World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Horst Schumann

Article Id: WHEBN0003944556
Reproduction Date:

Title: Horst Schumann  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Block 10, Eduard Wirths, Franz Stangl, Hermann Michel, Hermine Braunsteiner
Collection: 1906 Births, 1983 Deaths, 20Th-Century Freikorps Personnel, Auschwitz Concentration Camp Personnel, Dachau Concentration Camp Personnel, German Nazi Politicians, German Völkisch Freedom Party Politicians, Gestapo Personnel, Holocaust Perpetrators, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg Alumni, Nazi Human Subject Research, Nazi Physicians, People Extradited from Ghana, People Extradited to Germany, People from Halle (Saale), People from the Province of Saxony, SS-Sturmbannführer, University of Innsbruck Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Horst Schumann

Horst Schumann
Horst Schumann
Born (1906-05-01)1 May 1906
Halle an der Saale, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 5 May 1983(1983-05-05) (aged 77)
Frankfurt am Main, West Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Luftwaffe
Years of service 1939-1945
Rank SS-Sturmbannführer (Major)
Unit Auschwitz

Horst Schumann (1 May 1906 – 5 May 1983), SS-Sturmbannführer (major) and medical doctor, conducted sterilization and castration experiments at Auschwitz and was particularly interested in the mass sterilization of Jews by means of X-rays.


  • Early life 1
  • Nazi doctor 2
  • Auschwitz 3
  • Medical career after the war 4
  • Footnotes 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Schumann was born on 1 May 1906 in Halle an der Saale. His father, Paul Schumann, was also a doctor. Schumann entered the NSDAP in 1930 and joined the SA in 1932. In 1933, he received his medical degree after producing a thesis entitled "Frage der Jodresorption und der therapeutischen Wirkung sog. Jodbäder" ("The Question of Iodine Absorption and the Therapeutic Effects of so-called Iodine Baths"). He started his career as an assistant doctor in the Surgical Clinic of the clinic of Halle University.

Nazi doctor

From 1934, Schumann was employed in the Public Health Office in Halle. He was recruited to the air force as a physician in 1939. He joined the Aktion T4 Euthanasia program in early October 1939, after a meeting with Dr. Viktor Brack in Hitler's chancellery. In January 1940, Schumann became head of the Grafeneck euthanasia centre in Württemberg, where mentally ill people were gassed with carbon monoxide in the first gas chamber. In the early summer of 1940, he was ordered to the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre. Schumann also belonged to a commission of doctors called "Action 14f13", who transferred weak and sick prisoners from Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen, Neuengamme and Niederhangen concentration camps to the euthanasia killing centers.


On 28 July 1941, Schumann arrived in Breslau for histopathological examination. Schumann "...chose his test persons himself. They were always young, healthy, good-looking Jewish men, women and girls who looked like old people afterwards. The parts of the body that were treated with the rays were burnt, suppurating. Often the intestines were also affected. Many died. Part of Schumann's control tests, to check whether the radiation had worked, was the so-called semen check: a stick covered with a rubber hose was inserted into the rectum of the victim and the glands stimulated until ejaculation occurred so that the ejaculate could be tested for sperm..." [1] Both kinds of samples were sent to the University of Breslau (today Wrocław) for examination.

Remains of the building at Auschwitz II (Birkenau) where Schuman committed his medical atrocities.

Schumann selected some of the women in Block 10 in the main camp of Auschwitz. In this Block Jewish women had been imprisoned for human experiments. To control the radiation on women, prisoner doctors (Dr. Maximilian Samuel, Dr. Wladislaw Dering) had to remove an ovary.[2]

Schumann also performed typhus experiments by injecting people with blood from typhus patients and then attempting to cure the newly infected subjects. Schumann left Auschwitz in September 1944 and was appointed to the Sonnenstein Clinic in Saxony which had earlier been converted into a military hospital.

Medical career after the war

While serving as a military doctor on the Western Front, he was captured by the Americans in January 1945. He was released from captivity in October 1945. In April 1946, he began to work as a sports doctor for the city of Gladbeck. An application for a license for a hunting gun led to his being identified in 1951 so the GDR issued an arrest warrant. According to his own statement, Schumann served as a ship’s doctor for three years and because he did not have a German passport, he applied for one in Japan in 1954 and received it under his own name. Schumann then fled, first to Egypt and eventually settled in Khartoum in the Sudan as head of a hospital. He was forced to flee from Sudan in 1962 after being recognized by an Auschwitz survivor. Then he went to Ghana, where he received the protection of the head of state, Kwame Nkrumah.

In 1966, he was extradited from Ghana to West Germany where the trial against him was opened in Frankfurt on 23 September 1970. However, Schumann was released from prison on 29 July 1972 due to his heart condition and generally deteriorating health. However, he did not die until 5 May 1983, 11 years after he had been released. As Robert Jay Lifton has observed "...Schumann has great importance for us because of what he did – intense involvement in both direct medical killing and unusually brutal Auschwitz experiments – and what he was – an ordinary, but highly Nazified man and doctor..." [3]


  1. ^ Klee, 53
  2. ^ Lang, 132-143
  3. ^ Lipton, p. 284

See also


  • Robert Jay Lifton, (1986) The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. New York: Basic Books.
  • Klee, Ernst. "Turning the tap on was no big deal", (1990) - The gassing doctors during the Nazi period and afterwards, Dachau Review 2, History of Nazi Concentration Camps, Studies, Reports, Documents, Volume 2. edited by Wolfgang Benz and Barbara Distel, published for the Comite International de Dachau, Brussels. Verlag Dachauer Hefte, Alte Roemerstrasse 75, 8060 Dachau.
  • Klodzinski, Stanislaw: "Sterilisation und Kastration durch Röntgenstrahlen im Auschwitz-Lager. Verbrechen Horst Schumann" in Internationales Auschwitz-Komitee (Hrsg.) "Unmenschliche Medizin" Anthologie, Bd. 1, Teil 2, Warschau 1969.
  • Mitscherlich, Alexander/Mielke, Fred: "Medizin ohne Menschlichkeit", Frankfurt a. M. 1978, [ISBN 3-596-22003-3]
  • Lang, Hans-Joachim: Die Frauen von Block 10. Medizinische Experimente in Auschwitz. Hamburg 2011. ISBN 978-3-455-50222-0.

External links

  • Biography of Dr. Horst Schumann
  • "Medical Experiments at Auschwitz"
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.