Vintage: Portraits of Auschwitz Guards During World War II (1940s)

Vintage: Portraits of Auschwitz Guards During World War II (1940s)


In January 2017, Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance published a massive online record of the Auschwitz staff. The searchable database of the 8,502 overwhelmingly German personnel was created in part to dispel claims that the camp was staffed by many Polish guards.

The list shows that most names are predominantly German. Guards and SS Commanders’ pre-conflict occupations are also listed, their careers include farmers, butchers, teachers, cobblers among other jobs.

Between 1942 and 1945 around 1.1 million Jews died there. Jewish men, women and children were slaughtered in gas chambers, through starvation, beatings or even being worked to death.

Fritz Taddiken, former painter and glazier. Promoted to Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader) in the SS in 1944. Later convicted of war crimes by a court in Krakow.

Fritz Taddiken, former painter and glazier. Promoted to Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader) in the SS in 1944. Later convicted of war crimes by a court in Krakow.

Richard Lamb, former miner. Joined SS in 1935 and reached rank of Rottenführer (Corporal).

Richard Lamb, former miner. Joined SS in 1935 and reached rank of Rottenführer (Corporal).

Willi Heindorf, former judicial secretary. Joined SS in 1933 as a Scharführer (Squad Leader).

Willi Heindorf, former judicial secretary. Joined SS in 1933 as a Scharführer (Squad Leader).

Johannes Gunesch, former farmer. Joined SS in 1943 as a Schütze (Private).

Johannes Gunesch, former farmer. Joined SS in 1943 as a Schütze (Private).

Martin Flohr, former locksmith. Joined SS in 1943 and reached rank of Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Martin Flohr, former locksmith. Joined SS in 1943 and reached rank of Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Ernst Fischer, former pharmacist. Joined SS in 1941 and reached rank of Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Ernst Fischer, former pharmacist. Joined SS in 1941 and reached rank of Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Kolomann Bistritz, former farmer. Joined SS in 1944 as a Schütze (Private).

Kolomann Bistritz, former farmer. Joined SS in 1944 as a Schütze (Private).

Felix Becker, former farmer. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Felix Becker, former farmer. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Adolf Becker, former watchmaker and optician. Joined SS in 1934 and reached the highest enlisted rank of Hauptscharführer (Head Squad Leader).

Adolf Becker, former watchmaker and optician. Joined SS in 1934 and reached the highest enlisted rank of Hauptscharführer (Head Squad Leader).

Lorenz Becker, former merchant. Joined SS in 1944 as a Schütze (Private).

Lorenz Becker, former merchant. Joined SS in 1944 as a Schütze (Private).

Albin Ackermann, former waiter. Joined SS in 1944 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Albin Ackermann, former waiter. Joined SS in 1944 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Johannes Maranca, WWI veteran and former tinsmith and roofer. Returned to duty in the SS in 1944 as a Scharführer (Squad Leader).

Johannes Maranca, WWI veteran and former tinsmith and roofer. Returned to duty in the SS in 1944 as a Scharführer (Squad Leader).

Johannes Badstuebner, former miner. Joined SS in 1944 as an Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Johannes Badstuebner, former miner. Joined SS in 1944 as an Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Joseph Hefner, former student merchant. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Joseph Hefner, former student merchant. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Helmut Grundschok, former apprentice plumber. Joined the SS in 1939 and rose to the rank of Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Helmut Grundschok, former apprentice plumber. Joined the SS in 1939 and rose to the rank of Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Hans Ansorg, former bank clerk. Joined SS in 1933 and rose to rank of Oberscharführer (Senior Squad Leader).

Hans Ansorg, former bank clerk. Joined SS in 1933 and rose to rank of Oberscharführer (Senior Squad Leader).

Walter Salawey, former farmer. Joined SS in 1941 and reached rank of Sturmmann (stormtrooper).

Walter Salawey, former farmer. Joined SS in 1941 and reached rank of Sturmmann (stormtrooper).

Horst Panitzsch, former carpenter and Hitler Youth. Transferred to SS in 1944.

Horst Panitzsch, former carpenter and Hitler Youth. Transferred to SS in 1944.

Detlef Nebbe, former merchant. Joined the SS in 1933 and reached the highest enlisted rank of Hauptscharführer (Head Squad Leader).

Detlef Nebbe, former merchant. Joined the SS in 1933 and reached the highest enlisted rank of Hauptscharführer (Head Squad Leader).

Gottfried Paggen, former laborer. Joined SS in 1944 as a Rottenführer (Corporal).

Gottfried Paggen, former laborer. Joined SS in 1944 as a Rottenführer (Corporal).

Robert Nagy, former electrician. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Robert Nagy, former electrician. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).


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