Otto Bickenbach

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Otto Bickenbach (* 11 March 1901 in Ruppichteroth in the Rhineland, † 26 November 1971 in Siegburg ) was a German internist and professor at the University of Strasbourg. He joined the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933. Between June and August 1943 in the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp, Bickenbach and his assistant, Helmut Rühl, conducted a series of tests by poisonous gas in gas chamber experiments with phosgene. More than 50 prisoners, mainly gypsies transferred for medical experiments from Auschwitz, were murdered in the course of these experiments.[1]

After the war[edit]

Bickenbach was arrested on 17 March 1947 and sent to France. In an interrogation Bickenbach said that he made gas experiments because of Himmlers command, however they are against medical ethics. Together with his colleague from Straßburg Eugen Haagen he was sentenced by a French military court in Metz on 24. December 1952 because of the crime using bad substances and poisson murder to lifelong work. In January 1954 a second trial in December 1954 before a military court in Metz, together with his colleagues he was sentenced to forced labor for life but in 1955 was pardoned and Bickenbach then conducted a medical practice as an internist in Siegburg. The court for health professionals in Cologne in 1966 came to the conclusion Bickenbach had not violated his professional ethics by his participation in the experiments in the concentration camps.[2]


  1. ^ Ernst Klee: Auschwitz, die NS-Medizin und ihre Opfer., Frankfurt am Main, 1997, S. 378ff.
  2. ^ CERTIFICATE IT 15/62 see Ernst Klee:People Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. Who was that before and after 1945.Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16048-0, p. 48