Elisabeth Volkenrath

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elisabeth Volkenrath
Elisabeth Volkenrath.jpg
Volkenrath in 1945
Elisabeth Mühlau

(1919-09-05)5 September 1919
Died13 December 1945(1945-12-13) (aged 26)
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Known forWar crimes
Political partyNazi Party (1941-1945)
Criminal statusExecuted
Conviction(s)War crimes
TrialBelsen trial
Criminal penaltyDeath
Military career
AllegianceNazi Germany

Elisabeth Volkenrath (née Mühlau; 5 September 1919 – 13 December 1945) was a German supervisor at several Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Volkenrath, née Mühlau, was an ungelernte Hilfskraft (unskilled worker) when she volunteered for service in a concentration camp. In October 1941 she began working at Ravensbrück concentration camp as a guard. In March 1942, she was sent to Auschwitz Birkenau where she worked in the same function as at Ravensbrück.[1] At Auschwitz, she met SS-Rottenführer Heinz Volkenrath, who had worked there since 1941 as SS-Blockführer. The couple 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.[2]

Elisabeth Volkenrath was transferred to Bergen-Belsen when Auschwitz was closed. From February 1945, she was Oberaufseherin (supervising wardress) at Bergen-Belsen.[2]

Belsen trial[edit]

In April 1945, Volkenrath was arrested by the British Army, and was tried in the Belsen trial, at which she was convicted of war crimes.[3] Sentenced to death, she was executed by hanging at Hamelin Prison by Albert Pierrepoint on 13 December 1945. She was executed in the same prison that Irma Grese (The Hyena of Auschwitz) was in.[2]


  1. ^ Bartrop, Paul R. (2019). Perpetrating the Holocaust : leaders, enablers, and collaborators. Eve E. Grimm. Santa Barbara, California. pp. 299–300. ISBN 978-1-4408-5897-0. OCLC 1048015323.
  2. ^ a b c Knoch, Habbo, ed. (2010). Bergen-Belsen: Wehrmacht POW Camp 1940–1945, Concentration Camp 1943–1945, Displaced Persons Camp 1945–1950. Catalogue of the permanent exhibition. Göttingen: Wallstein. p. 218. ISBN 978-3-8353-0794-0.
  3. ^ "1st Belsen Trial". www.bergenbelsen.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-07-11.