Wilhelm Franz Josef Beiglbock

Wilhelm Franz Josef Beiglbock

Austrian doctor, therapist,
Date of Birth: 10.10.1905
Country: Germany

Biography of Wilhelm Franz Josef Baiglbeck

Wilhelm Franz Josef Baiglbeck was an Austrian physician and therapist, known for his involvement in the medical experiments conducted during World War II. He was one of the accused in the Nuremberg trials against doctors for their unethical practices. Together with Hans Eppinger, Baiglbeck conducted experiments on prisoners at the Dachau concentration camp, with the aim of studying the effects of seawater on the human body.

Baiglbeck was born in Hochneukirchen-Gschaidt, Lower Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire. After completing his education at a gymnasium in Melk, he enrolled at the University of Vienna. Upon graduating, Baiglbeck secured a position at the 3rd Medical University Clinic in Vienna, where he worked under the supervision of Professor Hvostek. He later moved to the 1st Medical University Clinic, this time working under the guidance of Hans Eppinger Jr.

By 1940, Baiglbeck had become a senior physician and in May 1941, he joined the Luftwaffe as a medical officer. In 1944, he was appointed as a professor at his alma mater, the University of Vienna. During the Nuremberg trials, Baiglbeck was charged for his experiments on prisoners at Dachau. He was ultimately found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes, initially sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment. However, on January 31, 1951, his sentence was reduced to ten years, and on December 15 of the same year, Baiglbeck was released from prison on parole.

The German Society of Therapists played a significant role in Baiglbeck's release and rehabilitation. They argued that the prisoners involved in his experiments did not die, which was a key factor in his defense. Baiglbeck's experiments focused on the effects of seawater on the human body and aimed to explore two different approaches: desalination using specific chemicals or adding high doses of vitamin C. Through his subjects, the advantages and disadvantages of these methods were assessed.

After his release, Baiglbeck was able to resume his career in his field. He initially worked in Freiburg under Ludwig Heilmeyer, before relocating to Buxtehude, Lower Saxony, Federal Republic of Germany, where he became the head of the therapeutic department. Baiglbeck passed away in Buxtehude on November 22, 1963.