Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
steve248
Member
Posts: 4270
Joined: 10 Aug 2003 20:53
Location: Hertfordshire, England

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by steve248 » 17 Feb 2023 12:46

You might like Wendy Lower's book, "Hitler's Furies". Women in the killing fields.

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 17 Feb 2023 13:13

steve248 wrote:
17 Feb 2023 12:46
You might like Wendy Lower's book, "Hitler's Furies". Women in the killing fields.
Yes, I have read it :)

OscarE
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Feb 2023 18:09
Location: Sweden

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by OscarE » 17 Feb 2023 16:24

I am completing my first post, as I managed to have the list of full names for the 10 SS-Helferinnen out of 11 who were present at Auschwitz at the time of July 22 1944, according to research work by Jutta Mühlenberg in 2011. I have listed them by age, with birth year and birth place, and dates of service at Auschwitz.

Charlotte Schünzel, 1919 Braunschweig, 24.11.1943 - 18.01.1945
Lotte Gramattke, 1922 Schlesien, 02.08.1943 - 18.01.1945
Gisela Drews, 1923 Bernburg, 04.1944
Gerda Ernst, 1923 Schlesien, 17.04 1944
Marie-Therese Stieff, 1923 Riesengebirge, 17.04.1944
Luzia Arndt, 1925 Schlesien, 03.08.1943 - 31.08.1944
Elfriede Jeß, 1925 Eckernförde, 14.04.1944 - 26.10.1944
Hildegard Ritzmann, 1925 Brandenburg, 25.04.1944
Dorothea Schötz, 1925 Osthavelland, 10.1943- 31.07.1944
Hermine Schachtner, 1926 Bayern, 24.11.1943- 18.01.1945

Ruth Astrosini, 1926 Würtemberg, 04.1944 - 24.08.1944



Confusion was due to Stieff and Schötz were also mentioned with Therese and Thea as first names, I had mislabeled Jess as Elfriede G, and Schünzel is only refered to by J.M as C.S.
 So we probably have every full name now.

Schachtner later married under name Glücksmann, as Schünzel under the name Bartsch. Both were witnesses in the Frankfurt trial, Schachtner only giving a written testimony.

I have given numbers in my last post to each of the women who could be identified on 15 pictures of the Höcker album, using picture #34762 as a basis. There are at least 14 women altogether, but only 11 are seen posing in full SS uniform on picture #34762.

On that photo, the ones to the right corner look clearly younger than the others (definitely n° 8,9, 10, 11). That would include Arndt, Jess, Schötz, Schachtner and Ritzmann. We know that the younger were 18-19, and another group above 21. My guess for the oldest looking would be n°4, which in terms of age would correspond to Schünzel, who was 7 years older than the youngest ones.. 

Last edited by OscarE on 17 Feb 2023 17:10, edited 3 times in total.

OscarE
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Feb 2023 18:09
Location: Sweden

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by OscarE » 17 Feb 2023 16:29

@MaryJane



Well, I didn’t think my n°4 was AM Langer either. She is light blond, and Langer appears darker both by description and on other pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I am very supportive of your research and look forward to find out the identity of every girl. I am just very cautious and wary of false paths.



Also, the one you just pointed to as Astrosini is the same as the one I numbered as 13 on the blueberry series. The hairstyle is recognizeable, and all pictures were taken the same day. But I also really doubt she is Astrosini. You noticed yourself she is dressed differently. Astrosini was a SS Helferin and would have been posing in uniform on #34762 along with the others if she had been there on that day. 



So if I’m correct, I’m afraid we have at least one name missing from the 11… But we can’t be very far. There hasn’t been that many SS Helferinnen working at Auschwitz in 1944, and their names are known.


By the way, and to your own credit, you listed 20 names (including most of the ones I listed) in the reply #717 Re: Female Auxiliary Photographs. I don’t know what your source was, but it was accurate. I checked the biographies at the end of Mühlenberg’s book, and they are ALL there, just with initials for the family name.



If you could send me links to your own sources, I would be quite interested. I speak German reasonably well if that can help you in your research.


Uncle John
Member
Posts: 86
Joined: 24 Jan 2022 00:15
Location: Melbourne

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Uncle John » 18 Feb 2023 10:47

8 years in prison for Ruth the telephone operator?.....wow...Soviet controlled Polish courts were very tough, huh?

Here's a cropped photo of 3 telephone operators together at Celle prison in the summer of '45
Rosina Schieber and Marta Löbelt got off lightly I think...

Good work Mary Jane..

6976_original_.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 18 Feb 2023 12:35

Uncle John wrote:
18 Feb 2023 10:47
8 years in prison for Ruth the telephone operator?.....wow...Soviet controlled Polish courts were very tough, huh?
Ruth was convicted and imprisoned for mistreating the inmates at Bergen-Belsen in her role as an Aufseherin, and not because of her role as a telephone operator at Auschwitz at which she barely performed; albeit it pretty much seems that she fulfilled the same role at Bergen Belsen in addition to being an Aufseherin.

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 18 Feb 2023 12:52

Ruth's uniform in this picture looks different than the other Aufseherinnen at Bergen Belsen:

https://www.wikitree.com/photo.php/0/07 ... -153-1.jpg

Hers is the uniform of a communication assistant, right?

I arrived at the conclusion that Ruth Astrosini served a dual role at Bergen Belsen, since various sources when you Google her name come up listing her as a "guard", an "Aufseherin".

Can more knowledgeable members clarify this matter for us once and for all?...

I am also looking for Ruth Astrosini's Auschwitz trial statement. If you know of a source, please share.

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 18 Feb 2023 13:15

OscarE wrote:
17 Feb 2023 16:24
I am completing my first post, as I managed to have the list of full names for the 10 SS-Helferinnen out of 11 who were present at Auschwitz at the time of July 22 1944, according to research work by Jutta Mühlenberg in 2011. I have listed them by age, with birth year and birth place, and dates of service at Auschwitz.

Charlotte Schünzel, 1919 Braunschweig, 24.11.1943 - 18.01.1945
Lotte Gramattke, 1922 Schlesien, 02.08.1943 - 18.01.1945
Gisela Drews, 1923 Bernburg, 04.1944
Gerda Ernst, 1923 Schlesien, 17.04 1944
Marie-Therese Stieff, 1923 Riesengebirge, 17.04.1944
Luzia Arndt, 1925 Schlesien, 03.08.1943 - 31.08.1944
Elfriede Jeß, 1925 Eckernförde, 14.04.1944 - 26.10.1944
Hildegard Ritzmann, 1925 Brandenburg, 25.04.1944
Dorothea Schötz, 1925 Osthavelland, 10.1943- 31.07.1944
Hermine Schachtner, 1926 Bayern, 24.11.1943- 18.01.1945

Ruth Astrosini, 1926 Würtemberg, 04.1944 - 24.08.1944



Confusion was due to Stieff and Schötz were also mentioned with Therese and Thea as first names, I had mislabeled Jess as Elfriede G, and Schünzel is only refered to by J.M as C.S.
 So we probably have every full name now.

Schachtner later married under name Glücksmann, as Schünzel under the name Bartsch. Both were witnesses in the Frankfurt trial, Schachtner only giving a written testimony.

I have given numbers in my last post to each of the women who could be identified on 15 pictures of the Höcker album, using picture #34762 as a basis. There are at least 14 women altogether, but only 11 are seen posing in full SS uniform on picture #34762.

On that photo, the ones to the right corner look clearly younger than the others (definitely n° 8,9, 10, 11). That would include Arndt, Jess, Schötz, Schachtner and Ritzmann. We know that the younger were 18-19, and another group above 21. My guess for the oldest looking would be n°4, which in terms of age would correspond to Schünzel, who was 7 years older than the youngest ones.. 

Hi Oscar, can you please confirm:

According to Jutta Mühlenberg, there were 11 SS communication assistants present at Auschwitz at the time Höcker album pictures (of the "Solahütte girls") were taken.

But we see actually more women as you say, "at least" 14.

This means the list by JM is not complete.

I am interested in identifying every woman who appear in the Höcker album, even if we don't see them in the group photo which I first shared here and chose as the "basis" since it is the one most clearly showing most women's faces.

On that photo, yes, the oldest looking is no:4 who is most probably Charlotte Schünzel. As soon as I have access to her individual photograph(s) (hopefully included in her file), we can compare and confirm this.

Thank you for sharing Hermine Schachtner's married surname, Glückmann... She has died in 2015. Here: https://he.billiongraves.com/grave/Herm ... n/36192847

*

Does JM give that list of 11 names above, as the ones in the basis photo? If yes, Ruth Astrosini is definitely not there or either in the Blueberries series.

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 18 Feb 2023 14:22

OscarE wrote:
17 Feb 2023 16:29

Well, I didn’t think my n°4 was AM Langer either. She is light blond, and Langer appears darker both by description and on other pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I am very supportive of your research and look forward to find out the identity of every girl. I am just very cautious and wary of false paths.


Thank you and you have really been of help so far. The methodology I follow in this process is clear. I collect, compare and cross-check the data. If I happen to reach a wrong result along the way, I correct it. This is a work in progress, and when everything is finalized, I am hoping to establish a consensus. And from there on, if the results happen to come to the attention of the big experts somewhere, they will analyze it down to its molecules before the findings presented here are established as fact :)
OscarE wrote:
17 Feb 2023 16:29
Also, the one you just pointed to as Astrosini is the same as the one I numbered as 13 on the blueberry series. The hairstyle is recognizable, and all pictures were taken the same day. But I also really doubt she is Astrosini. You noticed yourself she is dressed differently. Astrosini was a SS Helferin and would have been posing in uniform on #34762 along with the others if she had been there on that day. 




In my evaluation so far, the lady I pointed to as Ruth Astrosini, in the bus, is not the number 13 who I think is Johanna Rautschka. The woman I identified as Ruth seems dressed different because she has removed her jacket. Her white shirt is identical with everybody else's. --- That said, you make a valid point. If Ruth was there, why doesn't she appear in other pictures? - Either we will find an answer to that, or we will eliminate Ruth (out of the bus) and I am going to be wrong.
OscarE wrote:
17 Feb 2023 16:29
So if I’m correct, I’m afraid we have at least one name missing from the 11… But we can’t be very far. There hasn’t been that many SS Helferinnen working at Auschwitz in 1944, and their names are known.


By the way, and to your own credit, you listed 20 names (including most of the ones I listed) in the reply #717 Re: Female Auxiliary Photographs. I don’t know what your source was, but it was accurate. I checked the biographies at the end of Mühlenberg’s book, and they are ALL there, just with initials for the family name.



If you could send me links to your own sources, I would be quite interested. I speak German reasonably well if that can help you in your research.





I am going to share here the list of names provided to me by the Auschwitz Memorial, along with the details of them which I have been able to find out so far.

In that list (of the 25 SS Nachrichtenhelferinnen who served at Auschwitz), there are names (which we haven't mentioned so far), whose details of which are missing and they could well be in the Höcker Album... I would need your help in referring to JM's book and tell us if she mentions any of those names, or in providing any details about them in any other way.

Thank you and see you later.

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 18 Feb 2023 15:21

Actually, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum who is in possession of the album, I think knows full well who is who in these pictures... They have the original document, every needed material, and every kind of experts, and have already extensively studied the album. I wrote to them, but couldn't get a response.

I know there are complications to this matter... And at the same time, as I clarified my stance before, I believe that we deserve to know.

OscarE
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Feb 2023 18:09
Location: Sweden

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by OscarE » 18 Feb 2023 17:20

Hi Mary Jane,

As you just wrote about the US Holocaust Memorial, it is quite possible the information we are looking for is known but not disclosed for confidentiality reasons. Notice that Mühlenberg only gives the initials of the family names, and Schünzel is only ever referred to as C.S. At the time she wrote her book in 2011, Schachtner for instance was still alive, probably others too.



At the end of JM’s book, there is a section of Helferinnen biographies, 26 of whom have been at Auschwitz at some point. They can include family info with other members in the party or the SS, BDM membership, previous education and other employment, training dates, jobs in the SS, aftermath. Some bios are small, some other detailed but they all have dates.

There are only initials given for family names, but they correspond to names most of which you have mentioned before : Hildegard Ohmes, Elisabeth Bleisteiner, Annemarie Länger, Lisa Lüddecke, Rosa Micheler, Herta Mutterlose, Johanna Rautschka, Anneliese Rüber, Gertrude Thiesen, Ingeborg Thomas, Ilse Trautvetter, Rosemarie Katzmann, also Aniane Lässig, Agnes Peukert, Helma Kissner and Rosina Schieber. But they all have locations other than Auschwitz specified for July 22, 1944.



J.M quotes 11 names on page 332, which I have given before. What she writes exactly is :
Eleven, possibly twelve, SS helpers can be seen in 15 pictures. Based on the deployment times, which can be found in the personal files of the SS helpers, the names of eleven SS helpers who were working in the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp at that time are known (follows list of 11 names with initials, including Astrosini who doesn’t seem to be there, and in any case not in uniform). 



So Mühlenberg is just cautiously saying that the dates correspond, not that they ARE the women on pic #34762... But she confirms she had access to the personal files, and if these indeed included pictures, then she knew exactly who they were but chose not to make it public.

about the 3-4 extra women

In a footnote to the same paragraph, JM indicates that not all the women on the Solahütte pics can be seen in SS uniform, only the 11 on #34762. Since she only studied SS Helferinnen trained at the Reichschule, and only 11 were known to be present at Auschwitz then, the others may have been other types of female employees. In which case she has not gathered info about them, if it exists at all.



about Hermine Schachtner

Thanks for sharing her death date and place. Indeed, the birth date corresponds and she was from Bavaria.

about Ruth Astrosini
True, she is always mentioned as a phone operator, and has the same type of socks and shoes as the Helferinnen, not boots like the Aufseherinnen. But she was arrested along with them and took part in the famous Belsen pit cleaning operation filmed by the British Army.

She was handed over to the Poles in 1946 for her presence at Auschwitz, tried in Cracow in 1948, and sentenced to 6 extra years in prison. The Poles used to sentence Aufseherinnen to death. Her trial account exists, but it’s typed in Polish.
https://truthaboutcamps.eu/ftp/baza-ss- ... 3_1948.pdf

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 18 Feb 2023 18:40

Below is the names list given to me by the Auschwitz Memorial:

1. Arndt Luzie
2. Astrosini Ruth
3. Bleisteiner Elisabeth
4. Drews Gisela
5. Ernst Gerda
6. Gramattke Lotte
7. Jeß Elfriede
8. Katzmann Rosemarie
9. Kissner Helma
10. Länger Annemarie
11. Lässig Aniana
12. Lüddecke Lisa
13. Micheler Rosa
14. Mutterlose Herta
15. Ohmes Hildegard
16. Rautschka Johanna

17. Ritzmann Hildegard
18. Rüber Annaliese
19. Schachtner Hermine
20. Schoetz Dorothea
21. Schünzel Charlotte
22. Stieff Therese Marie
23. Thiesen Gertrude (Trudel)
24. Thomas Ingeborg
25. Trautvetter Ilse




According to Jutta Mühlenberg’s research in her aforementioned book, the names in bold are eliminated from being in the Höcker album.

11 names are left. And they highly likely correspond to the SS Maiden shown in the source picture (our group photo).

In the bluberries and the rain photographs, appear 3 more maidens, completing the number to 14.

Who are these 3 more maidens?... and, why they are not included in the list given to me by the Auschwitz Memorial, if they can't be the names in bold?...

And who are the maidens numbered as 12, 13, and 14 by Oscar?...

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 20 Feb 2023 15:19

Image

The women in the above picture and their details (birth dates, birth places and service dates at Auschwitz) are:


1. Marie Therese Stieff (1923 Riesengebirge, 17.04.1944 - ?)
2. Gisela Drews (1923 Bernburg, 03/04.1944 - ?)
3. Lotte Gramattke (1922 Schlesien, 02.08.1943 - 18.01.1945)
4. Charlotte Frieda Alma Schünzel (1919 Braunschweig, 24.11.1943 - 18.01.1945)
5. Gerda Ernst (1923 Schlesien, 17.04 1944 - ?)
6. Luzia Arndt (1925 Schlesien, 03.08.1943 - 31.08.1944)
8. Hildegard Ritzmann (1925 Brandenburg, 25.04.1944 - ?)
9. Dorothea Marie Louise Schoetz (Schötz) (1925 Osthavelland, 10.1943 - 31.07.1944)
10. Hermine Schachtner (b.1926 d.2015 Bayern, 24.11.1943 - 18.01.1945)
11. Elfriede Jess (Jeß) (1925 Eckernförde, 14.04.1944 - 26.10.1944)

I listed the names in the order which I believe matches the faces.

The identity of 1 woman is missing and she highly likely corresponds to number 7. She is skipped in the list.
Last edited by Mary Jane on 20 Feb 2023 17:02, edited 1 time in total.

CraigM
Member
Posts: 118
Joined: 27 Sep 2019 08:18
Location: Canberra Australia

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by CraigM » 20 Feb 2023 16:32

Mary Jane wrote:
20 Feb 2023 15:19
Marie Therese Stieff (1923 Riesengebirge, 17.04.1944 - ?)
Gisela Drews (1923 Bernburg, 03/04.1944 - ?)
Lotte Gramattke (1922 Schlesien, 02.08.1943 - 18.01.1945)
Charlotte Frieda Alma Schünzel (1919 Braunschweig, 24.11.1943 - 18.01.1945)
Gerda Ernst (1923 Schlesien, 17.04 1944 - ?)
Luzia Arndt (1925 Schlesien, 03.08.1943 - 31.08.1944)
Hildegard Ritzmann (1925 Brandenburg, 25.04.1944 - ?)
Dorothea Marie Louise Schoetz (Schötz) (1925 Osthavelland, 10.1943 - 31.07.1944)
Hermine Schachtner (b.1926 d.2015 Bayern, 24.11.1943 - 18.01.1945)
Elfriede Jess (Jeß) (1925 Eckernförde, 14.04.1944 - 26.10.1944)
The identity of 1 woman is missing and she highly likely corresponds to number 7. She is skipped in the list.
Could you put numbers beside each entry in this list, the number matching the girl?

Mary Jane
Member
Posts: 65
Joined: 24 Mar 2016 16:04
Location: Cyprus

Re: Who were the SS Helferinnen shown in the famous Hoecker album?

Post by Mary Jane » 20 Feb 2023 17:05

CraigM wrote:
20 Feb 2023 16:32
Could you put numbers beside each entry in this list, the number matching the girl?
Ok, I did.

Return to “Women in the Reich”