Höss´s staments about the KZ.

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Helly Angel
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Höss´s staments about the KZ.

Post by Helly Angel » 02 Jun 2003 23:23

I find this long time ago in the Jeff Hill´s website (unfortunatelly this website is no more). I want share this here:

These rules for the camps were instituted in 1936, and were meant to be a draft only, and, as such, temporary.

Fundamental and detailed camp rules based on experience were supposed to be written later.

In this sense, I have written down the essentials of the camp rules and regulations to the best of my memory.

Cracow, October 1, 1946.

Rudolf Höss.

Purpose Of The Camps

The destructive, subversive activities of the enemies of the state shall be neutralised by putting them in protective custody in a concentration camp.

Asocial elements who had brought harm to the entire nation shall be rehabilitated to become useful people again by educating them to order, cleanliness, and regular work.

Incorrigible criminals who constantly had relapses into crime shall be excluded from the German people by being put away safely.

Organisation Of The Concentration Camps

1. Kommandant's Office:
Camp Kommandant
Adjutant -- Master Sergeant
Mail Censorship Office

2. Political Division
Director Of Political Division
Records Department

3. Protective Custody Camps
Protective Custody Camp Commander
Officer Of The Day
Block Leader
Labour Service Leader
Kommando Leader

4. Administration
Administrative Director
Prisoner Property Administration
Camp Engineer

5. Camp Doctor

6. Guard Troops
Duty Officer.


1. Kommandant's Office

The camp Kommandant is responsible for the entire camp in every way.
His first duty is to guarantee the security of the camp permanently.
He is to be available at all times.
Every important event in the camp must be reported to him immediately.
If he leaves the area of the camp, he must delegate in writing his deputy to take control of the camp. He then is fully responsible in the Kommandant's absence for the entire camp. The Protective Custody Camp Commander is always the deputy. Upon the Kommandant's return, he returns control of the camp, again in writing, to the Kommandant. If the Kommandant is away for more than twenty four hours, he must have the approval of the Inspector Of Concentration Camps.
The Kommandant must be constantly alert, and must be able to handle any situation that may arise.
His decisions should be clear and well thought out because the consequences often have great significance.
In case of an emergency such as an escape attempt or a rebellion, the entire Guard Battalion down to the last man is at his disposal. For the duration of the emergency, the camp Kommandant has full power to give all orders, and he determines the course of actions taken.
The officers of the guard companies are at that time subordinate to the Kommandant.
The Kommandant must lecture and instruct those officers and men who are subordinate to him about their duties and jobs, especially about camp security and how to deal with prisoners.
In order to put every prisoner to work, the Kommandant must create suitable work. He must oversee all jobs.
The Kommandant determines the duration of the prisoners' workday as well as the time to move out to the work sites and return to camp.
Inspections of the camp must have the authorisation of Himmler or the Inspector Of Concentration Camps.
All inspections must be led by the Kommandant, unless he is absent, then his deputy must lead the inspection.
After the inspection is completed, those who inspected the camp must be sworn to keep secret all they saw.
The adjutant is the first assistant to the Kommandant and has a special position of trust. He must ensure that no important event in the camp remains unknown to the Kommandant.
The adjutant is the superior of all noncommissioned officers and men of the Kommandant's staff. All of the incoming mail is presented to the adjutant who looks it over and then separates it for the different departments and units.
He handles all correspondence of the Kommandant's office with offices outside the camp and departments.
He signs F.A. or A.B. on all those documents which are not important or have a repetitious content.
He is the caseworker of the Kommandant's staff and proposes all nominations and promotions to the Kommandant.
He also works on disciplinary matters and watches over the Penalty Book.
He is particularly responsible for appointments and their dates.
All confidential matters are personally worked on by him, and he is responsible for their safekeeping.
In case there is no officer or noncommissioned officer available to teach the ideology of the Third Reich, the adjutant must take care of teaching the Kommandant's staff himself.
All of the news organisation of the camp comes under the control of the adjutant. He is responsible for the entire news mechanism functioning smoothly.
He is responsible for the arms, ammunition, and all the equipment of the Kommandant's staff. By continuously inventorying supplies, he has to ensure that everything that must be there -- is there.
During the daily change of the guard, the officer of the day and the first watch commander report to the adjutant, present their duty reports for his information, and sign them.
As additional assistants, the adjutant may use the staff sergeant and several capable noncommissioned officers from the Kommandant's staff.
The adjutant is in charge of vehicle and driver readiness.
He is responsible for the orderly and correct issue of all orders pertaining to transportation.
The director of the Mail Censorship Office is subordinate to the camp Kommandant, and is responsible for the dispatch of all mail in and out of the concentration camp.
For censoring the prisoner mail, he has S.S. men from the Kommandant's staff at his disposal.
The prisoner mail must be read painstakingly and in detail in order to prevent undesired communication with or from the outside. Objectionable mail is to be placed in the prisoner's file.
If there is any suspicion of actual dissemination of nonpermitted news about the camp or exchanged letters with families or similar offences, the Kommandant can order surveillance of the mail of the identified S.S. families. This mail surveillance has to be carried out personally by the director of the Mail Censorship Office.
2. Political Department

The director of the Political Department is always an official of the Secret State Police or of the Reich Criminal Police Bureau.
He is at the camp Kommandant's disposal, and is responsible for the Political Department.
In carrying out his duties as an official of the Secret State Police or the Reich Criminal Police Bureau Main Office, whichever is responsible for a particular concentration camp, he may use suitable members of the Kommandant's staff as additional assistants.
The director of the Political Department conducts investigations of prisoners by order of the police departments, courts, and the Camp Kommandant.
He is responsible for the prisoner card index and the orderly entry of data in the prison files.
He is also responsible for registering new arrivals and setting up files for them. If any records are missing, he has to demand them.
It is his responsibility to verify the correct dates of prisoner transfers to the various police departments and court dates
In order to make available directors' reports, he directs the appropriate files to the camp Kommandant, and keeps track of the dates for appointments.
When a release has been ordered, he must notify the appropriate police department and carry out the release.
When a prisoner has an accident, he must carry out the investigation.
If an unnatural death has occurred, he must notify the district attorney and demand that a coroner perform an autopsy. In all cases of death, he must notify the closest relative.
He must order the transport of the body to the nearest crematory. If the family of the deceased prisoner wishes to receive the urn containing the ashes, he must direct this to be sent to the cemetery of the home town of the prisoner.
After a prisoner escapes, he must take all necessary steps to have the local police departments take immediate action.
Any change in the status of the prisoner, such as release, transfer, death, and escape, must be reported to the appropriate intake officer.
Attached to the Political Department is the Records Department. Every prisoner is listed therein. There must be photographs taken, fingerprints, exact personal data, and complete descriptions for each prisoner, all of which must be included in the prisoner file.
3. Protective Custody Camp

The Protective Custody Camp Commander is responsible for the entire area of the prisoner camp. By utilising an appropriate surveillance system, he must at all times be aware of all the events occurring in the camp.
He must pay particular attention that the prisoners are treated strictly but fairly. He must report any mistreatment immediately to the Kommandant.
After carefully searching through the files, he chooses which prisoner becomes a block leader, kapo, or other functionary, and installs them in their jobs. If a prisoner turns out to be unsuitable for the job, he must immediately relieve him of his duty. All new arrivals are to be immediately informed of the camp regulations.
Also it is his responsibility to instruct all released, all transferred, and all exchanged prisoners to keep the strictest secrecy as to what they saw and experienced while in the camp. He must carefully scrutinise the reports to the Secret State Police and the Reich Criminal Police Bureau Headquarters. After listening to the block leaders, those prisoners not known to him are paraded before him so he can form a mental picture of the new prisoners.
Any punishment report must be checked over carefully, and he must personally interview every prisoner. He makes his judgment about the prisoner and proposes to the Kommandant the length of time to be served by that prisoner.
By constantly checking the work sites, he must know how much work was accomplished.
He must use all measures in order to prevent a prisoner escape.
The prisoners who are suspected of escaping must be identified, marked, and must not be assigned to any work outside the protective custody camp.
Each time the prisoners march out of the camp to their various work sites or into the camp, he must be present.
He must immediately eliminate any adverse condition which may arise.
Sick prisoners must be put in the hospital. He must pay particular attention to the utmost cleanliness and orderliness in the whole camp area.
Through periodic checks, he must convince himself that every prisoner receives the food he is entitled to. He has to watch over the preparation of the food by sampling the food.
Camp detention must always be checked by him.
All camp personnel in the protective custody camp must be present at lectures by the protective custody camp commander, especially those pertaining to the mistreatment of prisoners!
The Duty Officer is responsible to the Protective Custody Camp Commander for an exact prisoner count at roll call. He has to be apprised of any change in the protective custody camp.
He must ensure punctuality when prisoners are presented to the Camp Commander for roll call, or to the doctor, appointments at the Political Department and other departments of the Kommandant's office. He must also have the prisoners ready on time when their release or transfer comes up.
The Duty Officer is the superior of the block leaders, regulates their duties, and watches over them. Block leaders not suited for this position must be reported to the Camp Commander for a replacement.
Any poor condition of the camp must be reported by him to the Camp Commander.
Any punishment ordered by the Kommandant or the Camp Commander must be carried out by him and a written report of it must be submitted.
The block leaders are responsible for a certain number of prisoners who are assigned to them. They are responsible for order and cleanliness in the assigned barracks, and have to supervise the respective block elders, room elders, clerks, and so on. They have to be able to give an opinion about every single prisoner assigned to them.
At the various work sites, they must perform control patrols in order to keep themselves informed of the work accomplished by the prisoners.
The block leader of the day supervises the main gate to the protective custody camp. During the marching in and marching out of the prisoners, he is responsible for an accurate count of the prisoner columns marching through. Those prisoners who move out without a guard have to be exactly accounted for in order to discover any possible escape attempt early enough.
Anyone not permitted to enter the camp, whether he is a member of the S.S. or a civilian employee, must be refused entry by him.
Any disagreements have to be reported immediately to the Camp Commander.
The Work Commando Leader puts together the work commandos according to occupations and abilities, and has to be ready when work commandos are demanded.
He selects the capos and foremen and recommends them to the Camp Commander.
On the day before a work commando is needed, he requisitions the necessary guards from the guard company. He has to take care in issuing the correct work orders and in the selection of the work commandos.
By constant controls of all of the work places he must be exactly informed about the progress of all work. If he finds any problems, he must report them immediately to the Camp Commander.
For major work projects, there are designated Work Commando Leaders. They are responsible for the entire work commando. Their job is to make certain the prisoners are working in their fields of expertise and that no stoppage of work occurs.
4. Administration

The First Administration Officer is responsible for housing, food, clothing, and wages for the Kommandant's staff, as well as the housing, food, and clothing for the prisoners.
He is adviser to the Kommandant in all economic matters, and has to report to him all important events.
He must pay particular attention to the shelter, the clothing, and, above all, the food supply of the prisoners. He constantly checks and personally knows about the preparation of meals. The prisoners are to be adequately fed.
Problems which arise that the First Officer cannot solve must be reported immediately to the Kommandant.
Special emphasis must be placed on always having a specified amount of supplies in reserve. There are officers and noncommissioned officers at the disposal of the First Officer to help him.
The Department Of Prisoner Property Administration is under the supervision of the First Administrative Officer. The Prisoner Property Administrator is responsible for all the stored personal belongings of the prisoners.
Prisoner civilian clothing is to be free of all vermin and cleanly stored; the valuables are to be kept safely in strongboxes. There must be an exact accounting for all prisoner items, and the prisoner must countersign an itemised list. In case of death, all prisoner items are to be sent to the next of kin.
The money brought into camp by the prisoner or sent to him from the outside will be deposited to a special account by the Prisoner Money Administration. Every prisoner can draw up to fifteen marks per week from this account to buy things in the camp store. If so desired, every prisoner can check his account.
The Prisoner Property Administrator is responsible for making sure the prisoner's insurance policy does not lapse.
Social security contributions are to be made by the administration. Private insurance policies have to be paid for by the prisoner himself.
The Camp Engineer is subordinate to the administration. He is responsible for all the technical installations of the camp, especially for the daily testing of the security installations, such as the electrified barbed wire fence, inside and outside camp lighting of the walls and fences, the spotlights, and the sirens. He is responsible for the water supply for the camp and also the drainage. He is in charge of the fire brigade and is responsible for their training and constant readiness.
He has to order all repairs to the camp area and supervise them.
For the various special fields of work he has at his disposal trained noncommissioned officers.
5. Camp Doctor

The Camp Doctor is responsible for the medical care of the whole camp and for all the sanitary facilities. He must supervise the hygiene of the protective custody camp with special care in order to prevent any contagious disease or epidemic from breaking out.
New arrivals are to given a thorough medical examination, and, if there is any doubt, they must be sent to quarantine for observation.
Those prisoners working in the prisoner kitchen and the S.S. kitchen are placed under constant doctor's observation for possible infectious diseases.
The Camp Doctor randomly checks the cleanliness of the prisoners.
Those prisoners who report sick must be examined daily by the Camp Doctor.
Fakers who want to get out of work must be reported by the Camp Doctor for punishment.
In case it is necessary, the doctor must transfer sick prisoners to a nearby hospital for professional treatment.
Should a prisoner need dental treatment, a dentist is at his disposal. Whether the dental treatment is necessary is the Camp Doctor's decision.
The Camp Doctor must continuously inspect the kitchen himself regarding the preparation of the food and the quality of the food supply.
Any deficiencies that may arise must be reported to the camp Kommandant.
Accidents are to be treated carefully in order not to lose the full productivity of the prisoners.
Those prisoners who are to be released or transported must see the Camp Doctor for examination.
Subordinate to the Camp Doctor are the attached doctors, dentists, and medics, as well as prisoner health care workers in the hospital.
The Camp Doctor is the adviser to the Kommandant in all medical and sanitary matters.
All medical problems of the camp as they become known must be reported at once to the Kommandant.
All reports the Camp Doctor is required to submit to his immediate superior must first be submitted to the Kommandant for his information.
6. Guard Troops

The Guard Battalion is independent. The Officer Of The Guard Battalion makes available to the Kommandant the daily required number of officers, noncommissioned officers, and men for guard duty and to escort prisoners.
For the duration of their duty, the Duty Officer, the guards, and the prisoners are under direct orders and disciplinary powers of the camp Kommandant.
A contingent of guards must be in a state of readiness within the confines of the camp in case of an alarm and must be ready to take action immediately.
In case of an emergency situation, the entire Guard Battalion comes under the direct order of the camp Kommandant.
The Guard Battalion is to be painstakingly trained in a military fashion. However, the safety of the camp takes preference over military training.
The Officer Of The Guard Company is responsible for the instruction of every officer, noncommissioned officer, and S.S. man extensively about his duties when guarding or escorting prisoners. He also must instruct in the use of weapons and about associating with prisoners, especially about the prohibition on mistreating prisoners. These points concerning the prisoners must be constantly stressed in the ongoing instruction by the company commanders.
In order to educate the S.S. man to his highest sense of duty, the toughest discipline against violations and offences against the prevailing orders must be severely punished, especially guard violations, misuse of weapons, forbidden associations with prisoners, mistreatment of prisoners, carelessness and negligence in the guarding of prisoners.
If the punishment is beyond the authorisation of the Camp Commander, the punishment reports must be immediately sent to the Inspector Of Concentration Camps.
The Duty Officer, who is changed daily and is in charge of the guards, is subordinate to the Kommandant. The Duty Officer's first line of responsibility is the security of the camp.
The Duty Officer is in constant control of all guards and sentries and their weapons. He repeatedly checks all security devices of the camp. Any defects must be repaired or reported at once.
He has to be present when the prisoners march out; it is his duty to send back any work commandos which do not have enough guards with them.
In case of danger, he must take the necessary steps until the arrival of the Kommandant or his deputy.

Camp Punishments

The following punishments are given to prisoners who violate order and discipline:

punishment labour during leisure time
transfer to the punishment company for a certain time, up to one year
hard detention with partial withdrawal of food
detention in darkness of up to forty two days
corporal punishment of up to twenty five lashes with a cane
Punishments 1 through 6 are handed out by the Camp Kommandant.

Punishment 7 is given only by order of the Inspector Of Concentration Camps or Himmler.

The basis for a report for punishment can only come from a member of the S.S. or a prisoner functionary. The Camp Commander must immediately check into this punishment report and present it to the Camp Kommandant.

He alone decides and demands the appropriate punishment.

The application to administer corporal punishment can only then be made by the Kommandant if:

with repeat offenders, all punishments which are under the Kommandant's authority have failed;
the violation or offence of the prisoner is such that punishments 1 through 6 are not enough for the misdeed committed.
To apply for further punishment, the correct form must be filled out in triplicate.

It must contain all the personal information about the prisoner to be punished; a short and clear description of the misdeed; and naming the time and place and the exact number of lashes proposed to the Kommandant.

The prisoner to be punished must be presented to the doctor with his forms. The doctor makes the decision if corporal punishment can or cannot be administered to the prisoner, and attaches his decision to the form. Those over fifty years old, disabled war veterans, frail, and handicapped are excluded from corporal punishment.

After the Kommandant fulfils his responsibility by signing the form, it must be sent by the quickest way to the Inspector Of Concentration Camps for his decision.

If the petition is granted, the caning is to be carried out immediately in the presence of the Kommandant, the Camp Commander and a doctor. Two block leaders shall administer the punishment. The caning will be administered to the buttocks only.

For purposes of deterrence, the punishment can be carried out in front of the assembled prisoners.

After punishment has been administered, the Camp Commander, the doctor, and the two block leaders must sign all the forms in order to certify that the punishment has been carried out.

Work Deployment

The complete deployment of the labour service of the prisoners in a concentration camp is placed under the Work Commando Leader. He in turn is responsible to Bureau D II of the Economic Headquarters for the proper deployment of all prisoners according to their professional background and their ability to produce.

All prisoners of a camp are to be mentioned in a so called job file which is kept and worked on only by the Work Commando Leader.

Every month, D II must be notified how many prisoners of each profession are available.

Prisoners who had an important and rare professional background must be reported by name, such as diamond cutter, optical lens grinder, precision tool maker, watchmaker, tool maker, and so on. These prisoners are like a historic treasure, protected at all times. Their deployment is determined strictly by D II only.

Every work project, that means every prisoner work deployment, must have the approval of D II.

They also have to approve new work sites, as well as the existing work projects if they want to enlarge them. Outside firms such as arms factories, mining companies and other strategic firms that want concentration camp labour must apply through the proper channels, namely, the armaments commander of D II. They then determine through the War Ministry the urgency of the proposal. In the meantime, the Camp Kommandant and the Work Commando Leader instantly determine the logistics of guarding and feeding these prisoners. Based on this, recommendations are then made to D II. Large work projects are checked over personally by the Chief Of D II. After D II presents its case, the chief of headquarters, Pohl, following established, prioritised lists, checks all aspects, and then makes contingents of prisoners available. Requests for prisoners are then received after applying to the Camp Kommandant and Work Commando Leaders or D II respectively, who either approve or refuse.

But it happened repeatedly that Himmler ordered the deployment of prisoners over the rejection of the Camp Kommandant, the Work Commando Leader, and even D II, because of its importance to the war effort or because it would lead to victory. This was done even though the housing and food were totally inadequate or the work was totally unsuitable to prisoners. Himmler got his way even over the objections of Pohl and paid no attention whatsoever to anyone. The Work Commando Leader had a few noncommissioned officers at his disposal for carrying out his task. The overwhelming part of the work, however, was carried out by prisoners, while the noncommissioned officers had their hands full just to take care of the guard duty. For example, the Work Commando Leader had to reinforce the existing commandos daily or change them around according to the situational requirements. Since it was impossible to know among the thousands of prisoners who was suited for a particular commando, he had to rely upon the prisoners, who recommended suitable workers and, often on their own, brought the commandos up to strength or altered them. The same principle was followed in forming new commandos. It was only natural that the worst violations and the worst switches occurred during this process. It happened that there were countless good opportunities to escape, especially in the commandos outside the camp. It was also possible for prisoners who had friends in a desired commando to change his profession, and so get into a more suitable or easy commando. In the same manner, the kapos played their games to get the prisoners they wanted for their commandos. Of course, if there were prisoners they didn't like or want, the kapos arranged for them to suffer punishment by being railroaded to a tough commando.

Originally every commando had to be supervised by an S.S. soldier and the Work Commando Leader, who was supposed to be with them until the work detail was finished.

But long before the war, as the camp enlarged, so did the number of work projects, thereby also increasing the need to guard the prisoners. The effect of all this led to an increase in the use of kapos and foremen in the guarding and supervision of the labour details.

According to Himmler's order, all juvenile prisoners were to receive vocational training in a suitable trade. Special emphasis was to be placed on the training of stone cutters and construction workers.

The Work Commando Leader had the job of guarding these apprentice training sites, and he was required also to have suitable teachers at his disposal.

These apprentices were also to receive better room and board. It was possible to do this in the older camps, but it was impossible at Auschwitz because in that camp there was always a shortage of housing and increasing numbers all the time.

However, even in Auschwitz the apprentices received extra food rations.

It was possible for the Leader Of The Guard Troop to supervise both the kapos and prisoners depending on size and clear visibility of a work commando. If this was impossible, then the work commando within the chain of guards was strictly left to the kapos and his foremen. As for the control of these commandos, only a few totally inadequate S.S. soldiers were available. The supervisory personnel furnished by the firms for whom the prisoners worked were undependable. These people also liked to leave everything to the kapos and foremen to handle. This is how they became dependent on them. This dependence increased steadily, since they were no match for the shrewd and often mentally superior kapos. This in turn led to a mutual cover up of rampant negligence and abuse. Of course, the prisoners paid for all this to the detriment of the camp or to the firms deploying the prisoners. The Camp Commander constantly lectured the kapos and foremen about not mistreating prisoners.

All violations were to be reported when the prisoners marched in after work. This was done by only a few kapos, as most of them inflicted the punishment themselves according to the way they felt. If a kapo was actually caught beating a prisoner, he himself was then subject to corporal punishment. But this did not deter the others from continuing the beatings. All that happened was that they became more cautious. Their abuses were naturally supported by men like Fritzsch, Seidler, Aumeier, and Palitzsch. Even among those S.S. noncommissioned officers and S.S. soldiers who controlled things, there were those who saw nothing when the kapos beat the prisoners, or, in fact, even asked them to beat the prisoners.

The S.S. soldiers of the Kommandant's staff, the troops, as well as all bureaus who employed prisoners were constantly given lectures on how to treat prisoners, especially about the prohibition on mistreating the prisoners. I seem also to remember that some S.S. soldiers of the guard troop were brought before the S.S. court and received severe punishment for mistreating prisoners. Even though the S.S. guards had the authority to put prisoners on report who lagged in their work, they had no right to punish them for violations. If a prisoner committed an offence such as wilful laziness, negligence, actual maliciousness in his work, or similar offences, he was to be reported to the Camp Commander during the evening march into the camp.

In the same manner all the guard personnel at the arms factories and at other work sites were constantly reminded about the treatment of prisoners through printed pamphlets or in class lectures. Particular emphasis was placed on the fact that no one had the right to punish a prisoner or indeed abuse him.

If it was reported that in one plant, a prisoner was beaten, then an immediate investigation was ordered by either the Kommandant or the Labour Project Leader. These investigations always were without results because the prisoners never remembered who had beaten them. To be sure, the director of the firm was notified in no uncertain terms that the prisoners would be withdrawn if any further mistreatment occurred; the result was that nothing happened there anymore. But it was not possible to eliminate these things altogether because of the constantly deteriorating situation. The replacement personnel in the factories became increasingly worse; the factory directors had lost control.

During his constant rounds the Labour Project Leader had to pay particular attention to the treatment of prisoners by the factory personnel. However, this was an almost impossible task because there were so many factories and they were spread far and wide!

Listed below are the offences which were punishable while the prisoners were at work:

Obvious laziness
shirking work
intentional negligence
intentional sabotage
slovenly use of tools or machines
neglectful misplacement or loss of tools.
If a punishment report was made, it had to be from an authorised guard; an S.S. officer on control rounds; a kapo; foreman; or the supervisory personnel of a firm, a factory, or a construction firm. After the concerned prisoner had a hearing from the Camp Commander, he was punished accordingly by the Camp Kommandant.

It was the decision of the Camp Commander to prepare the proper punishment on the form sent on to the Camp Kommandant.

The Camp Kommandant had the authority to pronounce the following penalties:

Arrest for up to forty two days with intensifications, such as food deprivations, deprivation of the camp, darkened cell, and chains for the real troublemakers
Penalty standing up to six hours with deprivation of one meal
Transfer to the punishment company for a designated time
Punishment by lashes with a cane could only be requested by the Camp Kommandant and then only after certain criteria had been met and it is recommended by the Camp Doctor
Permission to carry out corporal punishment for women was given exclusively by Himmler himself, and for the men by the Inspector Of Concentration Camps
Penalties 2 and 3 in the 1936 Camp Regulations were not in force until later, by Himmler's order, and were abolished again in the last years of the war.
The Camp Commander was fully authorised to hand out punishments during the absence of the Kommandant, providing the camp had been signed over to him in writing.

The Camp Commander could, at his own discretion, order a maximum of up to two hours of punishment drilling if a work commando did poor work.

In larger camps, the Kommandant could delegate the Camp Commander to administer penalty 2 to the prisoners.

The Nonmedical Activities Of The S.S. Doctors In Auschwitz

Aside from the customary medical duties, the S.S. doctors of Auschwitz pursued the following activities:

According to Himmler's guidelines, they had to select males and females from the incoming transports of Jews who were able to work.
The doctors had to be present during the extermination process in the gas chambers to supervise the prescribed application of the poison gas Cyclon B by using the disinfection fixtures. Furthermore they had to make certain after the gas chambers were opened that the extermination process had been completely carried out.
The dentists continuously had to conduct spot checks to make certain that the prisoner dentists of the special commando pulled all the gold teeth from the gassed and dropped them into a special security container. Furthermore, they had to supervise the melting of the gold teeth and their safekeeping until delivery to the proper S.S. branch was made.
At Auschwitz Birkenau, as well as the other labour camps, the S.S. doctors continually had to select those Jews who could not work any more and probably would not become able to work again within the next few weeks, and detail them to be exterminated. Also, those Jews who were suspected of having infectious diseases were to be exterminated. The bedridden were to be killed by injections; the others were to be exterminated in the crematories or in the bunker by gas. The injections consisted of either carbolic acid, Eipan, or Cyclon B.
They had to carry out the so called secret executions. This dealt with the question of Polish prisoners whose executions were ordered by S.S. headquarters or by the Security Service of the General Gouvernement Of Occupied Poland. Since these executions could not become public because of political and security reasons, they were to be masked as normal deaths using the usual causes of death in a camp. Healthy prisoners who were condemned to death were brought by the Political Department to the arrest Block 11, and an S.S. doctor liquidated him by injection. The sick ones were unobtrusively killed in the hospital also by injections. The doctor in question then had to write on the death certificate that the prisoner died from an illness which led to a quick death.
The S.S. doctors had to be present at executions ordered by the Summary Courts and certify that the executed was dead. The same applied to executions ordered by Himmler, S.S. headquarters, the Security Service, or by the General Gouvernement Of Poland.
Prisoners who were to receive corporal punishment had to be examined for possible reasons which might prevent corporal punishment; the doctors also had to be present when this penalty was carried out.
They had to perform abortions on foreign women up to the fifth month of pregnancy.
Experiments were performed by:

a) Dr. Wirths: cancer research, examinations and operative surgery on those suspected of having cancer, or Jewesses having cancer.
b) Dr. Mengele: research on twins, examination of identical Jewish twins.

By non S.S. doctors:

c) Professor Claubery: sterilisation research, injections to paste together the fallopian tubes and hereby prevent offspring from Jewish women.
d) Dr. Schumann: sterilisation research, to destroy the reproductive organs of Jewish women by X-rays.


David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 03 Jun 2003 01:45

Thanks, Helly, for a very interesting and informative post.

For those who are interested in more information about Rudolf Hoess, Helly was thoughtful enough to post a number of Hoess's last letters on the Axis Biographical Research section of the forum, at:


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