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October 20, 2014

World War II war criminal Martin Bartesch is back in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:16 am

Martin Bartesch, a notorious Nazi war criminal, who was briefly at the Mauthausen concentration camp for three whole weeks, during Wold War II, is back in the news; you can read all about it here.

The photo below shows Martesch in a photo belonging to his daughter Ann Bresnen of Chicago, copied from this website:

Photo of Martin Bartesch

Photo of Martin Bartesch

My photo of theMauthausen concentration camp

My photo of the Mauthausen concentration camp (Click on the photo to enlarge)

My photo of the entrance into the Mauthausen concentration camp

My photo of the entrance into the Mauthausen concentration camp (Click on the photo to enlarge)

This quote is from the news story:

OSIJEK, Croatia (AP) – Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in U.S. Social Security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The payments, underwritten by American taxpayers, flowed through a legal loophole that gave the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the U.S. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal U.S. government records.


Austrian authorities were furious upon learning after the fact about a deal made with Martin Bartesch, a former SS guard at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. In 1987, Bartesch landed, unannounced, at the airport in Vienna. Two days later, under the terms of the deal, his U.S. citizenship was revoked.

The Romanian-born Bartesch, who had emigrated to the U.S. in 1955, was suddenly stateless and Austria’s problem. Bartesch continued to receive Social Security benefits until he died in 1989.

I previously blogged about Martin Bartesch on this blog post:

What was the war crime committed by Martin Bartesch?  His crime was that he spoke German and he had been born of an ethnic German mother.

This speech, made by Heinrich Himmler at Munich, on Nov. 8, 1938, explains it:

“Furthermore, Czechoslovakia has become anti-Semitic, all the Balkans are anti-Semitic, the whole of Palestine is engaged in a desperate struggle against the Jews, so that some day there will be no place in the world left for the Jew. He says to himself, this danger will only be removed if the source, if the originating country of anti-Semitism, if Germany is burnt out and destroyed (ausgebrannt und vernichtet). Be clear about it, in the battle which will decide if we are defeated, there will be no reservation remaining for the Germans, all will be starved out and butchered. That will face everyone, be he now an enthusiastic supporter of the Third Reich or not – it will suffice that he speaks German and had a German mother.”

Martin Bartesch emigrated to America after World War II was over.  He received Social Security payments, but he agreed to leave the USA on the condition that he would continue to receive his Social Security payments.

December 12, 2011

the sad case of Martin Bartesch, the infamous Mauthausen war criminal

On March 7, 1946, charges of participating in a “common design” to violate the Laws and Usages of War under the 1929 Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention of 1907 were brought by an American Military Tribunal against 61 men, who had been on the staff at the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz, Austria.  Although Mauthausen was in the Soviet zone of occupation in Austria, America had jurisdiction over the war criminals in the Mauthausen camp by virtue of being the liberators of the camp on May 5, 1945.

Mauthausen war criminals listen as the indictment is read

Martin Bartesch, a vicious “Nazi war criminal” who had served as an SS guard at Mauthausen for three whole weeks, was not among the 61 men in the dock.  In October 1955, Bartesch emigrated to America, where he managed to escape justice until April 9, 1986 when his evil past was finally exposed by the Office of Special Investigations of the U.S. Justice Department.

This Associated Press news story from May 29, 1987 gives the details of this infamous case:

Chicagoan Stripped of Citizenship–Hid Past as Nazi Guard

May 29, 1987 | Associated Press

A 60-year-old janitor from Chicago who hid his past as a Nazi SS concentration camp guard during World War II flew to Austria and was stripped of his U.S. citizenship, the Justice Department announced today. Martin Bartesch, a native of Romania, was listed in a “death book” compiled by the operators of the Mauthausen camp as having shot to death a French Jew in 1943, said Neal Sher, head of the Office of Special Investigations, the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit.

Remember The Reader, a movie which was based on a book written by German writer Bernard Schink?  The book is about a fictional character named Hanna Schmidt, who was an ethnic German girl from Romania.  Hanna had moved to Berlin at the age of 16 to get a job; she eventually wound up as an SS guard in a labor camp at the age of 17.

Martin Bartesch was also an ethnic German from Romania who left the family farm at the age of 16, and went to Germany, where he volunteered to join the SS.

After the war, the fictional Hanna was put on trial as a war criminal because she had refused to allow Jewish prisoners to escape from a barn where they had been locked inside for the night on a death march out of Auschwitz.  She was accused of killing the women because she allowed them to burn to death after the church caught fire; her excuse was that she was just doing her job which was to prevent the women from escaping.

Martin Bartesch was a war criminal because he shot and killed a Jewish prisoner at Mauthausen who was trying to escape.  “Trying to escape?” Oh sure, that’s what they all say.  The photo below shows two Czech prisoners who were shot by guards at Mauthausen while trying to escape.

Two Czech prisoners who were shot at Mauthausen while attempting to escape

In the photo above, note the position of the bodies near a barbed wire fence. According to Holocaust survivors, this was a favorite way for the guards in the camps to kill the prisoners. Survivors of Mauthausen said that sometimes the guards would entice the prisoners to leave the work site by telling them to pick strawberries and then shoot them when they got near the fence. Or a guard would throw a prisoner’s cap near the fence and when the prisoner tried to retrieve it, he would be shot.   (more…)