SS-wardresses

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
Ludger
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SS-wardresses

Post by Ludger » 06 Feb 2004 18:29

Hi everybody,

I'm looking for all kind of information (bios & pics) of following women. All of them were wardresses in Bergen-Belsen and some of them were sentenced in the Belsen-Trials.

Ault
Bormann, Juana
Bothe, Herta
Ehlert, Herta
Feist, Gertrude
Forster, Ida
Forster, Ilse
Gollasch
Grese, Irma
Hahnel, Hildegard
Haschke, Irene
Heisze, Gertrud
Hempel, Anna
Klein, Charlotte
Kohlmann, Annelies
Kurd, Joanna
Linke, Martha
Lippmann, Hildegard
Lippmann, Elli
Lisiewitz, Hilde
Neumann, Gertrud
Opitz, Klara
Orlt
Rheinholt, Gertrud
Rosenthal, Erna
Sauer, Gertrude
Schotig, Emmi
Steinbusch, Ilse
Völkenrath, Elisabeth
Walter, Frida


Thanks in advance.

Greetings from

Ludger

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Seyffardt
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Bothe

Post by Seyffardt » 08 Feb 2004 00:39

Image

Here is a pic of Herta Bothe. About a year ago I saw a documentary on German television. She was interviewed more then 50 years after the war.

Ludger
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Post by Ludger » 08 Feb 2004 10:36

Thanks a lot Seyffardt.

Anybody else?

Ludger

Researcher
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Irene Haschke

Post by Researcher » 08 Feb 2004 15:05

Irene Haschke
born 1921
Textile factory worker
Began working for SS in Aug 1944
Trained at Langenbielau (Gross Rosen) then the labour camp at Weiss-Wasser
Returned to the factory as Supervisor until evacuated to Belsen in February 1945.
Worked on the Wood Kommando then in Kitchens 2 and 3.
Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Brits at Luneburg 17.11.45
Released December 1951.

Regards
Researcher

Ludger
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Post by Ludger » 08 Feb 2004 16:25

Thanks Researcher,

that's great

Greetings from

Ludger

Peter
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Post by Peter » 08 Feb 2004 17:11

Hi Ludger

have you seen the CAMP WOMEN book (I think it was Schiffer)

Pete

Ludger
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Post by Ludger » 08 Feb 2004 19:20

Hello Iltis,

no, I haven't herad of it. Do you perhaps now the german title?

Ludger

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Georg_S
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Post by Georg_S » 09 Feb 2004 05:02

Hi Ludger,

If you makea search on google you willfind a lor of info on the
women you have mentioned.

This is what I found on Grese:

Irma Grese was one the most notorious of the female Nazi war criminals. She was one of the relatively small number of women who had worked in the concentration camps that were hanged for war crimes by the Allies.
She became the youngest woman executed under British jurisdiction in the 20th century and was also the youngest of the concentration camp guards to be hanged.


Early days.
Irma's childhood was unremarkable, she was born on the 7th of October 1923, to a normal, hardworking, agricultural family and left school in 1938 at the age of 15. She worked on a farm for six months then in a shop and later for two years in a hospital. She wanted to become a nurse but the Labour Exchange sent her to work at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp instead.
Like many other young people, she was swayed by Hitler's oratory and shocked by the corruption of the Weimar Republic government. She joined a Nazi youth group and wholeheartedly embraced their ideas.
At age 19, she found herself a supervisor at Ravensbrück which was used as a training camp for many female SS guards, just at the time the Nazi anti-Jewish programmes were at their height in July, 1942. In March, 1943 she was transferred to Auschwitz. She later did a further spell at Ravensbrück and then went to Bergen-Belsen in March 1945. Irma rose to the rank of Oberaufseherin (Senior SS-Supervisor) in the autumn of 1943, in day to day control of around 30,000 women prisoners, mainly Polish and Hungarian Jews. She was the second most senior female guard there.



Her crimes and trial.
Belsen was liberated by the British and Irma along with the camp's Commandant, Joseph Kramer, and other guards were all arrested. He and 44 of the others were indicted for war crimes by a British Military Court, under Royal Warrant of the 14th of June, 1945, on various charges of murder and ill treatment of their prisoners at Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz concentration camps. The first phase of the Belsen Trials, as they were known, took place at No. 30 Lindentrasse, Lüneburg in Germany between the 17th of September and the 17th of November 1945. All the accused were represented by counsel. Irma being defended by Major L.S.W. Cranfield.


Irma pleaded not guilty to the specific charges brought against her. Many of the survivors of Belsen testified against Irma. (see photo at her trial wearing her number.) They spoke of the beatings and the arbitrary shooting of prisoners, the savaging of prisoners by her trained and half starved dogs, of her selecting prisoners for the gas chambers and of her sexual pleasure at these acts of cruelty. She habitually wore heavy boots and carried a whip and a pistol.
She was alleged to have used both physical and emotional methods to torture the camp's inmates and seemed to enjoy shooting prisoners in cold blood. It was claimed that she beat some of the women to death and whipped others mercilessly using a plaited cellophane whip. Survivors reported that she seemed to derive great sexual pleasure from these acts of sadism.
In her hut was found the skins of three inmates that she had had made into lamp shades.
She said in her defense that "Himmler is responsible for all that has happened but I suppose I have as much guilt as the others above me".
On the 54th day of the trial she was, not surprisingly, found guilty on both Counts one and two. Of the defendants found guilty, eight men and three women were sentenced to death and 19 to various terms of imprisonment. The President of the court passed sentence on the female defendants as follows: "No. 6 Bormann, 7, Volkenrath, 9, Grese. The sentence of this court is that you suffer death by being hanged." She showed little emotion throughout her trail and none when the death sentence was translated into German for her as "Tode durch den Strang", literally death by the rope. All eleven of the condemned appealed to the convening officer, Field-Marshal Montgomery and all their appeals for clemency were rejected.

More details of her trial can be found at http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/WCC/belsen5.htm#12. Irma Grese

Execution.
She, Elisabeth Volkenrath, Juana Bormann and the eight male prisoners were transferred to Hameln (Hamelin) jail in Wesfalia to await execution. The British Army's Royal Engineers constructed a gallows there and the eleven condemned were housed in a row of tiny cells along a corridor with the execution chamber at its end together with two other men who had been condemned by the War Crimes Commission.
Albert Pierrepoint was flown over specially to carry out the executions and their hangings were planned for Friday December the 13th 1945. The women were to be hanged separately and the men in pairs to speed up the process. It has recently been revealed that some of the prisoners were given injections of chloroform to stop their hearts beating and obviate the need to leave them suspended for an hour which was normal practice in England. It is not known whether this was done to the women although Irma's body was able to be removed from the rope after 20 minutes. As the youngest of the three women it was decided that Irma would be the first to die. It must have been hard on the remaining prisoners as they would undoubtedly have been able to hear the crash of trap falling for each hanging.

In Pierrepoint's biography he describes the events leading up to Irma's execution and the hanging itself as follows :
"At last we finished noting the details of the men, and RSM O'Neil ordered 'bring out Irma Grese'. She walked out of her cell and came towards us laughing. She seemed as bonny a girl as one could ever wish to meet. She answered O'Neil's questions, but when he asked her age she paused and smiled. I found that we were both smiling with her, as if we realised the conventional embarrassment of a woman revealing her age. Eventually she said 'twenty-one,' which we knew to be correct. O'Neil asked her to step on to the scales. 'Schnell!' she said - the German for quick."

"The following morning we climbed the stairs to the cells where the condemned were waiting. A German officer at the door leading to the corridor flung open the door and we filed past the row of faces and into the execution chamber. The officers stood at attention. Brigadier Paton-Walsh stood with his wrist-watch raised. He gave me the signal, and a sigh of released breath was audible in the chamber, I walked into the corridor. 'Irma Grese,' I called.
The German guards quickly closed all grills on twelve of the inspection holes and opened one door. Irma Grese stepped out. The cell was far too small for me to go inside, and I had to pinion her in the corridor. 'Follow me,' I said in English, and O'Neil repeated the order in German. At 9.34 a.m. she walked into the execution chamber, gazed for a moment at the officials standing round it, then walked on to the centre of the trap, where I had made a chalk mark. She stood on this mark very firmly, and as I placed the white cap over her hand she said in her languid voice 'Schnell'. The drop crashed down, and the doctor followed me into the pit and pronounced her dead. After twenty minutes the body was taken down and placed in a coffin ready for burial." Elisabeth Volkenrath followed Irma to the gallows at 10.03 and Juana Bormann at 10.38.

Comment.
The precise extent of her crimes are not easy to be certain of - it is impossible to know exactly how many prisoners Irma Grese killed, tortured, whipped or in other ways assaulted although all the witnesses claim it was a very large number. Bear in mind that at that time in Britain she would have been hanged for just one cold blooded murder.
But what drives a teenage girl to behave in this awful fashion?
She admitted that she regarded the inmates of the concentration camps as "dreck", i.e. subhuman rubbish and like you or I may kill an insect without feeling guilty about it, she saw nothing inherently wrong in what she was doing. At her trial she denied selecting prisoners for the gas chambers although she did admit she knew of their existence. She did admit to whipping prisoners with the cellophane whip and also to beating them with a walking stick, despite knowing that both practices were contrary to the camp rules.

Hers is a classic case of what happens when an immature person is given total charge of a large number of people who are viewed by those in authority as totally expendable. No one seemed to care how many of the concentration camp inmates were killed or beaten by her even there were nominal rules against mistreatment of prisoners. So Irma had, effectively, free hand to kill and torture to her heart's content. She clearly felt that she was carrying out the Hitler's and Himmler's policies which in her mind largely exempted her from responsibility for her actions.

It has been said that Nazism replaced this young girl's normal sex life and that her sexuality manifested itself in the brutal and sadistic treatment of her female prisoners. But for the conditions of war prevailing at this time in her life, one wonders whether Irma would have kept her sexual/sadistic impulses contained or just acted them out in sexual fantasies with her partner. She may well have grown up and become a respectable citizen, wife and mother had she lived under normal peacetime conditions.

It is clear that she accepted her fate with great courage - perhaps she felt she was dying for her country - almost a form of martyrdom - perhaps she felt that it was the best way out for her as Germany had lost the war.

From the webpage: http://www.richard.clark32.btinternet.co.uk/irma.html

It also had some photos of her there.

Reg,

Georg

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Georg_S
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Post by Georg_S » 09 Feb 2004 05:35

Here is more info that I have found:


33. FORSTER, Ilse:Was born on 2nd September 1922 in Neusalz, Silesia. She worked in a factory until conscripted into the SS Labor Service on 17th August 1944. She was posted to the Langenbielau Labor Camp for six weeks training as a supervisor after which she returned to her firm in Grunberg as a supervisor of inmates at Guben nearby. She was evacuated from there at the end of January 1945 arriving at Belsen on 17th February where she was detailed to supervise staff and inmates in the No.1 kitchen. She was supervised by Ehlert who in turn was supervised by Volkenrath. Ilse was accused of beating an inmate. She was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

34: FORSTER, Ida:Was the older sister of Ilse and was born 15th May 1902 in Blumendorf, Silesia. She worked in a textile factory in Rohrsdorf until she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service on 16th August 1944. She was posted to the Gross-Rosen Labor Camp as a supervisor of female labor. On 16th February 1945 she was evacuated to Kratzau, then four days later sent to Belsen arriving there on 28th February where she was detailed to supervise inmates in kitchen No.3. She was found not guilty of any crime and released.

35. OPITZ:Klara was born 16th April 1909 in Schmiedenburg, Silesia. She never married, and worked in the AEG factory in Zillertau during the period 1939-45. She had been conscripted into the SS Labor Service and sent to Langenbielau for three and a half weeks training, then posted back to the AEG factory as a supervisor in charge of prisoner workers. In February 1945 she was evacuated to Morgensten, then to Grosswehter and then Belsen where she arrived on 13th April 1945. She was found not guilty of any crime and released.

36. KLEIN, Charlotte:Was born 13th December 1921 in Eimenbug. She was employes as a laboratory assistant and conscripted into the SS Labor Service in August 1941 and sent for for days training at Ravensbruck, after which she was posted to the Stutthof Labor Camp near Danzig.She stayed there until mid September 1941 and was then posted to the Bremburg Labor Camp until 21st January 1945 when she was evacuated to Belsen arriving there on 26th February, where she was a wardress. She caught typhus and lost all her hair which made her look a pitiful sight in the court room.She was found not guilty as charged and released.

37. BOTHE:Herta was born 3rd January in Teterow, Mecklenburg. She was a nurse in a hospital when she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service in September 1942. She wassent to Ravensbruck for four weeks training as a supervisor, then to the Stutthof labor Camp where she remained until July 1944. from there she went to Bromberg until 21st January 1945 when she was evacuated to Belsen arriving there on 26th February carrying on as a supervisor of inmates.She was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

38. WALTER:Frieda was born 1st March 1922 in Benthen.She worked in a textile factory from 29th June 1936 until 9th October 1944 when she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service. She was sent to the Gross-Rosen Labor Camp and then tothe Langenbielau Camp for training on 11th October 1944, returning to the factory where she worked in Neusalz as a supervisor of prisoner labor. She was evacuated from there to Guben on 6th February 1945 and then via Eulzen to Belsen arriving there on 24th February 1945.She was found guil;ty of crimes and sentenced to 3 years in prison.

39. HASCHKE:Irene was born 16th February 1921 in Friedeberg, Silesia. She worked in a textile factory until 16th August 1944 when she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service and sent to Gross-Rosen & Langenbielau for five weeks. From there she was posted to a labor camp at Weiss-Wasser for three weeks as a supervisor and then was sent back to the factory where she had previously worked as a supervisor of prisoner labor. She was evacuated to Belsen and arrived there on 28th February 1945. She was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

40. FIEST:Gertrude was born 31st May 1918 in Neugebhartsdorf. She worked in a factory in Roersdorf, Silesia from 1935 to 16th August 1944 when she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service and sent to Gross-Rosen and then to Langenbielau for three weeks training as a supervisor. She returned to the factory where she was employed as a supervisor of prisoner labor. She argued that her job was to simply stand at the door and make sure that the girls did their jobs properly and didn't leave the room. She was evacuated to Belsen and arrived there on 28th February 1945 where she was detailed to supervise the Bath House.She was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 5 years in prison.

41. SAUER:Gertrud was born 8th September in Gorlitz, Silesia. She was a saleswoman in Osnabruck until 1939. Her family house in Gorlitz was bombed so she returned there and worked in a munitions factory.On 22nd September 1944 she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service and sent to Gross-Rosen and then to Langenlieblau. From 8th November 1944 she supervised prisoner labor at the Roersdorf factory. She was evacuated to Belsen arriving there on 28th February 1945 where she supervise prisoner labor collecting firewood and peeling potaoes in one of the kitchens.She was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

42. LISIEWITZ:Hilde was born 31st January 1922 in Grunwald. She worked for the reichsarbeitsdienst from October 1940 until March 1941, and then in a Railway Restaurant until January 1943.She was sent to work in a munitions factory in Grunberg from February 1943 until November 1944 when she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service and sent to Gross-Rosen, Langenliebau until 29th December 1944. She was evacuated to Belsen arriving there on 3rd March 1945. She was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 1 year in prison.

43. ROTH:Johanne was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

44. HEMPEL:Anna was born 22nd June 1900 in Grunberg, Silesia. She was married with one son, (who was 17 in 1945).She worked in a textile factory in Grunberg until she was conscripted into the SS Labor Service on 8th May 1944 and sent to Ravensbruck for supervisor training, then back to the factory where she worked as a supervisor of prisoner labor.She was evacuated to Belsen and arrived there on 17th February 1945. She was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

45: HAHNEL:Hildegarde was found not guilty of any crime and released.

46: KOPPER:Helena was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

47. POLANSKI:Anton was found not guilty of any crime and released.

48:STAROSTKA:Stanislawa was found guilty of crimes and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

From the webpage: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~redcap7 ... 0Trial.htm

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Georg_S
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Post by Georg_S » 09 Feb 2004 05:41

I post some photos as well:

Ludger
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Post by Ludger » 09 Feb 2004 19:08

Hi Georg,

that's great !!!!

Thanks a lot

Ludger

dylan
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trial

Post by dylan » 09 Feb 2004 19:23

Annelies Kohlmann born 21/3/1921

put on trial second belsen trial 16-30/5/1946 and sentenced to 2 years prison.

dylan

Ludger
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Post by Ludger » 12 Feb 2004 17:55

Thanks Dylan!!

Ludger

Max Williams
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SS

Post by Max Williams » 17 Feb 2004 12:49

I came across this photo of Hildegard Neumann from Theresienstadt. I'm afraid I have no information as to her final fate, although she was reported to have been a brutal overseer.
Max
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Michael Miller
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Neumann photo

Post by Michael Miller » 17 Feb 2004 14:45

Very interesting photo of what appears to be a Polizei- as opposed to SS- Aufseherin (note miniature Polizei badge at her throat).

On an unrelated note, appears that Irma might have originated what is now the signature hairstyle for the American "white trash" culture- the "Mullet".

~ Mike

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