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SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Ludwig Stumpfegger (July 11, 1910 – May 2? 1945) was a German SS doctor in World War II and Adolf Hitler's personal surgeon from 1944.

Stumpfegger was born in Munich in Bavaria. He initially worked as an assistant doctor under Professor Karl Gebhardt in the Sanatorium Hohenlychen, which specialised in sports accidents. As a result of this experience, he was part of the medical team, along with Gebhardt, at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and the Winter Olympics of the same year in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

In 1939, the Hohenlychen was used by the SS as part of the war effort. Working under the supervision of Gebhardt, Dr. Fritz Fischer and Dr. Herta Oberheuser, he participated in medical experiments, the subjects of which were women from the concentration camp at Ravensbrück. The experiments included the transplantation of bone and muscle.

In 1945, Stumpfegger started working directly for Hitler in the Führerbunker in Berlin under the direction of Dr. Theodor Morell. At Hitler's request, he provided a cyanide capsule for Blondi, the German Shepherd dog which was a gift from Martin Bormann, to see how quickly and effective it worked. As the Red Army advanced towards the bunker, some sources claim that he helped Magda Goebbels kill her children before she and her husband Joseph Goebbels committed suicide.

On 30 April 1945, just before committing suicide, Hitler signed the order to allow a breakout. On 1 May, Stumpfegger left Führerbunker in a breakout group that included Martin Bormann and Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann. They were one of ten groups attempting to break out of the Soviet encirclement. At the Weidendammer Bridge a Tiger tank spearheaded the first attempt to storm across the bridge but it was destroyed. Bormann and Dr. Stumpfegger were "knocked over" when the tank was hit.[1] There followed two more attempts and on the third attempt, made around 1:00, Stumpfegger in his group from the Reich Chancellery managed to cross the Spree.[1] Leaving the rest of their group, Bormann, Stumpfegger, and Axmann walked along railroad tracks to Lehrter station where Axmann decided to go alone in the opposite direction of his two companions. When he encountered a Red Army patrol, Axmann doubled back and later insisted he had seen the bodies of Bormann and Stumpfegger near the railroad switching yard with moonlight clearly illuminating their faces.[2] He did not check the bodies, so he did not know what killed them.[3] Their remains were uncovered in 1972, and identified by dental records. Any lingering doubt was removed when Bormann's identity was confirmed by extracting DNA in 1999. Fragments of glass found in the two men's jawbones led to the conclusion that they committed suicide via cyanide capsules.[4]

Portrayal in the media

Ludwig Stumpfegger has been portrayed by the following actors in film and television productions.

References

  1. ^ a b Antony Beevor Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, pp.382-383.
  2. ^ Trevor-Roper, H.: "Last Days of Hitler.", page 245. Pan Books, 1962.
  3. ^ Antony Beevor Berlin: The Downfall 1945, Penguin Books, 2002, p.383.
  4. ^ C. G. Sweeting, Hitler's Personal Pilot: The Life and Times of Hans Baur, Brassey's, 2002
  5. ^ "Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070184/. Retrieved May 8, 2008.  
  6. ^ "The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973) (TV)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283307/. Retrieved May 8, 2008.  
  7. ^ "Untergang, Der (2004)". IMDb.com. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/. Retrieved May 8, 2008.  
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