Rudolf Höss was the commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, in case you didn’t know.
The following quote is from a recent news article about him which you can read in full at http://aleteia.org/2016/03/04/how-the-commandant-of-auschwitz-found-gods-mercy/
Begin quote from news article:
Those who survived Auschwitz called the man in charge an “animal.” Rudolf Höss presided over the extermination of some 2.5 million prisoners in the three years he was commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Another half a million died there from disease and starvation. A year after his tenure came to an end, he returned to oversee the execution of 400,000 Hungarian Jews.
And yet even an “animal” such as he was not beyond the reach of God’s mercy.
In the photo above, Heinrich Himmler is the man on the left. These two men were responsible for killing 2.5 million Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau — or was it only 1.1 million? The story of the Holocaust is ever changing; I can’t keep up with it any more.
Rudolf Höss, aka Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, was arrested by the British near Flensburg, Schleswig- Holstein, Germany on March 11, 1946.
After the British beat a confession out of him, Hoess was turned over to the Supreme National Tribunal in Poland on May 25, 1946.
Hoess was put on trial in 1947; he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. His execution took place at the main Auschwitz camp on April 16, 1947. Three months later, the former camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau officially became the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.
Flensburg was the place where Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had established himself in the last days of World War II; he had told his SS men “Save yourself, if you can.”
While he awaited trial in Poland, Rudolf Hoess wrote his memoirs, which were later published in a book with the title Death Dealer.
Hoess wrote the following in his memoirs:
I took the name Seamen Franz Lang and traveled with marching orders to the Navel Intelligence School on the Isle of Sylt. […] The Naval Intelligence School was dismantled and transported to the internment area between the Kiel Canal and the Schlei River. […] I was released very early and passed all the British checkpoints and through the employment office without any problems. I got a job on a farm near Flensburg as a laborer.
The British were able to find Rudolf Hoess, after he had been on the farm for eight months. They had contacted his family and threatened to turn his son over to the Soviet Union to be sent to Siberia unless they revealed his hiding place.
On page 179 of Death Dealer, Hoess described his arrest and interrogation by the British.
The following quote is from the book entitled “Death Dealer,” edited by Steven Paskuly and first published in 1992:
On March 11, 1946, at 11 p.m., I was arrested. My vial of poison had broken just two days before. The arrest was successful because I was frightened at being awakened out of a sound sleep. I assumed that it was a robbery because there were a lot of them occurring in the area.
I was treated terribly by the [British] Field Security Police. I was dragged to Heide and, of all places, to the same military barracks from which I had been released eight months before by the British. I do not know what was in the transcript, or what I said, even though I signed it, because they gave me liquor and beat me with a whip. It was too much even for me to bear. The whip was my own. By chance it had found its way into my wife’s luggage. My horse had hardly ever been touched by it, much less the prisoners. Somehow one of the interrogators probably thought that I had constantly used it to whip the prisoners.
After a few days I was taken to Minden on the Weser River, which was the main interrogation center in the British zone. There they treated me even more roughly, especially the first British prosecutor, who was a major. The conditions in the jail reflected the attitude of the first prosecutor.
Surprisingly, after three weeks I was shaved, my hair was cut, and I was allowed to wash myself. My handcuffs had not been opened since my arrest. The next day, I was taken by car to Nuremberg together with a prisoner of war who had been brought over from London as a witness in Fritsche’s defense. Compared to where I had been before, imprisonment with the IMT [International Military Tribunal] was like staying in a health spa.
Here is some background information on Rudolf Hoess:
In 1923, Rudolf Höss was involved in the political murder of Walter Kadow, who was alleged to have betrayed Nazi party member Leo Schlageter to the French occupation authorities. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. One of his accomplices was Martin Bormann, Hitler’s future deputy, who subsequently protected him at a later stage in his career.
Höss was released under the Amnesty Law of 14 July 1928, after having served less than half of his sentence, and for the next six years, he worked as a farmer in Brandenburg and Pomerania in various service groups.
In 1934, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler invited Höss to join the SS and, in June of the same year, he was posted to the concentration camp at Dachau, as a block overseer.
Höss was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1938, where he was promoted to SS Captain and given the job of Adjutant to the Commandant. Two years later, Höss was appointed the first Commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp on 1 May 1940. Höss held this position until 1 December 1943 when he was replaced by Arthur Liebehenschel, who became the new Commandant of Auschwitz I.
Höss visited Chelmno in September 1942 and he also visited the Treblinka death camp; in Lublin, he met Odilo Globocnik, who was in charge of the “Aktion Reinhard” program.
In November 1943, Höss was made the head of the number one branch of Amstgruppe D of the WVHA, later becoming the deputy of Richard Glücks, the Inspector General of Concentration Camps. Höss returned to Auschwitz on 8 May 1944 to oversee the alleged extermination of the Hungarian Jews.
On May 14, 1946, the former Commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rudolf Höss, also known as Rudolf Hoess, signed a sworn affidavit in which he stated that two million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1941 and 1943 while he was the Commandant. This did not include the period, during which Hoess was not the Commandant, when over 300,000 Hungarian Jews were gassed during a period of 10 weeks in the Summer of 1944, according to the Auschwitz Museum.
The English translation of the German text in the affidavit reads: “I declare herewith under oath that in the years 1941 to 1943 during my tenure in office as commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp 2 million Jews were put to death by gassing and a 1/2 million by other means. Rudolf Hoess. May 14, 1946.”
The confession was signed by Hoess and by Josef Maier of the US Chief of Counsel’s office.
The original affidavit, signed by Rudolf Hoess, is displayed in a glass case in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The photo that is displayed, along with the affidavit, shows Hungarian Jewish women and children walking to one of the four gas chambers in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on May 26, 1944, carrying their hand baggage in sacks.
All you Holocaust deniers, take note. The photo above proves that the Jews were gassed; the photo shows the Jews as they walk to the gas chamber, carrying their bundles.
The caption underneath the photo, at the Museum, reads:
“On May 14, 1946, Rudolf Hoess, the former commandant of Auschwitz, signed a declaration stating that during his tenure in office, 2 million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz and another 500,000 killed in other ways. Hoess overestimated the number of Jews gassed by about 1 million.”
It has been several years since I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. The photo and the text beneath it might have changed since my visit. There have been allegations that this confession was obtained from Rudolf Hoess by means of torture. The Museum should mention that.
Rupert Butler wrote in his book entitled Legions of Death, published by Arrow Books in London in 1983, that Rudolf Hoess had been beaten for three days by a British team of torturers under the command of Jewish interrogator Bernard Clarke. I don’t know if visitors to the Holocaust Museum are told this important information.