Fischer, Fritz Ernst, born 05-10-1912 in Berlin. He studied medicine first at Bonn, later at Berlin and Leipzig, and finally graduated in Hamburg in 1938. He joined the SS in 1934 (ultimately reaching the rank of Sturmbannführer and became a member of the NSDAP in June 1937. On 01-11-1939, he was assigned to the Waffen-SS of the SS-Department of the Hohenlychen Sanatorium as a physician and SS Second Lieutenant. In 1940, he became troop physician of the SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler under SS-Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich. After having been wounded he was posted back to Hohenlychen and worked in the camp hospital of the Ravensbrück concentration camp as a surgical assistant to Karl Gebhardt.
He participated in the surgical experiments carried out on concentration camp inmates there.
After World War II, he was tried in the Doctors’ Trial in Nuremberg, convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity, He declared: In addition to my normal duties as surgeon at the SS Hospital. at Hohenlychen, on or about 12-07-1942 I was ordered by Professor Gebhardt to begin medical experiments in my capacity as assistant surgeon to Professor Gebhardt. Professor Gebhardt was a Gruppenführer SS, a confident of Heinrich Himmler, supreme clinical physician on the staff of the Reichsarzt der SS and Polizei (Oberster Kliniker im Stab Reichsarzt SS and Polizei), and was Chief of the SS Hospital at Hohenlychen
The prisoners at Ravensbruck Concentration Camp learned to fear Dr. Fritz Fischer once they put two and two together, for each time Fischer and his boss Dr. Gebhardt came from Hohenlychen Sanitarium women suddenly disappeared. Lists of prisoners were called to the Revier, the camp clinic, and it was soon full of women lying in casts or paper bandages. The gossip network at the camp was stronger than the German camp administration ever realized and before long the whole camp knew the doctors were operating on healthy women. Fischer and Gebhardt also removed healthy limbs from prisoners for use at the sanitarium. In Fischer’s trial testimony he describes in detail how he removed a prisoner’s arm, including the scapula, wrapped it in a clean sheet and drove with it back to Hohenlychen to surgically attach to Germans man named Ladisch. It is interesting to note that Fischer himself lost an arm on the battlefield. The purpose of, the proposed experiments was to determine the effectiveness of sulfanilamide, which I was informed at that time was a matter of considerable importance to military medical circles. In this photo Fischer is seated in the second row, far right, next to his colleague Herta Oberheuser
. Herta Oberheuser was the only female defendant in the Nuremberg trial, where she was sentenced to 20 years in prison—a sentence later reduced to five years. Oberheuser was released in April 1952 for good behavior and became a family doctor in West Germany. She lost her position in 1956, after a Ravensbrück survivor recognized her, and her license to practice medicine was revoked in 1958. She died on 24-01-1975, age 66 in Linz. The press dubbed Fischer, Oberheuser and Gebhardt “The Hohenlychen Three” since all three worked at the sanitarium at one point and had also participated in the experiments. Though Fischer testified in detail about his part in the operations, he was one of the few doctors who showed remorse at the trial and openly talked about how he felt badly operating on healthy young women. His attitude may have helped him live, for unlike Gebhardt, Fritz Fischer was one of the most feared doctors at Ravensbruck, he was judged in the Doctors Trial in Nuremberg and he began his lecture with the following words:
“I carry the full human, surgical, and political responsibility for these experiments.”
Fischer was condemned to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 15 years in 1951 and he was released in March 1954. Fischer subsequently regained his license to practice medicine and started a new career at the chemical company Boehringer in Ingelheim, where he stayed until his retirement.
Death and burial ground of Fischer, Fritz Ernst.
Living in Ockenheim Fritz Fischer died at the very old age of 91 in 2003 and is buried with his wife Magdalena who died age 87 in 2006 on the Friedhof of Ockenheim,Gaulsheimer Strasse, Section 6, Grave Nr. 29. My German friend Wolfgang Linke found the gravesite for me and sent me with great thanks the grave photo’s