Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Auschwitz Guards: The faces that oversaw a genocide, 1940-1945

These mugshots of Auschwitz guards were published by Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance and you can see the evils that run the deadliest concentration camp of the Second World War.

The full database contains over 25,000 records that cover personnel of multiple concentration camps. Of those, thousands relate to people who worked at Auschwitz—which was not a single camp, but a network of camps that both enslaved and killed Jews, Poles, political prisoners, Roma people, homosexuals, the mentally ill and disabled, and others.

Various estimates indicate that the Auschwitz Auschwitz was garrisoned by 700 commanders and guards in 1941, about 2 thousand in June 1942, about 3 thousand in April 1944, and about 3,300 SS men and female overseers in August 1944.

The peak figure came in mid-January 1945, in connection with the final evacuation of the camp, when there were 4,480 SS men and 71 female SS supervisors there. Throughout the entire period that the camp was in existence, a total of some 8,000 to 8,200 SS men and some 200 female guards served in the garrison.

The majority of the Auschwitz garrison was made up of Germans who held German citizenship (Reichsdeutsche). There were also ethnically German SS men there (Volksdeutsche) who had previously held citizenship in occupied countries or in Third Reich satellite countries like Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.

The records on the education of 1,209 Auschwitz SS guards indicate that they had received relatively little schooling. 70% of them had elementary education, 21,5% secondary, and 5.5% higher education. Among those with higher education, the majority were doctors or architects working in the SS construction offices.

More members of the Auschwitz SS garrison stood trial in Poland than anywhere else. From 1946 to 1949, about 1 thousand people suspected of committing war crimes at Auschwitz were extradited to Poland, mostly from the American occupation zone in Germany. Charges were brought against 673 people, including 21 women.

The most common sentences for lower-ranking members of the Auschwitz garrison were three years in prison (203 times, for 31.9% of all the sentences) and 4 years (111 times, 17.5%). Death and life sentences were relatively rare (41 times, 6.1%).

At least 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945, and at least 1.1 million died. Overall 400,207 prisoners were registered in the camp: 268,657 male and 131,560 female.

A study in the late 1980s by Polish historian Franciszek Piper, published by Yad Vashem in 1991, used timetables of train arrivals combined with deportation records to calculate that, of the 1.3 million sent to the camp, 1,082,000 had died there, a figure (rounded up to 1.1 million) that Piper regarded as a minimum. That figure came to be widely accepted.

Around one in six Jews killed in the Holocaust died in Auschwitz. By nation, the greatest number of Auschwitz’s Jewish victims originated from Hungary, accounting for 430,000 deaths, followed by Poland (300,000), France (69,000), Netherlands (60,000), Greece (55,000), Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (46,000), Slovakia (27,000), Belgium (25,000), Germany and Austria (23,000), Yugoslavia (10,000), Italy (7,500), Norway (690), and others (34,000).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Joseph Hefner, former student merchant. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Fritz Taddiken, former painter and glazier. Promoted to Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader) in the SS in 1944. Later convicted of war crimes by a court in Krakow.

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Helmut Grundschok, former apprentice plumber. Joined the SS in 1939 and rose to the rank of Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Johannes Maranca, WWI veteran and former tinsmith and roofer. Returned to duty in the SS in 1944 as a Scharführer (Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Hans Ansorg, former bank clerk. Joined SS in 1933 and rose to rank of Oberscharführer (Senior Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Walter Salawey, former farmer. Joined SS in 1941 and reached rank of Sturmmann (stormtrooper).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Detlef Nebbe, former merchant. Joined the SS in 1933 and reached the highest enlisted rank of Hauptscharführer (Head Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Robert Nagy, former electrician. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Horst Panitzsch, former carpenter and Hitler Youth. Transferred to SS in 1944.

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Felix Becker, former farmer. Joined SS in 1942 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Adolf Becker, former watchmaker and optician. Joined SS in 1934 and reached the highest enlisted rank of Hauptscharführer (Head Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Willi Heindorf, former judicial secretary. Joined SS in 1933 as a Scharführer (Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Johannes Gunesch, former farmer. Joined SS in 1943 as a Schütze (Private).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Gottfried Paggen, former laborer. Joined SS in 1944 as a Rottenführer (Corporal).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Richard Lamb, former miner. Joined SS in 1935 and reached rank of Rottenführer (Corporal).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Albin Ackermann, former waiter. Joined SS in 1944 as a Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Johannes Badstuebner, a former miner. Joined SS in 1944 as an Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Kolomann Bistritz, former farmer. Joined SS in 1944 as a Schütze (Private).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Lorenz Becker, former merchant. Joined SS in 1944 as a Schütze (Private).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Martin Flohr, former locksmith. Joined SS in 1943 and reached rank of Sturmmann (Stormtrooper).

Auschwitz Guards Mugshots

Ernst Fischer, former pharmacist. Joined SS in 1941 and reached rank of Unterscharführer (Junior Squad Leader).

(Photo credit: Institute of National Remembrance / Statistics from Auschwitz Org).