Perpetrators Associated with the Holocaust in Hungary
The following men played a significant role in the history of the deportation of Hungarian Jews and Auschwitz in the spring/summer of 1944. This short biographical information is provided to you by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education from a variety of sources as an aid to understanding the perpetrators as they appear in the historical documents and record. This collection of information IS NOT designed to operate as a source for research in the White Rose Student Essay Contest.
Baer, Richard – (1911-1963)
SS Sturmbannfuhrer and commandant of Auschwitz I from May 1944-January 1945. From 11 May 1944, he became Liebehenschel’s successor as Kommandant of Auschwitz I. After Rudolf Höss completed Aktion Höss, Baer was named commandant of the entire camp complex, a position he held until the evacuation of the camp in January 1945
Eichmann, Adolf – (1906-1962)
SS Lieutenant Colonel who was Chief of the Jewish Office in the Reich Security Main Office of the SS (Section IV B 4). In March 1944, with the German occupation of Hungary, Eichmann established an office in Budapest where he openly organized and executed an operation to deport the Hungarian Jewish community to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Höss (Hoess), Rudolf – (1900-1947)
Kommandant of the Auschwitz camp complex from May 1, 1940 – December 1, 1943. In Spring 1944, Höss was briefly re-assigned to Auschwitz-Birkenau to orchestrate the annihilation of the Hungarian Jews. In this capacity he oversaw the murder of approximately 440,000 Hungarian Jews in approximately 3 months – a time referred to as Aktion Höss in his honor.
Arthur Liebehenschel – (1901-1947)
Commandant of the Auschwitz camp complex from November 11, 1943-May 1944. At this time the camp complex was split up into three camps with their own commandants. But the commandant of the Stammlager, the old main camp, still remained Standortältester (Head Garrison Officer). Because Liebehenschel was regarded as weak and had fallen into disfavor as a result of his second marriage, he was relieved immediately before the Hungarian action and transferred to Majdanek.
Moll, Otto (1915-1946)
Head of the crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau. For a period he commanded the Sonderkommando (special command) that burned the bodies in the pits at bunkers 1 and 2 in Birkenau. His work here was characterized with extreme brutality, but in the eyes of his superiors it was so valuable that he was honored with a high decoration and promoted Schutzhaftlagerführer (Deputy Commandant). For some months, until May 1944, he was Deputy Commandant of the sub-camp “Gleiwitz I”. From here he was recalled by Höss, who wanted Moll to be part of the new team for the “Hungarian Action”. Moll was to be the leader of all crematoria in Birkenau.
Veesenmayer, Edmund – (1904-1977)
Served as Reich Plenipotentiary in Hungary beginning March 15, 1944. In this capacity he engaged in anti-Semitic activities and was intimately involved in the diplomatic correspondence and activities of Adolf Eichmann’s office, especially in securing the cooperation of Hungarian authorities with the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He reported to the German Foreign Office in Berlin as well as to the head of the Reich Security Main Office in the SS.
Wisliceny, Dieter – (1911-1948)
SS officer and deputy to Adolf Eichmann in the Reich Security Main Office. In March 1944, while helping Eichmann organize the deportation of Hungarian Jewry, Wisliceny took part in the negotiations with the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest. These negotiations focused on the rescue of Hungarian Jews in exchange for goods.