Hermann Langbein

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Hermann Langbein (18 May 1912 – 24 October 1995) was an Austrian who fought in the Spanish Civil War with the International Brigades for the Spanish Republicans against the Nationalists under Francisco Franco. He was interned in France after the end of the Spanish Civil War, and then sent to German concentration camps after the fall of France in 1940.

Over the next few years he was imprisoned in several different camps (Dachau, Auschwitz and others). He was among the leadership of the International Resistance groups in the camps he was held in. After 1945 he was General Secretary of the International Auschwitz Committee, and later Secretary of the "Comité International des Camps".

Post war[edit]

First, he was a full-time work at the CPA and a member of the Party Central Committee. Langbein was involved in the construction of party schools and let his 1947 written down camp experience under the title The fittest. published a report from Auschwitz and other concentration camps in 1949 in party own publishing house. In the early 1950s failed re-election to the Central Committee. After conflicts with the party Langbein was moved to Budapest, where he edited German-language radio broadcasts in Hungarian broadcasting. Together with his wife and daughter, he returned in 1954 to Austria. Langbein 1954 was co-founder of the International Auschwitz Committee (IAC) and became its first secretary general. From 1955 to the early 1960s Langbein was secretary of the Austrian Camp Community Auschwitz. In these functions, Langbein was the concentration camp crimes to the public and fought for compensation for former concentration camp inmates. From KPÖ he was excluded in 1958 when he started in 1956 in the wake of the uprising in Hungary to challenge Stalinism and criticize. By alienation for KPO Langbein 1960 relieved of his post as general secretary of the IAC and excluded the following year also from its management. In 1963 Langbein was Secretary of the "Comité International des Camps". On October 18, 1961, the West German Radio broadcast conceived by Langbein and HG Adler three-hour feature Auschwitz. Topography of an extermination camp. [2] Mid-1960s, he had next to Fritz Bauer essential part in bringing about the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials and appeared there as a witness. He then worked as a writer and journalist. Langbein 1967, was awarded by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. From 1989 to 1995 he organized together with Johannes Schwantner the seminar "ideology and reality of National Socialism" for Educators. Since 1996, the conference in Memoriam Hermann Langbein called "Hermann Langbein Symposium", it takes place every year in Linz. Moreover, Langbein belonged to the Museum Council of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and worked on the redesign of the exhibition. The author and writer Kurt Langbein is his son.


He wrote several books about his experiences in the camps. The most important and influential is:

People in Auschwitz. Tranl. Henry Friedlander. University of North Carolina Press, 2003, ISBN 0-8078-2816-5.

External links[edit]


  • (taken from wikipedia.de entry)
See also: Langbein