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Josef Kramer (Munich, November 10, 1906 – Hamelin, December 13, 1945) was an SS officer during the Second World War. He was commander of the concentration camps of Struthof-Natzweiler, Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, being involved in the Jewish Holocaust.
Activity in the concentration camps
Kramer entered the Nazi Party with the card number 733,597 on December 1, 1931 and the SS with the number 32,217 in June 1932.
He was prominent in the Dachau concentration camp from the autumn of 1934 to 1937, the year he moved to Sachsenhausen. Highlighted in the concentration camp of Mauthausen between 1938 and 1940. From 1940, he becomes attached to the SS Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Höss, Commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. He ascended to SS Hauptsturmführer (Captain) on June 21, 1942. In service at Auschwitz until 1943. In 1944 he served as Commander at the Struthof-Natzweiler concentration camp where he directly participated in the killing of 80 women detained in that camp, whose skeletons were sent to the Reich University of Strasbourg for examination. In 1944, Kramer was assigned as Commander of the Birkenau concentration camp (Auschwitz II) and on December 1, 1944 as Commander of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp until the arrival of the British on April 15, 1945. The conditions infamous of the camp and the massive mortality of the prisoners won the nickname to Kramer of “the beast of Belsen” in the international press. According to Olga Lengyel, Kramer had an affair with the warden Irma Grese.
Capture and execution
Kramer was arrested by British troops when he freed the concentration camp and was put on trial for crimes against humanity at the British Military Court in Luneburg in the so-called “Bergen-Belsen Trial”, sentenced to death and executed by hanging The British in Hamelin, on December 13, 1945 together with Irma Grese and others of the staff of Belsen, the executioner was the famous Albert Pierrepoint.
More Facts about Josef Kramer
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