November 18

German & World Medical Associations bestow highest honors on SS Nazi doctor, Hans J. Sewering

“Despite gross violations of individual rights, many physicians went on to have successful careers, and in many cases were honored.” (Lawrence W. White M.D. The Nazi Doctors and the Medical Community, Journal of Medical Humanities, 1996)

Hans-Joachim Sewering, MD was a former member of the SS and the Nazi party. He was tried by a de-Nazification court after the war; but was convicted merely of being a middle-ranking Nazi Party and SS member, and fined 1,500 German marks. But no mention had been made in the court hearing about Sewering having sent disabled children to be murdered. (Andrew Roberts. The Daily Mail, 2008)

Sewering was the doctor at the Catholic run Schonbrun tuberculosis hospital near Dachau who was accused of transferring hundreds of disabled Catholic children to Eglfing-Haar, a “healing center” where they were killed in euthanasia experiments. Sewering insisted for many years that he knew nothing about the murders. Given that euthanasia was an official policy of Hitler’s, his disclaimer is disingenuous at best.

From 1947 he practiced in Dachau and joined Bavaria’s most powerful political party, the CSU and was active in medical associations. The medical community turned a blind eye to his complicity in the crime of mass murder. By 1955 he assumed the leadership of the Bavarian medical association, which he maintained until 1991. And in 1968, he was appointed honorary professor of social medicine and medical law at the Technical University of Munich, and three years later he was treasurer of the World Medical Association. (The Daily Mail,  2008)

From 1973 to 1978 Sewering was president of the German Medical Association; and for many years he was also a member of the permanent medical committee of the European Union. He resigned from the GMA after Der Spiegel reported that in 1943, Sewering had sent at least one patient, a 14 year old child named Babette Frowls, to Eglfing-Haar “a well-known euthanasia center of the Nazis.” The paper also wrote an article questioning Sewering’s billing practices.

Dr Hans-Joachim Sewering had been protected for decades by the Bavarian government and the judiciary. He denied the charge of sending patients to be euthanized; claiming that the Nazi euthanasia action had been stopped in 1941 — a blatant lie — as the Nazi murderous apparatus continued until the very end of the war.  Prof. Michael M. Kochen of the University of Gottingen told The New York Times,

“To say the charges are baseless is simply a lie. The Frowls case is simply the only one that ever became known. He had to have known what would happen if he sent the girl to Eglfing-Haar.”

Never the less, the Bavarian justice ministry noted, amid further accusations in 1995, that prosecutors had investigated Sewering and found no grounds for any criminal charges.  Thus, Sewering was able to avoid prosecution for crimes he had committed against mentally and physically disabled children during World War II.

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