Medical Service (KZ)

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The medical service was one of the five departments (Department I: Kommandantur-Staff , Department II: Political Department , Department III: Protective Custody Camp , Department IV: Location Management , Department V: Medical Service), which differed in the National Socialist concentration or extermination / death camps Carry out warehouse-related tasks.

"Department V" was an obligatory part of the command staff in the concentration camps. From 1937, this department was subordinate to the so-called "Senior Doctor" within the SS Inspection of the Concentration Camps (IKL). The “Head Doctor” of the IKL was responsible for the allocation and transfer of the “medical staff” to the concentration camps , the technical instructions to the on-site doctors and the evaluation of the so-called monthly reports of the on-site doctors. After subordinating the IKL as Office Group D to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, Enno Lolling acted as head of Office D III for sanitary and warehouse hygiene based in Oranienburg from March 3, 1942 . In this position he became the chief doctor of all concentration camp doctors, who in turn was subordinate to the Reich doctor SS Ernst-Robert Grawitz .

Site doctor

The on- site doctor , also known as the first camp doctor , headed the "Sanitary Department" within the concentration camp. In this role, the on-site doctor was the superior of the entire medical staff of the concentration camp. He was also responsible for the implementation of the technical instructions of the Chief Physician of the ICL and the drafting of the monthly reports to the ICL.

Troop doctor

The troop doctor was responsible for the medical care of the SS death's head guards working at the site and their relatives.

Camp doctor

Gold teeth from prisoners, Buchenwald concentration camp after liberation, May 1945

The task of the camp doctors, including dentists, included the medical care of the prisoners in the so-called prisoner infirmary or precinct of the concentration camp. Their main task was to restore the ability of sick inmates to work as well as to monitor camp hygiene to prevent epidemics . Direct contact with inmates as patients was the exception.

In addition, non-medical or pseudo-medical tasks were performed in different ways : selection of arriving prisoner transports and in the prisoner infirmary, monitoring of the gassing process , monitoring of the breaking out and securing of the dental gold of killed prisoners, determination of death after executions, in particular the murders by the camp Gestapo, execution of Forced abortions and sterilizations as well as partial participation in pseudo-scientific human experiments and the murder of prisoners by means of syringes (so-called "hosing down").

SS medical ranks

The camp doctors were in turn assigned so-called SS medical ranks (SDG) as auxiliary staff who, as members of the SS , acted as nurses in the prisoner infirmaries. These medical ranks often had no or only short nursing assistant courses ( paramedics ) and therefore had only limited medical knowledge.

Inmate doctors and inmate attendants

The direct treatment and care of the sick inmates was mainly carried out by the inmate doctors and nurses (see prisoner functionaries ), sometimes illegally against direct orders from the SS, who were also doctors and nurses by profession .

Other functions of the medical staff in concentration camps

SS pharmacists were also sometimes active in the concentration camps .


Individual evidence

  1. The murderers are still among us . In: Der Spiegel . No. 28 , 1988 ( online ).