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24 January 2008

Erwin Gohrbandt (1890 - 1965) pioneer surgeon

This doctor is not usually mentioned in the histories of transsexual surgery. Of course the two sex-change surgeries are only a small part of his curriculum vitae.

Erwin Gohrbandt studied medicine at the Military Medical Academy and graduated in 1917 with a thesis on syphilis. He worked at the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin. In 1928 he became a professor of surgery at the Friedrich Wilhelms University Berlin, and was also Chief Physician at the Urban Hospital. 

In 1922 Magnus Hirschfeld arranged for Gohrbandt to do the castration on Dörchen Richter.

In 1931 he did the vaginoplasty on Dorchen Richter and on Toni Ebel as arranged by Felix Abraham.  In the same year Dr Kurt Warnekros arranged for Gohrbandt to do the castration and penectomy on Lili Elvenes (Elbe), the Danish artist. 

From 1940 he worked at the Urban Hospital and was also the Medical Chief and later a general for the Luftwaffe. He also participated in lethal hypothermia experiments at Dachau Concentration Camp and in October 1942 presented a paper to the Hypothermia Conference held at the Deutscher Hof Hotel in Nuremberg. In February 1945, he was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkeuzes (Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords) on Hitler's personal authority.

He escaped prosecution after the war, retired in 1958 and died a wealthy and respected citizen.
  • Erwin Gohrbandt.  Ein Fall von postkonzeptioneller Syphilis.  MD thesis. Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin, 1917.  
  • Erwin Gohrbandt.  Chirurgische Krankheiten im Kindesalter : mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der einschläging pädiatrischen Fragen.  S Kaeger, 1928. 
  • Felix Abraham. “Genitalumwandlungen an zwei männlichen Transvestiten”. Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft und Sexualpolitik, 18: 223-226. 1931. English translation as “Genital Reassignment on Two Male Transvestites”. The International Journal of Trangenderism. 2, 1. Jan-Mar 1998. Archive
  • Erwin Gohrbandt und Joachim Gabka. Handbuch der plastischen Chirurgie. De Gruyter 1965. 3 Volumes.


  1. You decline comments? At the end of the day this is an article and people should be able post what they want about this. It's obvious you only want things that side with this man's unethical and highly questionable work to be displayed to continue perpetuating these ideas.

  2. Comment will be visible after approval. Curators of thought.

  3. So say something about Gohrbandt!

    It is obvious that you have never run a site that allows comments, and have not seen the rude and commercial comments that come that are no contribution what ever to the the topic.


Comments that constitute non-relevant advertisements will be declined, as will those attempting to be rude. Comments from 'unknown' and anonymous will also be declined. Repeat: Comments from "unknown" will be declined, as will anonymous comments. If you don't have a Google id, I suggest that you type in a name or a pseudonym.