The Political Department was the representative of the RSHA( Reich Main Security Office)in the camp, and its main objectives were
- Identification documentation
- Keeping files on individual prisoners
- Intelligence service
- Camp registrar (sometimes in conjunction with supervision of the crematorium)
Wilhelm Friedrich Boger who had the nickname ‘the tiger of Auschwitz’, was an officer of Political Department ,which were a part of the Gestapo. He was notorious for the crimes he committed.
He also invented a torture device called the ‘Boger Swing’
After the war, Boger’s secretary,Frau Braun, gave a vivid description how the Boger Swing was used.
“It was a meter-long iron bar suspended by chains hung from the ceiling(the drawing above is from a different version of the Boger Swing)… A prisoner would be brought in for “questioning,” stripped naked and bent over the bar, wrists manacled to ankles. A guard at one side would shove him—or her—off across the chamber in a long, slow arc, while Boger would ask “questions,” at first quietly, then barking them out, and at the last bellowing. At each return, another guard armed with a crowbar would smash the victim across the buttocks. As the swinging went on and on, and the wailing victim fainted, was revived only to faint howling again, the blows continued—until only a mass of bleeding pulp hung before their eyes. Most perished from the ordeal–some sooner, some later. In the end a sack of bones and flayed flesh and fat was swept along the shambles of that concrete floor to be dragged away”
His evil crimes in the Political Department continued until the evacuation of Auschwitz in January 1945.
After the camp was liberated he went on the run for five months until June 1946.He was eventually caught in Ludwigsburg where his parents lived He was supposed to have been extradited to Poland for trial but managed to escape later that same year. From 1948 until mid 1949, he managed to get a job as a farm hand in Crailsheim. He then lived with his family under his real name in Hemmingen . He found a job as supervisor of supplies at the Heinkelwerke, an airplane factory in his birthplace Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, where he was arrested in October 1958 at the age of 51. Untill that time he had lived a ‘normal’ live. His neighbours knew he had worked in Auschwitz and when they asked him about his time he replied”er habe sich nichts vorzuwerfen” he had done nothing to feel guilty about.
He was released shortly afterwards for he passed denazification. The following assessment of Boger was made:
“.He does not leave the impression of a raw, brutal man, but more one of a rational, well-schooled police commissioner and civil servant.” a the investigation was stopped because it did not warrant any further costs to be borne by the German state.
However in 1959 he was re-arrested and was charged for the war crimes he committed at Auschwitz. On 20 August 1965 he was also tied at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials by the Landgericht Frankfurt am Main under Chief Judge Hans Hofmeyer for aiding and abetting the murder of Jews.
After several eyewitness accounts he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in at least 5 cases, collective murder in at least 109 cases and aiding in collective murder.
He died on April 3,1977,aged 70 in prison.
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