Walter Eisfeld

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Walter Eisfeld (born 11 July 1905 in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt - died 3 April 1940 in Dachau) was a German Schutzstaffel officer and Nazi concentration camp commandant.

Eisfeld had been a member of the Artamanen-Gesellschaft, a völkisch back-to-the-land movement, before becoming involved with the Nazi Party and its organisations.[1]

Whilst Schutzhaftlagerführer at Sachsenhausen in January 1940 he was sent to Silesia to examine the possibility of establishing new camps. Against Eisfeld's advice a site at Auschwitz was chosen.[2]

Having risen to the rank of Sturmbannführer, Eisfeld succeeded Hermann Baranowski as commandant at Sachsenhausen concentration camp before being replaced by Hans Loritz.[3] Heinrich Himmler visited Sachsenhausen in early 1940 and, seeing disciplinary problems amongst the guards, ordered Eisfeld to be replaced as camp commandant.[4] He was sent to command the new Neuengamme concentration camp, at the time a sub-camp of Sachsenhausen.[5]

Eisfeld died suddenly at Dachau whilst attending a ceremony in which he was to be awarded a Silver Party Badge.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tom Segev, Soldiers of Evil, Berkley Books, 1991, p. 200
  2. ^ Yisrael Gutman, Michael Berenbaum, Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, 1998, p. 292
  3. ^ Robert Melvin Spector, World Without Civilization: Mass Murder and the Holocaust, History and Analysis, Volume 1, University Press of America, 2005, p. 363
  4. ^ Segev, Soldiers of Evil, p. 164
  5. ^ The SS guards
  6. ^ Karin Orth, Die Konzentrationslager-SS, Wallstein, 2000, p. 164