Herta Bothe-The Sadist of Stutthof and the lenient sentence.

Herta Bothe was a German concentration camp guard during World War II. She was imprisoned for war crimes after the defeat of Nazi Germany, and was subsequently released early from prison on 22 December 1951 as an act of leniency by the British government. She was 6ft3 which must have been quite intimidating for the prisoners.

n September 1942, Bothe became the SS-Aufseherin camp guard at the Nazi German Ravensbrück concentration camp for women. The former nurse took a four-week training course and was sent as an overseer to the Stutthof camp near Danzig (now Gdańsk). There she became known as the “Sadist of Stutthof” due to her merciless beatings of female prisoners. On other accounts he was also know as the “Sadist of Bergen-Belsen”

At the age of 24, she accompanied a death march of women from central Poland to Bergen-Belsen. At the Belsen trial, she claimed that she had stuck prisoners with her hand as a means of discipline but never used an instrument to do so, nor did she claim to have killed anyone. She was sentenced to ten years in prison and is still alive today. In a rare interview she said:

“Did I make a mistake? No. The mistake was that it was a concentration camp, but I had to go to it, otherwise, I would have been put into it myself. That was my mistake.”

That was an excuse former guards often gave. But it was not true. Records show that some new recruits did leave Ravensbrück as soon as they realised what the job involved. They were allowed to go and did not suffer negative consequences.

The Allied soldiers forced her to place corpses of dead prisoners into mass graves adjacent to the main camp. She recalled in an interview some sixty years later that, while carrying the corpses, they were not allowed to wear gloves, and she was terrified of contracting typhus. She said the dead bodies were so rotten that the arms and legs tore away when they were moved. She also recalled the emaciated bodies were still heavy enough to cause her considerable back pain. Bothe was arrested and taken to a prison at Celle.

At the Belsen Trial she was characterized as a “ruthless overseer” and sentenced to ten years in prison for using a pistol on prisoners. Bothe admitted to striking inmates with her hands for camp violations like stealing but maintained that she never beat anyone “with a stick or a rod” and added that she never “killed anyone.” Her contention of innocence was deemed questionable as one Bergen-Belsen survivor claimed to have witnessed Bothe beat a Hungarian Jew named Éva to death with a wooden block while another teenager stated that he saw her shoot two prisoners for reasons he could not understand. Nevertheless, she was released early from prison on 22 December 1951 as an act of leniency by the British government.

Bothe died on March 16,2000 at the age of 79.

sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55661782

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/herta-bothe

https://marcuse.faculty.history.ucsb.edu/classes/33d/projects/naziwomen/herta.htm

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205125134

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Elfriede Huth-Ignorant and Evil.

If you look for the name Elfried Huth, you probably won’t find anything. Her story is both amazing and appalling. It is also the most bizarre and disturbing love story you will have ever read.

Elfriede was born on July,14 1922, in Leipzig. 22 years later, being still quite young, she joined the ranks of the SS. Until the end of the war, Elfriede served in Ravensbrück Concentration camp.

From June 1944 until April 1945 she was handling an SS-trained guard dog. She claimed that she did not use her dog as a weapon against prisoners, and that she did not join the Nazi party. However, other information contradicts this: “One prisoner reported that women were even worse than men in commanding their dogs to brutally attack inmates”

Elfriede somehow managed to avoid the Nuremberg trials. She left Germany for the United States and was admitted as an immigrant on or around 21 September 1959 in San Francisco, California. At a German-American club in San Francisco she met Fred William Rinkel, a German Jew whose family had been murdered in the Holocaust, and they married about 1962. He died in 2004. Elfriede stated she never told her husband of her past.

Fred(aka Fritz) Rinkel grew up in Berlin and, before the Nazis came to power, had wanted to be an opera singer. Sometime during the war, he escaped to Shanghai. In 1947, after learning that his parents had been killed in concentration camps, Fritz, then 32, sailed to San Francisco.

One of Fred’s cousins said “My family assumed that Fritz was a confirmed bachelor, but in 1962, at age 47, he brought over his fiancée for an introduction. He had met Elfriede Huth at a dance at the German-American club in San Francisco. Elfriede was not Jewish. That Fritz would marry a German non-Jew seemed odd to my parents, but this was America and the couple were in love. Even at the age of 14, I could see that Fritz was besotted with Elfriede, calling her “mein liebling,” my darling, throughout the evening and gazing at her with puppy eyes.”

Together, they mixed easily in Jewish circles, attended synagogue and donated to Jewish charities.

When Fred Rinkel died in 2004, his widow buried him in a Jewish cemetery, under a gravestone adorned with the Star of David – with space for her when she died.

Eventually, the Office of Special Investigations uncovered her whereabouts, and approached her on 4 October 2004. Rinkel confessed to having worked in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, as a voluntary dog handler: this activity was better paid than the ordinary work of supervisors.

She claimed that she did not use her dog as a weapon against prisoners, and that she did not join the Nazi party. However, other information contradicts this: “One prisoner reported that women were even worse than men in commanding their dogs to brutally attack inmates.”

Elfriede claimed to have always behaved correctly. Insa Eschebach, a historian and the director of the Museum of the Ravensbrück concentration camp, deemed this a protective claim.

Dogs could be used recklessly. Some guards let the animals go on prisoners, on whom they, with sometimes fatal consequence, inflicted severe bite wounds.

Since other crimes were barred, the Central Office of the State Justice Administration for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes in Ludwigsburg examined only whether it is possible to prove whether Huth murdered any inmates. If that could be proved, it risked a life sentence. Also, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem insisted on a trial.

On 1 September 2006 Elfriede was deported to Germany under a settlement agreement signed in June 2006 after being charged by a federal law requiring removal of aliens who took part in acts of Nazi-sponsored persecution filed by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The German authorities were informed by the American authorities after her departure. Kurt Schrimm from the Central Office of the State Justice Administrations for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes stated that her files were given to the prosecutor in Cologne. All criminal proceedings were eventually closed due to missing initial suspicion.

Elfriede Huth said :”I never talked about this with my husband. There was nothing to talk about. You don’t talk about things like that, never. That is the past. I am not a Nazi. My relatives are not Nazis. I did nothing wrong,”

This was the level of her ignorance that she could not see anything wrong with that.

She insisted she had no problem with Jews. She worked “outside, not inside” the Ravensbruck camp, she said, after leaving a job in a factory near her birthplace in Leipzig.

She spent some time on a farm in the Rhineland with relatives, then she moved into a nursing home in Willich, Northrhine-Westfalia, where she died in July 2018.

I deliberately used her maiden name rather then her married name.

sources

Elfriede Huth: the only accomplice of the Nazis, which was deported from the United States

https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Elfriede_Rinkel

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/sep/21/secondworldwar.germany

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Deported-former-guard-at-Nazi-camp-is-emphatic-2469325.php

Maria Mandl-Pure evil

Maria

Maria Mandl was one of the many Austrians who were delighted when Hitler annexed his native Austria into Germany. She saw opportunities and she took them.

Born in Münzkirchen, Upper Austria on January 10,1912 to a shoemaker and his wife.

On 15 October 1938 , shortly after the annexation she got her first job under the Nazi regime as Aufseherin(supervisor) at the Lichtenburg concentration camp. The camp closed in May 1939. Mandl then moved to Ravensbrück concentration camp, which was purposely built exclusively for women.

ravensbruck

Here Mandl, impressed her superiors and was soon promoted to to the rank of a SS-Oberaufseherin. Her brutality set her apart from other female workers. In her new roll she oversaw the roll calls and the punishments for the inmates. Punishment like beatings and floggings by whip.

Survivor Maria Bielicka recalled that one day ,Mandl kicked a fellow inmate to death for doing “something wrong.”

What is probably the most disturbing aspect about her is that unlike other female guards,  she was highly intelligent and cultured. She enjoyed literature and had a taste for fine cuisine. She was also an avid listener of classical music.

Maria Bielicka said about this.Shortly after Bielicka had watched her brutally kill a prisoner during roll call, one of her friends reported hearing “the most beautiful music” while cleaning the guards’ quarters. A senior guard at Ravensbrück had a piano, and Bielicka’s friend found Mandl playing it, “lost in a world of her own – in ecstasy.”

On 7 October 1942 Mandl was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, here she was involved in the selections, The lists that she signed condemned an estimated half a million  women and children to their deaths in the gas chambers at Auschwitz I and II. She took great pleasure in the selections.

One survivor recalled how Mandl had once selected a child whom she dressed up “in fine clothing, parading it around like a puppet.” The child was constantly by her side, holding her hand until she grew tired of the child and threw her in the gas cnamber.

Her passion for music she used to setting  the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, which was made up of prisoner, to accompany roll calls, executions, selections and transports. The orchestra would perform for in all weather conditions and often for hours.

Heinrich Himmler was a great admirer of the orchestra and it is said that Joseph Mengele was often brought to tears by some of their music.

Lucia Adelsberger,another survivor, wrote in her book “Auschwitz: Ein Tatsachenbericht”(Auschwitz, a report of the facts)

“The women who came back from work exhausted had to march in time to the music. Music was ordered for all occasions, for the addresses of the Camp Commanders, for the transports and whenever anybody was hanged.”

In November 1944, Mandl was assigned to the Mühldorf subcamp of Dachau concentration camp, she fled from there just before the camp was liberated.

But she was caught a few months later ,the United States Army arrested Mandl on 10 August 1945. In November 1947 she was tried in a Kraków during the Auschwitz Trial and sentenced to death by hanging. She was hanged on 24 January 1948, 2 weeks after her 36th birthday.

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Sources

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/maria-mandel

https://womensorchestra.weebly.com/history-of-orchestra.html

Nazi Camp Guard Maria Mandl Sent 500,000 Women To Their Deaths – And Loved Every Minute Of It

http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/places/camps/death-camps/birkenau/czajkowskazofia/

Evil Women

FEMALE

 

It wasn’t only men who committed heinous crimes in the concentration camps . There were many women who participated in torture and murder and often they enjoyed it. Some of the women were more evil then their male counterparts.

Below are some of the lesser known female guards and supervisors

Carmen Mory

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The Black Angel of Ravensbrück.

At the age of 26 years, Carmen Maria Bischoff Mory left Switzerland and went to Berlin, in order to work as a journalist. She was impressed by the National Socialist ideology and became a Gestapo agent in 1934, for whom she spied on German emigrants in Paris. In 1938, she was arrested for espionage, was condemned to death and in 1940, pardoned by the French President. Back in Germany, she became active again for the Gestapo; but was accused of being a double agent and was sent to Nazi camp in Ravensbrück.  As a prisoner, she quickly rose through the hierarchy and became a cell-leader, who supervised cruel forced labor.

Carmen Mory was sentenced to death by hanging at the first Hamburg trials but she committed suicide in her cell by slashing her wrists before justice can be carried out.

Alice Orlowski

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Born as Alice Minna Elisabeth Elling in Berlin in 1903, she began her guard training at the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany in 1941. In October 1942 she was selected as one of the SS Aufseherin to be posted at the Majdanek camp near Lublin, Poland where she, came to be regarded as one of the most brutal supervisors . They regularly loaded trucks of women destined for the gas chambers. When a child was left over, the two would throw him or her on the top of the adults like luggage, and bolt the door shut. Orlowski often awaited the arrivals of new transports of women. She would then whip the prisoners especially across the eyes. In Majdanek, Orlowski was promoted to the rank of Kommandoführerin (Work Detail Overseer) in the sorting sheds.

As the SS Aufseherin, Orlowski had over 100 women under her supervision, who sorted through stolen items from gassed prisoners: watches, furs, coats, gold, jewellery, money, toys, glasses, etc. When the camp was evacuated, the Germans sent Orlowski to the notorious Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp near Kraków, in Nazi-occupied Poland. In Plaszow-Kraków, Alice was in charge of a work detail on the Camp Street (Lager Strasse) and was known for her viciousness.

In early January 1945, Orlowski was one of the SS women posted on the death march to Auschwitz-Birkenau and it was during this time that her behaviour, previously noted as being brutal and sadistic, became more humane. On the death march in mid-January 1945 from Auschwitz to Loslau, Orlowski gave comfort to the inmates, and even slept alongside them on the ground outside. She also brought water to those who were thirsty.[3] It is unknown why her attitude changed, but some speculate that she sensed the war was almost over and she would soon be tried as a war criminal. Orlowski eventually ended up back at Ravensbrück as a guard.

After the war ended in May 1945, Orlowski was captured by Soviet forces and extradited to Poland to stand trial for war crimes. The “picture book SS woman” stood accused at the Auschwitz Trial in 1947. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released in 1957 after serving only 10 years. In 1975, West Germany tracked Orlowski down, and placed her on trial in the Third Majdanek Trial.

She died during the trial in 1976 at the age of 73.

Vera Salvequart

Vera

 

28 year old Vera Salvequart was born on the 26th of November 1919 in Wonotsch in Czechoslovakia and had trained as a nurse.  She had also served several periods in prison for having relationships with Jewish men. She had not been an SS guard, but rather a prisoner herself in Ravensbrück. She was sent to KZ Ravensbrück in December 1944 and as a Kapo worked as a nurse in the camp’s hospital wing. Here she was said to have administered poison in form of a white powder to some 50 of the patients, of whom 12 died.  She claimed to have stolen plans for the V2 rocket and passed these to Britain.
Vera Salvequart petitioned the King for a reprieve in view of her passing secrets to the British. She was granted a stay while this was considered but the Royal prerogative of mercy was withheld and on Thursday the 26th of June 1947 she followed the other three to the gallows.  She was the first of thirteen prisoners to be hanged that day by Albert Pierrepoint, assisted by Regimental Sergeant Major Richard Anthony O’Neill, the execution being carried out at 9.03 am.  Her body was later buried in the Wehl cemetery in Hameln.

Elizabeth Volkenrath

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Elisabeth Volkenrath,  a former hairdresser  who hanged prisoners and was known as the most hated woman at Belsen

Volkenrath, née Mühlau, was an unskilled worker when she volunteered for service in a concentration camp. She started in October 1941 at Ravensbrück concentration camp as a simple Supervisor. In March 1942, she went to Auschwitz Birkenau where she worked in the same function as at Ravensbrück. At Auschwitz, she met SS-Rottenführer Heinz Volkenrath, who had worked there since 1941 as SS-Blockführer. They married in 1943. Elisabeth Volkenrath participated in the selection of prisoners for the gas chambers and in November 1944 was promoted to Oberaufseherin for all camp sections for female prisoners at Auschwitz.

Elisabeth Volkenrath was transferred to Bergen-Belsen when Auschwitz was closed. From February 1945, she was Oberaufseherin (supervising wardress) at Bergen-Belsen.

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In April 1945, she was arrested by the British Army, and stood trial in the Belsen Trial. She was sentenced to death, and executed at Hamelin Prison by Albert  Pierrepoint December that year

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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