Fritz Suhren

Fritz Suhren ( Varel , Kingdom of Saxony , Germany , October to June of 1908 – December of June of 1950 ). It was a Nazi SS officer, active participant in the Holocaust Jew during World War II .


Service in the SS

Suhren joined the Nazi Party and Sturmabteilung (SA) in 1928. 1 However, in 1931 he left the SA and joined the Schutzstaffel (SS), becoming a full-time member of the SS from 1934. 1

He worked in the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen between 1941 and 1942. 1 In May 1942, being Lagerführer (deputy commander of the camp) of Sachsenhausen, he personally led the hanging of a prisoner, after ordering another inmate to hang himself To the condemned 2


On 20 August 1942 he was appointed commander of the Ravensbrück concentration camp for women, a position he held until April 1945, when allied troops arrived. From the moment he took charge of the camp, his policy was to exterminate the prisoners by making them work as much as possible and feeding them as little as possible. 3

As Ravensbrück’s commander, Suhren was to provide prisoners to Dr. Karl Gebhardt for experimentation, something Suhren initially opposed, even protesting to the Reich Central Security Office , because he argued that many of his press men were political prisoners. After initial resistance, he was forced to supply prisoners and apologize to Gebhardt. 4 Suhren later stated that he had witnessed experiments that included exposing women to high levels of X-rays in order to achieve sterilization. 5

On July 18, 1944, the secret agent British Odette Samson arrived as a prisoner to the field and was retained as “privileged” by Suhren, who had personal interest in it, as he believed that was the niece of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill . 6 In November 1944, was built one gas chamber at Ravensbrück and killing operations staff of criminal initiated, replaced the shooting of prisoners by the gassings, which was run by SS officers Johann Schwarzhuber and Adolf Winklemann , Who had just arrived from Auschwitz . Between 2,200 and 2,300 prisoners are estimated to have been killed in the gas chamber on Suhren’s orders.

Surrender and execution

At the end of the war, Suhren drove in his Mercedes Benz , Odette Samson, out of the field, handed him his revolver and surrendered to American troops, believing to get a good deal for delivering the one he believed Churchill’s niece . 7 days later, troops Soviet liberated the camp of Ravensbrueck, where they found about 3,500 prisoners in deplorable conditions. Even in the final moments of the war, Suhren had opposed the remaining prisoners being handed over to the Scandinavian Red Cross. Referring to Fig.

Suhren, however, was presented at the Ravensbrück trial and sentenced to death, being executed by hanging by the French in June 1950. 9


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c Tom Segev (1991). Soldiers of Evil , Berkley Books, p. 72
  2. Return to top↑ Jerzy Pindera, Lynne Taylor, Liebe Mutti (2004). One Man’s Struggle to Survive in KZ Sachsenhausen, 1939-1945 , University Press of America, pp. 71-72
  3. Back to top↑ Jack Gaylord Morrison (2000). Ravensbrück: Everyday Life in a Women’s Concentration Camp, 1939-45 , Markus Wiener Publishers, p. 243
  4. Back to top↑ Patricia Heberer, Jürgen Matthäus (2008). Atrocities on Trial: Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Prosecuting War Crimes , University of Nebraska Press, p. 136
  5. Back to top↑ Vera Renouf (2002), Forfeit to War , Trafford Publishing, p. 303
  6. Back to top↑ Juliette Pattinson (2007). Behind Enemy Lines: Gender, Passing and the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War , Manchester University Press, p. 157
  7. Back to top↑ George Lovell (2000). Consultancy, Ministry & Mission , Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 115
  8. Back to top↑ Reinhard R. Doerries (2003). Hitler’s Last Chief of Foreign Intelligence: Allied Interrogations of Walter Schellenberg , Routledge, p. 3. 4
  9. Back to top↑ Bernard A. Cook (2006). Women and War: A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present , ABC-CLIO, p. 484