Nederlands Holocaust in Europe Auschwitz

Perpetrators

The SS was responsible for guarding Auschwitz. Many of them were old hands from concentration camps such as Buchenwald and Dachau, but not from extermination camps of the Euthanasia Programme.  Until November 1943, the camp commander of Auschwitz was SS Hauptsturmführer (captain of an assault unit) Rudolf Höss, who proved to be very effective earlier in the concentration camps of Dachau and Sachsenhausen. Under his command, Auschwitz also became an extermination camp, in addition to being a labour and concentration camp. While in March 1941 there were only 700 SS guards, by June 1942 their numbers tripled. By August 1944, when both labour camp and extermination camp were operating at full capacity, there were 3,300 guards and supervisors in Auschwitz. The SS in Auschwitz lived in their own quarters, which included a café, a swimming pool, a library, kindergartens, and medical facilities. Many male SS officers lived here with their wives and children. Most of the SS families had servants (prisoners from the camp) for their home and gardens. The Deutsche Haus (The German House), located on the station square of Oświęcim, was the favoured café of the SS. In 1943, Heinrich Himmler had an apartment (workroom, bedroom, and bathroom) built for himself above this café-restaurant.


rudolf_hossrudolf_hoss_executed_gallows
  1. Rudolf Höss, camp commander of Auschwitz 1940-1943, during his trial after the war. In 1946, Höss was executed in Auschwitz.
  2. The Auschwitz I gallows that was used to hang camp commander Rudolf Höss in 1946.
Glossary
persecution
mass murder
perpetrators and victims
camps
auschwitz
sobibor
after 1945
timeline
guest book
early history
organisation
auschwitz i
auschwitz-birkenau ii
auschwitz-monowitz iii
perpetrators
victims
death march
liberation
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