Dr. Horst Schumann (first lieutenant of the air force
and SS-Sturmbannführer), was born in 1906 as son of a physician
in Halle/Saale. He entered the NSDAP in 1930 and, two years later, joined the SA. In 1933,
he was a doctor in Halle and was employed in the Public Health Office.
After the war began, Schumann was recruited by the air force as a physician.
Viktor Brack, director of the department "Aktion
T 4" asked him to participate in the euthanasia program. Schumann
agreed and, in January 1940,
he became head of the euthanasia-institute Grafeneck in Wurttemberg,
where people were killed by motor exhaust fumes. Half a year later,
he became director of the institute Sonnenstein/Pirna in Saxonia.
After Hitler officially ordered the extermination of “life unworthy of life,”
Schumann belonged to a commission of doctors who transferred weak and
sick prisoners in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen, Neuengamme and Niederhangen concentration
camps to the euthanasia killing centers.
On July 28, 1941, Schumann arrived in Auschwitz for
the first time.Like Carl
Clauberg, Schumann was searching for a convenient means of mass
sterilization that would enable the Third Reich to carry out the biological
destruction of conquered nations by “scientific methods”
— through depriving people of their reproductive capacity. “X-ray
sterilization” equipment was set up for Schumann in one of the
barracks at Birkenau. Every so often, several dozen Jewish men and women
prisoners were brought in. The sterilization experiments consisted of
exposing the women's ovaries and the men's testes to X-rays. Schumann
applied various intensities at various intervals in his search for the
optimal dose of radiation. The exposure to radiation produced severe
burns on the belly, groin, and buttocks areas of the subjects, and festering
sores that were resistant to healing. Many subjects died from complications.
The results of the X-ray sterilization experiments were unsatisfactory.
In an article that he sent to Himmler in April 1944,
titled “The Effect of X-Ray Radiation on the human Reproductive
Glands,” Schumann expressed a preference for surgical castration,
as being quicker and more certain.
Schumann left Auschwitz in 1944. In October 1945, he
suddenly appeared in Gladbeck where we was appointed urban sports-doctor.
He opened his own consulting practice in 1949 with a refugee credit
and was only recognized as a war
criminal in 1951. Schumann fled and worked as a doctor on a ship
before settling in the Sudan in 1955. Four years later, he fled again
via Nigeria and Libya to Ghana. In 1966, Schumann was finally delivered
to the German Federal Republic, where the trial against him was opened
in September 1970. The proceedings were delayed in April 1971 because
of Schumann's high blood-pressure. Without any public interest, Schumann
was released from prison on July 29, 1972. He spent the rest of his
life in Frankfurt and died on May 5, 1983, eleven years after he had