Heinrich Deubel

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Heinrich Deubel (19 February 1890 – 2 October 1962) was a German soldier, civil servant and officer in the Schutzstaffel who served as commandant of Dachau concentration camp.

Deubel was born in Ortenburg (Bavaria). The son of a postman, he joined the German Imperial Army and spent 12 years in the service, although he was to spend most of the First World War in a British prisoner of war camp.[1] Right-wing by inclination, Deubel had been involved with the Freikorps and other rightist and anti-Semitic groups from an early age.[2] He became involved with the Nazis in the early 1920s at the same time as Egon Zill[3] and was amongst the first 200 members of the SS.[2] Deubel was a civil servant with the customs office and actually took a leave of absence to join the SS rather than forgo his civil service pension.[2]

Deubel was an inspector at Dachau concentration camp in 1934 when commandant Theodor Eicke was promoted to a role overseeing all concentration camps. Deubel, by then an Oberfuehrer in the SS, was nominated by Eicke as his successor.[4] Deubel commanded the camp from 1 May 1934 until 20 April 1936 with detainees describing his regime as fairly liberal, especially when compared to that of his successor in the role, Hans Loritz.[5]

During his time as commandant, Deubel did fall foul of Heinrich Himmler due to a public incident of violence at a time when the SS was developing a reputation for cruelty in Germany and beyond. On Christmas Eve 1934, Deubel was present at Passau train station when an SS private got into a scuffle with a number of people after delaying the line at a ticket window.[6] When a policeman stepped in to arrest the private, Deubel intervened, threatening to drag a policeman to the camp to be "whipped as he deserved".[6] Deubel would later claim that the incident had happened because he felt it was his duty to defend his fellow SS member as the policeman had forcibly pulled him from the ticket window.[7] However the incident earned Deubel a rebuke from Himmler as it was widely discussed in Germany and even reported in sections of the overseas press.[8]

After the Second World War, Deubel was interned until 1948 although ultimately no charges were brought against him by the government of West Germany.[9] He died in Dingolfing town, Bavaria.

Awards and ranks[edit]


  1. ^ Tom Segev, Soldiers of Evil, Berkley Books, 1991, p. 133
  2. ^ a b c Segev, Soldiers of Evil, p. 132
  3. ^ Segev, Soldiers of Evil, p. 126
  4. ^ Charles W. Sydnor, Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death's Head Division, 1933-1945, Princeton University Press, 1990, p. 18
  5. ^ Pierre Moulin, Dachau, Holocaust, and US Samurais: Nisei Soldiers First in Dachau?, AuthorHouse, 2007, p. 16
  6. ^ a b Segev, Soldiers of Evil, p. 90
  7. ^ Segev, Soldiers of Evil, p. 91
  8. ^ Segev, Soldiers of Evil, p. 20
  9. ^ Comite Internationale de Dachau; Barbara Distel, KZ Gedenkstätte Dachau (ed.): Konzentrationslager Dachau 1933 bis 1945 - Text- und Bilddokumente zur Ausstellung, München 2005, p. 98
  10. ^ Johannes Tuchel: Konzentrationslager: Organisationsgeschichte und Funktion der Inspektion der Konzentrationslager 1934–1938. H. Boldt, 1991, ISBN 3-7646-1902-3, p. 372f.