Carl-Heinz Rodenberg

Carl-Heinz Rodenberg , sometimes named Karl-Heinz Rodenberg ( Heide , 19 as November as 1904 -?, 1995 ) was a neurologist and psychiatrist German . Rodenberg was an expert on the murder of the sick by the Nazis , the ” Aktion T4 “, and from 1943 the scientific director of the Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung .


The son of a doctor, studied medicine and received his doctorate in 1930 at the University of Marburg with the topic Über und echte Kombinationen epileptischer schizophrener Symptomkomplexe ( “On the real complex combinations of symptomatic epilepsy and schizophrenia ‘). 1 As a medical practitioner, he worked at the university psychiatric clinic, then as a scientific assistant at the Deutschen Forschungsanstalt für Psychiatrie in Munich and until 1934 as a doctor at Branitz Medical Center near Oppeln in Upper Silesia .

Rodenberg joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and the SA on April 20, 1932. Following the coup d’etat by the Nazis, the so-called Machtergreifung , Rodenberg became an employee of the Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP (“Office in charge of The racial politics of the NSDAP ‘). From 1934 he headed the hereditary health department for the Oberpräsident of the Provinzialverband of Upper Silesia. From 1936 he was a specialist in Psychiatry and Neurology, moving in 1937 to Berlin . There he ran the department for care of race and inheritance in the Reichsausschuß für den Volksgesundheitsdienst (“Reich Committee for the People’s Health Service”), was director of the Staatsmedizinischen Akademie (“Academy of State Medicine”), Judge of the Erbgesundheitsgericht (‘hereditary health court’) in decisions on forced sterilization. From 1 March 1939, Rodenberg worked as a criminalist biologist in the department for care of the breed and inheritance of the Reichsgesundheitsamt (“Office of the Reich for health”).

During the time between February 28, 1940 and October 14, 1940, Rodenberg was listed as an expert on the Aktion T4 . 2 In this function I decided on the basis of questionnaires with data on the sick and disabled about survival or death in one of the death stations of Aktion T4 .

Also in 1940 Rodenberg tried to enter the SS . Being at that time SA- Sturmbannführer sanitary, a report confirmed that Rodenberg had long been informer of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). Rodenberg “has delivered to the SD in many occasions valuable material” and shows “in his work for SD great interest. His acceptance in the SS […] is therefore of importance. ” 3 In the SS, Rodenberg was promoted on January 30, 1944 in SS- Obersturmbannführer . On the occasion of the promotion, his “excellent attitude of life, his spirit of camaraderie and his resolute presence” were noted. 3

In August 1942, Rodenberg was transferred to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), to section IIIB3 Rasse und Volksgesundheit (“Race and popular health”). On October 27, 1942 Rodenberg was part of a conference in section IVB4 organized by the RSHA, succession of the Wannsee Conference , led by Adolf Eichmann . 4 The theme of the conference was the sterilization of the ” half Jewish “, which should be offered as a “voluntary alternative” to deportation. The plan never took place.

On July 1, 1943, Rodenberg was transferred to the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (RKPA, “Reich Criminal Police Office”) as rapporteur on sexual psychology, and took the post of scientific director of the Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung ( “Reich Central for the fight against abortion and homosexuality “). The main occupation of the Reichszentrale was the registration and collection of dats on homosexuals. Friedrich Panzinger described in 1944 Rodenberg’s other functions: to evaluate “materials for further clarification of the problem of castration ” in relation to “sex offenders, such as homosexuals, other moral offenders , arsonists, habitual offenders”, to create the basis Of the implementation of legislative or administrative measures. 5

Rodenberg had been dealing with the castration of homosexuals in medical journals since 1941, which earned him the recognition of Himmler on December 30, 1942 for his “convincing articles.” 3 Rodenberg found in 1941, in the magazine Der öffentliche Gesundheitsdienst (The Public Health Service), that a “desired pacification of sexual life, but also in homosexuals, can often be achieved by castration, and only by Castration. ” 6 Hitherto few homosexuals had offered” a sacrifice to the community of the people “and had voluntarily castrated themselves, which Rodenberg blamed on a” lack of sense of responsibility. ” On the basis of material collected by the criminal police in 1942 Rodenberg thought he could prove that castration was an appropriate measure “to remove the homosexual his criminal dynamics and also help” as stated in the magazine Deutsche Justiz ( “German Justice ‘). 7Rodenberg’s material referred in more than 60% of the cases to pedophiles and not to homosexuals. Rodenberg’s efforts before the end of the war to get a law for the castration of homosexuals was unsuccessful. In October 1942 he justified his proposal with the costs to the state with the maintenance of homosexuals in concentration camps and preventive detention: “if they were castrated, they could be released soon, as they would no longer present a danger to the community Of the people and could also be reintegrated with profit in life. ” 8 According to Rodenberg, Hitler also attributed” great importance to the struggle against this evil. ”

After the War

After the end of the War, Rodenberg lived in Wald-Michelbach im Odenwald . Because of his participation in the conference of October 27, 1942, in the 1970s, the prosecution of Darmstadt and Berlin investigated, but failed to prosecute. Speaking to the Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen zur Aufklärung nationalsozialistischer Verbrechen (“Central of the judicial administrations for the clarification of Nazi crimes”), Rodenberg denied in 1986 his activities in the Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung . He stated that studies on the therapeutic success of castration had been limited to moral crimes and not to homosexuals themselves. His claim that he was indifferent “the way in which gay adults freely appease his sexual desires among them” 9 was contrary to publications Rodenberg during the Nazi government.


  • Burkhard Jellonek: Homosexuelle unter dem Hakenkreuz. Die Verfolgung von Homosexuellen im Dritten Reich. Schöningh, Paderborn 1990, ISBN 3-506-77482-4


  1. Back to top↑ Biographical data on Rodenberg in Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 127; Ernst Klee: Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16048-0 , p. 501; Hans-Christian Harten, Uwe Neirich, Matthias Schwerendt: Rassenhygiene als Erziehungsideologie des Dritten Reichs. Bio-bibliographisches Handbuch. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-05-004094-7 , p. 454.
  2. Back to top↑ List of experts T4 (Heidelberger Dokumente Nr. 127.891) in fac-simile in Ernst Klee: “Euthanasie” im NS-Staat. Die “Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens.” Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-596-24326-2 , p. 228.
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b c Unterlagen im Berlin Document Center zu Rodenberg, zitiert bei Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 127. Recognition of Himmler: idem, p. 161.
  4. Back to top↑ For Rodenberg as a participant see Klee, Personenlexikon , p. 501. On the contents of the conference: Chronologie des Holocaust (German), entry 27 October 1942.
  5. Back to top↑ Instructions Panzinger of 6 November 1944, in its entirety can be read in Günther Grau: Homosexualität in der NS-Zeit. Dokumente einer Diskriminierung und Verfolgung. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt 2004, ISBN 3-596-15973-3 , p. 167 et sig. See also Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 128.
  6. Back to top↑ Carl-Heinz Rodenberg: Betrachtungen zum Fragenkreis: Entmannung aus kriminalpolitischer Anzeige. In: Der öffentliche Gesundheitsdienst. 7 (1941), p. 235. op. Cit. Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 159.
  7. Back to top↑ Carl-Heinz Rodenberg: Zur Frage des kriminaltherapeutischen Erfolges der Entmannung homosexueller Sittlichkeitsverbrecher. In: Deutsche Justiz 104 (1942), p. 581-587, op. Cit. Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 160.
  8. Back to top^ Rodenberg to the Ministerialrat Rietzsch (Reichsjustizministerium) on October 3, 1942, op. Cit. Grau, Homosexualität , p. 320 et seq. See also Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 161.
  9. Back to top↑ Exchange of correspondence between the Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen zur Aufklärung nationalsozialistischer Verbrechen and Rodenberg of March and May of May 1986, quoted in Jellonek, Homosexuelle , p. 127. The Zentrale Stelle tried unsuccessfully to obtain an interview between Jellonek and Rodenberg.