Dr. Carl Peter Værnet was born on this date on April 28, 1893 in Denmark. During World War II, he became a Nazi SS major, serving as a doctor at Buchenwald concentration camp. There, he performed medical experiments on inmates who were convicted under Germany’s notorious Paragraph 175 — the statute against male homosexuality.
According to Richard Plant’s The Pink Triangle The Buchenwald inmate roster in December 1943 listed 169 homosexuals. In March, that number was down to 89. Værnet experimented in 17 of them between June and December 1944. Camp methods show that methods include castration and injection with hormones:
Since surviving entries are spotty, if not nearly illegible, one can only conclude that on October 1, 1944, a group of seven homosexuals was operated on, and a second group, consisting of eleven more, on October 10. Additional test may have been administered because Værnet visited Buchenwald again in December. … Some subjects became ill; some, so it seems, must have died, because new names appear on the rosters of those actually castrated. Værnet carefully filled out order forms for chloroform, bandages, and new medical instruments, and handed out instruction sheets explaining how Buchenwald physicians should continue the castration-hormone tests without him. No final report has survived that notes the results of the experiments on the castrated men.
After the war, Værnet was captured by the British and handed over to Danish authorities. At some point, he was transferred to a hospital after claiming to suffer from a heart ailment. He told doctors there that his problem could only be treated in Sweden. Despite being accused of war crimes, he was allowed to go to Sweden, where he contacted a Nazi escape network and fled to Argentina where he worked in the Ministry of Health. He was never tried for his crimes. He died on November 25, 1965. His grave was located in Argentina’s Britanico Cemetery in April, 1998.