Gerda Steinhoff

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Gerda Steinhoff
Stutthof female SS guards trial.jpg
Guards of Stutthof and Bromberg-Ost Concentration Camps at the Stutthof Trial between April 25 and May 31, 1946, in Gdańsk. Gerda Steinhoff, front row center
Born(1922-01-29)January 29, 1922
DiedJuly 4, 1946(1946-07-04) (aged 24)
Cause of deathHanging
OccupationStutthof concentration camp guard
OrganizationSchutzstaffel (SS)
Criminal statusExecuted
Criminal chargeSadistic abuse of prisoners

Gerda Steinhoff (January 29, 1922 – July 4, 1946) born in Danzig-Langfuhr, was a Schutzstaffel (SS) Nazi concentration camp overseer following the 1939 German invasion of Poland.

SS career[edit]

As a teenager Steinhoff worked as house maid on a farm at Tygenhagen near Danzig. From 1939, she worked as a cook in Danzig, and later became a tramway conductor. She married in 1944 and had a child. In the same year, because of the Nazi call for new guards, she joined the camp staff at Stutthof. On October 1, 1944, she became a Blockleiterin in Stutthof women's camp SK-III. There, she took part in selections of prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. On October 31, 1944, she was promoted to SS-Oberaufseherin and was assigned to the Danzig-Holm subcamp. On December 1, 1944, she was reassigned to Bromberg-Ost female subcamp of Stutthof located in Bydgoszcz, some 170 km south of Danzig. There on January 25, 1945, she received a medal for her loyalty and service to the Third Reich. She was devoted to her job in the camps and was known as a very ruthless overseer. Soon before the end of World War II, she fled the camp and went back home.

Arrest, trial and execution[edit]

Biskupia Górka executions - 13 - Steinhoff, Pauls, 3 kapos (left to right)

On May 25, 1945, she was arrested by Polish officials and sent to prison. She was tried at the Stutthof Trial with other Schutzstaffel (SS) women and kapos and was convicted and condemned to death for her involvement in the selections and what was called her sadistic abuse of prisoners. She was publicly hanged on July 4, 1946, on Biskupia Gorka Hill, near Gdańsk.

See also[edit]