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Leonardo Conti

Leonardo Conti (24 August 1900 - 6 October 1945) was, as the "Reich Health Leader" ("Reichsgesundheitsführer"), head of the Reich Physicians' Chamber (Reichsärztekammer), Leader of the National Socialist German Doctors' League (Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Ärztebund or NSDÄB) and as main service leader of the Nazi Party leader of the Main Office for the People's Health during the Third Reich.

Conti was born to a Swiss father and a German mother in Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland. His mother was the Reich Midwifery Leader in Nazi Germany.

Conti studied medicine in the German Empire and in 1918 was cofounder of an Anti-Semitic Kampfbund ("struggle league"), and he was also active in the völkisch student movement. He took part in the Kapp Putsch in 1920. From 1923 he was a member of the SA, becoming their first doctor. In 1925, he promoted "über Weichteilplastik im Gesicht", a book about facial plastic surgery. In 1927 he left general practice and organized the NSDÄB in the Berlin Gau. The later Nazi "martyr" Horst Wessel was among his patients.

In 1933 he became a member of the SS and, as a longtime "old fighter", he was appointed by Hermann Göring to the Prussian State Council. In 1939, Conti was appointed Reichsgesundheitsführer and State Secretary in the Interior Ministry. In 1944, he was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer (general).

After 1945

After Germany's surrender, Conti was to have answered for his involvement in the T-4 Euthanasia Programme at the Nuremberg Doctors' Trial. However, on 6 October 1945 - over a year before the trial even began - he hanged himself in his cell.

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