Siegfried Graetschus

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Siegfried Graetschus
Born(1916-06-09)9 June 1916
Tilsit, East Prussia, German Empire
Died14 October 1943(1943-10-14) (aged 27)
Sobibor extermination camp, Lublin Voivodeship, German-occupied Poland
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch Schutzstaffel

Siegfried Graetschus (9 June 1916 – 14 October 1943) was a German SS functionary at the Sobibor extermination camp during Operation Reinhard, the deadliest phase of the Holocaust in occupied Poland. He was assassinated by a prisoner during the Sobibor uprising.[1]

Graetschus joined the SS in 1935 and the Nazi Party in 1936. He served at Bernburg Euthanasia Centre and Treblinka extermination camp before being posted to Sobibor in August 1942. He succeeded Erich Lachmann as commander of the approximately 200 Ukrainian Trawniki guards at Sobibor.[2][3]

Graetschus was killed during the prisoner revolt at Sobibor. While sources agree that he was killed in the shoemaker's barracks with an axe to the head, they differ as to whether the fatal blow was struck by Yehuda Lerner, a Varsovian Jew, or by Arkady Wajspapir, a Jewish Russian Red Army soldier.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp, Schelvis, Jules. 2007, p. 162
  2. ^ Sobibor - The Forgotten Revolt
  3. ^ Sobibor Interviews: Biographies of SS-men
  4. ^ BBC History of World War II. Auschwitz; Inside the Nazi State. Part 4, Corruption.
  5. ^ Yitzhak Arad. Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press, 1987.
  6. ^ Blatt, Thomas Toivi (1997). From the ashes of Sobibor: a story of survival. p. 146. ISBN 9780810113022.