The Auschwitz trial began on November 24, 1947, in Kraków, when Poland's Supreme National Tribunal tried forty former staff of the Auschwitz concentration camps. The trials ended on December 22, 1947.
The best-known defendants were Arthur Liebehenschel, former commandant; Maria Mandel, head of the Auschwitz women's camps; and SS-doctor Johann Kremer. Thirty-seven other SS officers—thirty-three men and four women—who had served as guards or doctors in the camps were also tried.
Verdict of the Supreme National Tribunal in the first Auschwitz trial
Torturing of prisoners [of Auschwitz] already tormented to the extreme [by extrajudicial means], is the evidence of inhuman savagery perpetrated by those defendants who as a result of the trial were sentenced to death. The listed violent crimes committed by named defendants, who all took smaller or larger part in the mass murder of prisoners, also reveal that the accused were involved in the acts of killing for pleasure, and not pursuant to orders of their superiors. If it were not for their expressed desire to kill, they would have otherwise displayed elements of sympathy for the victims, or at least show indifference to their plight, but not torture them to death.— Excerpt from the verdict
|1||Arthur Liebehenschel||SS-Obersturmbannführer||Camp commandant||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|2||Hans Aumeier||SS-Sturmbannführer||Schutzhaftlagerführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|3||Maximilian Grabner||SS-Untersturmführer||Camp Gestapo chief||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|4||Karl Möckel||SS-Obersturmbannführer||Manager of camp administration||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|5||Maria Mandl||SS-Oberaufseherin||Birkenau female camp commandant||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|6||Franz Xaver Kraus||SS-Sturmbannführer||Information officer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|7||Ludwig Plagge||SS-Oberscharführer||Rapportführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|8||Fritz Buntrock||SS-Unterscharführer||Rapportführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|9||Wilhelm Gerhard Gehring||SS-Hauptscharführer||Subcamp commandant||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|10||Otto Lätsch||SS-Unterscharführer||Subcamp vice commandant||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|11||Heinrich Josten||SS-Obersturmführer||Commander of the camp guard||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|12||Josef Kollmer||SS-Obersturmführer||Commander of the camp guard||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|13||Erich Muhsfeldt||SS-Oberscharführer||Birkenau crematoria manager||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|14||Hermann Kirschner||SS-Unterscharführer||Camp administration||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|15||Hans Schumacher||SS-Unterscharführer||Manager of camp food supplies||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|16||August Bogusch||SS-Scharführer||Camp administration||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|17||Therese Brandl||SS-Aufseherin||SS-Erstaufseherin||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|18||Paul Szczurek||SS-Unterscharführer||Blockführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|19||Paul Götze||SS-Rottenführer||Blockführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|20||Herbert Paul Ludwig||SS-Oberscharführer||Blockführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|21||Kurt Hugo Müller||SS-Unterscharführer||Blockführer||Death by hanging (executed on 24 January 1948)|
|22||Johann Kremer||SS-Obersturmführer||Camp doctor||Death by hanging (commuted to life imprisonment)|
|23||Arthur Breitwieser||SS-Unterscharführer||Camp administration||Death by hanging (commuted to life imprisonment)|
|24||Detlef Nebbe||SS-Sturmscharführer||Sergeant of the guard company||Life imprisonment|
|25||Karl Seufert||SS-Hauptscharführer||Manager of prisoner block||Life imprisonment|
|26||Hans Koch||SS-Unterscharführer||Camp disinfection||Life imprisonment|
|27||Luise Danz||SS-Aufseherin||Female guard||Life imprisonment|
|28||Adolf Medefind||SS-Unterscharführer||Guard||Life imprisonment|
|29||Anton Lechner||SS-Rottenführer||Guard||Life imprisonment|
|30||Franz Romeikat||SS-Unterscharführer||Camp administration||15 years imprisonment|
|31||Hans Hoffmann||SS-Rottenführer||Camp Gestapo unit||15 years imprisonment|
|32||Hildegard Lächert||SS-Aufseherin||Female guard||15 years imprisonment|
|33||Alice Orlowski||SS-Aufseherin||Female guard||15 years imprisonment|
|34||Johannes Weber||SS-Sturmmann||Camp kitchen||15 years imprisonment|
|35||Alexander Bülow||SS-Sturmmann||Guard||15 years imprisonment|
|36||Eduard Lorenz||SS-Unterscharführer||Guard||15 years imprisonment|
|37||Richard Schröder||SS-Unterscharführer||Camp accounting||10 years imprisonment|
|38||Erich Dinges||SS-Sturmmann||Guard||5 years imprisonment|
|39||Karl Jeschke||SS-Oberscharführer||Guard||3 years imprisonment|
|40||Hans Münch||SS-Untersturmführer||Doctor in SS Hygiene Institute||Acquitted|
Rudolf Höss, sentenced in a previous trial, was executed on April 16, 1947, in front of the crematorium at Auschwitz I. The trial of camp commandant Höss, which took place at the Supreme National Tribunal in Warsaw throughout March 1947, was the first trial held at Auschwitz, followed by the trials in Kraków several months later.
The Supreme National Tribunal presiding in Kraków issued 23 death sentences, and 17 imprisonments ranging from life sentences to 3 years. All executions were carried out on January 24, 1948, at the Kraków Montelupich Prison, "one of the most terrible Nazi prisons in occupied Poland" used by Gestapo throughout World War II. Maria Mandel and Therese Brandl were the first to be executed. One person was acquitted; Sergeant Major Hans Münch, who refused to participate in the selection process and made futile, although confirmed, requests for more food to the inmates. Liebehenschel, Mandel and Kremer were condemned to death, as were Hans Aumeier, August Bogusch, Therese Brandl, Arthur Breitwieser, Fritz Buntrock, Wilhelm Gehring, Paul Götze, Maximilian Grabner, Heinrich Josten, Hermann Kirschner, Josef Kollmer, Franz Kraus, Herbert Ludwig, Karl Möckel, Kurt Mueller, Eric Muhsfeldt, Ludwig Plagge, Hans Schumacher and Paul Szczurek (Arthur Breitwieser and Johann Kremer had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment). Luise Danz, Hans Koch, Anton Lechner, Adolf Medefind, Detlef Nebbe, and Karl Seufert received life sentences. Alexander Bülow, Hans Hoffmann, Hildegard Lächert, Eduard Lorenz, Alice Orlowski, Franz Romeikat, and Johannes Weber were sentenced to 15 years. Richard Schroeder received 10 years, Erich Dinges five years, and Karl Jeschke three years. Hans Münch was acquitted.
- Belzec trial before the 1st Munich District Court in the mid-1960s, eight SS-men of the Belzec extermination camp tried, seven acquitted
- Chełmno trials of the Chełmno extermination camp personnel, held in Poland and in Germany. The cases were decided almost twenty years apart
- Dachau trials held within the walls of the former Dachau concentration camp, 1945–1948
- Majdanek trials, the longest Nazi war crimes trial in history, spanning over 30 years
- Nuremberg trials of the 23 most important leaders of the Third Reich, 1945–1946
- Sobibor trial held in Hagen, Germany in 1965, concerning the Sobibor extermination camp
Notes and references
- ^ a b c Paweł Brojek (Nov 24, 2012), Pierwszy proces oświęcimski (The First Auschwitz Trial). Archived 2013-10-22 at the Wayback Machine Portal Prawy.pl. Retrieved May 12, 2013. Quote: "Znęcanie się nad i tak nadmiernie udręczonymi więźniami dowodzi wielkiego zezwierzęcenia tych oskarżonych, którzy w wyniku przewodu sądowego zostali skazani na karę śmierci. To znęcanie się ze strony tych oskarżonych, którzy wszyscy brali mniejszy lub większy udział w zabijaniu więźniów, wskazuje też na to, że ci oskarżeni brali udział w tych zabójstwach z potrzeby wewnętrznej zabijania, a nie w wykonaniu rozkazu przełożonych. Gdyby bowiem nie odczuwali potrzeby zabijania, to albo okazywaliby więźniom współczucie, albo też byliby dla nich obojętni, lecz nie znęcaliby się nad nimi."
- ^ Adam Bajcar, Poland: A Guidebook, translated by S. Tarnowski, Interpress Publishers, Warsaw 1972.
- ^ "Swedish Television Interview with Hans Münch". Svenska Kommitten Mot Antisemitism (Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism); SS-Untersturmfuehrer Hans Muench (in) "Foernekandet av Foerintelsen. Nynazistisk historiefoerfalskning efter Auschwitz" by Stephane Bruchfeld. The Nizkor Project. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
- Cyprian T., Sawicki J., Siedem wyroków Najwyższego Trybunału Narodowego, Poznań, 1962
- G. Álvarez, Mónica. "Guardianas Nazis. El lado femenino del mal". Madrid: Grupo Edaf, 2012. ISBN 978-84-414-3240-6