The Doctors Trial considered the fate of twenty-three German physicians who either participated in the Nazi program to euthanize persons deemed "unworthy of life" (the mentally ill, mentally retarded, or physically disabled) or who conducted experiments on concentration camp prisoners without their consent. The Doctors Trial lasted 140 days. Eighty-five witnesses testified and almost 1,500 documents were introduced. Sixteen of the doctors charged were found guilty. Seven were executed.

Defendant Doctors

Indictments
Count I--The Common Design or Conspiracy
Count II--War Crimes
Count III--Crimes Against Humanity
Count IV--Membership in a Criminal Organization

Transcript Excerpts
Opening Statement for the Prosecution
Testimony of Prosecution Witnesses
Case Transcript (Harvard Law Schoool)
Full Transcript (Military Trial Records)

Verdicts and Sentences

Images from the Doctors Trial

Link to U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Online Exhibition

During the Doctors Trial, American medical expert Dr. Leo Alexander points to scars on the leg of Jadwiga Dzido. The scars were the result of medical experiments on Dzido when she was imprisoned at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp.
(Dec. 22, 1946 photo. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives)

Indictments

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, 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
B) Freezing Experiments
C) Malaria Experiments
D) Lost (Mustard) Gas Experiments
E) Sulfanilamide Experiments
F) Bone, Muscle, and Nerve Regeneration and Bone Transplantation Experiments
G) Sea-Water Experiments
H) Epidemic Jaundice Experiments
I) Sterilization Experiments
J) Spotted Fever (Fleckfieber) Experiments
K) Experiments with Poison
L) Incendiary Bomb Experiments

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 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 Convention (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 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.


Verdicts and Sentences

Wilhelm Beiglboeck
Beiglboeck was a Consulting Physician to the Luftwaffe. He was found guilty on Counts II and III.
Sentence: Imprisonment for a term of fifteen years
This sentence was reduced on appeal to ten years in prison.

Viktor Brack
Brack was a Senior Colonel in the SS and the Chief Administrative Officer in the Chancellery of the Fuehrer. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by Hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

Karl Brandt
He was the personal physician to Hitler. He was active in the SS and the Commissioner for Health and Sanitation. Brandt was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

Rudolf Brandt
Brandt was a Personal Administrative Officer to Himmler. He was found guilty on counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria

Herman Brecker-Freyseng
Brecker-Freyseng was the Captian of Medical Services of the Air Force and Chief of the Department for Aviation Medicine of the Chief of Medical Services of the Luftwaffe. He was found guilty on Counts II and III.
Sentence: Imprisonment for a term of twenty years
This sentence was reduced on appeal to ten years in prison.

Fritz Fischer
Fischer was a Major in the Waffen SS and an Assistant Physician to Gebhardt at the hospital at Hohenlychen. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Imprisonment for the full term and period of natural life
This sentence was reduced on appeal to fifteen years in prison.

Karl Gebhardt
Gebhardt was the personal physician to Himmler and the president of the German Red Cross. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

Karl Genzken
Genzken was Chief of the Medical Department, a part of the Waffen SS. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Imprisonment for the full term and period of natural life
This sentence was reduced on appeal to twenty years in prison.

Siegfried Handloser
Medical Inspector of the Army and Chief of Medical Services of the Armed Forces. Handloser was found guilty on Counts II and III.
Sentence: Imprisonment for the full term and period of natural life
This sentence was reduced on appeal to twenty years in prison.

Waldemar Hoven
Hoven was Chief Doctor of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

Joachim Mrugowsky
Mrugowsky was the Chief Hygienist of the Reich Physicians SS and Police and of the Institute of the Waffen SS. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria.

Herta Oberheuser
Oberheuser was a physician at Ravensbrueck Concentration Camp and an Assistant Physician to Gebhardt at the hospital at Hohenlychen. Oberheuser was found guilty on Counts II and III.
Sentence: Imprisonment for a term of twenty years
This sentence was reduced on appeal to ten years in prison.

Helmut Poppendick
Poppendick was a Senior Colonel in the SS. He was found guilty on Count IV.
Sentence: Imprisonment for a term of ten years
This sentence was reduced on appeal to time served.

Gerhard Rose
Rose was the Brigadier General of Medical Services of the Air Force. He was also Vice president of the Chief of the Department for Tropical Medicine. He was Hygienic Adviser for Tropical Medicine to the Chief of Medical Services of the Luftwaffe. He was found guilty on Counts II and III.
Sentence: Imprisonment for the full term and period of natural life
This sentence was reduced on appeal to fifteen years in prison.

Oskar Schroeder
Schroeder was the Lieutenant General of Medical Services. He was found guilty on Counts II and III.
Sentence: Imprisonment for the full term and period of natural life
This sentence was reduced on appeal to fifteen years in prison.

Wolfram Sievers
Sievers was a colonel in the SS and Director of the Institute for Military Scientific Research. He was also the Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board of Directors of the Reich Research Council. He was found guilty on Counts II, III, and IV.
Sentence: Death by hanging
Hanged June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison in Bavaria


Defendants who were acquitted:

Kurt Blome
Blome was the Deputy of the Reich Health Leader and Plenipotentiary for Cancer Research in the Reich Research Council.

Adolf Pokorny
Pokorny was a Specialist in Skin and Venereal Diseases

Hans Wolfgang Robmerg
Robmerg was a Doctor on the Staff of the Department for Aviation Medicine at the German Experimental Institute for Aviation.

Paul Rostock
Rostock was Chief Surgeon of the Surgical Clinic in Berlin as well as Chief of the Office for Medical Science and Research under Karl Brandt.

Siegfried Ruff
Ruff was the Director of the Department for Aviation Medicine at the German Experimental Institute for Aviation.

Konrad Schaefer
Schaefer was a Doctor on the Staff of the Institute for Aviation Medicine in Berlin.

Georg August Weltz
Weltz was Lieutenant Colonel of Medical Service of the Air Force and Chief of the Institute for Aviation Medicine in Munich.