Scrapbookpages Blog

November 16, 2015

The whipping of prisoners in the concentration camps

My photo of a whipping block on display at the Dachau memorial sire

My photo of a whipping block on display at Dachau memorial site

A new reader of my blog recently made a comment about the prisoners in the concentration camps being whipped.

In the Dachau Museum, a whipping block, that was used to punish the prisoners, was on display when I visited the Dachau Memorial Site in 2007.  It is shown in my photo above.

Visitors to the Museum are told that prisoners were given 25 lashes for such minor offenses as having a button missing from their uniform or putting their hands in their pockets.

One visitor to the Dachau Museum wrote this on his blog:

In the shower room they had set up a table where they used to whip people if they did anything against the rules. The rules included things such as having a dried spot of water on the bowl you ate out of.

What visitors to the Dachau Museum are not told is that all punishments had to be authorized by WVHA, the Central Office for Economic Administration in Oranienburg, after a report was filed; punishments for women had to be personally approved by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Imagine someone at the central office in charge of the camps reading a request for punishment of a prisoner who had a “dried spot of water” on his bowl.

Visitors to the Dachau Museum are not told that the whipping block was no longer used after 1942 when Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler gave an order that the SS men in the concentration camps were forbidden to “lay violent hands on the prisoners.”

American generals watch a demonstration of the whipping block at Ohrdruf camp

American generals watch a demonstration of the whipping block at Ohrdruf camp

A whipping block was constructed for a demonstration at Ohrdruf. Notice that it is not a real whipping block, like the one in the photo at the top of this page.

Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner at Dachau, demonstrates the whipping block at the Dachau trial of Franz Trenkle

Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner at Dachau, demonstrates the whipping block at the Dachau trial of Franz Trenkle

In the photo above, Rudolf Wolf, a former prisoner at Dachau, demonstrates the whipping block. Notice that this appears to be an ordinary table, not a whipping block like the one on display in the Dachau Museum.

Wolf testified that Franz Trenkle was in charge of punishments in the camp. In the photograph above, Wolf shows how he had to bend over the whipping block when he was punished at Dachau. Franz Trenkle was convicted and hanged on May 28, 1946.

Fake photo of the hanging punishment at Dachau

Fake photo of the hanging punishment in the Dachau Museum

The hanging punishment, shown in the photo above, was originated by Martin Sommer, an SS officer at Buchenwald. This punishment was abolished at Dachau by Commandant Martin Weiss in 1942.

Sommer was dismissed from his job at Buchenwald and sent to the Eastern front after being put on trial in 1943 in SS judge Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen’s court for abuse of the prisoners.

The photograph above, taken inside the old Dachau Museum in May 2001, shows a scene at Buchenwald that was created in 1958 for an East German DEFA film. (Source: H. Obenaus, “Das Foto vom Baumhängen: Ein Bild geht um die Welt,” in Stiftung Topographie des Terrors Berlin (ed.), Gedenkstätten-Rundbrief no. 68, Berlin, October 1995, pp. 3-8)

This fake photo was not included in the new Dachau Museum which opened in 2003, but all the tour guides at Dachau were still dwelling at length on the hanging punishment during my visits to the Memorial Site.

I previously blogged about Martin Sommer on this blog post:


  1. Like Greg Allman sang one time. ” Sometimes I feel,like I’ve been tied,to the whipping post. Good Lord,I feel like I’m dying”. The Krauts don’t hold a monopoly on this one. They don’t even come close. There’s a picture somewhere out there of a black man,who was a slave. He didn’t have a shirt on and his back was facing the camera. His back looked like a road map. A road map that had the interstate ,secondary roads and all the out of the way back woods country roads. I don’t know what the man did. He probably had a “Simon LeGree” wanna be for a slave driver. I’d like to see a Jew that has scars like that from the whipping post. This mans scars,had scars. Even if the Jews were tied to the post,I’d like to see one that can produce scars like that. Sorry,but the Jews don’t know the whipping post like the slaves did.

    Comment by Tim — March 14, 2016 @ 11:08 am

  2. In Auschwitz, EVERY S.S. man had to sign a declaration reading word for word as follows:

    “I am aware that only the Fuhrer possesses life and death decision-making powers OVER enemies OF THE STATE. I AM NOT PERMITTED to injure or kill any enemy of the State (inmates).

    Any Killing of an inmate in a concentration camp requires the personal approval of the Reichstuhrer S.S..

    I am aware that I WILL BE severely called into account FOR ANY VIOLATION OF THE regulation.”
    GARF, 7021-107-11 p. 130

    See: National Socialist Concentration Camps: Legend and Reality by Jurgen Graf

    Kazimierz Smolen, former Director of the Auschwitz-Museum, wrote an article on the punishment system at Auschwitz based on authentic German documents, in which the various punishments provided for by the regulation are listed in order of severity:

    1) Warning with threat of punishment
    2) Additional Work
    3) Temporary transfer to a punishment company
    4) Arrest
    5) Severe Arrest with withdrawal of Food
    6) Arrest in solitary confinement
    7) *Beating not more than (25 blows) PRIOR to execution of all beating punishments an examination by a physician WAS required. Any Death sentences required approval by the RSHA PRIOR to execution.

    Comment by Libby Anne Justice — November 20, 2015 @ 3:49 pm

  3. When iussing in May 1942 the order that SS men were forbidden to lay violent hands on prisoniers Heinrich Himmler wanted only to fool the Internationlal Red Cross Comitee who just then rose the question of civilian prisioniers from countries under occupation in German Concentration Camps- The same applies to other statements about SS men allegedly punished for abusing or robbing prisoniers. You in USA do not realize that Nazism considered political oppositors, free intellectuals, Jews and other minority groups as enemies to extirpate and in no way cared about their health or personal safety.

    Comment by Wolf MURMELSTEIN — November 19, 2015 @ 9:58 am

    • You wrote: “other statements about SS men allegedly punished for abusing or robbing prisoniers.”

      In April 1945, there were 128 German SS soldiers imprisoned in the Dachau bunker, according to Paul Berben, a prisoner in the camp who wrote the Official History of the camp. On April 28, 1945 when the other guards left the camp, the SS men in the bunker were released and ordered to remain behind to guard the camp until it could be surrendered to the Americans. At least some of them were probably among the soldiers who were killed by the Americans or beaten to death by the prisoners after the camp was liberated.

      This is proof that SS men were put into a prison cell at Dachau if they broke the rules. The bunker, which was the prison at Dachau, is still there, and open to tourists, but the part of the building where the SS men were imprisoned has been torn down, and no mention is made of the SS prisoners.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 19, 2015 @ 1:07 pm

  4. It’s clear that lies and falsehoods about the ‘Holocaust’ — here I include general treatment of prisoners in KZs — are told quite casually — this is more the norm than the exception — one reason is that in general they need not fear contradiction or pushback — the average person is rather ready/conditioned to believe the worst/anything about Germans/the Nazis.

    Comment by eah — November 16, 2015 @ 10:45 am

  5. Its not just whipping benches that the world has been presented with – there were “foot-pedal operated brain-bashing machines” as well. Where these stood – I’ve no idea, but I do remember visiting Sachsenhausen near Berlin, where they had a piece of equipment with two long vertical panels separated by a narrow slit. We were told that a Soviet prisoner would be ordered to stand central, with his back to the slit, in order to measure his height. Then, an SS man behind the panels would use his revolver to shoot the unsuspecting prisoner in the back of the head. The corpse would be dragged out of the barracks (because the operation was carried out indoors), and the next prisoner brought in to repeat the same process.

    Why the SS wanted to go to all this laborious hassle – I don’t know; maybe they didn’t have any machine-guns for outdoor mass executions at Sachsenhausen.

    Comment by Talbot — November 16, 2015 @ 8:08 am

    • I wrote about the measuring stick at

      Strangely, I never wrote about the brain bashing machine anywhere on my blog or my website.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 16, 2015 @ 8:46 am

      • The Revisionist Historian, Carlos Whitlock Porter, on Youtube, read out the confessions of an SS officer – Paul Voldmann?, who claimed that he helped kill Soviet Soldiers by means of this “brain-bashing machine”. He quotes from a book entitled “Made In Russia – The Holocaust”. The information in this book was initially gleaned from “The Soviet War Crimes Report”.

        But I think its all fantasy – dreamed up by the Soviet interrogators and put into the mouth of a probably badly beaten up SS officer. There is certainly no geographical location for this weird-and-wacky machine – and that is probably why it has been included in the Holocaust narrative: Its horrific; imaginative and completely crazy!

        Comment by Talbot — November 16, 2015 @ 10:45 am

    • At the following link you can find a video of Carlos Whitlock Porter telling about the ‘incredible pedal-driven brain-bashing machine’.

      Comment by eah — November 16, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

  6. In those days, numerous parents used to whip their own kids for breaking the rules. Today’s sissy fags should stop trying to explain anything and just hide in a hole with shame and their ridiculous girly 2-cent moral standards…

    Comment by hermie — November 16, 2015 @ 7:44 am

    • Particularly in German and German-American families, whipping with a stick or a razor strap was common.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 16, 2015 @ 7:49 am

  7. I have added a new photo to my blog post. The photo was taken during the trial of the SS men who worked at Dachau. A former prisoner at Dachau is demonstrating the whipping block. Notice that this whipping block looks like an ordinary table.

    Comment by furtherglory — November 16, 2015 @ 7:41 am

  8. With so many fake artefacts, forged documents. doctored photos and heavily embellished or fabricated stories, how could anyone accept this contraption as a genuine whipping bench. It sits there as a mute “witness” to alleged brutality and cruelty at Dachau.

    But how do we know that a reasonably competent carpenter in the American forces was ordered by his superiors to create this object from some old church pews that he retrieved from a bombed-out religious building.

    I’ve no doubt that US Intelligence personnel, after viewing the photo above of Eisenhower and Patton etc. ( and which is probably a propaganda stunt anyway! ) decided that they needed a purpose built whipping bench for the camera to record the depraved wickedness of the Nazis.

    Comment by Talbot — November 16, 2015 @ 6:58 am

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