KZ Auschwitch Personnel - Pen Pictures
Johann Schwarzhuber. SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant) (29 August 1904 – 3 May 1947. Schwarzhuber was born in Tutzing, Bavaria. Printer by trade he joined the NSDAP in 1933, along with the SS and was posted to the Dachau concentration camp and became a Blockführer (Block Leader). He was later transferred to Klinkerwerk, one of the sub-camps of Sachsenhausen as its commander. In 1941, he was sent to the death camo at Auschwitz II (Birkenau) within occupied Poland to manage some prisoner barracks as a Lagerführer (Camp Leader). Later he would take on the role as a Schutzhaftlagerführer which maintained order and discipline within the camp and ensure that daily roll calls were carried out, they also designated work to be carried out outside the camp perimeter. Blockführers, rapportführers would report to him, and because of the size of the camp, there were a few Schutzhaftlagerführer employed. Another sinister aspect of his job was to ensure those fit for work was swallowed up within the camp life itself whilst those deemed unfit (too old, too young, too unhealthy and those with young children or pregnant) went to the gas chambers, the camp doctors would off course do these selections at the railway ramp. Like many other SS guards, Schwarzhuber was always hitting the bottle to get help him get through his day. Near the end of 1944, he was transferred to Dachau concentration camp in Germany where he ran the sub-camps known as the Kaufering. He would only remain there until January 1945 from which he would be sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp were he worked within the women's section of the camp. When Ravensbrück was liberated in April 1945, Schwarzhuber was arrested. At his trial he was convicted of his crimes and was executed in 1947.
Moll, Otto Hermann Wilhelm. SS-Hauptscharführer (Battalion Sergeant Major) was born on 4 March 1915 in Hohen Schonberg, Germany. Joined the SS on 01 May 1935.
In May 1941, Otto Moll was transferred to Auschwitch from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp where he was originally involved in preparing mass graves for all those murdered within the gas chambers, but was later assigned other duties, such as a director of the employment department within Birkenau. He was also Lagerführer within the Fürstengrube subcamp, an IG Farben coal mining concern and the Gleiwitz I sub-camp.
Moll was transferred to work within the crematoria in Birkenau in 1944, his job was to organise the mass gassings of the Hungarian transports. To help speed up the killing process he reopened the old gas chamber known as Bunker 2 (he would order 4 burning pits for those gassed within Bunker 2) and had 5 cremation pits dug next to Crematorium 5 in order to speed-up the cremation process. It has also been claimed that he personally killed thousands of victims, and one such incident is when he was overseeing the execution of of victims at the side of the specially dug burning pits next to the crematoria, it has been reported that he would pick-up crying children and throw them alive into the burning pit. Another event as witnessed by Filip Müller, Moll has caught a member of his Sonderkommando with some US dollars, as a deterrent to other prisoners he took the young man to one of the burning pits next to Crematoria 5, here he offered the thief a chance, if he could run across the burning pit twice in his bare feet, he wouldn't shoot him, desperate to live, the Jew jumped into the fiery pit and tried to sprint to the side, but got caught in the flaming embers, screaming in pain, Moll finished him off with his pistol. And again from the same source, Moll discovered another prisoner two gold rings in his possession and demanded to know who gave him them, but he refused to answer, so Moll had his hands tied behind his back and hung him from a hook, the prisoner fainted and was then taken down and was revived by the aide of a couple of buckets of water, again he refused to tell Moll who gave him the rings, fuming Moll stormed out of the room and returned with a can of petrol, and then preceded to pour the liquid all over the prisoner and then ignited him and watched as he ran screaming from the room towards the electrified fense opposite the building, but Moll shot him dead before he could reach the fence. Moll would device many horrendous and torturous games that he forced prisoners to play, which usually ended up with Moll killing some of them.
Moll was described as *short and thick-set with a chubby face with gingery-blond hair and covered in freckles. Moll was regarded a man without scruples and brutal and heavily anti-Jewish who loved humiliating and torturing the inmates. Members of the Sonderkommando nicknamed him 'Cyclops' because of the fact that he wore a glass eye. (* Source: Eyewitness Auschwitz. Three Years in the Gas Chambers (1979) Filip Müller p.125)
When the SS abandoned Auschwitz in January 1945, Moll was transferred to one of Dachau's sub-camps where he remained until the end of April 1945 where he was arrested by American forces. In November 1945, Moll was one of the guards at Dachau that stood trial for the crimes committed there and after being found guilty he was sentenced to death and hanged in Landsberg prison on 28 May 1946.
Ludwig Plagge Ludwig SS-Oberscharführer (Company Sergeant Major) (13 January 1910 – 22 January 1948). He was born in Landesbergen, Lower Saxony, Germany. After he left school he worked as a farmer. He joined the NSDAP on 01 December 1931, some 14 months before they came to power. In October 1934 Plagge enrolled into the SS but wouldn't be involved in the concentration camp system until November 1939 where he was assigned to Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg, 22 miles north of Berlin, Germany. In July 1940, he was sent to the new camp at Oświęcim (Auschwitz) in occupied Poland. At Auschwitz he worked within various parts of the camp and witnessed the camp grow in size and scope. His roles included being a Blockführer (Block Leader) which entailed supervising work details and he also acted as a deputy Rapporführer (Report Leader) within the gypsy camp located within Birkenau (Auschwitz II) itself and he Rapporführer. This job entailed taking roll calls and ensuring prisoner discipline was maintained. He also worked within the much feared Block 11 within the main camp (Auschwitz I), the prison block with Auschwitz where mock-trials, torture and executions were carried out. He was also involved in the gassing process. The prisoner nicknamed him 'the little pipe' (das Pfeifchen) due to his habit of having a pipe in his mouth. He left Auschwitz on 4 October 1943 and was posted to the Majdanek death camp in Lublin, Poland. With the Red Army closing in he was transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1944. By the end of the war, Plagge was senior camp leader within one of Flossenbürg's sub-camps known as Regensburg. After the war he was arrested and put on trial in Poland where was found guilty of crimes committed within the Polish death camps and was hanged in Kraków in 1948.