It was at the same meeting that Ding was ordered by his superior Mrugowsky, at the instigation of Handloser's henchmen Schreiber and Killian, to give several of the inmates in Buchenwald an intravenous dose of phenol and report back on the clinical details of the ensuing deaths. These gentlemen were troubled by the observation that some of their soldiers were dying after receiving gas oedema serum and they wanted to ascertain whether it was caused by the phenol content.
At the Third Meeting of Consulting Physicians in May 1943, Gebhardt told of his experiments to the section on surgery. Rostock arranged the program and presided, while Karl Brandt and Handloser were in the seats of honor. What they heard came as no surprise. Gebhardt and Fischer gave a full report on the sulfanilamide experiments down to the last death. Gebhardt was so anxious to spread his guilt somewhat thinner that he emphasized to the Tribunal the complete nature of their report. This proved a little embarrassing to his predecessors in the witness box who were quite sure that nothing had been said about artificial infection or deaths. Karl Brandt had no more than left this meeting when had made arrangements with Crawitz to get inmates at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp for the epidemic jaundice experiments by Dohmen, a medical officer of the Army under Handloser. This disease was causing casualities up to 60% in the Wehrmacht units in the East.
At the very same meeting, Ding lectured to the hygiene section of his murderous typhus experiments at Buchenwald. Schreiber presided and the defendants Rose and Mrugowsky were in attendance as well as the Luftwaffe typhus expert Haagen, who, to say the least of it, was exceedingly parsimonious with the truth when he testified before this Tribunal. There is no question that Rose took strong exception to this report. Although his prior and subsequent conduct leave little doubt that it was on scientific rather than moral grounds In any event, what was good enough for Ding was good enough for Haagen. That very same month he began, his own typhus vaccine tests in the Schirmeck Concentration Camp, aided and abetted by Rose and the Medical Service of the Luftwaffe. In a matter of thirty days, two inmates had died as a result. In the fall of 1943, Haagen shifted his activities to the larger camp of Hatzweiler where he continued his criminal work until the late summer of 1944, under the auspices of the defendant Schroeder.
In the fall of 1943, Karl Brandt, as General Commissioner of the Medical and Health Services, undertook personal sponsorship of the phosgene gas experiments of Bickenbach, who had previously worked with Hirt on inmates at Natzweiler. The Wehrmacht was also interested in these experiments. Brandt received broad powers in the field of chemical warfare in a Fuehrer decree of 1 March 1944. Shortly thereafter he conferred with the defendant Sievers and Hirt on the experiments in Natzweiler. He personally supplied Bickenbach with labo ratory facilities, who, by September 1944, had murdered four Russian prisoners of war.
In June 1944, the defendant Schroeder personally initiated plans for the sea water experiments, with the assistance of his subordinates Becker-Freyseng and Schaefer. In a letter to Himmler, through Grawitz, asking for "40 healthy test subjects" for experiments he knew would probably end in deaths, he said that "Earlier already you made it possible for the Luftwaffe to settle urgent medical matters through experiments on human beings".1 He concluded by saying:
"As it is known from previous experiments, that necessary laboratories exist in the concentration camp Dachau, this camp would be very suitable". The defendant Beiglboeck joined in the conspiracy and executed the experiments.
In June 1944, a conference was called at Breslau by the defendant Handloser for the purpose of coordinating jaundice research. Jaundice experts from all branches of the Wehrmacht were present, including Haagen, and Handloser's subordinate Schreiber presided. Experiments on human beings were discussed and a few weeks later Haagen and three other officers of the Luftwaffe began laying plans for experiments on human beings in "Strassbourg or its vicinity", an obvious reference to Natzweiler. That criminal experiments on concentration camp inmates were discussed at the Breslau meeting is clear from the fact that Schreiber personally requested Mrugowsky somewhat later to make available inmates in Buchenwald for jaundice experiments by Dr. Dresel.
The foregoing chronological analysis of some of the experiments, while not complete, is sufficient to show that there was a systematic and well integrated program involving medical experimentation on concentration camp inmates without their consent. The demands upon the SS for human guinea pigs had become so extensive that by May, 1944 a centra clearing committee had been set up by Himmler. The defendant Gebhardt passed on the medical necessity of the proposed experiment, while Gluecks and Nebe acted as the Valkyries in selecting the sacrificial victims. As early as August 1942, the Institute of Military Scientific Research of the Aheneerbe under Sievers was created to finance and to funish equipment, prisoners, and administrative assistance for experiments in which Himmler was especially interested. This criminal program was motivated from two principal sources. Himmler, as head of the SS, provided uncounted victims for the experiments and 1 No-185, Pros.
Ex. 134, R. 483.
thereby gained new prestige and power for his criminal organization. The leaders of the German military and civilian medical services. as the other driving force, ruthlessly seized the opportunity with which they were presented and submitted their scientific problems for solution in the concentration camps. The scientific inpetus came from Karl Brandt, Handloser, Schreiber, Hippke, Schroeder, Conti, and their subordinates, among others. Rudolf Brandt and Sievers gave effect to Himmler's approval to furnish the victims and the administrative machinery was handled by them. The SS medical leaders - Grawitz, Genzken, Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick - gave directions to their underlings such as Ding, Hoven, and Fischer, and assisted in the execution of the crimes. Brandt, Blome, and Schreiber extended financial support through the Reich Research Council, which approved an allocation of government funds to enlarge the SS medical service on the ground it had human "experimental material" available. Rostock, as Chief of the Office for Science and Research, classfied as "urgent" the criminal research of Hirt, Haagen, and Bickenbach. The Wehrmacht provided supervision and techmical assistance for those experiments in which it was most interested. A low pressure chamber was furnished for the high altitude experiments, the services of Weltz, Ruff, Romberg, Rascher, Rolzloehner, and Finke for the high altitude and freezing atrocities and those of Becker-Freyseng, Schaefer, and Beiglboeck for sea water. Rose was in and out of the Buchenwald typhus station for the Luftwaffe and checked the work of Haagen at Schirmeck and Natzweiler. Handloser kept an eye on Ding's experiments through Schreiber, Eyer, and Schmidt and furnished him with vaccines and typhus infected lice. He saw to it that the useful results of the crimes were reported to his Consulting Physicians and passed on to the Wehrmacht.
This was the unholy trinity; this was the common design. It was like a gigantic wagon wheel, the spokes of which were the experiments leading into the common hub of the SS which furnished the victims, and all bound together by the policies and orders of the leaders of the German medical services which formed the outer rim.
While the defendant deny that there was a common design or that they participated in it, all seek at the same time the contradictory "protection" of State approval of the experiments. The defendant Rose, broken by proof from his own hand that he participated in the typhus crimes or Buchenwald, gave something of a valedictory when he said:
"This institute had been set up in Germany and was approved by the State and covered by the State. At that moment I was in a position which perhaps corresponds to a lawyer who is, perhaps, a basic opponent of execution, or death sentence. On occasion when he is dealing with leading members of the government, or with lawyers during public Congresses or meetings, he will do everything in his power to maintain his opinion on the subject and have it put into effect. If, however, he does not succeed, he stays in his profession, and in his environment in spite of this. Under circumstances he may perhaps even be forced to pronounce such a death sentence himself, although he is basically an opponent of that set up."1 Gebhardt testified that Hitler approved the policy of experimentation on concentration camp inmates.
He admitted that these experiments would not have been performed without approval from the top; even Himmler himself sought cover from Hitler. The Prosecution claims no more. This policy of systematic experimentation on involuntary subjects was formulated and executed by these defendants and their accomplices.
This, then, was the medical service of the Third Reich at work. There can be no doubt that these were not a heterogeneous and unrelated group of crimes. They mesh together to form a clear conspiracy. Each experiment in turn ratified its prodecessors and gave impetus to its successors. Whatever may be the judgment of this Tribunal on the question of jurisdiction, there was a conspiracy in fact. Since a conspiracy was charged in Count I of the Indictment, it is important to know what a conspiracy comprehends and punishes. Justice Jackson stated in his closing address to the International Military Tribunal that:
1 Transcript, p. 5467.
"In the conspiracy we do not punish one man for another man's crime. We seek to punish each for his own crime of joining a common plan in which others also participated. The measure of the criminality of the plan and therefore of the guilt of each participant is, of course, the sum total of crimes committed by all in executing the plan. But the gist of the offense is participation in the formulation or execution of the plan. These are rules which every society has found necessary in order to reach men.....who never got blood on their own hands but who lay plans that result in the shedding of blood. All over Germany today, in every zone of occupation, little men who carried out these criminal policies under orders are being convicted and punished. It would present a vast and unforgiveable caricature of justice if the men who planned these policies and directed these little men should escape all penalty."1 The essence of the crime of conspiracy is two or more persons combining and confederating with the intent and purpose of committing an offense by doing an unlawful act or doing a lawful act in an unlawful manner.
It can be established by direct testimony but it may also be inferred from things actually done. It is enough if the minds of the parties meet and unite in an understanding way with the design to accomplish a common purpose which may be established by substantial evidence or by deduction from facts, from which a natural inference arised that the overt acts were in furtherance of a common design, intent, and purpose. The common design is the essence of the crime and this may be made to appear when the parties continuously pursue the same object, whether acting separately or together by common or different means, but ever leading to the same unlawful result. When one or more of the conspirators makes an open declaration and the others thereafter adhere by words or acts, their responsibility is complete and their guilt thereby established for they have become agents ad hoe in the crimes. The conspirators may not know each other or such others' part in the plan, nor, indeed, all the details of the plan itself. He may know only his own part. That is enough if there is an intentional conteibution to the whole. It is enough if one had knowledge of the general purpose and joins himself. Each is responsible for all acts done in furtherance of the objects of 1 I.M.T. transcript, p. 14370 the conspiracy and during its life.
Once a person joins a conspiracy, he ratifies all that he been done before by oath of the others.1 What has been said with respect to the common design or conspiracy is, of course, quite pertinent even though the Tribunal decides that it has no jurisdiction over conspiracies to commit War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.
Paragraph 2 of Article II of Law No, 10 reads, in part, as follows:
"Any person without regard to nationality or the capacity in which he acted, is deemed to have committed a crime as defined in paragraph 1 of this Article, if he was (a) a principal or (b) was an accessory to the commission of any such crime or ordered or abetted the same or (c) took a consenting part therein or (d) was connected with plans and enterprises involving its commission or (e) was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime......"
This paragraph, although it does not employ the word "conspiracy" or the phrase "common plan", recognizes the criminal 1 U.S. v. Borden, 138 F. (2d), D.D.A.7, certiorari denied.
liability of those who were substantially connected with the commission of a crime, even though the final criminal act is committed by someone else. Those who are found to have been connected with crimes in the way specified by the quoted paragraph must be found guilty of the substantive crime itself, which in this case is predominantly the crime of murder. Quite clearly the status of criminal responsibility of a person who "took a consenting part" in or "was connected with plans or enterprises involving" or "was a member of any organization or group connected with" the commission of a crime more than comprehends the criminal liabilities which are held to attach to those who enter into a crime conspiracy. Thus, whether the criminal experimentation program be called a "common design", "conspiracy", or simply "plans and enterprises", these defendants who jointly participated in its execution must be found guilty of the sum total of crimes committed.
THE RESPONSIBLE LEADERS OF THE MEDICAL SERVICES
In view of the clear and overwhelming proof, it can only be concluded that the practice of experimentation on concentration camp inmates without their consent was an organized and systematic program. It is therefore appropriate to consider whether we have in this dock the leaders of the German medical services without whom these crimes would not have been possible. It would be an unforgivable miscarriage of justice to punish the doctors who worked on the victims in the concentration camps while their superiors, the leaders, organizers, and instigators, go free. It has been established beyond controversy that these things could not have happened without cover from the top. Who, then, were these men on the top? Their survivors, with one exception, are all in this dock.
In the number one seat we have the defendant Karl Brandt. He held supreme authority over all the medical services in Germany, both military and civilian. He joined the Nazi Party in January 1932 and the SS in 1934, in which he rose to the rank of Gruppenfuehrer. In the latter year, at the age of 30, he became the attending physician to Adolf Hitler and retained this position until 1945.
His close personal relationship to the Fuehrer explains his rapid rise to power. On the day Poland was invaded in 1939, Hitler ordered Brandt and Philipp Bouhler, the Chief of the Chancellery of the Fuehrer, to carry out the so-called euthanasia program.
Aside from his personal influence and intimate connection with Hitler, Brandt's greatest power in the medical services came from his position as General Commissioner and later Reich Commissioner of the Health and Medical Services. As a result of the disastrous winter campaign in the East in 1941, Hitler established for the first time a medical and health official under his direct control by decree of 28 July 1942. This decree made Brandt the supreme authority over all medical services in Germany. It stated in part as follows:
"3. I empower Prof. Dr. Karl Brandt, subordinate only to me personally and receiving his instructions directly from me, to carry out special tasks and negotiations, to readjust the requirements for doctors, hospitals, medical supplies, etc., between the military and the civilian sectors of the Health and Medical Services.
"My plenipotentiary for Health and Medical Services is to be kept informed about the fundamental events in the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht and in the Civilian Health Service. He is authorized to intervene in a responsible manner."1 By the same decree chiefs were also commissioned for the medical services of the Wehrmacht and the civilian health sector.
The defendant Handloser became Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht, while Dr. Leonardo Conti, Secretary of State for Health and the Reich Health Leader, was made Chief of the Civilian Health Services. Brandt was the superior of both Handloser and Conti, and through them had extensive powers over the Army, Navy, Luftwaffe, Waffen SS, and civilian medical services. Brandt stood at the apex of power. He was subordinated to no one save the Fuehrer. He was the man to act for the Fuehrer in medical matters. The decree authorized Grandt "to intervene in a responsible 1. NO-080, Pros.
Ex. 5, R. 93.
manner" and directed that he be kept informed of "fundamental events". Certainly nothing could be more fundamental than a policy of performing medical experiments involving the torture and death of involuntary human subjects.
On 5 September 1943 Hitler issued a second decree empowering Brandt "with centrally coordinating and directing the problems and activities of the entire medical and health services....."1 The order expressly stated that Brandt's authority covered the field of medical science and research. Shortly following the issuance of this decree, the defendant Rostock was appointed by Brandt as Chief of the Office for Science and Research, with plenary powers in the field.
Finally, on 25 August 1944, the Fuehrer elevated Brandt to Reich Commissioner for the Health and Medical Services and stated that in this capacity "his office ranks as highest Reich authority". Brandt's position was thus equivalent to that of a Reich Minister. He was authorized "to issue instructions to the offices and organizations of the State, Party, and Wehrmacht, which are concerned with the problems of the medical and health services".2 It is clear that this decree was issued to resolve a struggle for power between Brandt and Conti. Certainly the decree does no more than give Brandt a more august title and restate his powers, powers which he had already received as early as July 1942. Brandt testified that it merely "strengthened" his position. A Service Regulation issued by Keitel for Handloser, as Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht, at a time when Brandt was still General Commissioner, provided that Handloser was subject to the "general rules of the Fuehrer's Commissioner General for the Medical and Health Services" and that Brandt had to be informed of the "basic events" in the field of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht.
In a pre-trial affidavit the defendant Handloser stated that after he became Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht on 28 July 1942 1. NO-081, Pros.
Ex. 6, R. 94.
2. NO-082, Pros. Ex. 7, R. 95.
"Brandt was my immediate superior in medical affairs".1 Schroeder stated that "Karl Brandt, Handloser, and Rostock were informed of the medical research work conducted by the Luftwaffe".2 In addition to his position as General and Reich Commissioner of the Health and Medical Services, Brandt was also a member of the Presidential Council of the Reich Research Council, an organization which gave financial support for criminal experiments.
In the number two seat in the defendant Handloser who held supreme power over the Medical Services of all branches of the Wehrmacht. Early in 1941 he was appointed Army Medical Inspector and Army Physician. He held these positions until September 1944, and as such had complete command over the entire Army Medical Services, which was by far the largest of the medical branches of the Wehrmacht. In his capacity as Army Medical Inspector, Handloser had subordinated to him the Consulting Physicians of the Army, the Military Medical Academy, the Typhus and Virus Institutes of the OKH at Cracow and Lemberg, and the Medical School for Mountain Troops at St. Johnann. He attained the rank of Generaloberstabsarzt (Lieutenant General), the highest military medical rank.
On 28 July 1942, Handloser was elevated to the newly created position of Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht. This was the same decree which appointed Brandt General Commissioner, to whom Handloser, on the military side, and Conti, on the civilian side, were subordinated. Handloser was charged with the coordination of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht and all organizations and units subordinated or attached to the Wehrmacht, including the Medical Services of the Waffen SS. Prior to this decree there were four separate medical 1. NO-443, Pros.
Ex. 10, R. 99.
2. NO-449, Pros. Ex. 130, R. 474.
branches of the Wehrmacht, the Army, Luftwaffe, Navy, and Waffen SS, each operating independently of the other. Pursuant to this decree, Handloser was appointed to coordinate and unify their operations and was directly responsible to Keitel as Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW). He had authority over the Chiefs of the Army, Navy, Luftwaffe, and Waffen SS Medical Services, and all organizations and services employed within the framework of the Wehrmacht, and over "all scientific medical institutes, academies and other medical institutions of the Services of the Wehrmacht and of the Waffen SS".1 He was the adviser of the Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht in all questions concerning the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht and of its health guidance. In the field of medical science, his duties were to carry out uniform measures in the field of health guidance, research and combatting of epidemics, and all medical matters which required a uniform ruling among the Wehrmacht, and further, in the evaluation of medical experiences.
One of the principal means used by the defendant Handloser in coordinating scientific research was the joint meeting of Consulting Physicians of the four branches of the Wehrmacht. At the Second Meeting East of Consulting Physicians in December 1942 at the Military Medical Academy, Handloser himself pointed out quite clearly the task of the Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht in unifying medical scientific research. In addressing the full meeting he said:
"The demands and extent of this total war, as well as the relationship between needs and availability of personnel and material, require measures, also in military and medical fields, which will serve the unification and unified leadership. It is not a question of "marching separately and battling together", but marching and battling must be done in unison from the beginning in all fields.
"As a result, as concerns the military sector, the Wehrmacht Medical Service and with it the Chief of the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht came into 1. NO-227, Pros.
Ex. 11, R. 101 being.
Not only in matters of personnel and material --even as far as this is possible in view of special fields and special tasks which must be considered -- but also with a view to medical scientific education and research, our path in the Wehrmacht Medical Service must and will be a unified one. Accordingly, the group of participants in this Second Work Conference East, which I have now opened, is differently composed from the First Work Conference in May of this year.
Then it was a conference of the army; today the three branches of the Wehrmacht, the Waffen SS and Police, the Labor Service and the Organization Todt are participating and unified.
"You will surely permit that I great you with a general welcome and with the sincere wish that our common work may be blessed with the hoped for Joint success.
"I would, however, like to extend a special greeting to the Reich Chief of Health Services, Under Secretary Conti, who holds the central leadership of medical services in the civilian sector. I see in his presence not only an interest in our work themes, but the expression of his connection with the Wehrmacht Medical Service and his understanding of the special importance of the Wehrmacht in the field as well as at home. I need not emphasize that we arc as one in the recognition of the necessity to assure and ease the mind of the soldier, that he need not worry about the physical well being of the homeland as far as this is within the realm of possibility in wartime." 1.
Again, at the Fourth Meeting of Consulting Physicians in May 1944, the defendant Karl Brandt stressed the importance of Handloser's position, saying:
"Generaloberstabsarzt Handloser, you a soldier and a physician at the same time, are responsible for the use and the performance of our medical officers.
"I believe, and this probably is the sole expectation of all concerned, that this meeting which today starts in Hohenlychen will be held for the benefit of our soldiers. The achievements to date of your physicians. Herr Generaloberstabsarzt, confirm this unequivocally, and their readiness to do their share makes all of us proud and - I may also say - confident.
"It is good simply to call these things by their names and to look at them as they are. This meeting is the visible expression of it it is, it shall be and it must be so in every respect; the consulting physicians are gathered around their Medical Chief. When I look at these ranks, you Generaloberstabsarzt 1. NO-922, Pros.
Ex. 435, R. 2050.
Handloser, are to be envied; medical experts, with the bast and most highly trained special knowledge, are at your disposal for care of the soldiers. In reciprocal action between yourself and your medical officers, the problem of our medical knowledge and capacity are kept alive." 1.
This was no accolade paid to a man without power and influence. If Handloser is not responsible for the crimes committed by the Medical Services of the Wehrmacht, and especially of the Army and Luftwaffe, then no one is responsible.
In the number three seat we have the defendant Rostock who, as Brandt's special deputy, was charged with the task of"centrally coordinating and directing the problems and activities of the entire Medical and Health Services" in the field of science and research. Even prior to his appointment to that position in the Fall of 1943, Rostock was one of the responsible leaders of the German medical profession. In 1942 he was appointed Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Berlin. In the same year he became Consulting Surgeon to Handloser as the Army Medical Inspector. He attained the rank of Brigadier General (Generalarzt). As Chief of the Office for Science and Research under Brandt, it was Rostock's task to coordinate scientific research in Germany. He received reports as to the issuance of research assignments by the various agencies in Germany, and determined which of such assignments should be considered "urgent". He also served as Brandt's alternate on the Reich Research Council.
In the number four seat we have the defendant Schroeder, who from 1 January 1944 until the end was the Chief of the 1 NO-924, Pros.
Ex. 437, R. 2067 Medical Services of the Luftwaffe.
From 1935 until February 1940 Schroeder was Chief of Staff to his predecessor, Erick Hippke as Luftwaffe Medical Inspector. From February 1940 until January 1944 he served as Air Fleet Physician of Air Fleet II, when he replaced Hippke as Chief of the Medical Services of the Luftwaffe. Simultaneously he was promoted to the rank of Generaloberstabsarzt. As Chief of the Medical Services of the Luftwaffe, all medical officers of the German Air Force were subordinated to him. His position and responsibility are clear and unequivocal.
In seat number five is the defendant Genzken who, as Chief of the Medical Service of the Waffen SS, was one of the highest ranking medical officers in the SS. He joined the Nazi Party in 1926 and in 1936 he wont on active duty with the SS in the Medical Office of the SS Special Services Troops (SS-Verfuegungstruppe), which subsequently became the Waffen SS. In the Spring of 1937 the Medical Office (Sanitatsamt) of the SS was enlarged and split into two departments. Genzken was made Director of the department charged with the supply of medical equipment to and the supervision of medical personnel in the concentration camps. In this capacity he was the medical adviser to the notorious Eicke, predecessor of Pohl as the commander of all concentration camps. Sachsenhausen, Dachau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenburg and Neuengamme, among others, were under the medical supervision of Genzken. Few men could have been better advised as to the systematic oppression and persecution of the helpless prisoners of these institutions.
In May 1940; Genzken became Chief of the Medical Office of the Waffen SS in the SS Operational Headquarters, with the rank of Oberfuehrer (Senior Colonel). The SS Operational Headquarters was subordinated to Gruppenfuehrer Hand Juettner and was one of the twelve main offices of the Supreme Command of the SS.
While Juettner was Genzken's military superior, his technical or medical superior was Reichsarzt-SS Grawitz for whom he served as deputy on many occasions. In 1942 his position became known as Chief of the Medical Services of the Waffen SS, Division D of the SS Operational Headquarters. He attained the rank of Gruppenfuehrer in the SS and Generalleutnant of the Waffen SS (Lieutenant General). Among the offices subordinated to Genzken was that of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Service under Bluemenreuter, and Hygiene under the defendant Mrugowsky. Mrugowsky was attached to Genzken's office as a hygienist in 1940 and was at the same time Chief of the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS which, in turn, was subordinated to Genzken. On 1 September, 1943, the Medical Services of the SS was reorganized and, among other things, Bluemenreuter, Mrugowsky, and the Hygiene Institute of the Waffen SS were transferred to the Office of the Reichsarzt SS, Grawitz. Thereafter the direct subordination was to Grawitz rather than to Genzken.
And then there is the defendant Blome, Gruppenfuehrer (Major General) in the SA, Deputy Reich Health Leader, Deputy Leader of the Reich Chamber of Physicians and the National Socialist Physicians Association, Representative for the Department of Medical Study, Plenipotentiary in the Reich Research Council, and Chief of Research on Bacteriological Warfare. As the closest associate of Conti, he cannot be omitted from the list of the powerful Conti was the highest authority in the field of civilian health administration.
The decree of 28 July 1942, signed by Hitler, concerning the reorganization of the medical services, defines the position of Conti as follows:
"In the field of civilian health administration the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Interior, and the Chief of the Health Administration of the Reich (Reichsgesundheitsfuehrer), Dr. Conti, is responsible for coordinated measures. For this purpose he has at his disposal the competent departments of the highest Reich authorities and their subordinate offices."
There was not a single medical question which did hot reach the Reich Health Department of the Nazi Party and the Reich Chamber of Physicians, subordinated to which were all physicians in Germany, with the exception of those on active duty with the armed forces and in the SS. As a member of the Reich Research Council, Blome was personally connected with plans and enterprises involving criminal medical experimentation.
These were the responsible leaders of the Medical Services of Germany. Who, then, is missing from this illustrious gathering? During the course of the trial, we have frequently heard mentioned the names of Conti and Grawitz. Indeed, the defendants would have us believe that in these two men, together with Hitler and Himmler, resided the exclusive responsibility for the manifold crimes with which we are here concerned. I hardly need call attention to the fact that all are dead. All of them took their own lives rather than face the bar of justice. No one can deny that those men were, indeed, guilty. But this in no way serves to exonerate these defendants, who all played important roles in the mad scheme. It is a curious thing that not one of the defendants has pointed an accusing finger at a living man. If they are to be believed, all the guilty parties to these crimes are dead. According to them, justice must seek retribution only from the cadavers. The Luftwaffe 1. NO-080, Pros.
Ex. 5, R. 93 defendants have been strangely silent as to Hippke, who, but for a belated capture, would have a prominent seat in the dock.
Those defendants who worked with the dead criminals such as Gebhardt, Mrugowsky, and Poppendick with Grawitz, and Blome with Conti - ask the Tribunal to say that their association was honorable and pure, that their work was in another field, that their masters' crimes come as a great surprise, and were never known to them.
The evidence proves, however, that they not only knew of and supported these crimes, but also took a personal part in them.
In connection with the responsible positions of these defendants, and most particularly of Karl Brandt and his assistant Rostock, Handloser, Schroeder, Genzken, and Blome, I wish to call to the Tribunal's attention the decision of the Supreme Count of the United States in the case of In re Yamashita.1 On 25 September 1945, Yamashita, the Commanding General of the Fourteenth Army Group of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippine Islands was charged with violation of the laws of war. He thereafter pleaded not guilty, was tried, found guilty as charged and sentenced to death by hanging. A petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed with the Supreme Court purporting to show that Yamashita's detention was unlawful for the reason, among others, that the charge preferred against him failed to charge him with a violation of the laws of war.
The charge stated that Yamashita, between October 9, 1944 and September 2, 1945 in the Philippine Islands, "while commander of armed forces of Japan at war with the United States of America and its allies, unlawfully disregarded and failed to discharge his duty as commander to control the operations of the members of his command, permitting them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against people of the United States and of its Allied and dependencies, particularly the Philippines; and he.....thereby violated the laws of war". The military commission which tried Yamashita-found that the atrocities and other high crimes had been committed by members of the Japanese armed forces under his command, that they were not sporadic in nature but in many cases were methodically supervised by Japanese officers, and that during the 1 66 Sup.
Ct. 340 (1946).