Rosenthal, Dr. Rudolf “Rolf”, born 22-01-1911, in Braunschweig, was an orphaned child, his father was missing at sea at the turn of 1913/14. It is not clear why he did not live with his mother – this would have been possible at least until 1943, according to the file. It is not clear who brought him up, nor what really happened to his parents. At the age of seventeen he studied medicine at the university of Kiel ? He specialised in Gynaechology and was married to a medical doctor Dorothea ? He already in 1928, according to his own statements, “for the fun of the scout character” had joined the Hitler Youth , and the NSDAP , Nr 112.187, in 1929. He also joined the SA in 1931, and the following year on 01-03-1932 the SS, Nr. 31.442. When World War II broke out he was called up for service in the Kriegsmarine. But that didn’t work out and somehow he managed to get a position as an medical officer at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Rosenthal was one of a number of doctors at Ravensbrück KZ. with the “famous”SS Gruppenführer Dr.Karl Gebhardt Rosenthal was posted there in 1942. Rosenthal replaced the gynecologist Gerda Weyand in Ravensbrück, where he worked alongside Herta Oberheuser.
His supervisor was Walter Sonntag. He was promised that he would only have to work there for six months, but this turned out to be untrue (see statements by Gerhard Schiedlausky and Percival “Percy” Treite of the same name). Gerhard Schiedlausky was hanged 03-05-1947, age 41, in Hameln. Walter Sonntag was hanged 17-09-1948, age 31, in Hameln, and Percy Treite committed suicide on 08-04-1947, age 45, in Hamburger Zuchthaus Justizvollzugsanstalt Fuhlsbüttel, In July 1943 Rosenthal had been sentenced by an SS Court in Hamburg for illicit relations with a female inmate who was also a sadistic nurse by the name of *Gerda Ganzer, born Quernheim, on whom he had carried out a number of abortions. The Court sentenced him to eight years imprisonment and expulsion from the SS. He was sent to Sachsenhausen KZ under escort. There he awaited further action under appeal which was heard by the SS and Police Court in Berlin in November/December 1943. This Court’s verdict was delivered on 20-06-1944. His sentence was reduced by two years, but his expulsion from the SS was confirmed. However, he was believed to have been sent to a SS penal batallion because he was captured in SS uniform with SS Haupsturmführer rank. There are no photos available to confirm this. A lot of stories went around during his trial, many of them very confusing about his wartime past. The facts will never be proven as witnesses-both SS and inmates of the Ravensbrück camp gave conflicting evidence. At the end of the war he was not discovered for a fortnight because he had been captured as a POW. He was then charged with war crimes later described as “a disgusting creature”. and a “sickly looking sadist”.
During the trial, witnesses described Rosenthal’s role in the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp as follows: Anyone who had been arrested for political reasons and examined by him had no chance of being admitted to the area despite illness. He immediately had such women thrown out of the area and refused to help them. He claimed to have been an “Antinazi”, which contradicted what the witnesses said. He only “slipped in” everywhere, even though he kept refusing. In the process, he reported as an outsider about the conditions in the camp. He himself was unable to remove these conditions, although he had tried. He admitted that he had participated in some experimental operations as an assistant in the summer of 1942. After all, Rosenthal admitted that he might have been involved in the selection of “guinea pigs” without knowing what it was.
The British prosecutors summarized that Rosenthal was a doctor and that he had clearly shown with his testimony that he became an accomplice. In collaboration with Gerhard Schiedlausky, he carried out the sulfonamide experiments, administered injections, participated in forced sterilizations and child killing. He had known all along what had really happened there in the name of medicine without opposing it.
Death and burial ground of Rosenthal, Dr. Rudolf “Rolf”.
He was sentenced to death by a British Military Tribunal in Hamburg on 04-02-1947, taken to the Altona prison, then transferred to and hanged in Hameln prison on 03-05-1947, age 36, by Albert Pierrepoint . Pierrepoint died 10-07-1992, age, 87, in Southport, Merseyside, England.
Rosenthal was first buried in the Hamelin prison yard, but, in 1954 reburied in holy ground at Am Wehl Cemetery. The graveyard had graves with crosses but after many discussions about the Neo Nazi visits, on 05-03-1986 all 200 Iron Crosses were removed and the graveside is now a grass field..
Gerda Ganzer was indicted in the Hamburg “Curiohaus” before a British military court in the fourth Ravensbrück trial for the abuse and killing of Allied prisoner women (injections) and sentenced to death on 04-06-1948 by hanging. In the third charge, the killing of an infant, she was acquitted. As a result of a pardon, the death penalty was converted into a life sentence on 03-07-1948. In February 1950 the life sentence was reduced to 21 years and in September 1954 to twelve years. Ganzer was released on 06-06-1961. Nothing is known about her further life.