Ludwig Stumpfegger

Ludwig Stumpfegger

One of Hitler's personal doctors, SS Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel)
Date of Birth: 11.07.1910
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Ludwig Stumpfegger
  2. Early Life and Medical Career
  3. Involvement in Medical Experiments
  4. Service to Hitler
  5. Final Days and Death

Biography of Ludwig Stumpfegger

Early Life and Medical Career

Ludwig Stumpfegger was born in Munich, Bavaria. He studied to become a doctor and initially worked as an assistant to Professor Karl Gebhardt, a school friend of SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler and later Hitler's personal physician. Gebhardt specialized in sports injuries and accidents at the Hohenlychen sanatorium, where Stumpfegger gained valuable experience. He was part of the medical team that served at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and the Winter Olympics held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen the same year.

Involvement in Medical Experiments

In 1939, the Hohenlychen sanatorium became a military institution under the orders of the SS. Working under the guidance of Professor Gebhardt, Dr. Fritz Fischer, and Dr. Herta Oberheuser, Stumpfegger participated in medical experiments conducted on women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp. These experiments included muscle and bone transplantation.

Service to Hitler

On October 31, 1944, Stumpfegger was sent to the Führer's headquarters on the Eastern Front. In 1945, he started working directly for Hitler in his bunker in Berlin, under the supervision of Hitler's personal physician, Theodor Morell. It was at Hitler's insistence that Stumpfegger had to test the cyanide capsule on Blondi, Hitler's beloved German Shepherd, gifted to him by Martin Bormann. This test was conducted to assess the rapid and effective action of the poison.

Final Days and Death

As the Red Army approached the bunker, Stumpfegger reportedly assisted Magda Goebbels in killing her children before she and her husband, Joseph Goebbels, followed suit. On April 30, 1945, Hitler signed a permission to leave the bunker, and on May 1st, Stumpfegger, along with Bormann and Arthur Axmann, the leader of the Hitler Youth, left the Nazi leadership's last refuge. They were one of ten groups attempting to escape the encirclement by the Soviet forces. Their attempt to storm the Weidendammer Bridge with a Tiger tank failed, resulting in the destruction of the bridge and the tank being disabled. The group then traveled by rail to Lehrter Station, after which Axmann separated from them, believing they were heading in the wrong direction. Moving in the chosen direction, Axmann encountered a patrol of the Red Army but managed to escape and turn back towards where his companions had gone. He later described finding the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger, lying on their backs with their arms spread, a yard away from the railway tracks, illuminated by moonlight. Axmann did not approach or examine the bodies, so the exact cause of their deaths remains unknown. In 1972, their remains were discovered and identified through dental records. In 1999, DNA testing confirmed the identity of Bormann. Fragments of glass found in the jawbones of Bormann and Stumpfegger led to the conclusion that both had died by biting into cyanide capsules.