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German Physician Loses Medical License for Torturing Nazi Victims

December 6, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A German woman physician, Dr. Herta Oberhauser, today lost her medical license for practice “contrary to German law and the ethical rules of the medical profession” by participating in “medical experiments” on prisoners in the Ravensbrucek concentration camp during the Nazi regime. Additionally, she faces prosecution for three “mercy killings.

At the same time, the West German Medical Association issued a declaration, for the first time since German physicians were tried for malpractice by the Nuremberg War Crimes tribunal in 1947, officially stating that it is “unequivocally determined to express opposition to the medical experimentations undertaken during the Nazi regime.”

Dr. Oberhauser was convicted by the Nuremberg tribunal in 1947 of performing “medical experiments” on prisoners at Ravensbrueck, and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. She was released in 1952 and reopened her medical practice at Stocksee, a small town in Schleswig-Holstein. Two years ago, the Ministry of the Interior ordered her license revoked for the same crimes of which she had been convicted at Nuremberg, and ordered also that she stand trial again on those charges.

On appeal, the Administrative Court rejected the Ministry’s plans to try the doctor again, ruling that such a trial would place her in double jeopardy. However, the court upheld the order to revoke her medical license. The Schleswig-Holstein Justice Ministry announced today it plans to prosecute Dr. Oberhauser nonetheless, on other charges. The new charges involve a confession she made that, during the war, at Ravensbrueck, she performed “mercy” killings on three women prisoners.

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