Eduard Krebsbach- Just doing a Job

TRIAL

Primum non nocere is the Latin phrase for “First do no harm” It is part of the Hippocratic Oath including the promise “to abstain from doing harm” .

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. The Oath is the earliest expression of medical ethics in the Western world, establishing several principles of medical ethics which remain of paramount significance today. These include the principles of medical confidentiality and non-maleficence. Although the ancient text is only of historic and symbolic value, swearing a modified form of the Oath remains a rite of passage for medical graduates in many countries.

HippocraticOath

Eduard Krebsbach (b. 8 August 1894, d. 28 May 1947) received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Bonn. He worked for many years as a pediatrician, before applying for membership in the SS in 1937. The following year he was inducted into the SS as Untersturmführer (SS Captain). Between the fall of 1941 and the fall of 1943 Krebsbach served as SS Sturmbannführer (Major) and Standortarzt (Chief Physician) of the SS and the Police at the Linz, Steyr, Wels and Gusen satellite camps of the main Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) commonly referred to as KL Mauthausen-Gusen.

Mauthausen

In this period Krebsbach initiated the practice of mass execution of prisoners that he judged unworthy to live or unable to work. This was performed by lethal injections (Spritzen) of phenol directly into the heart, thus he killed or supervised the murder of at least 900 prisoners, for which he earned the nickname among inmates “Dr. Spritzbach”. Lethal heart injections continued to be administered at the Gusen camp twice a week even until April 1945.

Following the end of World War II he was arrested and given the death penalty during the Dachau trials conducted by the US military on 13 May 1946 and was executed by hanging on 28 May 1947 at Landsberg Prison in Landsberg am Lech.

The following is from the court record of the Dachau trials (quoted in Hans Maršálek, “Die Geschichte des Konzentrationslagers Mauthausen”, p. 174):

“Krebsbach: When I started work I was ordered by the head of Office III D to kill or have killed all those who were unable to work, and the incurably sick.

Prosecutor: And how did you carry out this order?

Krebsbach: Incurably sick inmates who were absolutely incapable of work were generally gassed. Some were also killed by gasoline injection.

Prosecutor: To your knowledge, how many persons were killed in this way in your presence?

Krebsbach: (no answer)

Prosecutor: You were ordered to kill those unfit to live?

Krebsbach: Yes. I was ordered to have persons killed if I was of the opinion that they were a burden on the state.

Prosecutor: Did it never occur to you that these were human beings, people who had the misfortune to be inmates or who had been neglected?

Krebsbach: No. People are like animals. Animals that are born deformed or incapable of living are put down at birth. This should be done for humanitarian reasons with people as well. This would prevent a lot of misery and unhappiness.

Prosecutor: That is your opinion. The world does not agree with you. Did it never occur to you that killing a human being is a terrible crime?

Krebsbach: No. Every state is entitled to protect itself against asocial persons including those unfit to live.

Prosecutor: In other words, it never occurred to you that what you were doing was a crime?

Krebsbach: No. I carried out my work to the best of my knowledge and belief because I had to.”

KZ Mauthausen, Ewald Krebsbach

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Fritz Klein’s interpretation of the Hippocratic oath.

Nuremberg Trial Suspect Fritz Klein, Belsen Camp Doctor

Fritz Klein (24 November 1888 – 13 December 1945) was a German Nazi physician hanged for his role in atrocities at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during the Holocaust.

Klein was born in Feketehalom, Austria-Hungary (now Codlea in central Romania).Klein was considered a Volksdeutscher, or ethnic German. He studied medicine at the University of Budapest and completed his military service in Romania, finishing his studies in Budapest after World War I. He lived as a doctor in Siebenbürgen(Transylvania). In 1939 as a Romanian citizen he was drafted into the Romanian army, where after the outbreak of the war with the Soviet Union in 1941 he served as paramedic on the eastern front. In May 1943 Romanian dictator Marshal Antonescu, on a demand from Hitler to release ethnic Germans in the Romanian Army, drafted them into the German army.

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Hence Klein became a soldier in the Waffen-SS, was listed in the SS-Personalhauptamt, and was posted to Yugoslavia.

On 15 December 1943, he arrived in Auschwitz concentration camp, where at first he served as a camp doctor in the women’s camp in Birkenau. Subsequently, he worked as a camp doctor in the Gypsy camp. He also participated in numerous selections (“Selektionen”) on the ramp. In December 1944 he was transferred to Neuengamme concentration camp, from where he was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in January 1945.

BELSEN EXTERMINATION CAMP

He remained at the camp with commandant Josef Kramer and assisted in handing it over to British troops. Klein was imprisoned and required to help bury all unburied corpses in mass graves.

Dr. Fritz Klein

The British Fifth Army Film & Photographic Unit photographed Klein standing in a mass grave in a well-known 1945 photo.

When asked how he reconciled his actions with his ethical obligations as a physician, Klein famously stated:

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“My Hippocratic oath tells me to cut a gangrenous appendix out of the human body. The Jews are the gangrenous appendix of mankind. That’s why I cut them out.”

Klein and 44 other camp staff were tried in the Belsen Trial by a British military court at Lüneburg. The trial lasted several weeks from September to November 1945. During the trial Anita Lasker testified that he took part in selections for the gas chamber. He was sentenced to death and hanged at Hamelin jail by Albert Pierrepoint on 13 December 1945

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Hans Eppinger Jr-Physician, Sadist and Coward.

Hans Eppinger Jr. (January 5, 1879 – September 25, 1946) was an Austrian physician who performed experiments upon concentration camp prisoners.

Below is a line from the Hippocratic oath , an oath taken by physicians.

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“I will, according to my ability and judgment, prescribe a regimen for the health of the sick; but I will utterly reject harm and mischief”

Yet for the physicians working in the concentration camps this didn’t seem to matter. Dr Hans Eppinger Jr was no different then all the other evil men employed by the Nazi regime.

Hans Eppinger was born in Prague, the son of the physician Hans Eppinger Sr. He received an education in Graz and Strasbourg. In 1903 he became a medical doctor in Graz, working at a medical clinic. He moved to Vienna in 1908, and in 1909 he specialized in internal medicine, particularly conditions of the liver. He became a professor in 1918, then taught in Freiburg in 1926 and in Cologne in 1930.

In 1936 he is known to have travelled to Moscow to treat Joseph Stalin. A year later he was called to treat Queen Marie of Romania.

During World War II he gained an infamous reputation due to his experiments on prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp. Along with professor Wilhelm Beigelbock,

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he performed tests on 90 Romani prisoners by providing them sea water as their only source of fluids. (In some cases the taste of the water was disguised to hide the saline content.) The prisoners suffered from severe dehydration, and witnesses reported that they had been seen licking the floors they had mopped in an attempt to get some water. The goal of the experiment was to determine if the prisoners would suffer severe physical symptoms or death within a period of 6–12 days.The men all suffered agonizing deaths.

Eppinger was also notorious for his inhuman treatment of patients. On one occasion he brought a patient to the lecture theatre and introduced him to the students with the following words: “Nephritis(inflammation of the kidneys) can be compared with a tragedy in five acts and” – pointing to the patient – “this is the final act of the tragedy.” The patient broke down in tears and was obviously distressed throughout the demonstration

Following the war he committed suicide, reportedly using poison. This occurred a month before he was to be called to testify at the Nuremberg Trials. Much later it was discovered that he had an unclaimed Swiss bank account.

In 1976 Eppinger’s name was attached to a crater on the Moon, but this was changed on October 28, 2002, by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN), after Eppinger’s connection with the Nazi prison camps had been brought to their attention by the Lunar Republic Society and others