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Grawitz greeting members of the National Leader's School (Reichsf√ľhrerschule} of the German Red Cross, February 20, 1939

Ernst-Robert Grawitz (8 June 1899 ‚Äď 24 April 1945) was a German physician (and a SS-Reichsarzt) in Nazi Germany during World War II.


Early life

Grawitz was born in Charlottenburg, in the western part of Berlin, Germany.


As Reichsphysician SS and Police, Grawitz advised Heinrich Himmler, commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS), on the use of gas chambers. He carried out brutal medical experiments on Jewish Nazi concentration camp prisoners. Grawitz was also head of the German Red Cross. His wife, Ilse, was the daughter of SS-Obergruppenf√ľhrer und General der Waffen-SS Siegfried Taubert.

Towards the end of World War II in Europe, Grawitz was a physician in Adolf Hitler's F√ľhrerbunker. When he heard that other officials were leaving Berlin in order to escape from advancing Soviet armies, Grawitz petitioned Hitler to allow him to leave; the request was refused.


With the Soviets approaching, Grawitz decided to commit suicide, an act that also killed his family. While eating supper with his wife and two children, he pulled the pins out of two grenades that he held under the table. His dramatic suicide was portrayed in the 2004 historical film Der Untergang (Downfall), in which he was portrayed by Christian Hoening.


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