In an effort to dispel the suggestions that Auschwitz was staffed primarily by Poles, Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance has published figures and details of the guards who worked there.
For the first time, the details – along with photographs – of nearly 10,000 guards have been posted online. They were uploaded, in an attempt to dispel the myth about Poles being the majority of guards there.
Almost all the names are German with some of them having pre-war occupations such as farmers, butchers, and teachers. Others were plumbers, roofers, and coal miners.
After Hitler invaded Poland in 1039, he ordered Auschwitz to be built. Originally, from 1940 it was intended for Polish prisoners of war, but later it was taken over by the SS. It was between 1942 and 1945 that about 1.1 million Jews perished in this camp. They died either from starvation or torture.
After the end of the war many of the senior officers, along with the former commandant, were tried and executed by hanging.
The SS guards – of which there were 200 women – were tried and spent some time in either Russian or Polish pow camps, and were then released in the 1950’s. They are assumed to have gone to live in Germany.
A further 20 low to middle ranked officers were tried in 1063. Some were jailed for life but many of them were released.
The collection holds a huge database of photographs with names and any other information on the guards. The database is accessible to anyone who is interested.