SS women at Majdanek

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Max Williams
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SS women at Majdanek

Postby Max Williams » 15 Mar 2004 11:59

In the autumn of 1942, when the earliest transports of women prisoners arrived at Majdanek, a separate field was set aside for them. Originally, it was Field V, but from September 1943, it was Field I. The authorities in the Frauenkonzentragerslager were differently structured from those in the men's camp. In charge was the Oberaufseherin who combined the duties of camp chief and field chief and was directly responsible to the Camp Commandant. This post was held by Elsa Ehrich throughout the functioning of the Women's Camp. Hermina Braunsteiner was administrative chief.
Here are photos of these two women taken from an old book on Majdanek.
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Max Williams
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Postby Max Williams » 15 Mar 2004 12:00

2nd photo.
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Buster
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Postby Buster » 15 Mar 2004 14:57

Thanks for posting the pictures.
From what book is the pictures from?
Is the camp staff described in that book ? Names of guards, and ranks and so on ? More pictures ?
I am looking for that kind of information about concentration camps.
Thanks for the pictures once again.

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Postby Max Williams » 15 Mar 2004 15:40

It's a small book I picked up when I visited the camp many years ago.
Max

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giles120
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Postby giles120 » 15 Mar 2004 17:32

Is that the ribbon for the Iron Cross 2nd class on Hermine Braunsteiner
tunic? What did she do to deserve that? What acts of heroism did she demonstrate?

An article on Majdanek in Dr Martin Gilbert's book 'The Holocaust - A Jewish Tragedy' said that Braunsteiner lured children who had just arrived at the camp on to waiting trucks to take them to the gas chambers. Some children did not want to go, and to them she offered sugar lumps!

Thanks.

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HPL2008
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Postby HPL2008 » 15 Mar 2004 18:49

giles120 wrote:Is that the ribbon for the Iron Cross 2nd class on Hermine Braunsteiner
tunic? What did she do to deserve that? What acts of heroism did she demonstrate?


No, I don't think it's the Iron Cross; it would appear to be the ribbon for the War Merit Cross 2nd Class. (The center stripe of that ribbon was black and the outer stripes red, while the ribbon for the Iron Cross had black outer stripes and a red center stripe.)

The War Merit Cross 2nd Class was a fairly common decoration for concentration camp personnel; it was both awarded for - if one can even use the term in this context - "ordinary" merits (for example in the camps' administration) and for more "special" services as well; an example for this would be the members of the Kommando 99/Pferdestall execution squad at the Buchenwald concentration camp, all of whom received the decoration for murdering Russian POWs.

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Postby Peter » 15 Mar 2004 20:17

You will be right there, definitely a KVK2 and I bet it was KVK2 m. Schw.

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giles120
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Postby giles120 » 16 Mar 2004 14:54

Thanks HPL2008 for the info.

As a non combatant medal awarded to those not involved in front line duties, I imagine the type of recipient were anti aicraft crews assigned to protect cities, military personnel guarding airfields/naval bases/train stations, military instructors at training schools etc etc.

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/war_mer ... _class.htm

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HPL2008
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Postby HPL2008 » 16 Mar 2004 17:03

giles120 wrote:As a non combatant medal awarded to those not involved in front line duties, I imagine the type of recipient were anti aicraft crews assigned to protect cities, military personnel guarding airfields/naval bases/train stations, military instructors at training schools etc etc.


...And you wouldn't be wrong, as those were typical War Merit Cross recipients as well, yes. This decoration could indeed be awarded for just about every imaginable contribution to the war effort. Railway personnel received it as well as Police officers, military medical personnel as well as military policemen, industrialists as well as outstanding armament industry workers; the list goes on an on. (Even William "Lord Haw Haw" Joyce was decorated with the War Merit Cross 2nd Class for his propaganda broadcasts...)

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Postby Peter » 16 Mar 2004 17:46

to use an Americanism REMF Rear Echelon types


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