Germany: Remains preserved by Nazi doctor to be buried in Berlin 74 years later
Over 300 tissue samples from people murdered by the Nazis and kept by a Berlin doctor will be laid to rest in a ceremony in Berlin on May 13, 74 years after the end of World War Two, Bild newspaper reported on Sunday.
The tiny samples were discovered in 2016 in the estate of anatomy professor Hermann Stieve from the University of Berlin, who had received the bodies of German anti-Nazi fighters for dissection, sometimes just minutes after they were killed at the Berlin-Ploetzensee prison.
Stieve, who died of a stroke in 1952, dissected the bodies of the mostly female victims for his research and then had them cremated and interred, sometimes in mass graves.
The samples – most less than a millimeter long – were found in small black boxes, and some were labeled with the names of the victims, Bild reported.
The doctor kept meticulous records of 184 autopsies he conducted, of whom 172 were women. Stieve dissected 13 of the 18 women decapitated by the Nazis for their work in the “Red Chapel” resistance group, the newspaper reported.
Stieve was interested particularly in reproductive anatomy; a key reason why so many victims on his list were women.