By Harry de Quetteville
A German doctor who allegedly sent 900 children to a Nazi death camp has been given a top medical award. Dr Hans-Joachim Sewering, 92, a former SS member, was honoured for “services to the nation’s health system”. The doctor has always denied sending children to Eglfing-Haar, a facility south of Munich where it’s alleged physically and mentally handicapped children were killed.
Despite the allegations, Dr Sewering enjoyed a brilliant career and is a former head of Germany’s doctors’ association. The Nazis are known to have coerced doctors into reporting disabled patients during “Action T-4”. Many alleged Nazi war criminals have either died or disappeared with out a trace, but Dr Sewering still lives openly in Dachau, north of Munich, near the site of the concentration camp of the same name.
While established Nazi hunters at the Simon Wiesenthal centre have launched 'Operation Last Chance' in an attempt to track down any remaining fugitives before they die, Dr Sewering has been the target of a long, lone campaign led from the US by a fellow doctor.
Dr Michael Franzblau has spent tens of thousands of pounds of his own money to bankroll an effort to see Sewering prosecuted.
“I would like the German medical profession to recognize that they have a stain on their honour by his continued presence,” he has said in speeches in the US.
Dr Franzblau, who claims he is motivated by a moral imperative as “a physician, an American and a Jew” even took out a full page advertisement in the New York Times costing more than £30,000 asking: “Why is the German state of Bavaria harbouring an accused war criminal?"
Story from Telegraph News:
Nazi doctor wins medical award
May 25, 2008
A German medical association has awarded a medal to a 92-year-old doctor who was a member of the SS and suspected of carrying out Hitler's euthanasia policies, according to the magazine Der Spiegel.
Dr. Hans-Joachim Sewering was honoured for having "performed unequalled services in the cause of freedom of the practice and the independence of the medical profession, and to the nation's health system," the German Federation of Internal Medicine said in a statement.
Since 1978, Der Spiegel has published documents claiming that Sewering, while a doctor at a tuberculosis clinic near Munich, sent a 14-year-old girl to die at a euthanasia centre carrying out secret Nazi policies to murder members of society especially weak of body or mind.
The U.S. Anti-Defamation League claims Sewering sent a total of 900 children to their death at a euthanasia centre. Sewering has admitted to membership in the SS, an elite Nazi formation, but has always denied being responsible for euthansia.
Der Spiegel said in its report, released in advance of the news magazine's Monday edition, that the medical association had declined any commentary on Sewering's Nazi past.
© The Calgary Herald 2008
Following his conviction by a De-Nazification Court in 1946, Dr. Sewering began what would prove to be a long career as a chest physician in Dachau, one that has been financially lucrative and professionally successful. Many honors have been bestowed upon him by his colleagues, by universities, and by the State. Dr. Sewering resigned under pressure from the World Medical Association in late January, 1993, claiming that a "world Jewish conspiracy" had brought him down.
Dr. Sewering, in press releases following his forced resignation, denied any knowledge of the atrocities that took place between 1942 and 1945 at Schönbrunn Sanitorium. He even attempted to shift the blame to the Franciscan nuns who had cared for the children throughout the dark period of 1933 to 1945. Dr. Sewering's statements so outraged the nuns that they broke a 50 year period of silence to refute Dr. Sewering and, in their own press release, indicated that over 900 children had been taken away from them to be murdered as part of the T-4 and "Wild Euthanasia" programs conducted by physicians in every part of the Third Reich. The nuns stated that everyone at Schönbrunn, including the children themselves, knew that transfer to Eglfing-Haar “Healing Center” was a ticket to death.
Because of his prominence, Dr. Sewering has been featured in the media often. Beginning in the 1960s, allegations of his Nazi past began to surface in the press. In the 1970s, a prominent German periodical, "Der Spiegel," published an article that detailed, for the first time, Dr. Sewering's Nazi past and his participation in the killing program of the early 1940s. Dr. Sewering's role as a Senator in the Bavarian Parliament has been of inestimable value to him during these years in which his past and present professional life have come under scrutiny. Until 1994, being a Senator granted him immunity from criminal prosecution. On the contrary, there have been many tributes to him and they continue. He recently was honored on his 80th birthday by the Bavarian Medical Association. The German Medical Association honored him in May 1993 by making him a life member of the Board of Trustees. Subsequently, the German Medical Association voted at its annual meeting to close the books forever on Dr. Sewering's misdeeds.
Dr. Sewering continues to practice medicine in Dachau. His choice of city in which to practice is symbolic, Dachau being notorious as the site of an infamous concentration camp during World War II. To this day he denies all knowledge of the events at Eglfing-Haar in the 1940s and receives the protection of the Bavarian Minister of Justice and the State Prosecutor in Munich who refuse to conduct an authentic criminal inquiry into his past, one that would lead to an indictment for murder and a trial at which the facts of the matter would, at long last, be presented in a court of law.
Below is a short summary of Dr. Sewering's career:
1933: Joins the SS and the Nazi Party
1941: Graduates Medical School
1941-42: Military service on the Soviet Front
1942-44: Assigned to Schönbrunn Sanitarium
1944: Promoted to Senior Physician
1945-1946: Tried by a De-Nazification Court convicted of being a middle level member of the SS and the Nazi party. Fined 1500 German Marks. No knowledge of his participation in "wild euthanasia" during the period 1942 to 1945., so no charges of murder or crimes against humanity brought.
1946 to present: Private practice as a medical chest physician, Dachau, Bavaria
1955-1991: President Bavarian Medical Association
1968: Appointed honorary professor of social medicine and medical law at Technical University of Munich
1971: Treasurer, World Medical Association
1973-1978: President of the German Medical Association
1985: Honorary Doctorate from the Technical University in Munich
September 1992: President-Elect of the World Medical Association (WMA)
January 23, 1993: Resigned as President-Elect of the World Medical Association
July, 1994: Placed on the “watch List”, of the Department of Justice as a former member of a criminal organization (B1ack Shirts or the SS)
October 20th, 1996: Featured on "60 Minutes", as an alleged war criminal involved in the murder of Babette Frowiis ( He signed the transfer order from Schönbrunn Sanitarium to Eglfing-Haar to "The Killing Center" south of Munich)
September, 1996: Petition to start a criminal investigation leading to an indictment for murder filed with the Bavarian Court, denied by the Court
October 1998: House resolution 557 in 105th Session of the house of Representatives passed unanimously (423 to 0) asking the German government to investigate the charges against Dr. Sewering.
July 1999: United States Amassador to the United nations, Richard Holbrooke, agrees to personally involve himself in the effort to investigate the charges against Dr. Sewering
March, 2001: Dr. Sewering is alive, hale and hearty and practicing medicine in Dachau with his son, three days a week