Hermann Baranowski

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Hermann Baranowski (11 June 1884 in Schwerin – 5 February 1940 in Aue) was a German politician and military figure. A member of the Nazi Party, he is best known as the commandant of two German concentration camps of the SS Death's Head unit.[1] He was the Schutzhaftlagerführer of Dachau concentration camp in 1938. He served as the SS-Oberführer of Sachsenhausen concentration camp from February 1938 - September 1939.

Due to his husky build, prisoners nicknamed him “Foursquare.” He is known by Jehovah's Witnesses as one who tried to get Jehovah's Witnesses, who were in the camps for their Christian neutrality, to sign statements rejecting their faith, terrorizing them and having them executed in front of their fellow believers. He never missed an opportunity to poke fun at their God. “I have taken up a fight with Jehovah. We will see who is the stronger, I or Jehovah,” Foursquare had said on 20 March 1938. He died of a terrible illness but his daughter would always answer, when asked what her father died of, that the Bible Students (Jehovah's Witnesses) prayed her father to death.[2]


  1. ^ Tuchel, Konzentrationslager, S. 371. Die bei Tuchel angegebenen Ränge sind auf die zum Zeitpunkt der Ernennung gebräuchlichen Bezeichnungen geändert.
  2. ^ 1974 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1974, pp. 165-9.[unreliable source?]
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Otto Reich
Commandant of Lichtenburg concentration camp
April 1936 – October 1936
Succeeded by
SS-Standartenführer Hans Helwig
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Hans Helwig
Commandant of Sachsenhausen concentration camp
February 1938 – September 1939
Succeeded by
SS-Oberführer Hans Loritz