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The Faces of Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

These are photos of the female prison camp guards which were taken after the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp.while they were awaiting trail in 1945.

Their sentences ranged from a few short years imprisonment to the death sentence. Here’s an interesting challenge, see if you can guess just by looking at the photos who got the most severe sentences (and were presumably the worst), it’s an interesting exercise just try not to read the captions until you’ve done your guessing!

You can also read more about their back-stories and what they did before the war here.

Above: Hildegard Lohbauer: sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Read more about her story here.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Hilde Liesewitz: sentenced to 1 years imprisonment.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Gertrude Saurer: sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Gertrude Feist: sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Elizabeth Volkenrath: head wardress of the camp: sentenced to death. She was hanged on 13 December 1945.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Herta Ehlert: sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Nazi prison camp guard

Herta Bothe accompanied a death march of woman from central Poland to Bergen-Belsen. She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Herta Bothe was released early from prison on 22 December 1951.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Frieda Walter: sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Helene Kopper: sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Ilse Forster: sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

Johana Borman: sentenced to death.

You can also read more about their back-stories and what they did before the war here.

Image source and copyright: This artistic work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain.

12 thoughts on “The Faces of Female Nazi Concentration Camp Guards

  1. Missy

    Interesting … Would like to know more about them before the war and while they were imprisoned and life after release … Wonder what kind of situations they were in and what choices they made, or were made for then …

    Reply
  2. Helene Fallows

    Fascinating. Dont think you could really tell by their faces. Although the one I thought had the kindest face got 5yrs so I was rightish in that she didnt get the death penalty or 15yr sentances ike some. Hmm going to show my daughters this later to see what they make of it
    Intetesting! Helene@revivalvintage

    Reply
  3. Emileigh

    I was very surprised by the last lady, Johana Borman. She doesn’t seem to look like anything other than a cute old lady! I wish I knew these ladies’ stories, if they fully supported the Reich or if it was something they got caught up in through circumstances.

    Reply
  4. Ali Thorpe

    Oddly enough, I managed to guess correctly all of those who were given higher or death sentences; something about how hard their expressions were, whether they were looking in the lens of the camera, a bit of gut feeling. I don’t know though; I do wonder what their stories are and how they would explain what they did. Maybe they wouldn’t try to.

    Reply
      • Ali Thorpe

        Oh, I’ll definitely have a read later! I find myself torn between thinking how the motivations and actions of people like these are more complicated than we know, that we cannot possibly know what life was like then … but then thinking there is NO acceptable explanation. Maybe I should just be grateful I don’t know the answer.

        Reply
        • Mary, WHV

          It’s hard to know what to think isn’t it? What they did was totally inexcusable and in most cases horrific. I was surprised to discover that most of them didn’t choose to join up though, a lot of them seemed to be in the camps due to circumstance and had the choice of being arrested and put into camps themselves or being conscripted into the S.S. and becoming camp guards.

          Reply

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