MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

August Hirt

In 1942, SS-Hauptsturmführer August Hirt, a professor and head of the department of anatomy at the Reich University in Strasbourg, set about assembling a collection of Jewish skeletons under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe Foundation. Himmler gave him permission to choose as many prisoners in Auschwitz as he needed. The selection of 115 prisoners (79 Jewish men, 30 Jewish women, 2 Poles, and 4 “Asiatics”—probably Soviet POWs) and the initial “processing” of them was carried out by SS-Hauptsturmführer Bruno Beger, who came to Auschwitz in the first half of 1943.