Twenty years after the Second World War the public were made aware of War Crimes committed by the German forensic pathologist, Gerhart Panning (1900-1944). From 1942 till 1944, Panning was professor at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bonn. Panning died of tuberculosis on 22 March 1944. After the Second World War, Panning's widow tried to obtain denazification for her husband. There were no particularly serious doubts. In 1965, Konrad Graf von Moltke, the son of Helmuth James Graf von Moltke (1907-1944), presented to the court a private letter from his father to his mother. In this letter, written in 1941, Panning's experiments on Soviet prisoners are described. In the so-called Callsen trial in the court of Darmstadt from 1960 to 1968, the experiments were confirmed by witnesses. In 1941, Panning performed experiments in cooperation with the Sicherheitsstaffel (Nazi special police) in the Ukraine to prove that captured ammunition of the soviet infantry violated international law. For this purpose, different parts of the bodies of living Soviets were used as firing targets. He published the results of these experiments in a scientific journal without any evidence of the origin of these observations. In this article, Panning's life and crimes have been described.
|American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
|Number of pages
|Published - 03.2009