Return to the Perpetrators | Return to the Witnesses

Letters on Sterilization

Letter from SS-Oberfuehrer Brack to Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler, June23, 1942 [DotH, p. 272]

Honorable Mr. Reichsfuehrer!
According to my impression there are at least 2-3 million men and women wellfit for work among the approx. 10 million European Jews. In consideration of theexceptional difficulties posed for us by the question of labor, I am of theopinion that these 2-3 million should in any case be taken out and kept alive. Ofcourse this can only be done if they are in the same time rendered incapable ofreproduction. I reported to you about a year ago that persons under myinstruction have completed the necessary experiments for this purpose. I wish tobring up these facts again. The type of sterilization which is normally carriedout on persons with genetic disease is out of the question in this case, as ittakes too much time and is expensive. Castration by means of X-rays, however, isnot only relatively cheap, but can be carried out on many thousands in a veryshort time. I believe that it has become unimportant at the present time whetherthose affected will then in the course of a few weeks or months realize by theeffects that they are castrated.
In the event, Mr. Reichsfuehrer, that you decide to choose these means in theinterest of maintaining labor-material, Reichsleiter Bouhler will be ready toprovide the doctors and other personnel needed to carry out this work. He alsoinstructed me to inform you that I should then order the required equipment asquickly as possible.

Dear Brack,
It is only today that I have the opportunity of acknowledging the receipt ofyour letter of June 23. I am positively interested in seeing the sterilization byX-rays tried out at least once in one camp in a series of experiments.
By order of Reichsleiter Bouhler I submit to you as an enclosure a work ofDr. Horst Schumann on the influence of X-rays on human genital glands.
SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Brandt to Prof. Clauberg, 10 July 1942
[ToWC, Vol. I, p. 729]
Today the Reich Leader SS charged me with transmitting to you his wish thatyou go to Ravensbruck after you have had another talk with SS-ObergruppenfuehrerPohl and the camp physician of the women's concentration camp Ravensbruck, inorder to perform the sterilization of Jewesses according to your method...
Thorough experiments should be conducted to investigate the effect of thesterilization largely in a way that you find out after a certain time, which youwould have to fix, perhaps by X-rays, what kind of changes have taken place. Insome cases a practical experiment might be arranged by locking up a Jewess and aJew together for a certain period and then seeing what results are achieved.

Memorandum of SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Brandt on discussion betweenHimmler, Gebhart, Gluecks, and Clauberg concerning sterilization experimentsconducted on Jewesses [ToWC, Vol. I, p. 728]
Fuehrer Headquarters, July 1942

On 7 July 1942 a discussion took place between the Reich Leader SS,SS-Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Gebhart, SS-Brigadefuehrer Gluecks, andSS-Brigadefuehrer Clauberg, Koenigshette. The topic of the discussion was thesterilization of Jewesses. The Reich Leader SS has promised BrigadefuehrerProfessor Clauberg that Auschwitz concentration camp will be at his disposal forhis experiments on human beings and animals. By means of some fundamentalexperiments, a method should be found which would lead to sterilization ofpersons without their knowledge. The Reich Leader SS wanted to get another reportas soon as the result of these experiments was known, so that the sterilizationof Jewesses could then be carried out in actuality.
It should also be examined, preferably in cooperation with Professor Dr.Hohlfelder, an X-ray specialist in Germany, what way sterilization of men couldbe achieved by X-ray treatment.
The Reich Leader SS called the special attention of all gentlemen present tothe fact that the matter involved was most secret and should be discussed onlywith the officers in charge and that the persons present at the experiments hadto pledge secrecy.

Letter from Professor Clauberg to Himmler, June 7 1943, on his
research concerning sterilization of women [ToWC, Vol 1, p. 730]

Dear Reich Leader,
Today I am fulfilling my obligation to report to you from time to time aboutthe state of my research work...
The method I contrived to achieve the sterilization of the female organismwithout operation is as good as perfected. It can be performed by a singleinjection made through the entrance of the uterus in the course of the customarygynecological examination known to every physician. If I say that the method is"as good as perfected" this means:
1. Still to be worked out are only minor improvements of the method.
2. Already today it could be put to practical use in the course of ourregular eugenic sterilization and could thus replace the operation.
As to the question which you, Reich Leader, asked me almost a one year ago,i.e., how much time would probably be required to sterilize 1,000 women by usingthis method. Today I can answer you with regard to the future as follows:
If my researches continue to have the same results as up to now - and thereis no reason to doubt that - then the moment is not far off when I can say:
"One adequately trained physician in one adequately equipped place, withperhaps 10 assistants (the number of assistants in conformity with the speeddesired) will most likely be able to deal with several hundred, if not even 1,000per day".

Return to the Perpetrators | Return to the Witnesses