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Karl Brandt takes the stand during the Medical Case (Doctors') Trial in Nuremberg.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 06232

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    Karl Brandt takes the stand during the Medical Case (Doctors') Trial in Nuremberg.
    Karl Brandt takes the stand during the Medical Case (Doctors') Trial in Nuremberg.


    Karl Brandt takes the stand during the Medical Case (Doctors') Trial in Nuremberg.
    1947 February 03 - 1947 February 07
    Nuremberg, [Bavaria] Germany
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hedwig Wachenheimer Epstein
    Event History
    On October 25, 1946, the U.S. Military Government for Germany created the Military Tribunal I, which conducted the first of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings, the Medical Case trial. On November 5, indictments were served to 23 SS physicians, scientists, and officials. The defendants were indicted on four counts: participation in the common design or conspiracy, war crimes, crimes against humanity and membership in criminal organizations. The defendants were accused of committing "murders, brutalities, cruelties, tortures, atrocities and other inhuman acts" on German civilians and nationals of other countries through a series of specific medical experiments dealing with the effects of high altitude, low temperature, seawater, typhus, infectious jaundice, sulfa drugs, bone grafting, and mustard gas, as well as through the Euthanasia and forced sterilization programs. The defendants were arraigned on November 21 and the trial ran from December 9, 1946 to July 19, 1947. The Tribunal rendered its judgment on August 20, finding fifteen of the defendants guilty, seven not guilty and one guilty only of membership in a criminal organization. The sentences were announced on August 21. Seven were sentenced to death, five to life terms, and four to terms of between 10 to 20 years. Those sentenced to death were hanged on June 2, 1948 at the Landsberg prison.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Hedwig Wachenheimer Epstein
    Source Record ID: Collections: 1994.A.117

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Karl Brandt (1904-1948), SS-Gruppenfuehrer, personal physician of Adolf Hitler, co-director of the T-4 Euthanasia program and Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation. Born in Muehlausen, Alsace, Brandt became a physician in 1928. He joined the NSDAP in 1932, the SA in 1933 and the SS in 1934. On the recommendation of his adjutant Wilhelm Brueckner, Hitler named Brandt his personal physician in 1934. In the fall of 1939 Brandt was made co-director, with Philipp Bouhler of the T-4 Euthanasia program. After the program was shut down, Hitler appointed Brandt Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation, giving him control over all civilian and military medical facilities. Brandt remained in Hitler's good graces until the final month of the war, when Hitler learned that Brandt was preparing to give himself up to the advancing Americans. On April 16, 1945 he was arrested by the Gestapo and condemned to death by a court in Berlin. His life was saved by Heinrich Himmler who stalled the execution by asking for additional witnesses. On May 2, a few days after Hitler's suicide, Brandt was released by order of Karl Doenitz. He was rearrested by the British on May 23 and placed on trial as one of the main defendants at the Doctors' Trial in Nuremberg. In addition to his membership in the SS, Brandt was charged with special responsibility for the numerous medical experiments to which thousands of concentration camp inmates were subjected, as well as with the planning and execution of the Euthanasia program. Brandt was sentenced to death on August 20, 1947 and hanged on June 2, 1948 at Landsberg prison. Before his execution he was quoted as saying, "It is no shame to stand on this scaffold. I served my Fatherland as others before me."

    [Source: Zentner, Christian. "Encyclopedia of the Third Reich." MacMillan, 1991.]
    Record last modified:
    2006-08-15 00:00:00
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