Fritz Schmidt (SS officer)
Fritz Schmidt in Treblinka II
|Born||29 November 1906|
|Died||4 February 1982(aged 75)|
|Commands held||Treblinka extermination camp, Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral|
Fritz Schmidt (29 November 1906 – 4 February 1982) was a low-ranking commander in the Schutzstaffel of Nazi Germany and Holocaust perpetrator during World War II. He served as a guard and driver at the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre and at the Bernburg Euthanasia Centre in 1940–41 with the rank of Unterscharführer. Schmidt was transferred to Treblinka extermination camp along with other gassing specialists in 1942. At Treblinka, he was in charge of the engine room feeding exhaust to the gas chambers.
After the closing of the camp in 1943 he was moved to Trieste headquarters of the Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral where the Risiera di San Sabba killing centre was being set up. After the war he was arrested by the Allies in Saxony and questioned. In December 1949 he was put on trial and sentenced to nine years in prison (possibly amnestied). He lived in West Germany until his death in 1982.
About fourteen Germans carried out services in the upper camp. There were two Ukrainians permanently in the upper camp. One of them was called Nikolai, the other was a short man, I don't remember his name... [Ivan, said Yankel Wiernik] These two Ukrainians who lived in the upper camp served in the gas chambers. They also took care of the engine room when Fritz Schmidt was absent. Usually this Schmidt was in charge of the engine room. In my opinion, as a civilian he was either a mechanic or a driver ... Altogether, six gas chambers were active. According to my estimate, about 300 people could enter each gas chamber. The people went into the gas chamber without resistance. Those who were at the end, the Ukrainian guards had to push inside. I personally saw how the Ukrainians pushed the people with their rifle butts ... The gas chambers were closed for about thirty minutes. Then Schmidt stopped the gassing, and the two Ukrainians who were in the engine room opened the gas chambers from the other side.
- Daša Drndić (trans. Ellen Elias-Bursać) (2014). Trieste. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 235. ISBN 0547725140. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Various authors. "Excerpts from testimonies of Nazi SS-men at Treblinka: Stangl, Mentz, Franz & Matthes". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
Source: Yitzhak Arad 1987; E. Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess 1988 (The Good Old Days)
- Yankel Wiernik (1945). A Year in Treblinka. Digitized by zchor.org. American Representation of the General Jewish Workers' Union of Poland. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- Quoted in Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka - the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press - 1987, pg. 121.