Gottlieb Hering—Pure Evil

I could nearly do a whole blog on how inappropriate this evil man’s name Gottlieb—translates to God Love. I doubt that very much.

Gottlieb Hering was involved in the T4 program and later on, was the second and last commandant of the Belzec Extermination Camp.

After Action T4, Hering was posted briefly to the Sicherheitsdienst in Prague in June 1942 and then transferred to Operation Reinhard in Lublin, Poland. He replaced Christian Wirth as commandant of the Bełżec Extermination Camp at the end of August 1942. He served as the camp’s commandant until its closure in June 1943. The Nazis commenced the construction of Belzec in November 1941, as a result of Aktion Reinhard—the Nazi plan to exterminate two million Jews in the Generalgouvernement. In total, 600,000 people, mostly Jews and a few hundred Gypsies, were murdered at Belzec.

Both commandants, Wirth and Hering, were described as ruthless and fanatical National Socialists. They were seriously feared and known to react violently, especially if the unconditional obedience they demanded was refused.

Rudolf Reder, one of the few survivors of Belzec, wrote about Hering:
“We knew that in the most beautiful house close to the station of Belzec lived the commander of the camp. He was an Obersturmführer. He seldom was present in the camp and came only in connection with some event. He was a tall bully, broad shouldered, age around forty, with an expressionless face. He seemed to me as if he were a born bandit. Once the gassing engine stopped working: When he was informed, he arrived astride a horse, ordered the engine to be repaired and did not allow the people in the gas chambers to be removed. He let them strangle and die slowly for a few hours more. He yelled and shook with rage. In spite of the fact that he came only on rare occasions, the SS men feared him greatly. He lived alone with his Ukrainian orderly, who served him. The Ukrainian submitted to him the daily reports.”

Tadeusz Misiewicz, a Pole who lived in the village of Bełżec and worked at the train station, testified about Hering:
“Once the major, the commander of Belzec death camp, invented a new type of entertainment: he tied a Jew with a rope to his car; the Jew was forced to run behind the car and behind them ran the major’s dog and bit the Jew. The major rode from the camp to the water pump, which was in Belzec on Tomaszowska Street, and back. What happened to this Jew I do not know. This event was witnessed by the people of Belzec.”

As you can see from the picture at the start of the post, he clearly enjoyed his job.

After the termination of Operation Reinhard and the closure of Belzec in June 1943, Hering remained the commander of the Poniatowa concentration camp reassigned as subcamp of Majdanek from the forced labor camp supporting the German war effort. On 3–4 November 1943, German police killed the remaining Jews at Poniatowa during Aktion Erntefest (German: Operation Harvest Festival). Hering then joined fellow SS men from the Operation Reinhard staff in Trieste, Italy. On 9 October 1945, Hering died of mysterious complications in the waiting room of St. Catherine’s Hospital in Stetten im Remstal.



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