Carl Clauberg was born in 1898 in Wupperhof (now part of Solingen), Rhine Province, into a family of craftsmen. During the First World War he served as an infantryman. After the war he studied medicine and eventually reached the rank of chief doctor in the University gynaecological clinic in Kiel. He joined the Nazi party in 1933 and later on was appointed professor of gynaecology at the University of Königsberg. He carried out research on female fertility hormones (particularly progesterone) and their application as infertility treatments, obtaining a Habilitation for this work in 1937. He received the rank of SS-Gruppenführer of the Reserve.
In 1942 he approached Heinrich Himmler (who knew of him through his treatment of the wife of a senior SS officer) and asked him to give him an opportunity to sterilize women en masse for his experiments. Himmler agreed and Clauberg moved to Auschwitz concentration camp in December 1942. Part of the Block number 10 in the main camp became his laboratory. Clauberg looked for an easy and cheap way to sterilize women. He injected formaldehyde preparations into their uteruses - without anesthetics. All of his test subjects were Jewish women who suffered permanent damage and serious infections. Some of the subjects died because of the tests. Estimates of those who survived but were sterilized are around 700.
After the war in 1948 Clauberg was put on trial in the Soviet Union and received 25 years. Seven years later he was released in the framework of a prisoners of war exchange between the Soviet Union and West Germany and returned to West Germany, where he was reinstated at his former clinic based on his prewar scientific output. Bizarre behavior, including openly boasting of his "achievements" in "developing a new sterilization technique at the Auschwitz concentration camp", destroyed any chance he might have had of staying unnoticed. After public outcry from groups of survivors, Clauberg was arrested in 1955 and was put on trial. He died of a heart attack in his cell before the trial could start.