Gustav Wagner

Gustav Franz Wagner ( Vienna , Austria , 18 of July of 1911 – Brazil , 3 of October of 1980 ), known as “Gustl” and as “the beast” , was one of the most fearsome and cruel Nazi war criminals, petty officer SS the death camp Nazi of Sobibor in Poland, where more than 200,000 were killed in the gas chambers during Operation Reinhard .


In 1931, Wagner entered the Nazi Party with the file number 443.217, and the SS with the number 276.962, in the late 1930’s. 1 As SS Oberscharführer participated in the ” Aktion T4 ” Euthanasia Program at the Hartheim Clinic . During the war he joined Operation Reinhard , and went on to work in the Sobibor extermination camp along with Franz Stangl with whom he became friends, where he became Stangl’s lieutenant. 1 He is later transferred to Treblinka . He was one of the most feared among the prisoners because he used to shoot without reason against the detainees. The prisoners described him as a cold-blooded sadistic person. 1 Responsible for executing the selections as soon as the trains arrive at the Sobibor camp. Heinrich Himmler promoted him to SS Oberscharführer (Chief Warrant Officer) during his visit to Sobibor, the 12 as February as 1943 .

Wagner was not present in the field during the uprising of 14 of October of 1943 , but was in Lublin . After the rebellion, Wagner was transferred to northern Italy, 1 to the concentration camp of San Saba and participated in operations against the partisanos of the sector that fought in guerrillas .

After the war, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the Nuremberg Trials , but fled with Franz Stangl to Brazil , with the help of Bishop Alois Hudal , Wagner was admitted as a permanent resident on December of April of 1950 , and he lived there under the pseudonym Günther Mendel until his arrest on 30 of maypole of 1978 , thanks to the efforts of Simon Wiesenthal . Requests for extradition from Israel , Austria (Wagner’s home country) and Poland were rejected by Brazil’s Attorney General. The 22 of June of 1979 , the Brazilian Supreme Court also rejected a request for extradition from West Germany . 2

In an interview with the BBC in 1979, Wagner showed no remorse for his field management activities, noting:

I had no feelings … This just became another job. In the afternoon we never talked about our work, but only drank and played cards .

In October 1980 , Wagner’s corpse was found in São Paulo , stabbed in the chest. According to his lawyer, Wagner had committed suicide. It was confirmed that his death date had been October 3, 1980. 2


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich . Macmillan, New York, p. 1014
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Yitzhak Arad (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps , Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 191-192