Nazi concentration camp commandant

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The commandant (German: KZ-Kommandant, Lagerkommandant) was the chief commanding position within the SS service of a Nazi concentration camp. He held the highest rank and was the most important member of the camp unit. The commandant directed the camp headquarters and was responsible for all issues of the camp. The regulations of his duties and responsibilities came from the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (CCI).[1]

Of utmost importance was his duty to ensure the safety of the camp. Therefore, all SS personnel were obliged to report to him any important incident about the camp. The commandant had to constantly stay in the camp; his absence for more than 24 hours required the consent of the Concentration Camps Inspectorate. In the event of an alarm caused by rebellion or escape, all personnel were subject to his command, and he had complete control of the issuance of orders and commands.

Another duty was to instruct subordinates about their tasks, camp security issues and the treatment of prisoners. He also watched over the affairs of the employment of prisoners, determining, among other things, working hours. The commandant was assigned an adjutant, or deputy commandant, who was responsible for the immediate, complete and accurate execution of the commandant's orders. Other SS personnel were subordinate to the deputy commandant. In the largest concentration camps, ranks of commandants ranged mostly from SS-Hauptsturmführer to SS-Obersturmbannführer.

The commandant had authority over all disciplinary matters affecting the SS personnel of the concentration camp. The individual departments within the concentration camp were under their respective parts of the Concentration Camps Inspectorate, but there were exceptions.[2] The CCI directly supervised the Wachtruppe (guard unit), the adjutants and the Schutzhaftlagerführers.

Location and name of the Nazi concentration camp commandants[edit]

Camp Commandant Beginning End
Arbeitsdorf Martin Gottfried Weiss April 1942 July 1942
Wilhelm Schitli July 1942 October 1942
Auschwitz I (Stammlager) Rudolf Höss 4 May 1940 10 November 1943
Arthur Liebehenschel 11 November 1943 8 May 1944
Richard Baer 11 May 1944 27 January 1945
Auschwitz II (Birkenau) Fritz Hartjenstein 22 November 1943 8 May 1944
Josef Kramer 8 May 1944 25 November 1944
Auschwitz III (Monowitz) Heinrich Schwarz 11 November 1943 17 January 1945
Bełżec Christian Wirth December 1941 August 1942
Gottlieb Hering August 1942 June 1943
Bergen-Belsen Adolf Haas April 1943 2 December 1944
Josef Kramer 2 December 1944 15 April 1945
Buchenwald Karl-Otto Koch July 1937 December 1941
Hermann Pister December 1941 13 April 1945
Dachau Hilmar Wäckerle 19 April 1933 25 June 1933
Theodor Eicke 28 June 1933 10 December 1934
Heinrich Deubel 10 December 1934 1 April 1936
Hans Loritz 1 April 1936 19 February 1940
Alexander Piorkowski 19 February 1940 1 September 1942
Martin Gottfried Weiss 1 September 1942 31 October 1943
Eduard Weiter 1 October 1943 26 April 1945
Flossenbürg Jakob Weiseborn May 1938 20 January 1939
Karl Künstler 20 January 1939 10 August 1942
Karl Fritzsch 10 August 1942 September 1942
Egon Zill September 1942 29 April 1943
Max Koegel 29 April 1943 23 April 1945
Gross-Rosen Arthur Rödl 1 May 1941 15 September 1942
Wilhelm Gideon 15 September 1942 10 October 1943
Johannes Hassebroek 11 October 1943 February 1945
Herzogenbusch Karl Chmielewski 5 January 1943 October 1943
Adam Grünewald October 1943 January 1944
Hans Hüttig February 1944 September 1944
Kovno Wilhelm Göcke September 1943 July 1944 (probably)
Majdanek Karl-Otto Koch September 1941 August 1942
Max Koegel August 1942 November 1942
Hermann Florstedt November 1942 October 1943
Martin Gottfried Weiss November 1943 May 1944
Arthur Liebehenschel May 1944 22 July 1944
Mauthausen-Gusen Albert Sauer 8 August 1938 17 February 1939
Franz Ziereis 17 February 1939 5 May 1945
Mittelbau-Dora Otto Förschner October 1944 January 1945
Richard Baer February 1945 April 1945
Natzweiler-Struthof Hans Hüttig April 1941 March 1942
Egon Zill May 1942 25 October 1942
Josef Kramer 25 October 1942 4 May 1944
Fritz Hartjenstein 9 May 1944 January 1945
Heinrich Schwarz February 1945 April 1945
Neuengamme Walter Eisfeld February 1940 March 1940
Martin Gottfried Weiss April 1940 August 1942
Max Pauly September 1942 4 May 1945
Plaszow Amon Goeth February 1943 13 September 1944
Arnold Büscher September 1944 January 1945 (probably)
Ravensbrück Günther Tamaschke May 1939 August 1939
Max Koegel January 1940 August 1942
Fritz Suhren 1 September 1942 30 April 1945
Riga-Kaiserwald Eduard Roschmann April 1943 September 1944
Sachsenhausen Michael Lippert July 1936 October 1936
Karl-Otto Koch October 1936 July 1937
Hans Helwig 1 August 1937 April 1938
Hermann Baranowski 1 May 1938 September 1939
Walter Eisfeld September 1939 January 1940
Hans Loritz 1 April 1940 September 1942
Anton Kaindl September 1942 22 April 1945
Sobibór Franz Stangl 28 April 1942 30 August 1942
Franz Reichleitner 1 September 1942 17 October 1943
Stutthof Max Pauly October 1939 August 1942
Paul-Werner Hoppe August 1942 April 1945
Treblinka Irmfried Eberl 11 July 1942 26 August 1942
Franz Stangl 1 September 1942 August 1943
Kurt Franz August 1943 November 1943
Vaivara Hans Aumeier September 1943 June 1944
Warsaw Wilhelm Göcke June 1943 September 1943
Nikolaus Herbet September 1943 July 1944 (probably)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ian Baxter (2014). Nazi Concentration Camp Commandants 1933-1945 (Google Books). Appendix I. Pen and Sword. pp. 37, 137. ISBN 1473846897. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Die doppelte Struktur der Befehlslinien der Unterstellung des SS-Personals im KZ nennt Wolfgang Sofsky Mehrliniensystem.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Friedrich Karl Kaul, Joachim Noak (ed.): Angeklagter Nr. 6 - Eine Auschwitzdokumentation. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1966.
  • Martin Weinmann (ed.): Das nationalsozialistische Lagersystem (CCP). Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt am Main 1990.
  • Wolfgang Sofsky: Die Ordnung des Terrors. Das Konzentrationslager. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1993 ISBN 3-10-072704-5.
  • Karin Orth: Die Konzentrationslager-SS. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, München 2004, ISBN 3-423-34085-1.
  • Karin Orth: Das System der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. Pendo-Verlag, Zürich 202, ISBN 3-85842-450-1
  • Peter Neitzke (ed.): Konzentrationslager Dokument F 321 für den Internationalen Militärgerichtshof Nürnberg. Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 334
  • Tom Segev: Die Soldaten des Bösen. Zur Geschichte der KZ-Kommandanten. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-499-18826-0.
  • Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-16048-0.
  • Eugen Kogon: Der SS-Staat. Das System der deutschen Konzentrationslager, Alber, München 1946, zuletzt: Heyne, München 1995, ISBN 3-453-02978-X