Re Brandt (Medical Trial)

CourtNuremberg Court (Germany)
Docket NumberCase No. 128
Date20 i 1947
Nuremberg, Germany, United States Military Tribunal.
Case No. 128
In re Brandt and Others (The Medical Trial).

Individuals — Position in International Law — Rights of Individuals Independent of the Law of the State — Crimes against Humanity — Crimes Committed by a State against its own Subjects — Extermination, Torture and Ill-treatment by Germany of her own Subjects and Foreign Nationals.

Belligerent Occupation — Civilian Inhabitants — Treatment of — Unlawful Medical Experiments on Civilian Inhabitants and Prisoners of War Confined in Concentration Camps — Killing, Extermination and Ill-treatment by Germany of Her Own Subjects — War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

The Facts.—The twenty-three accused were members of the medical profession. Most of them held high rank in the German armed forces or occupied important positions in the State Medical Service. They were charged with participation, in various capacities, in the conducting of medical experiments, without the subjects' consent, on civilian inhabitants of occupied territory, German and other nationals and prisoners of war, who were confined in concentration camps. It was alleged that the experiments were cruel and inhuman in their nature and often fatal in their results. They included experiments to investigate: (1) the limits of human endurance and existence at high altitudes; (2) the most effective means of treating persons who had been severely chilled or frozen; (3) immunization for and treatment of malaria and epidemic jaundice; (4) the most effective treatment of wounds caused by mustard gas; (5) the effectiveness of sulphanilamide, spotted fever and other vaccines; (6) bone, muscle and nerve regeneration and bone transplantation from one person to another; (7) various methods of making sea-water drinkable; (8) a method of sterilization which would be suitable for sterilizing large numbers of the population with a minimum of time and effort; (9) the effect upon human beings of various poisons, and of pharmaceutical preparations on phosphorous burns.

Held: that Brandt and fifteen other accused were guilty.1 Eight accused were acquitted as the evidence did not establish their participation in the crimes.

(1) Common Design or Conspiracy to commit War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. The Tribunal said: “It is the ruling of this Tribunal that neither the Charter of the International Military Tribunal nor Control Council Law No. 10 has defined conspiracy to commit a war crime or crime...

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