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Horst Fischer (1912–1966)

Horst Fischer, born in 1912, was orphaned and grew up in the homes of relatives in Dresden and Berlin. In 1932, he began his medical studies at the University of Berlin, receiving his degree in 1937. He joined the SS on November 1, 1933, and the NSDAP on May 1, 1937.


After the war began, Fischer was assigned as a medical officer. He took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union, but was transferred away from the front lines because he had developed tuberculosis. In an SS convalescent home, Fischer became acquainted with Enno Lolling, the head of Division D III of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, or WVHA (Medical Corps Organization and Camp Hygiene), to which all camp doctors were subordinate. Lolling offered the young SS physician a transfer to a concentration camp. There, Lolling said, he could acquire surgical skills. Fischer agreed and was transferred to Auschwitz a short time later.


Im November 1942, he began his service there. Here his immediate superior was the SS garrison doctor, Dr. Eduard Wirths (1909–1945), a friend from their days in SS training together. Starting as an ordinary medical officer, Fischer rose in quick succession to the positions of deputy garrison doctor and camp doctor of I.G. Farben’s Buna/Monowitz camp. From November 1943 to September 1944, he served as camp doctor in the prisoner infirmary of the Buna/Monowitz concentration camp. Until the so-called evacuation, the clearing of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex in January 1945, Fischer was one of the highest-ranking SS physicians at Auschwitz.


After 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp physician Dr. Horst Fischer lived undisturbed for almost 20 years, working as a country doctor in the GDR. Because of his high degree of contacts with the West and “political unreliability” in the eyes of the GDR regime, Fischer was under surveillance by the Ministry of State Security (MfS, Stasi). After his identity as an SS doctor was discovered by the Stasi in the mid-1960s, so to speak as a byproduct of this scrutiny, he was brought to trial before the Supreme Court of the GDR in East Berlin in March 1966.


Fischer was sentenced to death and executed in Leipzig on July 8, 1966.

(CD; transl. KL)


Dirks, Christian: „Die Verbrechen der anderen“. Auschwitz und der Auschwitz-Prozess der DDR: Das Verfahren gegen den KZ-Arzt Dr. Horst Fischer. Paderborn: Schöningh, 2006.