Jenny-Wanda Barkmann

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Jenny-Wanda Barkmann
Jenny Wanda Barkmann shortly after arrested.jpeg
Jenny Barkmann at the enquiry shortly after her arrest in May 1945 at the railway station Wrzeszcz near Danzig
Bornc. 1922
Died4 July 1946(1946-07-04) (aged 24)
Cause of deathHanging
OccupationGuards of the Stutthof concentration camp
Criminal statusDeceased
Criminal chargeCrime against humanity
PenaltySentenced to death

Jenny-Wanda Barkmann (c. 1922 – 4 July 1946) was a German concentration camp guard during World War II.

She is believed to have spent her childhood in Hamburg. In 1944, she became an Aufseherin in the Stutthof SK-III women's camp, where she brutalized prisoners, some to death. She also selected women and children for the gas chambers. She was so severe the women prisoners nicknamed her the Beautiful Specter.[1]

Barkmann fled Stutthof as the Soviets approached. She was arrested in May 1945 while trying to leave a train station in Gdańsk. She became a defendant in the Stutthof Trial, where she and other defendants were convicted for their crimes at the camp. She is said to have giggled through the trial,[1] flirted with her prison guards and was apparently seen arranging her hair while hearing testimony. She was found guilty, after which she declared, "Life is indeed a pleasure, and pleasures are usually short."[2]

Barkmann was publicly executed by short-drop hanging along with 10 other defendants from the trial on Biskupia Górka Hill near Gdańsk on 4 July 1946. She was around 24 years old, and the first to be hanged.[3]

Execution of guards and kapos of the Stutthof concentration camp on 4 July 1946 by short-drop hanging. In the foreground were the female overseers: Jenny-Wanda Barkmann, Ewa Paradies, Elisabeth Becker, Wanda Klaff, Gerda Steinhoff (left to right)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tony Rennell, "Bitches of Buchenwald: Which death camp guard is the evil inspiration behind Kate Winslet's role in The Reader?", Mail Online, 24 January 2009
  2. ^ Stutthof Concentration Camp — – Historical Military Records. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  3. ^ "1946: Eleven from the Stutthof concentration camp". Retrieved 22 July 2012.