The evil of Amon Göth

Amon Göth’s granddaughter, Jennifer Teege; wrote a book titled “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me”. I don’t think that would be the case, I think Jennifer would not even have been conceived, if her grandfather would have been alive.

Göth was relatively unknown until Stephen Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’. His brutality was unhinged.

I have written about Göth before, in this post I just want to focus on his evil nature, he was even nearly too evil for the Nazis. Amon Göth was born on December 11th,1908 in Vienna where he was raised as a Roman Catholic. His grandfather and his father had a printing company where books on military and economic history were printed and bound.

In 1940, Göth joined the Schutzstaffel, with number 43673. His career as a professional killer had begun. Until May 30th, 1942, Göth was employed as a SS-Untersturmführer at the “Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle” in Katowice in Poland. On June 12th,1942, HE was assigned to the staff of Odilo Globocnik, the Austrian born SS- und Polizeiführer at Lublin. He was deployed here at the field of action of the “Judenumsiedlung” or “resettlement of the Jews”, a euphemism for the deportation and mass killings in the context of Aktion Reinhard.

Aktion Reinhard was the code name for the Nazi operation with the aim of destroying more than two million Jews in five districts of the Generalgouvernement, which were Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, Krakow and Lvov. This operation was named after Reinhard Heydrich, who, until his death on June 4th , 1942 had been the main organizer of the Holocaust. Goeth was involved in the clearing of several smaller ghettos but after a conflict with SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle, chief of staff of Aktion Reinhard and another Austrian, he was transferred to Krakow. Goeth had been accused of corruption by Höfle. This warning, however, was not an incentive for Goeth to stop his corrupt activities.

However, by 1943, he had been promoted to hauptsturmführer (similar to an army captain), and he had also become the commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp.

Now populated with prisoners, Płaszów started out as a slave labour camp before eventually being upgraded to full concentration camp status as the camp grew in size. Daily life in the camp was even more horrendous than in the other camps the Nazis established in their conquered territories, due mainly to the activities of its commandant. Göth enjoyed humiliating, torturing and murdering people, and the rules he established in his own little fiefdom were among some of the harshest ever imposed within the Nazi concentration camp system.

Prisoners could be executed for a whole wealth of reasons, ranging from being found with extra food hidden in their clothes to being related to a prisoner who had attempted to escape. Göth believed in collective punishment and wouldn’t hesitate to execute or severely beat prisoners who hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Executions took place on an almost daily basis on a large hill close to the camp known as Hujowa Górka. Trenches were dug on the hillside and prisoners were forced to stand naked in lines in the trenches where they were shot one after the other in the back of the head. Göth ordered that all prisoners of the camp had to watch these mass executions, including the children who lived in the camp. These children were eventually rounded up and sent off to Auschwitz to be gassed when Göth needed to make some room for incoming prisoners.

It wasn’t just the strict rules Göth imposed on the camp that left prisoners living in a permanent state of fear, however. The commandant’s psychotic behaviour made life in Płaszów almost unbearable. Prisoners who survived the war describe a huge, foul-tempered and often drunken man who liked to shoot at least one person dead every day before he’d had his breakfast.

One prisoner named Poldek Pfefferberg said: “When you saw Goeth, you saw Death.”

Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, a young woman forced to work as Göth’s maid who witnessed firsthand his appalling sadism. “As a survivor I can tell you that we are all traumatized people,’ never would I, never, believe that any human being would be capable of such horror, of such atrocities.”

And then there were Göth’s dogs. Rolf and Ralf were , that Göth had personally trained to attack prisoners on command, tearing them limb-from-limb as their screams rang out across the camp. Not even the men who looked after Rolf and Ralf were safe. When Göth began to suspect the dogs preferred one of their handlers over their master, he had the man brought before him and shot.

Goeth personally murdered some of the Jewish victims himself, including up to 90 women and children in Tarnów alone.

Göth’s corrupt life was reason for the SS to arrest him on September 13th,1944. A higher ranking SS officer with the name of Eckert investigated the corrupt ways of Göth. Evidence was found in his villa, a sum of around 80,000 Reichsmark. He couldn’t explain how he came about this sum. As well as the cash, a million cigarettes were found in the same villa. His apartment in Vienna looked more like a warehouse than a place to live due to the stockpile of stolen goods there. Göth was charged with black marketing and corruption but never faced a trial. There was no time because the war rapidly came to its conclusion. Suffering from diabetes, he was released in January,1945 and was transported to a sanatorium in Bavarian Bad Tölz. The prisoners in Plaszow, in the meantime, had been transferred to other camps and evidence of the mass killings had been destroyed. The bodies in the mass graves around Plaszow were dug up and were subsequently burnt. The last 2,000 prisoners were deported to Auschwitz on January 14th , 1945.

Göth was arrested in Bad Tölz in Bavaria in 1945 by US troops. At the time of his capture he was wearing a German Army uniform and was not immediately identified as an SS officer. However, survivors of Płaszów later identified him and he was tried and found guilty of imprisoning, torturing and killing thousands of people.

Amon Göth was sentenced to death for his crimes. He was hanged in the Montelupich Prison in Kraków on the 13th of September 1945, a short distance from the site of the notorious concentration camp where his disrespect, sadism and utter lack of humanity had caused so much human suffering. In the history of Nazi tyranny.

On September 13th,1945 he was hanged. His final words were: “Heil Hitler.”


The execution of Amon Göth. September 13-1946

Anyone who has seen ‘Schindler’s List’ will know about Amon Göth, who was played by Ralph Fiennes in the movie.

Göth was the son of a prosperous publisher in Vienna. In 1931 he became a member of the Austrian Nazi Party at the age of 23.He was granted full party membership on 31 May 1931. His decision to join the party at this early stage meant that he was considered an Alter Kämpfer (Old Fighter), i.e., one who had joined the party before Adolf Hitler’s rise to the position of Chancellor of Germany.

Göth rose steadily through the SS ranks, earning a promotion to untersturmführer (equivalent to second lieutenant) in 1941 and joining Operation Reinhard, the Nazi campaign to kill the Jews of occupied Poland, in 1942. He was made commandant of Plaszow in February 1943 but remained active elsewhere, supervising the violent closings of the Kraków ghetto (March 1943), the Tarnów ghetto, and the Szebnie concentration camp (both in September 1943). His performance so pleased his superiors that he was promoted two ranks to hauptsturmführer (equivalent to army captain) in summer 1943.

In Plaszow, Göth had many prisoners killed as punishment for infractions, but he also killed randomly and capriciously. From the balcony of his villa, he took target practice with his rifle on prisoners as they moved about the camp.

Joseph Bau, a Polish-born Israeli artist, philosopher, inventor, animator, comedian, commercial creator, copy-writer, poet, and survivor of the Płaszów concentration camp, said about Göth.

“A hideous and terrible monster who reached the height of more than two meters. He set the fear of death in people, terrified masses, and accounted for much chattering of teeth.

He ran the camp through extremes of cruelty that are beyond the comprehension of a compassionate mind – employing tortures which dispatched his victims to hell.

For even the slightest infraction of the rules, he would rain blow after blow upon the face of the helpless offender and would observe with satisfaction born of sadism, how the cheek of his victim would swell and turn blue, how the teeth would fall out and the eyes would fill with tears.

Anyone who was being whipped by him was forced to count in a loud voice, each stroke of the whip and if he made a mistake was forced to start counting over again.

During interrogations, which were conducted in his office, he would set his dog on the accused, who was strung by his legs from a specially placed hook in the ceiling.

In the event of an escape from the camp, he would order the entire group from which the escapee had come, to form a row, would give the order to count ten, and would, personally kill every tenth person.

At one morning parade, in the presence of all the prisoners he shot a Jew, because, as he complained, the man was too tall. Then as the man lay dying he urinated on him.

Once he caught a boy who was sick with diarrhea and was unable to restrain himself. Goeth forced him to eat all the excrement and then shot him”.

He was even to evil for Nazi standards. On 13 September 1944, Göth was relieved of his position and charged by the SS with theft of Jewish property (which belonged to the state, according to Nazi regulations), failure to provide adequate food to the prisoners under his charge, violation of concentration camp regulations regarding the treatment and punishment of prisoners, and allowing unauthorised access to camp personnel records by prisoners and non-commissioned officers. Administration of the camp at Płaszów was turned over to SS-Obersturmführer Arnold Büscher. The camp was closed on 15 January 1945.Göth was scheduled for an appearance before SS Judge Georg Konrad Morgen, but due to the progress of World War II and Germany’s looming defeat, the charges against him were dropped in early 1945.

All those charges against him may appear that the Nazis actually cared for the wellbeing of prisoners, but that wasn’t the case. It only meant that Göth’s crimes were against the ‘greater good’ of the third reich. He enriched himself and used prisoners for his own benefit.

After being diagnosed with diabetes, he was sent to an SS sanitarium in Bad Tölz, Germany, where he was arrested by U.S. troops in early 1945. The Americans turned him over to the restored Polish government, which then tried him for war crimes, most notably the killing of more than 10,000 people in the Plaszow and Szebnie camps and in the Kraków and Tarnów ghettos. Göth’s defense was that he was only following orders. After the brief trial, he was convicted on September 5, 1946, and hanged eight days later. He was sentenced to death and was hanged on 13 September 1946 at the Montelupich Prison in Kraków, not far from the site of the Płaszów camp. His remains were cremated and the ashes thrown in the Vistula River. Allegedly his last words were ‘Heil Hitler’.

In addition to his two marriages, Göth had a two-year relationship with Ruth Irene Kalder, a beautician and aspiring actress originally from Breslau (or Gleiwitz; sources vary). Kalder first met Göth in 1942 or early 1943 when she worked as a secretary at Oskar Schindler’s enamelware factory in Kraków. She met Göth when Schindler brought her to dinner at the villa at Płaszów; she said it was love at first sight. She soon moved in with Göth and the two had an affair, but she stated that she never visited the camp itself. Göth’s second wife Anna, still living in Vienna with their two children, filed for divorce upon learning of Göth’s affair with Kalder. Kalder left for Bad Tölz to be with her mother for the birth of her daughter, Monika Hertwig , on 7 November 1945. She was Göth’s last child. Kalder was devastated by Göth’s execution in 1946, and she took Göth’s name shortly after his death.

In 2002, Hertwig published her memoirs under the title Ich muß doch meinen Vater lieben, oder? (“I do have to love my father, don’t I?”). Hertwig described her mother as unconditionally glorifying Göth until confronted with his role in the Holocaust. Kalder suffered from emphysema and committed suicide in 1983 shortly after giving an interview in Jon Blair’s documentary Schindler. Hertwig’s experiences in dealing with her father’s crimes are detailed in Inheritance, a 2006 documentary directed by James Moll. Appearing in the documentary is Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, one of Göth’s Jewish former housemaids. The documentary details the meeting of the two women at the Płaszów memorial site in Poland. Hertwig had requested the meeting, but Jonas-Rosenzweig was hesitant because her memories of Göth and the concentration camp were so traumatic. She eventually agreed after Hertwig wrote to her, “We have to do it for the murdered people.” Jonas felt touched by this sentiment and agreed to meet her.

Monika Hertwig in front of her father’s villa in Plaszow.

Monika’s daughter Jennifer Teege is a German writer. Her grandfather was Amon Göth. Her 2015 book ‘My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past’ was a New York Times bestseller. I don’t agree with that because if it was up to her Grandfather she wouldn’t even have been born, because of her Father’s Nigerian background.


Inheritance: Beyond the Film With James, Monika and Helen

Holocaust-Evil paying the price, albeit a small one.

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The Holocaust was without a shadow of a doubt the worst atrocity ever committed in the history of the world. But what makes it possibly even worse is the fact that so many key players responsible for the Holocaust got away with it and even got high positions in government jobs of the allied governments.

There were some though who were caught and paid the price. However if you consider the suffering of the victims, the death in the gas chambers wasn’t always instant, often it would take several minutes in agony before they died.

The sentences handed out, even the death penalties, to the arrested Nazis was a very small price to pay compared to the suffering of their victims.

The picture at the start of the blog is of Joseph Kramer, commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Belsen, photographed on April 28, 1945. After standing trial, Kramer, “The Beast of Belsen”, was convicted and executed in December of 1945.

When American troops liberated prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp, Germany, in 1945, many German SS guards were killed by the prisoners who then threw their bodies into the moat surrounding the camp.

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Amon Goeth  was the Commandant of the Plaszow labor camp. While he was the Commandant of Plaszow, Goeth was assigned to supervise the liquidation of the Podgorze ghetto on March 13, 1943, and later the labor camp at Szebnie.


Goth was sentenced to death and was hanged on 13 September 1946 at the Montelupich Prison in Kraków, not far from the site of the Plaszów camp. Goeth’s last words were “Heil Hitler”


The executioner  miscalculated the length of rope necessary to hang Goeth twice, and it was only on the third attempt that the execution was successful.Even with that he did not suffer more then

His remains were cremated and the ashes scattered in the Vistula River.

Gustav Laabs was ordered to the Chełmno concentration camp where he served between April 1942 and January 1945, and started driving the gas vans within a few days of his arrival. He had earlier worked at the vehicle pool at the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA, the Reich Main Security Office) and had been transferred to a Sonderkommando in Posen (Poznań in Polish); he had to agree to remain silent about his work there.


At the end of November 1963, Laabs and ten other people from the Chełmno concentration camp were tried at the Landgericht Bonn ,Germany,regional court. Laabs was indicted for the murder of 100,000 people in the gas van and for personally shooting the few survivors.On 30 March 1964, Laabs was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment and lost 10 years of citizenship rights for his part in the Holocaust. His sentence was later reduced to 13 years.

It is not clear if he had been in jail between 1645 and 1963.



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