Hans Möser

Hans Karl Möser or Hans Moeser ( Darmstadt , 7 of April of 1906 – Landsberg prison , 26 of November of 1948 ) was a German officer in the SS Nazis in the concentration camps of Neuengamme , Auschwitz and Mittelbau-Dora during the Second World War World (1939-1945). It reached the rank of SS-Obersturmführer . He was captured at the end of the war and tried by the US Military Court for war crimes . He was the only one of the 19 defendants in the Dora trial who was sentenced to death. Möser was hanged in the prison of Landsberg in 1948.

Life

Möser was a trader by profession. In October 1929 he joined the Nazi party (he was member no. 155301) and enrolled in the SS in July 1931 (he was member no. 9555). In July 1940, Möser joined the staff of the recently opened SS-Hinzert concentration camp , known for his brutality, and later moved to Neuengamme. From May 1943 until October 1943 he worked in the concentration camp of Auschwitz III Monowitz as kompanieführer of the Wachbatallion (battalion guard) in the Buna plant of IG Farben. At the end of April of 1944 it was also kompanieführer of the men of guard in the main field of Auschwitz I. 1

On May 1, 1944 he moved to Dora’s central camp. Initially he worked as a schutzhafthaftlagerführer (‘deputy guardian of protection of the camp chief’). In July 1944 he was promoted to the first custodian of the protection of the camp chief. There he committed the crimes that would lead to his trial and execution. During the hangings of the prisoners, for example, he sometimes took care that the ropes were cut while the victims were still alive, in order to prolong their agony. 2

In February 1945, when the Red Army invaded German positions on the Eastern Front (Germany), the staff of the SS Central at Auschwitz were evacuated to Mittelbau-Dora. Richard Baer (commander of Auschwitz) and his staff took over the Dora complex, and Möser was appointed as the new deputy leader, this time under Franz Hössler. 3

On April 5, 1945, when the Third US Armored Division surrounded the Mittelbau-Dora camp, Möser led a forced evacuation of more than 3,000 prisoners by train to be transferred from Neuengamme. The train was diverted to Ravensbrück concentration camp. The prisoners were then led on a death march and killed. 4

Judgment and execution

Möser was arrested at the end of the war. In June 1945, following the Fedden investigation of conditions in Dora, Möser was among the 19 defendants who were tried by the United States General Court military court in the Dora trial (United States of America against Arthur Kurt Andrae et al. , Case no. 000-50-37), 4 which was part of the Dachau trials. On July 7, 1947, the proceedings began and lasted until December 30. It was shown that Möser had been present in hangings and that he personally shot the prisoners during the escape attempts. Responsibility for death marches during the final evacuation of the Dora camp was also attributed to Möser.

In his statement during the trial, Möser said:

In the same way, with the same pleasure with which you shoot a deer, I shot a human being. When I arrived at the SS and had to shoot the first three people, for three days the food tasted bad. But today is a pleasure. It is a joy for me. The same way, with the same pleasure, as you shoot deer, I shot a human being. When I came to the SS and had to shoot the first three persons, my food did not taste good for three days, but today it is a pleasure. It is a joy for me.
Hans Möser 5

Möser was found guilty, and was the only accused in the Dora trial that was sentenced to death. 4 Following the appeals, Möser was executed by hanging in Landsberg prison on 26 November 1948. 6

References

  1. Back to top^ Lasik, Aleksander (1999): “Die organisationsstruktur des KL Auschwitz” (page 345), in: Lasik, Aleksander; Piper, Franciszek; Setkiewicz, Piotr; Strzelecka, Irena (1999): Auschwitz 1940-1945 , volume I. Oświęcim (Poland): State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1999.
  2. Back to top↑ Nucéra, Jean Michel; And Nucéra, Louis (1980): Dora , p. 102. Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1980.
  3. Back to top↑ Wagner, Jens-Christian (2001): Produktion des Todes: Das KZ Mittelbau-Dora , p. 670. Göttingen (Germany), 2001.
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b c «United States of America v. Kurt Andrae et al. (And related cases) ” , photographs of the originals in English. United States Army Investigation and Trial Records of War Criminals. National Archives and Records Service. 27 April 1945 – 11 June 1958. Retrieved on February 18, 2012.
  5. Back to top↑ Gutman, Israel (1995): Encyclopedia of the Holocaust , p. 400. New York (United States): Macmillan Library Reference, 1995.
  6. Back to top↑ Klee, Ernst (2007): Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und nach 1945 , p. 414. Frankfurt am Main (Germany), 2007.