Eduard Krebsbach (8 August 1894 – 28 May 1947) was a former German
physician and SS doctor in the Nazi concentration camp in Mauthausen
from July 1941 to August 1943. He was executed for crimes against
humanity committed at the Mauthausen camp.
1 Concentration camp career
2 Dachau War Crime Trial
5 External links
Concentration camp career
In the autumn of 1941, Krebsbach became Standortarzt (garrison doctor)
of Mauthausen concentration camp, tasked with supervising medical care
and all medical personnel of the camp. He was responsible for
initiating mass killing by lethal injection to the heart on
handicapped and sick prisoners. Under his supervision approximately
900 Russian, Polish and Czech prisoners were murdered by lethal
injections of gasoline. Because of this inmates nicknamed him 'Dr
Spritzbach' (Dr Injection). Krebsbach was also responsible for the
construction of a gas chamber in the basement of the hospital in the
Krebsbach often inspected the prisoners and conducted selections for
execution. A former inmate recalled Krebsbach's actions during such an
inspection: "As the senior SS doctor in the camp, Dr Krebsbach
sometimes came to block 5 and had the still surviving Jews paraded
before him. He then asked if any of them were doctors. If there were,
he would say: 'You Jewish pig, you’re just an abortionist.' The next
day they were done away with by the kapos. If a Jewish inmate was
lying on the floor with a broken limb - a not uncommon occurrence at
work - he was usually thrown over a wall by a kapo. If Dr Krebsbach
were passing, he would say ironically: 'Yes, this broken foot is a
Josef Herzler, former Mauthausen inmate (AMM V/3/22).
Krebsbach was transferred to the
Kaiserwald concentration camp
Kaiserwald concentration camp in
Latvia during the autumn of 1943, as it is believed he shot Josef
Breitenfellner in his home. Breitenfellner was a German soldier from
Langenstein on vacation when he and his friends awoke Krebsbach from
his sleep on 22 May 1943. Here he conducted selections by forcing
the prisoners to perform physical exercises to check their strength
and then identifying the two thousand weakest to be killed.
Following the camp's closure, Krebsbach resumed a career as
“Epidemic Inspector for Latvia,
Estonia and Lithuania”. Soon after
he transferred to the regular army as a senior staff doctor, serving
until late 1944. However this was short lived and at the end of 1944
he left the army and worked once again as a company doctor in a
spinning mill in Kassel.
Dachau War Crime Trial
Following the end of
World War II
World War II he was arrested and given the death
penalty during the Dachau trials conducted by the US military on 13
May 1946 and was executed by hanging on 28 May 1947 at Landsberg
Prison in Landsberg am Lech.
The following is from the court record of the Dachau trials (quoted in
Hans Maršálek, "Die Geschichte des Konzentrationslagers Mauthausen",
"Krebsbach: When I started work I was ordered by the head of Office
III D to kill or have killed all those who were unable to work, and
the incurably sick.
Prosecutor: And how did you carry out this order?
Krebsbach: Incurably sick inmates who were absolutely incapable of
work were generally gassed. Some were also killed by gasoline
Prosecutor: To your knowledge, how many persons were killed in this
way in your presence?
Krebsbach: (no answer)
Prosecutor: You were ordered to kill those unfit to live?
Krebsbach: Yes. I was ordered to have persons killed if I was of the
opinion that they were a burden on the state.
Prosecutor: Did it never occur to you that these were human beings,
people who had the misfortune to be inmates or who had been neglected?
Krebsbach: No. People are like animals. Animals that are born deformed
or incapable of living are put down at birth. This should be done for
humanitarian reasons with people as well. This would prevent a lot of
misery and unhappiness.
Prosecutor: That is your opinion. The world does not agree with you.
Did it never occur to you that killing a human being is a terrible
Krebsbach: No. Every state is entitled to protect itself against
asocial persons including those unfit to live.
Prosecutor: In other words, it never occurred to you that what you
were doing was a crime?
Krebsbach: No. I carried out my work to the best of my knowledge and
belief because I had to."
Ernst Klee: Auschwitz, die NS-Medizin und ihre Opfer. 3. Auflage. S.
Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1997, ISBN 3-596-14906-1.
Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und
nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007,
Hans Marsalek: Geschichte des Konzentrationslagers Mauthausen.
Österreichische Lagergemeinschaft Mauthausen, Wien, 1980.
Review and Recommendations of the Deputy Judge Advocate for War
Crimes: United States of America vs. Hans Altfuldisch et al. - Case
No. 000.50.5 Original document Mauthausen war crimes (pdf)[permanent
dead link], 30. April 1947, in English.
Florian Freund: Der Dachauer Mauthausenprozess, in:
Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes. Jahrbuch
2001, Wien 2001, S. 35–66
Eduard Krebsbach - www.nizkor.org". 1998-12-05. Retrieved
^ Wachsmann, Nikolaus (2015). Kl: a history of the Nazi concentration
camps. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 549.
Media related to
Eduard Krebsbach at Wikimedia Commons
Eduard Krebsbach in the
German National Library
German National Library catalogue
Mauthausen Memorial: SS-site physician Dr. Eduard Krebsbach