Ernst-Robert Grawitz

Ernst-Robert Grawitz (8 June 1899 – 24 April 1945) was a German physician and an SS functionary (Reichsarzt, "arzt" meaning "physician") during the Nazi era.

Ernst-Robert Grawitz
Born(1899-06-08)8 June 1899
Charlottenburg, Prussia, German Empire
Died24 April 1945(1945-04-24) (aged 45)
Potsdam-Babelsberg, Nazi Germany
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch German Red Cross

SS career

Grawitz was born in Charlottenburg, in the western part of Berlin, Germany. As Reichsarzt SS und Polizei (Reich Physician SS and Police), Grawitz was also head of the German Red Cross. Grawitz funded Nazi attempts to "eradicate the perverted world of the homosexual" and research into attempts to "cure" homosexuality. This involved experimentation on inmates in Nazi concentration camps.[1] He was in charge of "enthusiastic" experiments on concentration camp inmates.[2]

Grawitz was also a part of the group in charge of the killing of mentally ill and physically handicapped people in the Action T4 "euthanasia" programme, especially the child "euthanasia" from 1939.[3] The officials selected the doctors who were to carry out the operational part of the killing programme.[4]

In addition, researchers both in and outside the SS wanted to exploit the "supply" of inmates held in the SS camps and use them like "human guinea pigs" for experiments.[5] In order to do so, the interested parties had to apply to Grawitz, who forwarded requests to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler who then gave final approval.[5]

Towards the end of World War II in Europe, Grawitz was a physician in Adolf Hitler's Führerbunker. When he heard that other officials were leaving Berlin in order to escape the advancing Soviet Red Army, Grawitz petitioned Hitler to allow him to leave Berlin; his request was denied. As the Soviet Army advanced on Berlin, Grawitz killed himself and his family with grenades at their house in Babelsberg.[2]


  1. "The Nazi doctor who experimented on gay people – and Britain helped to escape justice".
  2. Evans, Richard (2009) [2008]. The Third Reich at War, p. 729.
  3. Schafft, Gretchen E. (2004). From Racism to Genocide: Anthropology in the Third Reich, pp. 159–163.
  4. Lifton, R. J. (1986). The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, p. 64.
  5. Weale, Adrian (2012). Army of Evil: A History of the SS, p. 100.
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