Rare Photographs Capture the Moment Some of the Nazis’ Most Notorious Murderers Were Brought to Justice, 1945

These rare photos show some of the world’s most infamous monsters just moments after their reign of terror came to an end. The pictures, which form part of a stunning group of previously unseen snaps documenting the Second World War, were found in an old suitcase belonging to a former Spitfire pilot.

Nazi killers Franz Hossler and Irma Grese can be seen relaxing in the black and white photos which have only just been uncovered. In the photos, evil Hossler, who was commander at Auschwitz concentration camp and then deputy commandant of Bergen-Belsen, can be seen smirking.

The mass murderers were caught on camera along with dozens of other defendants at Celle Prison in Germany by Flight Lieutenant Keith Parfitt.

Pictured on the left is Herta Bothe, alongside two other female prisoners.
Herta Bothe can be seen looking stern as she is caught.

In September 1942, Herta Bothe became the SS-Aufseherin camp guard at the Nazi German Ravensbrück concentration camp for women. The former nurse took a four-week training course and was sent as an overseer to the Stutthof camp near Danzig (now Gdansk). There she became known as the “Sadist of Stutthof” due to her brutal beatings of prisoners.[citation needed]

In July 1944, she was sent by Oberaufseherin Gerda Steinhoff to the Bromberg-Ost (Bromberg East) subcamp.[1]

On 21 January 1945, the 24-year-old Bothe accompanied a death march of women prisoners from central Poland to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Celle. While en route to Bergen-Belsen, she and the prisoners stayed temporarily at Auschwitz concentration camp, arriving at Belsen between 20–26 February 1945.[1]

Guard at Bergen-Belsen

19 April 1945 Bergen-Belsen SS women camp guards are paraded for work in clearing the dead. The women include Hildegard Kanbach (first from left), Magdalene Kessel (second from left), Irene Haschke (centre, third from right), the Head Wardress, Herta Ehlert (second from right, partially hidden) and Herta Bothe (first from right). Herta Bothe (also known as Hertha Bothe) accompanied a death march of women from central Poland to Bergen-Belsen. She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and released early from prison on 22 December 1951. Elisabeth Volkenrath was head wardress of the camp and sentenced to death. She was hanged on 13 December 1945. Irene Haschke was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
Once in the camp Bothe supervised a group of sixty women prisoners. The camp was liberated on 15 April 1945.

She is said to have been the tallest woman arrested; she was 6′ 3″ (1.91 m) in height. Bothe also stood out from other Aufseherinnen because, while most of the SS women wore black jackboots, she was in ordinary civilian shoes. The Allied soldiers forced her to place corpses of dead prisoners into mass graves adjacent to the main camp. She recalled in an interview some sixty years later that, while carrying the corpses, they were not allowed to wear gloves, and she was terrified of contracting typhus. She said the dead bodies were so rotten that the arms and legs tore away when they were moved. She also recalled the emaciated bodies were still heavy enough to cause her considerable back pain. Bothe was arrested and taken to a prison at Celle.

At the Belsen Trial she was characterized as a “ruthless overseer” and sentenced to ten years in prison for using a pistol on prisoners. Bothe admitted to striking inmates with her hands for camp violations like stealing but maintained that she never beat anyone “with a stick or a rod” and added that she never “killed anyone.” Her contention of innocence was deemed questionable as one Bergen-Belsen survivor claimed to have witnessed Bothe beat a Hungarian Jew named Éva to death with a wooden block while another teenager stated that he saw her shoot two prisoners for reasons he could not understand. Nevertheless, she was released early from prison on 22 December 1951 as an act of leniency by the British government. (Wikipedia)

Franz Hossler (far right), was a feared concentration camp commander.

Franz Hößler, also Franz Hössler; 4 February 1906 – 13 December 1945) was a Nazi German SS-Obersturmführer and Schutzhaftlagerführer at the Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dora-Mittelbau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps during World War II. Captured by the Allies at the end of the war, Hößler was charged with crimes against humanity in the First Bergen-Belsen Trial, found guilty, and sentenced to death. He was executed by hanging at Hameln Prison in 1945.

Bothe (left) was a Nazi concentration camp guard imprisoned for war crimes but eventually released.
A group of young women sit outside the jail where 45 people faced charges for war crimes in 1945.
Detained alongside Hossler and Grese, they were among dozens to be arrested at the site towards the end of the Second World War.
A group of unidentified prisoners are lined up against a wall during their detainment at Celle Prison, in Germany.
A group of men are marched out of the jail cells before two rows of Allied soldiers acting as prison guards.
More than a dozen women, suspected of being complicit in war crimes, are displayed before a gathered crowd.
A woman is marched before gathered crowds during the war crimes trial held after the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen death camp.
The unidentified prisoner was arrested after the liberation of Burgen-Belsen death camp.
Pictured is an unidentified prisoner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: