Purpose: In 1956, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Werner Forssmann, André Frédéric Cournand and Dickinson W. Richards for their development of cardiac catheterization. Forssmann performed a self-experiment in 1929 by inserting a urethral catheter into his right ventricular cavity via his antecubital vein. Despite his popularity as one of the first German Nobel Laureates after 1945, little is known about Forssmann personally. This contribution aims to close this gap regarding the Nazi period and early post-war Germany. Methods: Primary historical sources from Forssmann's private archive were examined, evaluated and interpreted for the first time. Additionally, a comparative analysis based on further archival and secondary sources was performed. Results: Werner Forssmann joined the Nazi Party, the Sturmabteilung (Stormtroopers, SA) and the Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Ärztebund (Nazi Doctors' Association) in 1932, a year before Hitler's assumption of power. In his autobiography, Forssmann referred to the political situation in passing. However, he expressed his personal thoughts in private letters which he wrote as a medical officer during the war. After World War II, Forssmann underwent denazification and was banned from practicing medicine for 3 years. He did not seem to be averse to Hitler's politics and in some ways expressed his approval. However, correspondence from the 1960s with 2 Jewish colleagues reveals that Forssmann may have changed his attitude toward National Socialism later. Conclusion: Werner Forssmann's political attitudes during the Third Reich and in the post-war era can be characterized as early agreement that gradually changed to a more critical distance to Nazi ideology. In this respect, Forssmann appears to be quite a typical example of a larger proportion of German medical doctors during these eras.

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