Helmut Kunz

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Helmut Kunz
Helmutkunz2.jpg
Helmut Kunz
Born 26 September 1910
Ettlingen, Germany
Died 1976 (aged 65–66)
Freudenstadt, Germany
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1936 - 1945
Rank SS-Sturmbannführer Collar Rank.svg SS-Sturmbannführer
Unit Dental (medical) office
Battles/wars World War II

Helmut Kunz (26 September 1910 – 1976) was an SS dentist who, after the suicide of Adolf Hitler, was ordered to administer anesthetic to the six children of Joseph Goebbels before they were killed.

Early years[edit]

Kunz was born in Ettlingen, Germany. He first studied law, then dentistry. He wrote his doctoral thesis on "studies of dental caries among school children as related to their feeding in infancy". In 1936, he opened a dental practice in Lucka, south of Leipzig. He also joined the SS, unit Sturm 10/48.

SS career[edit]

In 1939, Kunz was a member of the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. In 1941 he was seriously injured and assigned to the Waffen-SS medical office in Berlin as a junior assistant of the Dentist-General. In late April 1945 he was assigned to the Reich Chancellery.[1]

Killing the Goebbels children[edit]

Unlike many other leading Nazis by April 1945, Joseph Goebbels showed his strong support for Hitler by moving himself and his family into the Vorbunker, that was connected to the lower Führerbunker under the Reich Chancellery gardens in central Berlin.[2] Magda Goebbels was Kunz's first patient in the Chancellery. She had developed an abscess under a bridge in her lower jaw. On 27 April 1945, Magda took Kunz aside to ask his help in killing her children. After meeting the children, he left and returned to his duty post at the Chancellery.[3] On 1 May, Magda telephoned and requested he come to the Vorbunker. Once there, she told him that Hitler was dead and there were groups attempting to break-out of the Soviet ring but, the Goebbels had decided it was time to die.[3] Magda and her husband, Joseph Goebbels insisted that Kunz help them. According to Kunz, he injected the Goebbels children with morphine which Magda obtained from Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger to render them unconscious before cyanide capsules were administered.[4]

Capture and later life[edit]

Kunz returned to work at the emergency casualty station, where he remained until taken prisoner by Soviet Red Army troops on 2 May. Dr. Werner Haase, along with two nurses, Erna Flegel and Liselotte Chervinska were captured with him at that time.[5] He spent ten years in Russian captivity, then returned to Münster. In 1955, a former Waffen SS sergeant and prisoner of war, Harri Mengershausen, implicated Kunz in the children's deaths.

In his testimony, Kunz said that he injected the children with morphine but it was Magda Goebbels, (the mother of the children), or Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger, who slipped the children cyanide pills.[6]

This contradicts the testimony of Oberscharführer Rochus Misch, a member of Hitler's Führerbegleitkommando bodyguard and head of communications in the Führerbunker and statements by Goebbels State Secretary in the Propaganda Ministry, Werner Naumann. Naumann and Misch both stated it was actually Hitler's surgeon SS Dr. Stumpfegger who mixed a sweetened narcotic drink to put the Goebbels children into a deep sleep before Magda Goebbels placed cyanide capsules into their mouths.[7][8]

The German courts refused to convict Kunz, and he remained in dental practice, highly regarded until his death.[6] He died in Freudenstadt in 1976, and is buried in the Städtischer Friedhof (municipal cemetery) division R, double grave 10/11.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vinogradov, V. K., et al. (2005), p. 55.
  2. ^ Mollo, Andrew & Ramsey, Winston, ed. After the Battle, Number 61, Seymour Press Ltd., London, 1988, pp 28, 30
  3. ^ a b Vinogradov, V. K., et al. (2005), p. 56
  4. ^ Vinogradov, V. K., et al. (2005), p. 58
  5. ^ Vinogradov, V. K., et al. (2005), p. 62.
  6. ^ a b "Kindermord im Führerbunker". Der Spiegel. 
  7. ^ "I was in Hitler's suicide bunker". BBC News. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  8. ^ O'Donnell (2001) [1978] pp. 260, 261

Rochus Misch interview with the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8234018.stm

Bibliography[edit]