Cooper, “The Tragedy of the SS Cap Arcona—WWII’s Titanic,”
  9. SS-Standartenführer Max Pauly (1907–1946), commandant of Stutthof and Neuengamme concentration camps. After the war tried before a British military court in the Curiohaus Trial, sentenced to death and hanged.
  10. SS-Obersturmführer Anton Thumann (1912–1946). German war criminal active in Gross-Rosen, Majdanek, and Neuengamme concentration camps. After the war tried before a British military court in the Curiohaus Trial, sentenced to death and hanged.
  11. SS-Hauptsturmführer Alfred Trzebinski (1902–1946) Nazi war criminal active as a doctor in Neuengamme. After the war tried before a British military court, sentenced to death and hanged.
  12. SS Dr Bruno Kitt (1906–1946). German war criminal active in the Birkenau women’s concentration camp and Neuengamme. After the war tried before a British military court in the Curiohaus Trial, sentenced to death and hanged.
  13. Dr Tadeusz Kowalski, Polish prisoner doctor held in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Neuengamme. Witnessed the Bullenhuser Damm atrocity and testified against its perpetrators in the Curiohaus Trial. See and Zdzisław J. Ryn, “Lekarze-więźniowie w Auschwitz-Birkenau,” Biuletyn Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, 2009: 4(99), p. 65.
  14. SS Dr Kurt Heissmeyer (1905–1967), conducted criminal experiments on children in Neuengamme. Evaded standing trial before the British court in 1946, but apprehended in 1959 by the East German authorities, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Died in prison.
  15. Dr Gabriel Florence (1886–1945). French professor of biological and medical chemistry at the University of Lyon. See
  16. René Quenouille (1884–1945). French radiologist. His name is misspelled in Kłodziński’s article. See
  17. The website of the German Bullenhuser Damm memorial site does not note an individual of this name, however, the French association of Neuengamme survivors, Amicale de Neuengamme et de ses Kommandos, records Ernest Billet b. 1918 (Prisoner No. 30786). Cf.
  18. Dirk Deutekom and Anton Hölzel. See and
  19. The name is evidently misspelled. Other records give “Bohuslav Došlik”. Cf.
  20. SS General Oswald Pohl (1892–1951). One of the 12 Nazi German war criminals tried by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, involved in the Vernichtung durch Arbeit (working concentration camp prisoners to death) programme. Convicted, sentenced to death, and hanged.
  21. In fact both Dr Kowalski and Lord Russell were correct on this point, as Bullenhuser Damm is a street in the Rothenburgsort district of Hamburg. In Kłodziński’s article the name of the Bullenhuser Damm sub-camp is misspelled. See
  22. Ewald Jauch (1902–1946). Nazi German war criminal, commandant of the Bullenhuser Damm sub-camp, 1943–1945. After the War apprehended, tried before the British Military Tribunal in the Curiohaus Trial, convicted, sentenced to death, and hanged.
  23. Johann Frahm (1901–1946). Nazi German war criminal, deputy of Ewald Jauch, commandant of the Bullenhuser Damm sub-camp, 1943–1945. After the War apprehended, tried before the British Military Tribunal in the Curiohaus Trial, convicted, sentenced to death, and hanged.
  24. Marcel Prenant (1893–1983), French professor of medicine, prisoner of Neuengamme, after the War testified in the Curiohaus Trial against the perpetrators of the Bullenhuser Damm murder of 20 children.
  25. Dr Kaufmann. French prisoner doctor held in Neuengamme. Survivor of the Cap Arcona tragedy. Not to be confused with Karl Kaufmann, Gauleiter of Hamburg. ÉGO 39–45. Écrits de Guerre et d’Occupation. Raphaël Spina, “L"Entreprise de la mort lente: Konzentrationlager Hamburg-Neuengamme,”
  26. Zygmunt Szafrański (1913–1975?), Polish physician, prisoner doctor held in Neuengamme, 1941–1945; made an extensive statement in 1946 on Neuengamme to Polish investigative judge Kazimierz Borys. Cf. Zapisy terroru. Chronicles of Terror. Online at
  27. I.G. Farbenindustrie AG, a German chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate established in 1925 in a merger of 6 companies, including Bayer. During the War IG Farben was directly involved in the Holocaust (its subsidiary company produced Zyklon B gas, which was used in the gas chambers of German concentration camps).
  28. Quoted in German. English translation by Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa.
  29. Quoted in German. English translation by Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa.
  30. Quoted in German. English translation by Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa.
  31. For more on Dr Hellmuth Vetter, see United States vs. Karl Glas, et al. Case No. 000-50-5-31, 17 February 1948, Dachau, Germany. Charges: Violation of the Laws and Usages of War.
  32. For more on Władysław Fejkiel, Władysław Tondos, and Stanisław Kłodziński, see the articles on them published on this website. See also Dr Tondos’ statement on Auschwitz delivered before Judge Jan Sehn of the Polish post-war investigation committee. See Zapisy terroru. Chronicles of Terror.
  33. Dr Friedrich Entress (1914–1947), SS chief physician of Gross-Rosen in 1941. Later served in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Pioneer of the phenol jab method of killing prisoners. Sentenced to death by the American military court and hanged on 28 May 1947.
  34. SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr Julius Jung (1914–1944). Served in Auschwitz in 1941. Apparently committed suicide to avoid capture by the Allies. Cf. Ernst Klee, Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. 2nd edition. Frankfurt-am-Main: Fischer, 2007.
  35. SDG—Sanitätsdienstgrad—hospital orderly in a German concentration camp.
  36. SS-Oberscharführer Josef Klehr (1904–1988). German war criminal. Served as a hospital orderly in several concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Administered lethal phenol injections to thousands of prisoners. Apprehended in 1945, sentenced by the American Military Tribunal to 3 years in a labour camp, and subsequently in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials to life imprisonment.
  37. SS Dr Wilhelm Jäger (1902–1945?). War criminal, a dentist who worked as a physician in Plaszow concentration camp and later in Auschwitz. Cf. Ernst Klee, Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich . . .; Maria Ciesielska, Szpital obozowy dla kobiet w KL Auschwitz-Birkenau (1942–1945), Warszawa: Muzeum Historii Medycyny WUM, 2015, p. 66.; Ryszard Kotarba, Niemiecki obóz w Płaszowie. Przewodnik historyczny. 2nd edition. Warszawa: IPN, pp. 25 and 40. Online:,Ryszard-Kotarba-Niemiecki-oboz-w-Plaszowie-19421945-Przewodnik-historyczny-wydan.html.
  38. Pneumothorax (“collapsed lung”)—a therapy used before the advent of anti-TB drugs to “rest the lung” of TB patients.
  39. A prisoners’ secret resistance group was established in Auschwitz by Capt. Witold Pilecki. Cf.
  40. Reichsdeutsche—ethnically “pure-blood” German citizens of the Third Reich.
  41. SS–Obersturmführer Dr Emil Christian Schmitz (1914–1971). Conducted experiments on prisoners in several concentration camps apart from Auschwitz. Cf.; Gerhard Baader, “Auf dem Weg zum Menschenversuch,” Die Verbindung nach Auschwitz: Biowissenschaften und Menschenversuche an Kaiser-Wilhelm-Instituten: Dokumentation eines Symposiums, ed. Carola Sachse, Wallstein Verlag, 2003. p. 135.
  42. SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr Fritz Klein (1888–1945). War criminal, conducted selections of concentration camp prisoners for death. Cf. Irena Białówna, “Z historii rewiru w Brzezince,” Przegląd Lekarski – Oświęcim, 1979, 164–175, p. 165. Article in Polish available on this website—follow the link.
  43. Heissmeyer was apprehended in the German Democratic Republic, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1960s, after the publication of this article. He died in prison in 1966. Cf.
  44. Roman Nitsch (1873–1943). Professor of Bacteriology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków.
  45. Peter Dettweiler (1837–1904), German internist, see and
  46. Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915), Nobel Prize-winning German Jewish physician and scientist who worked in the fields of haematology, immunology, and antimicrobial chemotherapy. Cf.
  47. Karl Turban (1850–1899). German physician, specialist in the treatment of lung diseases. Robert Koch's assistant. Cf. and
  48. Hermann Brehmer (1826–1889), German lung disease specialist. See “Das Traumschloss eines Sonderlings Dr med. Brehmer und das älteste Lungensanatorium der Welt in Görbersdorf. Heute Sokołowsko,” and
  49. Ludolph Brauer (1865–1951), German physician specialising in aviation medicine and TB research. Kłodziński was wrong to put Brauer in the group of honourable German physicians, in fact Brauer was a supporter of Hitler. Cf. and
  50. Ludwig von Muralt (1869–1917). Swiss physician and lung disease specialist. See For his son, Alexander von Muralt (1903-1990), who was a medical scientist, see
  51. Karl Ernst Ranke (1870–1926), German internist and pneumologist. Biography by Eberhard J. Wormer in Neue Deutsche Biographie, Vol. 21. Berlin: Duncker & Humbolt.;
  52. Otto Roepke (1870–1942), German physician, specialising in the treatment of TB. See
  53. Otto Naegeli (1871–1938), Swiss haematologist. See and
  54. Gustav Baer (1865–1925), German physician. Biographical article cited on See also Hugh Reid, “Extrapleural pneumothorax in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis,” Thorax (1946), 1.211.
  55. Hanns Alexander (1881–1955), German pulmonologist. Kłodziński is wrong to list him among the honourable lung specialists—Alexander was an ardent supporter of Hitler and a member of the Nazi Party. Cf.

The general introductory note courtesy of Teresa Wontor-Cichy, Expert Consultant for the Medical Review Auschwitz project. Remaining notes by Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa, the translator of the text and the Head Translator for the Medical Review Auschwitz project.


  1. Crankshaw, Edward. 1956. Gestapo Instrument of Tyranny. New York: The Viking Press. Polish edition: Gestapo narzędzie tyranii. 1959. Translated by Jerzy Dewitz. Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza, p. 20.
  2. Grzywacz, B. 1952. Eksperymenty na człowieku i eksperymenty na zwierzętach. Warszawa: PAN, p. 2.
  3. Irvine, Kenneth Neville. 1949. BCG Vaccination in Theory and Practice. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, p. 1–130; quoted after Telatycki and Zajączkowska.
  4. Kogon, Eugen. 1946. Der SS-Staat—das System der deutschen Konzentrationslager. Europäische Verlagsanstalt.
  5. Mitscherlich, Alexander and Fred Mielke. 1960. Medizin ohne Menschlichkeit. Fischer Bücherei.
  6. Olbrycht, Jan. 1948. “Sprawy zdrowotne w obozie w Oświęcimiu.” Przegląd Lekarski (offprint).
  7. Minutes of the meeting of the Kowary medical society, quoted in the medical journal Śląska Gazeta Lekarska 1946, p. 712, with a report of a lecture entitled “O pasażach żywych prątków Kocha na organizmach dziecięcych w obozie koncentracyjnym Neuengamme w Niemczech” [On the passages of virulente TB bacteria in children’s bodies at Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany] delivered by Dr Tadeusz Kowalski on 26 June 1946.
  8. Russell, Edward Frederick Langley. 1954. The Scourge of the Swastika: A Short History of Nazi War Crimes During World War II. London: Cassell (Second Edition). German edition: Geissel der Menschheit: kurze Geschichte der Nazikriegsverbrechen, Berlin: Verlag Volk und Welt, 1955. Polish edition: Pod biczem swastyki: krótka historia hitlerowskich zbrodni wojennych, Translated by Stanisław A. Majewski. Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1963.
  9. Schnabel, Reimund. 1957. Macht ohne Moral. Frankfurt-am-Main: Röderberg Verlag.
  10. SS im Einsatz: Eine Documentation über die Verbrechen der SS. Berlin: Kongress Verlag, 1957, p. 327–332.
  11. Szumowski, Władysław. 1961. Historia medycyny, Warszawa: PZWL, p. 373.
  12. Telatycki, Michał Stanisław, and Jadwiga Zajączkowska. 1954. Szczepienia BCG: rozprawa o biologicznej metodzie zapobiegania gruźlicy. Warszawa: PZWL, p. 52–54.
  13. The documents in German quoted in this auricle come from the minutes and records of the investigation, court proceedings, and verdicts handed down by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, and from SS im Einsatz … .
  14. Records of the International Resistance Movement, preserved in the Archives of the Auschwitz–Birkenau State Museum.
  15. Statements delivered by witnesses Tadeusz Nowacki, Franciszek Czekalla, Marcel Prenant, Joannes-Ludwig Everdert, and the Prosecutor’s speech in the Curiohaus Trial (March 1946–3 May 1946). Online at

  16. Damals in Sachsenhausen. Berlin: Kongress Verlag, 1961 (collected volume).

A publication funded in 2020–2021 within the DIALOG Program of the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland.

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