SS Sonderkommando Sobibor

Lower Ranking Officers

Listed in Alphabetical Order   


BARBL, Heinrich

Fig 26 - SS staff at Belzec

Heinrich Barbl - First Right - Belzec Kommandantur

Born on 3 March 1900 in Sarleinsbach, Austria. He worked at the T4 institution at Hartheim before being sent to the Belzec death camp in Poland where he helped install the gas pipes. He referred to himself as the Hausklemper (plumber) he worked with Erich Fuchs on the installation of gas pipes in the gas chambers in Sobibor.       

BAUCH, Ernst

Fig 13 - Ernst Bauch


Ernst Bauch - from  his personnel file

Born on 30 April 1911 in Grinsdorf. He served in the T4 institution at Grafeneck. He arrived in Sobibor in April 1942. He committed suicide on  4 December 1942 in Berlin. Karl Frenzel attended his funeral in Berlin.    

BAUER, Hermann Erich


Fig 28 Nowak, Bauer Bolender Gomerski Trieste

Erich Bauer - Second from left in Italy

Born on 26 March 1900 in Berlin. A former Tram conductor, he also worked as a driver for T4. Bauer went to Sobibor in April 1942 and he was in charge of the gas chambers in Lager III. He described himself as the Gasmeister of Sobibor during his trial. He was also the lorry driver of the camp, and he was responsible for carrying the coffins to Chelm.

In 1946 he worked in Berlin clearing the ruins. Whilst doing this he was spotted on the street by former Sobibor inmates Samuel Lerer and Estera Raab in 1949, who reported him to the Police. On 8 May 1950, at his trial in Berlin-Moabit he was sentenced to death for crimes committed in Sobibor. This was commuted to life imprisonment in November 1971 after the abolition of the death penalty. He died at the Berlin – Tegel prison in 1980.   

BECHER, Werner

Born on 26 April 1912 in Annaberg/ Aue. He worked at the T4 institution at Pirna/Sonnenstein as a chauffeur. He served at Sobibor from August until November 1942, where he supervised the sorting barracks in Lager II and he also worked in Lager III.   

BECKMANN, Rudolf


Fig 38 Beckmann and Mentz Grafeneck


Beckmann second from right at Grafeneck

Born on 20 February 1910 in Osnabruck. He served in the T4 institutions at Grafeneck and Hadamar. He arrived in Sobibor in April 1942 and he was in charge of the sorting commando in Lager II. He also managed the administration of the death camp in the Forsthaus (Foresters house) where he was killed during the revolt on 14 October 1943. Erich Bauer testified that he took his body to Lublin.

BEULICH, Max

Born on 9 March 1903. He was a male nurse at Pirna / Sonnenstein. He served in Sobibor death camp, but no other details known.

BLAUROCK, Emil


Fig 29 Emil Blaurock


Born on 25 January 1897.  He was a male nurse at Pirna/ Sonnenstein. He served in Sobibor death camp. He was detained by the US Army in Bad Aiblingen, Bavaria. He was discharged from internment on 19 April 1946.

BOLENDER, Heinz Kurt


Fig 8 - Groth, Hering, Bolender and Zierke

Kurt Bolender second from right

Born on 21 May 1912 in Duisberg. He served at the T4 institutions at Brandenburg, Hadamar, Hartheim and Pirna /Sonnenstein. Bolender arrived in Sobibor on 22 April 1942, along with a group that included Stangl, Frenzel and Gomerski.In Sobibor he served in Lager III, supervising the mass graves.

In July 1942 he was arrested for perjury during his divorce case and was punished by an SS-court in Krakow on 19 December 1942 and sent to the SS-penal camp at Matzkau, near Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland). He was transferred to the DAW (Deutsche Ausrustungswerke) in Lublin, and was transferred back to Sobibor to assist with the dismantling of the camp following the revolt in October 1943.

He was arrested in May 1961 and he committed suicide before he was due to be sentenced after the first trial of Sobibor personnel in Hagen on 10 October 1966.

BORNER, Gerhard

Fig 2 Sobibor Party in the Swallow's Nest

Gerhard Borner First Left in Sobibor

Born on 28 October 1905 in Dresden. He served at the T4 institution at Pirna/ Sonnenstein, as chief of the economics office. He was photographed at Sobibor at the Stangl party. After Sobibor he was posted to Italy. Nothing more is known.

BREDOW, Paul

BREDOW, MENTZ MOELLER UND HIRTREITER

Paul Bredow First Left in Treblinka

Born on  31 October 1903 in Guttland, Danzig District. A male nurse who served at the Grafeneck and Hartheim institutions. He was posted to the Sobibor death camp with Stangl and others. Bredow was in charge of the Lazarett at Sobibor, where he displayed untold cruelty in shooting Jewish prisoners. He served at Sobibor until the spring of 1943, when he was posted to Treblinka death camp, where he was in charge of “Sorting Barracks A,“ the clothing barracks. After the closure of Treblinka, he went to Trieste in Italy, and after the war he worked together with another former Sobibor staff member, Karl Frenzel in Giessen, as a carpenter until November 1945. In December 1945 he was killed in an accident in Gottingen.

BREE, Max  

Born during 1914, in Lubben / Spreewald and he arrived at Sobibor from the Treblinka death camp around June 1943. Due to his relatively late arrival, very little is known about him, other than that he supervised the Ukrainian guards at well as the Jewish workers in the sorting barracks. He was killed during the prisoner revolt on 14 October 1943.     

DACHSEL, Arthur


wolf and dachsel

 Arthur Dachsel in Italy

Born during 1890, in Bohlen, Riesa. Arthur Dachsel worked at the T4 institution at Pirna/ Sonnenstein, where he incinerated bodies. He served at the Belzec death camp in Poland and in July 1942 he was transferred to the Sobibor death camp, where he supervised the Waldkommando. He was promoted to the rank of Oberwachtmeister in March 1943. He was remembered by Thomas (Toivi) Blatt as one of the least brutal SS men.

DIETZE, Erich

Born on 2 November 1905 and worked at the T4 institution at Pirna/Sonnenstein, as an administrator.He was posted to Sobibor death camp. No more details known.  

DUBOIS, Werner

Fig 27 - Group photo Lachmann, Gomerski, Dubois


Werner Dubois Second from the right

Born on 26 February 1913 in Wuppertal –Langenfeld. He was brought up by his grandmother. After school he worked as a joiner, brushmaker, printer and on a farm. He joined the SS in January 1937 and he worked as a driver for the Gruppenkommando Oranienburg, and he also served as a driver and a guard at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

In August 1939 he was transferred to the T4 organisation where he drove the buses and worked as a burner in a number of T4 institutions in Bernburg,Brandenburg, Grafeneck and Hadamar.

Following a brief spell in Russia working for the Organiasation Todt, and in April 1942 was transferred to the Belzec death camp, where he admitted shooting Jewish prisoners. In the summer of 1943 he was transferred to the Sobibor death camp, when Belzec was closed.

At Sobibor he was in charge of the Waldkommando and he was attacked in the armoury on the day of the prisoner revolt on 14 October 1943 and suffered serious wounds. Dubois was acquitted at the Belzec trial in August 1963. However, he was sentenced to three years imprisonment at the Sobibor trial in Hagen in 1966.     

FEIX, Reinhold

Fig 26 - SS staff at Belzec

Reinhold Feix - Third from the left - Belzec Kommandatur


Born on 3 July 1909 in Neundorf / Oberschwarzbrunn, Sudetenland and he settled in Gablonz on the Neisse River. And after serving in the SS Training camp at Trawniki and he served in the Belzec death camp. At Belzec he was one of the most brutal SS men on the camp’s staff.

He accompanied the last Jewish workers to the Sobibor death camp in May 1943. He was then appointed Commandant of the Jewish Labour in Budzyn. He left Budzyn and disappeared. He survived the war and died at his home in Amberg, Bavaria on 30 May 1969.

FLOSS, Erich Herbert  

Fig 14 - Floss

Born on 25 August 1912 in Reinholdsheim. He attended extended elementary school. After school he was trained in textile dyeing, but he could not secure a position in this line of work and consequently worked in several other jobs.

From 1 April 1935 he served in the 2 Totenkopfsturmban Elbe and saw service in the Buchenwald concentration camp and he also served at the T4 institution at Bernburg.

Erich Herbert Floss was to make a name for himself as the Aktion Reinhardt cremation expert which he put to good effect at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka death camps, during 1943. Floss was nicknamed by the Jews at Treblinka, as Tadellos (perfect); that was his favourite expression. Floss served mainly at Sobibor death camp He was one of the SS men who took the victims last possessions before they entered the ‘Tube,‘ leading from Lager II to the gas chambers.

One week after the revolt Floss escorted a group of Ukrainian guards to the Trawniki training camp when he was killed by one of them in Zawadowka, near Chelm.

FORKER, Alfred

FORKER


Born on 31 July 1904, in Sachsen. He served as a male nurse at the T4 insttution at Pirna /Sonnenstein. Forker served in Treblinka as a guard in the sorting yard, and in the Totenlager. Described in the testimony of his colleague Otto Horn, as being small, with a tapering peaky face and dark blond hair. He also served at Sobibor death camp, and when Sobibor was liquidated he was posted to Italy. No further details are known.

FRENZEL, Karl August Wilhelm


FRENZEL -SOBIBOR

Born on 20 August 1911 in Zehdenick on the Havel, the son of a Reichsbahn employee, both his brothers were killed in the First World War. He took on a four year apprenticeship as a carpenter, but work in this field was difficult to find. He managed to find agricultural work, then became a driver for a butcher. He joined the Nazi Party and became an SA man from August 1930, and his fervent belief in National Socialism, he received a dagger of honour from Hitler personally, which he described as “his greatest experience.“

At the end of 1939 he was employed by T4 and Frenzel first went to Grafeneck institution where he worked as a guard, he then went to another institution at Bernburg and then onto Hadanar, where he became involved in the gassing and cremating of mentally ill and disabled people. After returning to Bernburg to help dismantling the gassing facilities, in mid-April 1942 he was summoned to Berlin and together with other old comrades from other T4 institutions were ordered to report to Odilo Globocnik, SS-und Polizeiführer  Lublin. Frenzel was given the rank of SS- Oberscharführer and was posted to Sobibor, and he arrived there on 28 April 1942.

After a short while Frenzel was placed in charge of Lager I and the Bahnhofskommando, he was the one alongside Gustav Wagner, who selected the workers who were to live whilst the rest were consigned to the gas chambers. SS- Scharführer Erich Bauer , who served with Frenzel in Sobibor, recalled; “He (Frenzel) was one of the most brutal members of the permanent staff in the camp. His whip was very loose.”

Frenzel, was one of the main targets of the prisoners during the revolt on 14 October 1943, but he escaped because he was in the shower. Because Franz Reichleitner was absent and deputy commandant Niemann was killed by the prisoners, Frenzel took command of the camp in the aftermath of the revolt.

Once Sobibor death camp had been dismantled and closed down, he was sent to join Globocnik in Trieste. He was assigned to Sondertruppe R as a Polizeihauptwachtmeister in Trieste and Fiume, hunting Jews and fighting partisans. In the spring of 1944 he was involved in a motor accident and spent a long time in a hospital in Udine. After being captured by the American forces he was taken to a Prisoner of War camp in the Munich area and made his way back to his home in Lowenburg in November 1945, the very day his wife Sofia died. He found employment as acting stage manager for a film studio in Gottingen. Frenzel was arrested for war crimes committed at Sobibor on 22 March 1962 and following a trial in Hagen he was sentenced on 20 December 1966 to life imprisonment. Karl Frenzel died in a retirement home in Garbsen / Hanover on 2 September 1996.

FUCHS, Erich

FUCHS IN RUSSIA 246


Erich Fuchs on the Eastern Front

Born on 9 April 1902 in Berlin. After his education in an elementary school he trained to become a skilled motor mechanic and automative foreman. Before the Second World War he was a driver in Berlin and he joined the Nazi Party in the early 1930’s and became a member of the SA and later the SS

He was drafted to T4 he worked as Dr Eberl’s driver in the T4 institutions at Brandenburg and Bernburg, and was, as he expressed himself, ‘an interested spectator‘ at the gassing of 50 mental patients.

In the winter of 1941 Fuchs was selected at Bernburg by Christian Wirth and posted to Belzec death camp. At Belzec he installed the“ showers“ the disguised gassing facilties and worked as a truck driver, in the motor pool transporting material to the death camp site. In April 1942 he collected a Russian water-cooled petrol engine from Lemberg, which was to produce the lethal gas for exterminating the Jews at Sobibor. He installed the engine with Erich Bauer and ensured that it worked with a trial gassing of Jews.

Erich Fuchs was then posted to Treblinka to assist with the installation of an engine in the gas chamber, which he testified; “Subsequently I went to Treblinka. In this extermination camp I installed a generator which supplied electric light for the barracks. The work in Treblinka took me about three to four busy months. During my stay there transports of Jews who were gassed were coming in daily.“     

In December 1942 Fuchs managed to arrange his release from T4 and from early 1943 he worked for the German oil company Ostland – Ol-Vertriebsgesellschaft in Riga. In February 1945 he became a soldier and member of the Waffen-SS, where he served in a tank transport unit. In March 1945 he was wounded during a bombing raid. Fuchs was taken prisoner by the Russians, and then subsequently he was held as a Prisoner of War by the Americans in Western Germany. He was employed by the British Army as a driver / mechanic in Bergen Belsen, until his release in 1946.

Fuchs worked till 1962 at a number of jobs as an assistant worker, locksmith and truck inspector at the TUV in Koblenz, he was arrested and held in custody from 8 April 1963. The Schwurgericht am Landgericht Hagen sentenced him to four years imprisonment on 20 December 1966 for being an accessory to the murder of at least 79,000 people. He died in Koblenz on 25 July 1980.

GAULSTICH, Freidrich

Freidrich Gaulstich arrived in Sobibor in August 1943 and he was killed by a blow from an axe during the revolt on 14 October 1943 by Szlomo Leitman in the carpentry workshop.  

GENTZ, Adolf 

Fig 31 GENTZ, SYDOW, BOELITZ, LUDWIG, MENTZ, MIETE ATTERSEE

Adolf Gentz - First from Left -Attersee, Austria

Born around 1912, in Mark Brandenburg. Adolf Gentz served in Treblinka from August 1942 until October 1943. He served on the ramp at Treblinka. Richard Glazar recalled Adolf Gentz; If I imagine Gentz without the SS uniform, he could be a nice bright young man. I imagine him tossing his school bag into some corner and putting the field cap on his straight, bright red hair, buttoning his uniform jacket, grinning at the reflection in the mirror of the youthful freckled face with the strawberry blond eyebrows, and thinking, ‘This is gonna be fun.‘ And when he got to Treblinka, and everyone around him eyed him with awe, then he told himself, ‘Well, whadda ya know, this is fun.‘ After Treblinka was closed down Adolf Gentz was posted to the Sobibor death camp and assisted with the liquidation of that death camp. Then he served in Udine, Italy until the war ended.  No further details known.

GETZINGER, Anton

Born on 24 November 1910 in Oeblarn, Austria. He was described by his Ortsgruppenleiter as a ‘fanatical National Socialist and a fighter for the ideas of our Führer Adolf Hitler.’ Getzinger served at the T4 institute at Hartheim, near Linz.

Getzinger arrived in Sobibor during April 1942 and he worked in Lager III. A few weeks before the revolt he was killed by a grenade in the Nordlager, where captured Soviet munitions were stored, in the presence of Hubert Gomerski, who explained what happened:

“We wanted to zero the aim of a machine-gun. We took two or three hand grenades, pounded a stake into the ground and wanted to put the grenades on top to hit them and blow them up. Toni hit it and was torn to shreds.”

To cover up this embarrassing incident, an official NSDAP report of 9 December 1944 stated that Getzinger was killed in action fighting against bandits, while serving in a Sonderkommando in Serbia.

GOMERSKI, Hubert

Fig 17 Kaiser, Hodl , Gomerski Italy

Hubert Gomerski - Far Right - Italy

Born on 11 November 1911 in Schweinheim and he worked at the T4 institutions at Hadamar and Hartheim. He arrived in Sobibor at the end of April 1942. Initially he was put in charge of a group of Ukrainian guards, but then worked alongside Bolender and Vallaster in Lager III.

Gomerski could be found on the ramp whenever a transport arrived, looking for the sick and disabled. He was known as ‘the doctor‘ because of his past experience in handling the sick, and his speciality was braining the half dead with a steel water-can as they were taken off the trains. He also carried out executions in the Lazarett, of the sick, disabled and worker Jews sent there. He often took to balancing a bottle on the head of an Arbeitshaftling, getting him to stand against a wall, and then shooting him with his carbine.

His accomplishments at Sobibor earned him promotion to the rank of  SS- Unterscharführer at Christmas 1942, he was on leave when the revolt took place in October 1943.

The Schwurgericht in Frankfurt am Main sentenced him to life imprisonment on 25 August 1950  for murdering an undisclosed number of people. He asked for a re-trial, which started on 12 December 1972 but this was ended prematurely due to ill-health reasons.  Hubert Gomerski died on 28 December 1999 in Frankfurt am Main.

GRAETSCHUS, Siegfried


Fig 15 - Siegfried Graetschus


Born on 9 June 1916 in Tilsit, East Prussia. After extended elementary education, he became a farmer and was a member of the NSDAP from 1936. He served at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, as confirmed by the War Crimes Group in 1947.

Graetschus was posted to the Belzec death camp and was involved in the early gassing experiments, including the conversion of a Post Office parcel van, into a gas-wagon.  Siegfried Graetschus was transferred to Sobibor in April 1942, and he commanded the Ukrainian guards, replacing Lachmann as their chief. Graetschus was killed during the prisoner revolt on 14th October 1943 by Jehuda Lerner.

GROMER, Ferdinand

Born on 7 April 1903 in Austria. He worked in the T4 institution at Hartheim. Gromer was posted to Sobibor in August 1942 as a cook. Although he carried out a number of roles at the death camp; overseeing the gassing and transporting the bodies to the mass graves and burying the corpses. He also supervised the Waldkommando. Erich Bauer recalled Gromer, “as a drunk who frequently resorted to violence.“ Commandant Reichleitner removed him from Sobibor because of his drinking problems. Possibly known as ‘Red Cake‘ by the prisoners.

GROTH, Paul Johannes

Fig 8 - Groth, Hering, Bolender and Zierke

Paul Groth - Far left celebrating

Born on 9 February 1922 in Holthausen, Schwein. He served at the T4 institute at Hartheim near Linz, Austria. Groth was posted to the Belzec death camp in January 1942. Christian Wirth transferred Groth to the  Sobibor death camp in April 1942, where he supervised the sorting activities in Lager II. He was regarded by the prisoners as one of the worst sadists. However, Groth fell in love with a Jewish girl called Ruth, who was shot in Lager III. Groth was transferred back to the Belzec death camp in December 1942. Groth was in charge of the transport that brought the last Jewish work-brigade from Belzec in May 1943. In 1951 his wife declared that Groth had died in order to claim her widow’s pension.   

HACKEL, Emil

Born 0n 9 November 1910 in the Sudetenland.  He served in the T4 institute at Pirna /Sonnenstein, as a ‘burner.‘He was transferred to the Sobibor death camp, but no other details are known.

HACKENHOLT, Lorenz


hackenholt 1942162

Lorenz Hackenholt - 1942

Born on 25 June 1914 in Gelsenkirchen. After attending the local elementary school until the age of 14 , he became an apprentice bricklayer and on passing the trade examinations worked on various building sites.

Lorenz Hackenholt joined the SS in 1934 and as part of the 2 Totenkopf Brandenburg Division was stationed at Oranienburg, north of Berlin, and he was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in March 1938, where he was employed in the motor pool and as a driver for the camp command and personnel. In November 1939 he was summoned to Voss Strasse, along with Josef Oberhauser  Siegfried Graetschus and Werner Dubois from the Sachsenhausen camp staff and was interviewed by Viktor Brack, the head of Hauptamt II of the Führer’s Chancellery, and one of the men responsible for the Euthanasia programme, of killing mentally-handicapped patients. Also interviewed that day were Kurt Franz, Fritz Jirmann and Erich Hubert Floss from Buchenwald concentration camp and Johann Niemann and Gottfried Schwarz from Dachau concentration camp. After the SS – NCO’s were sworn to secrecy, informed about T4 and the euthanasia programme, civilian clothes were obtained for them.   

Lorenz Hackenholt drove the bus with SS NCO’s in to the Grafeneck Castle institute in the Swabian Alps, south of Stuttgart. From the begining of 1940 when Grafeneck became operational until the summer of 1941 when the gassings were stopped on Hitler’s orders, Lorenz Hackenholt served in all six T4 institutions, both as a bus driver and as a so-called ‘disinfector/ burner,‘ unloading the corpses from the gas chambers and cremating them.  

After the termination of theT4 gassings, Hackenholt, together with a small group of SS NCO’s from the Foundation, was transferred in the autumn of 1941 to serve the SS- Brigadeführer Odilo Globocnik the SS –und Polizeiführer of the Lublin Dristrict in south-eastern Poland. From Lublin Hackenholt was posted to Belzec, a remote village in the far south –eastern corner of Poland, on the railway line between Lublin and Lwow ( Lemberg). It was at this spot near the railway station that the Nazis were building the first death camp.

Lorenz Hackenholt rapidly became the gassing expert of Aktion Reinhardt, he was the one who started the motor which fed the three chambers with deadly carbon monoxide fumes, when the extermination camp became active in March 1942. A few months later he designed and supervised the construction of a new gas chamber building with six chambers, and which bore his name‘Stiftung Hackenholt.‘ (Foundation Hackenholt). In August 1942 Lorenz Hackenholt was ordered to Treblinka by Christian Wirth, the Inspector of Aktion Reinhardt  camps, in order to construct the larger gassing facility there. Erwin Lambert the T4 construction expert and Lorenz Hackenholt were then sent by Wirth to Sobibor death camp in order to build new gassing facilities there. After completing this task Hackenholt returned to Belzec death camp and he was subsequently involved in the exhumation and cremation  of the gassed victims that had been buried in mass graves. In the spring of 1943 Lorenz Hackenholt returned to Treblinka on orders from Wirth to assist with the cremation operation. He was one of the excavator drivers.

Following the closure of Belzec in May 1943 Hackenholt was transferred to the Alter Flugplatz (Old Airfield) camp in Lublin, which was the main sorting, cleaning and storage depot for the vast amounts of belongings and valuables seized from the Jews murdered at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Valuable furs were disinfected with Zyklon B in four specially constructed chambers. After SS- Hauptscharführer Hackenholt arrived at the airfield. He used the chambers for killing prisoners who were unfit for work. Lorenz Hackenholt was transferred to Trieste in Italy, where he served at San Sabba and in 1944 he was awarded the Iron Cross II Class, for his dedicated service to Aktion Reinhardt

Whilst some of his former colleagues said in interrogations after the war had ended that Hackenholt had been kiiled in action, it would appear that he almost certainly survived the war and was living in the Allgau area around Memmingen – Kempten in the German – Austria border region. Was possibly spotted by his brother driving a delivery van. Lorenz Hackenholt has never been brought to trial and no further information is known.

HIRTREITER, Josef ‘Sepp‘

BREDOW, MENTZ MOELLER UND HIRTREITER

Sepp Hirtreiter - far right - Treblinka

Born on 1 February 1909 in Bruchsal, which is 20 kilometres north east of Karlsruhe. After attending extended elementary school. He trained as a locksmith but failed the final examination. Later he worked as an unskilled construction worker and bricklayer. On I August 1932 he became a member of the NSDAP and SA.   

In October 1940 he was ordered to the Hadamar institute where he worked in the kitchen and the office. In the summer of 1942 he was drafted into the Wehrmacht for a brief time before returning to Hadamar and then onto Berlin where Christian Wirth transferred him to Lublin and then onto Treblinka death camp.

Josef Hirtreiter was stationed at Treblinka from 20 August 1942 until October 1943 when he was transferred to Sobibor death camp to assist with the dismantling of that camp. At Treblinka he became much feared by the Jewish prisoners, and he was known by the nickname ‘Sepp‘.

In October 1943 he was ordered to Italy where he joined an anti-partisan police unit. After the war he was arrested in July 1946, and accused of having served at the institute at Hadamar. He was the first of the Treblinka hangmen to be brought to trial in Frankfurt am Main. On 3 March 1951 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Among the crimes he was found guilty of were killing many young children, aged one or two, when during the unloading of transports, by seizing the infants by their feet and smashing their heads against the boxcars. Because of ill-health Josef Hirtreiter was released from prison in 1977. He spent the last six months of his life in an old people’s home in Frankfurt am Main, dying on 27 November 1978.

HÖDL, Franz

Fig 17 Kaiser, Hodl , Gomerski Italy

Franz Hodl, middle in Italy

Born on 1 August 1905 in Aschbach, Austria. He served at the T4 institute at Hartheim, where he drove the buses from April 1939 to January 1942. Thereafter he was drafted to an Organisation Todt unit in Russia where he was employed transporting wounded soldiers.

After a period of training at the Trawniki SS- Ausbildungslager he arrived at the Sobibor death camp in October 1942, where he operated the gassing engine in Lager III. He also chauffered commandant Reichleitner and after the revolt helped with the dismantling of the facilities. When Sobibor was closed down he was posted to Italy, and he witnessed the death of Franz Reichleitner who was ambushed and killed by partisans in his car.

ITTNER, Jakob, Alfred

Fig 16 Ittner and Groth

Alfred Ittner left with Paul Groth

Born on 13 January 1907 in Kulmbach. He joined the Nazi Party as early as 1926 and the SA in 1936 as a Scharführer. After working for T4 in Berlin as a book-keeper, he was in the first group of arrivals at Sobibor on 28 April 1942 and remained there until the end of July 1942.

He spent the first five weeks in administrative duties as an SS- Oberscharführer. The Jews had to hand over their money and other valuables as they filed past his counter naked, on their way from Lager II to the gas chambers. After that he became a guard in Lager III, where he supervised prisoners as they extracted gold teeth from the bodies and carted the bodies over to the mass graves.

At the end of June 1942 he managed to get himself transferred back to T4 headquarters in Berlin. In the 1966 Hagen Trial he was sentenced to four years in prison for his part in the murder of an ‘undisclosed number, though at least 68,000 Jews.’  

JUHRS, Robert Emil


Fig 52 Robert Juhrs

Born on 17 October 1911 in Frankfurt am Main. By profession he was a painter, but he also worked as a labourer, caretaker, and usher at the Frankfurt Opera House and an office clerk. After serving at the T4 institute at Hadamar, where he was employed as a male nurse, painter and clerk until late 1941.

He was posted to the Belzec death camp in June 1942, where he served at the ramp and at the Lazarett shooting the sick and disabled.

In March 1943 he was posted to the Jewish labour camp at Dorohucza, where peat was dug and he remained until early November 1943. Juhrs escorted the Arbeitshaftlinge from Dorohucza to Trawnki, where all of them were shot during Aktion Erntefest (Harvest Festival).

Following the revolt in Sobibor in October 1943, Juhrs was sent to Sobibor to help with the dismantling of the camp and he formed a guard cordon of the last prisoners to be killed at Sobibor, once they had finished with the clean-up of the death camp.

Juhrs was ordered to Italy in December 1943. He was acquitted at the Belzec Trial at the Landgericht Munich in 1963 and he was also acquiited at the Sobibor Trial in Hagen on 20 December 1966 on charges arising from his involvement in the demolition of the camp.

KAMM, Rudolf


fig 27 Rudolf Kamm

Rudolf Kamm at Belzec near the Sorting Sheds

Born in 1905 in Sedenz, a village near Teplitz Schonau in the Sudetenland. He served at the T4 institute at Pirna /Sonnenstein  as a ‘burner.‘

He was posted to the death camp at Belzec in 1942 and records from the nearby hospital at Tomaszow Lubelski show that he was hospitalised on 17 June 1942 until the 25 June 1942 and again on the 30 December 1942 until the 31 January 1943 with typhus. *

He was transferred to Sobibor in 1943  where he supervised the sorting barracks. He was posted to Italy. Franz Suchomel testified that he saw him for the last time after the end of the war, in a Gasthaus between Mauthern and Hermagor, Carinthia (Austria), the last lodgings of our former unit (R-1 in Trieste).

*Note;  A number of the SS garrison were also hospitalised at Tomaszow Lubelski, including  Schwarz and Unverhau  as well as Kamm, and a number of Trawniki – manner were also hospitialised, and some of them died of typhus.

KLIER, Johann

Born on 15 July 1901 in Stadt Steinach. After completing school he qualifed as a master baker. From 1934 until 1940 he worked at the Heddernheimer Copper Works factory and in the same year he was posted to the T4 institute at Hadamar, where he worked as a construction worker and looking after the heating system.

He was posted to Sobibor early in August 1942. He was in charge of the bakery, first outside and later inside Lager I. He also supervised the sorting and storage of the shoes  in Lager II. Klier was on leave when the prisoner revolt took place on 14 October 1943 and when Sobibor was closed, he was posted to Italy. Klier was regarded as relatively humane by the prisoners and they testified to that effect at his  trial in Frankfurt am Main, and on 25 August 1950 he was found not guilty. Klier died on 18 February 1955.

KONRAD, Fritz

Fig 37 Fritz Konrad

Born on 21 September 1914, he served in the T4 institutes  at  Pirna /Sonnenstein and Grafeneck as a male nurse. He was posted to Sobibor death camp in March 1943, along with the Wolf brothers and Willi Wendland. He worked both as a supervisor in the sorting barracks in Lager II and in Lager III. Sobibor survivor Zelda Metz testified that he was killed by one of the shoemenders during the revolt.

 LACHMANN, Erich, Gustav Willie


Fig 27 - Group photo Lachmann, Gomerski, Dubois

Erich Lachmann - Second from left back row

Born on 6 November 1909 in Liegnitz. A member of the police he trained Ukrainian volunteers at Trawniki from September 1941 and he testified he was only at Sobibor for only a few months from August 1943, as Oberwachtmeister and chief of the Ukrainian guards. However, it has been confirmed that in fact he was there a year earlier.    

Bauer recalled that Lachmann was a theiving alcoholic, Jewish survivors Marguiles and Lichtman witnessed him raping young girls. Commandant Reichleitner sent Lachmann back to Trawniki because of his incomptetence, from where he deserted with his girlfriend . In the Hagen Trial of 1966 he was acquitted. He died on 23 January 1972 in Wegscheid.

LAMBERT, Erwin Hermann


lambert at malkinia


Erwin Lambert - Malkinia - Destruction of Glass Factory Tower
 

Born on 7 December 1909 in Schildow, Kreis Niederbarnim, near Berlin. He was a member of the NSDAP since 1933 and a mason by profession. In January 1940 he was recruited to T4 and his first assingment was the renovation of the T4 villa in Tiergartenstrasse 4. He installed the gas chambers at the institutes of Hartheim, Pirna/ Sonnenstein, Bernburg and Hadamar.

In the Spring of 1942 he was ordered to Lublin and then onto the Treblinka death camp, he arrived there with August Hengst, and under the command of Richard Thomalla was responsible for construction work on the first gas chambers and other buildings. In August 1942 he was responsible for the demolition of a glass factory chimney in Malkinia, which was photographed by Kurt Franz, and the bricks were used in the construcion of the larger gas chambers building in Treblinka. He was called the ‘Flying Architect of T4,‘ because he also undertook construction works at T4 establishments, such as the villa used for recreation by the death camp personnel at Attersee.

Erwin Lambert also was involved along with Lorenz Hakenholt in the construction of larger gassing facilities at the Sobibor death camp, as well as as general construction work in the Jewish Labour camps at Dorohucza and Poniatowa. After Aktion Reinhardt ended he was posted to Trieste, Italy. Afer the war Lambert was arrested on 28 March 1962 and was tried at the Treblinka Trial which was held in Dusseldorf during 1964/1965. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.

LUDWIG, Karl Emil

karl ludwig


Karl Ludwig in Italy

Born on 30 November 1904 in Storkow. A driver by profession he was the chauffeur of Reichsleiter Martin Bormann and for T4 headquarters. He was posted to the Sobibor death camp from April 1942 until January 1943 where he served in Lager III, the extermination area. In January 1943 he was posted to Treblinka, where he also served in Lager II, the extermination area. Joe Siedlicki recalled in an interview with Gitta Sereny, that Karl Ludwig was; “He was a good, good man. The number of times he brought me things, the number of times he helped me, the number of people he probably saved, I can hardly tell you.“ After Treblinka death camp was dismantled he served in Italy, he survived the war.

MATTHES, Heinrich Arthur  

Fig 35 - Hackenholt awarded Iron Cross

Heinrich Matthes - Fourth from left - Trieste with Lorenz Hackenholt

Born on 11 January 1902 in Wermsdorf, Kreis Leipzig. He attended extended elementary school and became a tailor. In 1924 he served an apprenticeship as a male nurse and educator and took his examinations at the mental home Pirna/ Sonnenstein near Dresden.    

At the psychological clinic in Arnsdorf, also near Dresden he served as a male nurse and educator. In 1930 he worked as an educator and welfare worker to an institute in Braunsdorf, near Freiburg / Sachsen, returning in October 1933 to Arnsdorf. Heinrich Matthes became an SA member in 1934. In 1939 he was drafted into the Wehrmacht, where he served as a soldier in Poland and France until September 1941. His last rank in the Wehrmacht was Obergefreiter.

Released from the Wehrmacht, Matthes was ordered to the Kdf (Kanzlei des Führer) where he was posted to the T4 organisation. He spent a short time in the photograph section. In the winter of 1941/42 he served as a member of the Organisation Todt, in Russia, where he served as a male nurse in the Minsk and Smolensk areas. In February / March 1942 he returned from Russia and served in the same photograhic section at T4.  

In August 1942 he was ordered to Lublin, where he was drafted into the SS and given the rank of SS- Scharführer, and despatched to Treblinka death camp, which he arrived at on 20 August 1942. At Treblinka he was appointed by Christian Wirth as the commander of Lager II, the Totenlager, which included the gas chambers and the burial pits.

From Treblinka he was posted to the Sobibor death camp in September 1943 where he stayed until the camp was dismantled and afterwards was stationed in Berlin. In early 1944 he was posted from Berlin to Trieste in Italy, now with the rank of Polizei – Oberwachtmeister. In Trieste he fought against partisans, took part in millitary construction work and served as a guard until the end of the war.

n 1945 he was captured by US forces, but was released the same year. Returning to Germany in Nuremberg he worked as an ambulance man, helped removing rubble and was employed as a male nurse again, at the mental homes in Ansbach, Andernach and finally Bayreuth. In the Treblinka Trial held during 1964/65 in Dusseldorf he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

MATZIG, Willy   

matzg


Born on 6 August 1910 in Berg, Oberlausitz. After leaving school his first profession was as a glasscutter. In October 1933 he became a member of the Allgemeine SS with the rank of SS-Unterscharführer. In July 1939, he was posted to an infantry unit in Freistadt, Silesia and then in early January 1940 he was posted to an SS infantry unit in Linz. Matzig fell ill with a septic bone marrow and as a result was suspended on medical grounds and ordered to Berlin.

In Berlin recruited as a member of T4 from February / March 1940 and he served as a guard at the Brandenburg institute for one year, and in 1941 was posted to Bernburg, where he again served as a guard and an admistration assistant until August 1942.

In August 1942 he was posted to Treblinka death camp where he performed book-keeping and administrative duties. With the orderly Otto Stadie, Matzig was one of Franz Stangl’s two senior administrative assistants housed in the Kommandantur. Matzig was also part of the squad which received prisoners, on the ramp when transports arrived. After the Jews disembarked, Stadie or Matzig would have a brief conversation with them. They were told something to the effect that, “they were a resettlement transport, they would be given a bath and they would receive new clothes. They were also instructed to maintain quiet and discipline. They would continue their journey the follwing day.“

Following the dismantling of Treblinka he was in Sobibor for a short while, and then in Trieste till the end of the war. No further details known.

MENTZ, Willi   

BREDOW, MENTZ MOELLER UND HIRTREITER

Willi Mentz - Second from left - Treblinka

Born on 30 April 1904 in Schonhagen, Kreis Bromberg. After school he found employment as an unskilled worker in a sawmill and then passed his master milkman’s examination. In 1940 he took care of cows and pigs at the Grafeneck institute and from 1941 to early summer 1942 worked in the gardens at Hadamar.

From June – July 1942 he was posted to Treblinka death camp where he was assigned at first to Camp II and then to Camp I as chief of the Landwirtschaftskommando (Agricultural Commando). Willi Mentz was also assigned by Wirth to supervise the Lazarett, where he became one of the most brutal killers, much feared by the Jewish prisoners.

After Treblinka was dismantled he served for a short time at Sobibor death camp and from there he was posted to Italy, fighting partisans and persecuting Jews. After the war ended he worked again as a master milkman. In the Treblinka trial held in Dusseldorf during 1964/65 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.  

MICHEL, Hermann 

Fig 40 -Hermann Michel

Born during 1906, in Heegermuhle. Hermann Michel was a T4 man who served at Grafeneck and Hartheim institutes. He was posted to the Sobibor death camp from April 1942, and he was a friend of Franz Stangl, the first commandant of Sobibor. He used to welcome the new arrivals in Lager II with a short speech in order to win their confidence by pretending that they had arrived at a labour camp and must be disinfected and bathed for reasons of hygiene.    

He was later transferred to Treblinka in November 1942. After the war he fled to Egypt. No further details known.

MUELLER, Adolf

ADOLF MUELLER

Born during 1902, in Berlin. Adolf Mueller arrived in Sobibor in the summer of 1943. He served mosty in Lager II, in the sorting barracks and in charge of the Waldkommando. During the revolt he kept a group of prisoners of the Waldkommando under armed guard.He died on 10 March 1949 in Berlin.  He probably also served at Treblinka in the camp administration. Also served in Trieste, Italy

NIEMANN, Johann


Fig 12 - Niemann

Born on 4 August 1913 in Wollern Ostfriesland. He served at a number of concentration camps such as Oranienburg, Esterwegen and Sachsenhausen between the years 1934 – 1941. He was a member of T4 and was employed as a ‘burner‘ at the Bernburg institute.

Niemann was posted to service in the east at the Belzec death camp before being posted to Sobibor in January 1943. Niemann was promoted to the rank of  SS-Untersturmführer following Himmler’s visit to the death camp on 12 February 1943  He was acting camp commandant when the prisoner revolt took place on 14 October 1943 and he was killed in the tailors barracks by a blow from an axe wielded by Alexander (Kalimali) Shubayev.

NOWAK, Anton Julius

Fig 18 Anton Nowak


Born on 22 May 1907 in Janow. He supervised the ‘haircutters‘ barracks near the gas chambers. Sometimes he supervised the Waldkommando. Survivor Estera Raab often saw him going into Lager III and said he stank of dead bodies. Anton Nowak was killed during the revolt on 14 October 1943.

NOWAK, Walter

Fig 20 Franz Nowak

Born on 12 May 1912, in  Dresden. He worked at the T4 institute at Pirna /Sonnenstein, as a male nurse. He was posted to the Sobibor death camp. During the euthanasia trials in Dresden in 1947, his service in Sobibor was not included in the indictment. The fact that her served in Sobibor came to light in a letter dated 6 March 1946 from the local police in Pirna, it noted that during the interrogation of his wife, she had admitted that her husband had served in the SS- Sonderkommando at Sobibor. A search of her house had revealed a hoard of valuable items “from a camp in Poland where Jews from many lands had been burned.“

His comrade Paul Rost confirmed that Nowak had served in Lager III and that he had come across Walter Nowak after the war in an American Entlassungslager. After his release in 1947 he was pursued by the authorities but without success.

POST, Philipp

Fig 36 Post


Born during 1911, in Bad Vilben, Hessen. He served in Treblinka between August 1942 and September 1943. He served in Sobibor from September 1943, until the camp closed. Philipp Post held the rank of a Polizeioberwachtmeister and in a police report dated March 1945, intercepted by British Intelligence he was described as circa 32 years of age, from the Frankfurt am Main area, about 1.73 meters tall; well built with brown hair and a rather red face. Philipp Post arrived in Treblinka on 20 August 1942 and according to Kurt Franz, Post served in Camp I as a weapons guard and when Treblinka was closed he served in Italy fighting the partisans.

PÖTZINGER, Karl

Fig 42 - Wendland and Potzinger


Karl Potzinger right next to Willi Wendland

Born in1908, in Marktredwitz. Recruited into T4 he served at the Brandenburg and Bernburg institutions, where he incinerated the bodies. He was posted to Treblinka, during May / June 1942,  where he worked in the Totenlager, in charge of the burial pits, then the cremations. When Treblinka was closed he served briefly in the Sobibor death camp, before being posted to Italy. Karl Pötzinger was killed on 22 December 1944 in an air-raid, by shrapnel and he was buried at the German Military Cemetery at Costermano near Verona, Italy.

REHWALD, Wenzel (Fritz)

Fig 21 Rehwald

Born during 1910, possibly in  Moldau. A bricklayer by profession. He joined T4 Euthanasia programme and served at Bernburg, Hadamar, Hartheim and Pirna /Sonnenstein instutions. Posted to Sobibor death camp in April 1942. He supervised the women’s undressing barrack and the construction of new barracks. During the revolt he held prisoners under guard at gunpoint. After Sobibor was dismantled he was posted to Italy.

RICHTER, Kurt

Fig 22 - Richter

Kurt Richter in  Italy

Born during 1914, in Karlsbad, Bohemia. He was by profession was a butcher. He was recruited into T4 and served at Pirna/ Sonnenstein and Hartheim institutions. Posted to the East, he first went to Treblinka death camp as a cook, and was transferred to Sobibor death camp in December 1942. At Sobibor he used to take the sick from the Ramp to the Lazarett, and he also supervised the work in the ‘haircutters‘ barracks and took part in the execution of the workers in the Waldkommando. After Sobibor he was posted to Italy, and he was killed in a fight with partisans on 13 August 1944 near Trieste. Erich Bauer testified that he transported Richter’s body to the local cemetery.  

ROST, Paul   


rost -sobibor


Born on 12 June 1904 in Deutschenbora near Meissen. After attending extended elementary school he trained to become a butcher. In 1925 he became a member of the police in Dresden and in 1937 became a member of the Nazi Party. On 21 May 1940 he was posted to the Pirna/ Sonnenstein institute , where he commanded the police squad and transportation command. He also served at Hartheim institute

Rost was posted to Sobibor death camp in April 1942, he was initialy the deputy commandant but was succeeded by Floss and Niemann respectively. He supervised the sorting of Jewish property in Lager II and also had to secretly spy on the other SS staff. He was transferred to Treblinka in May 1943; Rost was transferred to Trieste in December 1943 and he was promoted to police lieutenant on 9 November 1944 and awarded the Kreigsverdienstkreuz class II.

After the war had ended he was a Prisoner of War in a US ran camp but was released and returned to his family in Dresden. He was subsequently imprisoned by the Soviet Millitary Authority until the summer of 1946, then once again released. He lived and worked untroubled in Dresden until his death on 21 March 1984.   

RUM, Franz Albert  


rum 248

Born on 8 June 1890 in Berlin. By profession he was a waiter in a night-club, he joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and was recruited into T4 in 1939 where he worked in the photograhic section.

He was posted to Treblinka death camp in December 1942 where he supervised the Body – Transport commando, in the Totenlager, and he also chased the Jews into the gas chambers with a whip in hand. He was also in charge of Sorting Barracks B in the Sorting Yard. He took part in the final liquidation of Treblinka and was in the truck with Kurt Franz that went to the Sobibor death camp in November 1943.

Rum was then posted to Trieste, Italy and returned to Germany after the war. He was tried in the Treblinka Trial held during 1964/65 in Dusseldorf and was sentenced to three years in prison. He died in 1970.

RYBA, Walter

Born on 18 July 1900 in Heydebreck, Kozle. He was killed in the garage during the prisoner revolt at the death camp on 14 October 1943. According to the Berlin Document Centre his name was Walter Hochberg.

SCHAFER, Herbert

Born between 1902 and 1909. After service in T4 he served in the SS Training Camp at Trawniki. He served in Sobibor between April and June 1942, as leader of the Trawniki -manner guard unit. No further details known.

SCHARFE, Herbert

Born on 13 February 1913 in Konigstein, Sachsen. He served at the T4 institute at Pirna / Sonnenstein, employed in the economics office. Sent to the Treblinka death camp he was in charge of the camouflage commando. He also served at Sobibor death camp. No further details known.

SCHIFFNER, Karl  

Fig 35 - Hackenholt awarded Iron Cross

Karl Schiffner - Third from left - Trieste

Born on 4 July 1901 in Weiskirchlitz, under the name of Kresadlo. He attended extended elementary school and later at the public school in Weiskirchlitz. He served a three year apprenticeship as a carpenter at a Trade school. He then served in the Czech army during the years 1921 -23. Schiffner married in 1928 and became a member of the Sudetendeutsche Partei and became a member of the SA, once Czechoslovakia was occupied. He changed from the SA to the SS, “because the black uniforms looked better.“ He received the Ehrenwinkel (Chevron of Honour) because of his membership in the Sudetendeutsche Partei. He changed his name from Kresadlo to Schiffner in 1941.

Until 1942 he served at the T4 institute at Pirna / Sonnenstein and was then sent to Treblinka, where he was in charge of the camp joinery and construction team. During June / July 1943 he anda group of twelve Ukranians under his command went to Belzec to supervise the construction of a farmhouse on the former camp site, which was to be occupied by a Ukrainian family to keep a close watch on the site.

He also served at the Sobibor death camp and from there he was posted to Trieste, in a police unit, which fought partisans until the end of the war. Schiffner made his way to Karnten, Austria where he was captured by the British, and interned in a Prisoner of War camp at Usbach. He was released in October 1945, he made his way to Salzburg and disappeared. No further details known.   

SCHMIDT, FRITZ

SCHMIDT IN TREBLINKA

Fritz Schmidt in  Treblinka

Born on 29 November 1906, in Eibau, Saxony. He was employed in the T4 Institute at Pirna/ Sonnenstein in 1940, as a guard and driver and in 1941, he was transferred to the T4 institute at Bernburg. He was posted to Treblinka in the summer of 1942. In Treblinka he served in the Totenlager, where he supervised the gas chambers. He was also in charge of the garage and was chief of the metal workshop. He was transferred to Sobibor during September 1943, until the camp was liquidated. He was then posted to Trieste, Italy and was captured by the Americans at the end of the war, but was released and he returned to Germany. He was arrested in Saxony and put on trial. On 14 December 1949, he was sentenced to nine years in prison, but he escaped and went to West Germany, where he lived undisturbed until his death on 4 February 1982

SCHUTT, Hans-Heinz


Fig 23 - Hans-Heinz Schutt

Born on 6 April 1908 in Dummersdorf. As early as 1938 he became a Sturmbannverwaltungsführer with the SS and subsequently Verwaltungsführer in the T4 institutes at  Grafeneck and Hadamar. From 28 April 1942 until mid-August 1942 he was at the Sobibor death camp where he was responsible for paying the garrison and manning the counter in Lager II, taking the last money and valuables from the naked Jews as they made their way to the gas chambers. Schütt  also worked at the ramp and in Lager III where he was responsible for the cleanliness of the barracks that housed the Jewish Sonderkommando. Hans- Heinz Schütt was tried at the Sobibor War Crimes Trial in Hagen during 1965 /66 and on 20 December 1966 he was found not guilty.

SCHWARZ, Gottfried


fig 32 gottfried schwarz203


Born on the 3 May 1913 in Furth/ Bayern. He served at Grafeneck and Bernburg psychiatric institutions as a “burner”. He was posted to Belzec death camp, Schwarz and Oberhauser greeted Wirth on his arrival at the site of the future death camp. Schwarz was one of the most brutal SS-men at the Belzec death camp, and he acted as deputy commandant, when the commandant was absent.

Schwarz also served at the Sobibor death camp and was there when Erich Fuchs tested the gas chamber engine, in the spring of 1942. Schwarz was appointed the Commandant of the Dorohucza labour camp, and after Aktion Reinhardt ended, he was posted to Italy. On the 19th June 1944 he was killed in action at San Pietro, and was buried at the German Military Cemetery at Costermano, near Verona.

 SIEFERT, Rudolf

Born on 29 July 1913. He was a male nurse at Pirna / Sonnenstein. He served in Sobibor death camp, but no other details known.

STEFFL, Thomas

Born in Krummau in the Sudetenland, now Czech Republic and he arrived in Sobibor death camp in February 1943. He first served in the Treblinka death camp and arrived at Sobibor shortly before the prisoner revolt on 14 October 1943. Franz Suchomel was the only person who named this SS man and stated he was killed during the revolt.

STENGELIN, Erwin   

Erwin Stengelin was born on 10 August 1911 in Tuttlingen. He seved a the T4 institute at Hadamar. He was posted to the East and served at the Treblinka death camp where he was assigned to Camp I. He was transferred to Sobibor death camp in September 1943 and he was killed during the prisoner revolt on 14 October 1943.

STEUBL, Karl

Born during 1910, in Linz. Karl Steubl was a member of  T4 and was employed as a male nurse at the institute at Hartheim. He was posted to Sobibor in April 1942 and he served there until the camp was dismantled. He supervised the sorting of clothes in Lager II, and was described by Dov Freiberg, as a tall thin Austrian. Steubl witnessed the murder of the Jews from Treblinka who were assisting with the dismantling of the structures. He committed suicide after the war ended on 24 September 1945 in Linz, Austria.  

SUCHOMEL, Franz   

SUCHOMEL

Born on 3 December 1907 in Krummau, Sudetenland, now the Czech Republic. By profession he was a tailor. He worked from 1940 until 1942 in the T4 in Berlin and at the Hadamar institute.

Ordered together with Hirtreiter, Post, Loeffler, Sydow, Matthes and two men from Frankfurt am Main, they arrived in the Treblinka death camp on 20 August 1942. Initially he was employed at the unloading ramp, then as a supervisor in the women’s undressing barracks, leading the victims to the ‘Tube.‘ Later he was in charge of the Goldjuden, and the tailor shop. When Adolf Eichmann and Odilo Globocnik visited Treblinka, Suchomel had to report to them about the work of the Goldjuden. In late October 1943 he was ordered to the Sobibor death camp. After the closure of Sobibor he was posted to Trieste, Italy.

At the end of the war he was captured by US forces and incarcerated in a Prisoner of War camp. In August 1945 he was released and he returned to Germany. Since 1949 he lived in Alotting, in Bavaria, which was where he was arrested on 11 July 1963. In the Treblinka Trial 1964/65 he was sentenced to six years in prison, but was released in 1969.  

SYDOW, Hermann

ss men lake attersee

Hermann Sydow first left at Lake Attersee, Austria

Born either in 1899 or 1900, in Mark Brandenburg. After serving in T4, he was posted to Treblinka in August 1942, and he served there until October 1943. According to Richard Glazar Sydow was a docker from Hamburg, and at Treblinka he was in charge of the camouflage commando. Glazar recalled that Sydow was a short little guy, but very tough, with an unbelievable appetite for alcohol. After Treblinka closed down, he was posted to Sobibor, and after that camp closed he was posted to Italy. No further details known.  

THOMAS, Martin

Martin Thomas served at the T4 institutes at Hadamar and Pirna/ Sonnenstein as a driver. He was posted to Sobibor death camp, no further details known.

UNVERHAU, Heinrich

unverhau belzec152

Heinrich Unverhau second from right back row - Belzec

Born on 26 November 1911 in Vienenburg, Goslar. In April 1925 he became a plumber’s apprentice, but as a result of an accident at work, he lost the sight in his right eye, and he was forced to end his apprenticeship. He became a muscian and from 1934 he worked as a nurse.

In January 1940 he was ordered to join T4 and he was employed at Gafeneck and Hadamar institutes, as a nurse. In the winter of 1941 /42 he was drafted to the Eastern Front for service in the Organisation Todt looking after the wounded in Raume Wjasma.

In June 1942 he was posted to the Belzec death camp and whlst there in November 1942 he was hospitalised at Tomaszow Lubelski with spotted typhus and this disease caused him to lose his right eye completely. At the death camp he was responsible for sorting the possessions in the railway sheds located just outside the death camp, opposite Belzec railway station.

In the summer of 1943 he was posted to the Sobibor death camp where he supervised the cleaning up the undressing area in Lager II and in one of the sorting barracks. Unverhau was ordered back to the former death camp site at Belzec to help with the planting of trees to erase the traces of the crimes committed there. He repeated this role at the Treblinka death camp in September 1943 returning to Sobibor in November 1943, just in time to help with the re-planting there. Unverhau was cleared at the Belzec Trial in 1963 and was also acquitted at the Sobibor Trial in Hagen in 1966     

VALLASTER, Josef


Fig 25 - Sepp Vallaster at his wedding

Josef Vallaster far right at his wedding

Born on 5 February 1910 in Silbertal, Austria. He served in the T4 institutes of Hadamar and Hartheim. He was posted to Belzec and then Sobibor in April 1942. He worked in Lager III, supervising the gassing and burial – later burning – of the victims. He often drove the narrow-gauge railway engine that pulled the trucks filled with the elderly and disabled from the ramp to Lager III. One of the most brutal SS-NCO’s in Sobibor, he was killed in the prisoner revolt on 14 October 1943 in the shoemakers workshop.

VEY, Kurt

Fig 24 -Kurt Vey

Born on 12 July 1901. He worked in the T4 institutes at Pirna / Sonnenstein in the office. He was posted to the Belzec and Sobibor death camps and after Sobibor was closed he was posted to Italy. No further details known.

WAGNER, Gustav Franz

Fig 2 Sobibor Party in the Swallow's Nest

Gustav Wagner - Third from right in Sobibor

Born on 18 July 1911 in Vienna, Austria. He joined T4  and he  was employed in the institutes  at Hadamar and Hartheim. He was posted to Sobibor death camp in April 1942. His robust posture earned him the nickname Welfel (Wolf) and among the Arbeitshaftlinge he was regarded as the most brutal and dangerous SS men alongside Gomerski and Frenzel. Along with Frenzel he would select workers on the Ramp, either for Sobibor or Dorohucza or Lublin.

Heinrich Himmler promoted Wagner to the rank of SS- Oberscharführer  following his visit to the death camp on 12 February 1943. He was on leave on 14 October 1943 and his absence was one of the major factors in the eventual success of the prisoner uprising.

He played a leading role in the execution of the Arbeitshaftlinge from Treblinka who were dismantling the facilities. After the end of the Second World War ended he fled to Brazil, having adopted the name of Gunther Mendel. In May 1978 he was traced by Simon Wiesenthal, the renowned Nazi-hunter, and his identity was confirmed by Stanislaw Szmajzner at the Sao Paulo police station.

Confronted with the evidence against him, he had to admit to being Wagner from Sobibor. He was duly arrested, but requests for his extradition to the German Federal Republic and Israel could not be met because early in October 1980, according to official Brazilian records, Wagner committed suicide in Itabaia, Brazil. Shlomo Szmajzer however, stated that he had not been an entirely passive bystander at his death.


WALTHER, Arthur

Fig 39 Arthur Walther


Born on 20 October 1907 in Reichstein. A Reserveleutnant der Schutzpolizei. He served in the T4 institutes at Pirna / Sonnenstein and Hartheim. He served in the Sobibor death camp and when the camp closed was posted to Italy. No further details known.

WEISS, Bruno

Born between 1905 and 1910. Lived in Berlin. Bruno Weiss was posted to Sobibor in April 1942 and during the early phase of the death camps operation he was the chief of Lager I, but Frenzel took over this function. He then served in Lager III, the extermination area.

He mocked the Jews through songs such as ‘Gott. Du unser Lieber, erhore unsere Lieder, mach dem Juden die Klapp zu, dann haben die Menschen Ruh.‘ (Dear God, hear our song, shut up the Jews so people will have some peace and quiet. According to a statement by Alfred Ittner on 17 July 1962, Bruno Weiss was in Lager III  in Sobibor. He was released from T4 because he had tuberculosis. He left the camp in early 1943.

WENDLAND, Wilhem

Fig 42 - Wendland and Potzinger


Willi Wendland left with Karl Potzinger

Born 1907, in Berlin. Wilhem Wendland arrived in Sobibor death camp in March 1943 along with the Wolf brothers and Fritz Konrad. He supervised in the sorting barracks and also he supervised the Waldkommando, on the day five prisoners escaped. During the revolt on 14 October 1943, he held prisoners at gunpoint. He was posted to Italy.

WOLF, Franz

Fig 34 Franz Wolf


Born on 9 April 1907 in Krumau Sudetenland. He was a photographer and took over the families photographic business when his father died. He served in the Czech and German army. He served in the T4 killing centre at Hadamar and a physiciatric clinic in Heidleberg, where he took ‘scientific‘ photographs of the mentally ill.

He was sent to Lublin, Poland with a small group of men, and from there he was posted to Sobibor in early March 1943, along with his brother Josef, Franz Konrad and Willi Wendland. Franz Wolf usually supervised in the sorting barracks. He would mock the women who worked there with the saying; ‘Dalli, dalli, meine Damen; Arbeit macht das Leben suss.‘ (Come along now, girls, work makes life worth living.)

He also served in the barrack near the gas chamber, where the women had their hair cut and he also sometimes supervised the Waldkommando. He survived the revolt, on 14 October 1943, but very quickly after the revolt he was posted to Italy. In 1966 the court at Hagen sentenced him to eight years in prison due to his participation in the murder of an undisclosed number of people, though at least 39,000.

WOLF, Josef

Born on 18 April 1900 in Krumau, Sudetenland. And like his brother was a photographer too. At the begining of the Second World War he was a member of the Wehrmacht (German Army) and in autumn 1941 he was ordered to report to T4.     

In T4 he was also employed as a photographer until he was posted with his brother, Fritz Konrad and Willi Wendland to Sobibor via Lublin in early March 1943. He supervised the sorting barracks, and in one of these he was killed during the prisoner revolt on 14 October 1943.

ZANKER, Hans

Born on 8 September 1905, in Sachsen. He served in the T4 institutes of Pirna / Sonnenstein as a cook. He served at the death camps in Poland including, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Also served as a cook at the Jewish labour camp in Poniatowa. Posted to Trieste, Italy.    

 ZASPEL, Fritz

Born on 31 October 1907. He was employed in the T4 institute of Pirna/ Sonnenstein as a male nurse. He served in the Sobibor death camp. No further details known.  

ZIERKE, Ernst Theodor Franz


Fig 43 Ernst Zierke in Italy


Ernst Zierke in Italy

Born on 6 May 1905 in Krampe, the son of a railroad worker. After he graduated from elementary school he worked as a forester, and in 1921 he was apprenticed to be a blacksmith. After passing the blacksmith apprenticeship exams he was employed in agriculture from 1925.

In 1934 he changed careers and became a nurse at a clinic at Neuruppin near Brandenburg and was summoned to the T4 Headquarters in Berlin in December 1939 and he served at the T4 institute at Grafeneck and Hadamar.

In the winter of 1941/42 he was drafted into the Organisation Todt for the care of the wounded in Russia. He returned to Germany and worked at a T4 institute at Eichberg, near Rudesheim.  He was posted to Belzec death camp  in June 1942 where he served until March 1943. At Belzec he served on the ramp.

In March 1943 he was transferred along with Robert Juhrs to the Jewish Labour at Dorohcza, which dug peat, until November 1943. Zierke was amongst the SS who escorted the Jewish Arbeitshaftlinge from Dorohucza to the neaby Jewish Labour camp at Trwniki, where all of them were shot, as part of Aktion Erntefest (Harvest Festival).

Zierke was sent to Sobibor death camp, to help with the closure of the camp, and he formed part of the cordon that watched over the final liquidation of the Jewish workers from Treblinka. He was then posted to Italy.

Zierke was acquitted at the Belzec Trial in Munich in 1964 and was released from custody during the Sobibor Trial in Hagen on health grounds. Zierke died on 23 May 1972.


REICHSBAHN PERSONNEL CONNECTED WITH THE DEATH CAMPS

BUCKSTEGG, Josef

As remembered by Georg Holzel, a Reichsbahn official. Buckstegg was the station master at Sobibor. He came from the Kleve area.

Sources

Websites

www. deathcamps.org

www. Holocaustresearchproject.org

www.Yad Vashem Central Database

Archives

Berlin Document Centre

Gedenkstatte Sonnenstein

Ghetto Fighters House –Israel

Holocaust Historical Society  

Landgericht Hamburg and Landgericht Dusseldorf

Schloss Hartheim

Michael Tregenza Archive

NARA Washington DC

Wiener Library London

Yad Vashem – Israel  

Publications

ARAD, Yitzhak, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka (Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1987

BERGER, Sara, Experten der Vernichtung das T4 -Reinhardt -Netzwerk in das Lagern Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka (Hamburger Instituit fur Sozialforschung Hamburg 2013)

BIALOWITZ, Philip, A Promise At Sobibor (The University of Wisconsin Press

BLATT, Thomas (Toivi), Sobibor The Forgotten Revolt (H.E.P Issaquah 1988)

BLATT, Thomas (Toivi) , Sobibór: Zapomniane powstanie (Włodawa: Muzeum Pojezerza Łęczyńsko – Włodawskiego we Włodawie, 2010)

BÖHM, Dr Boris, Nationalsozialistische Euthanasiaverbrechen in Sachsen (Dresden Pirna: Kuratorium Gedenkstätte Sonnenstein 1996)

BÖHM, Dr Boris, Sonnenstein Heft 3 (Pirna: Kuratorium Gedenkstätte Sonnenstein 2001)

FREIBERG, Dov, To Survive Sobibor (Gefen Publishing House Jreusalem 2007)

GRABHER, Michael , Irmfired Eberl: “Euthanasie“-Arzt und Kommandant von Treblinka (Peter Lang GmgH, Frankfurt am Main 2006)

HILBERG, Raul , Die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden, Band 2 (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1990

HOFFMANN, Dr Ute Hoffmann and SCHULZE, Dietmar ,(Gedenksatte Bernburg)  

KLEE, Ernst  Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich (Fischer S. Verlag GmbH 2007)

KLEE, Ernst , Was sie Taten – Was sie Wurden (Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag 1986)

KLEE, Ernst, DRESSEN, Willi, RIESS, Volker, The Good Old Days (Hamish Hamilton, London 1991)

NOVITCH, Miriam, Sobibor Martyrdom and Revolt (Holocaust Library New York 1980)

REITLINGER, Gerald, The Final Solution (Vallentine, Mitchell, London 1953)

SCHELVIS, Jules, Sobibor A History of a Nazi Death Camp (Berg, Oxford, New York 2007)     

SERENY, Gitta, Into That Darkness – From Mercy Killing To Mass Murder (Pimlico, London 1974)

SZMAJZNER, Stanislaw, Hell in Sobibor – 1979 - unpublished copy

Websites

www. deathcamps.org

www. Holocaustresearchproject.org

www.Yad Vashem Central Database

Archives

Bundesarchiv Berlin 

Gedenkstatte Sonnenstein

Ghetto Fighters House –Israel

Holocaust Historical Society  

Landgericht Hamburg and Landgericht Dusseldorf

Schloss Hartheim

Michael Tregenza Archive

NARA Washington DC

Wiener Library London

Yad Vashem – Israel  

Thanks to

ABDO, Alexander, Hessisches Hauptstatarchiv Wiesbaden, Germany

BLATT, Thomas

BOHM, Dr Boris Sonnenstein Memorial

EIGELSBERGER, Peter Schloss Hartheim

KUWALEK, Robert

LUGNER, Hans

RUTHERFORD, William (Billy)

SCHARNETZKY, Julius

SCHWANINGER, Florian Schloss Hartheim

TREGENZA, Michael, Articles on Lorenz Hackenholt, Richard Thomalla and in private correspondence with Chris Webb

WITTE, Peter

ZIEMER, Daniel - Sonnenstein Memorial




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