Carl Værnet

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Carl Værnet , initially Carl Peter Jensen , in Argentina Carlos Pedro Varnet (born April 28, 1893 in Løjenkær ; † November 25, 1965 in Buenos Aires ) was a Danish-Argentine general practitioner and SS-Sturmbannführer who carried out medical experiments on homosexuals in the Buchenwald concentration camp performed.


Jensen, son of a farmer, worked on his parents' estate after leaving school. After completing his teacher training in 1914, he made up his Abitur on the second educational path . He then completed a medical degree at the University of Copenhagen , which he graduated with honors in June 1923. Jensen renamed himself Carl Værnet in November 1921; the new surname has the meaning of "protect" or "defend" in Danish. From November 1924 Værnet worked as a general practitioner. His treatment focus was on shortwave therapy , which he carried out in his own clinic from 1933 onwards. During a trip to Germany, Værnet met Magnus Hirschfeld and visited his Institute for Sexology in Berlin . Værnet, who came into contact with hormone therapy during his student days , then developed the thesis that testosterone could "treat" homosexuality . His subsequent research focused on the creation of an "artificial sex gland". Værnet, meanwhile a member of the Danish National Socialist Workers' Party , met the Reich Health Leader Leonardo Conti in the German Reich in 1941 . He sold his private clinic in Copenhagen to the Wehrmacht in mid-1943 after his income fell and he was investigated. The background to the investigation was also the illegal supply of morphine to a patient. At the beginning of October 1943 he and his family moved to Berlin.

Through the mediation of the Reichsarzt SS , Ernst-Robert Grawitz , Værnet came into contact with the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler and was recommended by the office manager of Grawitz Helmut Poppendick to the Economic and Administrative Main Office of the SS as an accomplished hormone researcher:

"Dr. V. has been working on an "artificial gland" since the beginning of the war. On the basis of numerous experiments on animals and humans, V. has developed a new type of depot body - an artificial gland - for the implantation of drugs, especially hormone depots. "

Værnet was sponsored by Himmler with the aim of establishing the production of artificial hormone capsules. Værnet received the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer and signed a contract in Prague on May 16, 1944 . With retroactive effect to December 1, 1943, he received a monthly allowance of RM 1,500 from this point in time and undertook to have his artificial glands produced exclusively by the SS company Deutsche Heilmittel GmbH . Værnet was given a post in Prague and conducted research in a laboratory of the SS company.

On August 24, 1944, Værnet announced the completion of his artificial male sex gland. Before that, he was given the opportunity to test his artificial male sex glands on concentration camp inmates at Buchenwald concentration camp. Værnet was in Buchenwald concentration camp for the first time on July 26, 1944 and implanted artificial male sex glands in 17 concentration camp prisoners, including 10 homosexuals, on September 16 and December 8, 1944. The purpose of these operations on humans was to prove that “homosexuality can be turned into a normal sex drive”. At least one of the operated concentration camp prisoners died as a result of these operations. The camp doctors Erwin Ding-Schuler and Gerhard Schiedlausky cooperated with Værnet. For their own protection, the operated prisoners stated after the implantation of the artificial sex gland that they no longer had any homosexual tendencies. Værnet finally reported to Himmler on February 10, 1945 that his research had been successfully completed.

In March 1945 Værnet moved back to Denmark with his family , applied for a patent on his development and tried to sell the artificial endocrine gland to pharmaceutical companies. He was investigated in Denmark on the basis of testimony. In addition, Eugen Kogon's book Der SS-Staat - The System of German Concentration Camps had already appeared in 1946 , which also contained references to Værnet's work in Buchenwald concentration camp. In early 1946, charges were brought against Værnet for “ treason and other activities dangerous to the state”. During interrogations, Værnet denied medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners and downplayed his collaboration with the SS . Værnet fled Denmark to Argentina via Sweden at the end of 1946 . His family - Værnet was married twice and had six children - followed him in 1947. He became an Argentine citizen under the name Carlos Pedro Varnet . In Buenos Aires he later worked at the Physiological Institute. After his death he was buried next to his wife in the Británico Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

A Værnet biography was created after a request made in 1998 by the British gay organization OutRage! to the Danish government. After about a year and a half, the Danish government replied that they had no knowledge of Værnet and his involvement in the concentration camp crimes or investigations into it. Only a reference to existing documents in the Danish Reich Archives was given. From research by OutRage! The result was the book Carl Værnet - The Danish SS Doctor in Buchenwald Concentration Camp , which has been available in German since 2004.


  • Hans Davidsen-Nielsen, Niels Høiby, Niels-Birger Danielsen, Jakob Rubin: Carl Værnet - The Danish SS Doctor in Buchenwald Concentration Camp , Rainbow Edition, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-9500507-2-8 .
  • Ernst Klee : Auschwitz, Nazi medicine and its victims. 3. Edition. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1997, ISBN 3-596-14906-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Memorandum dated December 3, 1943 regarding the hormone research of Dr. Carl Värnet, quoted from: Ernst Klee: Auschwitz, Nazi medicine and its victims. , Frankfurt am Main, 1997, p. 32
  2. ^ Værnet in a letter to Grawitz dated October 30, 1944, quoted from: Ernst Klee: Auschwitz, the Nazi medicine and its victims. , Frankfurt am Main, 1997, 32 and 165.