Biographical Sketches

Hermine Braunsteiner

Hermine Braunsteiner

Hermine Braunsteiner

Hermine Braunsteiner, female SS auxiliary guard at Ravensbrück and Maidanek concentration camps, nicknamed “The stomping mare,” born 16 or 17 July 1919 in Vienna, Austria, convicted after the war of crimes against humanity in Austria but released, emigrated to the United States in 1959, lived in Queens New York, extradited to West Germany and convicted in 1981 of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, released from prison in 1996 due to complications from diabetes (amputation), died in Bochum, Germany on 19 April 1999, said of herself in 1964:

“I’ve suffered enough…after all I only did my duty…”

Hermine Braunsteiner2016-03-28T20:58:54-06:00

Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 25 October 1913 in Bad Godesberg, Gestapo officer, brutal interrogator of resistance fighters, sentenced to death in absentia in 1952 and 1954, known as the “Butcher of Lyon,” joined the SS in 1935, captured in Bolivia in 1982, convicted in Lyon, France of murder, sentenced to life imprisonment, died in prison of cancer 25 September 1991 (He was quickly cremated and his ashes secretly scattered,) said of the quality of personnel in the SS:

“The SS soldier is a superman whose blood can be traced back four generations before being allowed to join.  Any idiot can’t join the SS.”

 

Klaus Barbie2016-03-28T20:20:19-06:00

Erich Kempka

Erik Kempka

Erik Kempka

Erich Kempka, SS-Sturmbannführer, born 16 September 1910 in Oberhausen, Hitler’s personal chauffeur and bodyguard, winner Nazi Golden Party Badge, after Hitler’s suicide, carried Hitler’s body out of the bunker and burned it, (although despite claims made to the contrary during his interrogation, Kempka later admitted that when Hitler and Eva Braun locked themselves in a room of the Führerbunker, he was not near by and was only present after the event had occurred,) author I Burned Hitler, died 24 January 1975 at Freiberg am Neckar (Ostfriedhof,) said of Eva Braun:

“…The unhappiest woman in Germany.”

 

Erich Kempka2016-07-24T12:29:20-06:00

Dr. August Hirt

Dr. August Hirt

Dr. August Hirt

Dr. August Hirt, SS-Sturmbannführer, born 29 April 1898 in Mannheim, Nazi anthropologist and surgeon, collector of pathological specimens of inmates at Natzweiler concentration camp as well as performing experiments with mustard gas on inmates, winner of Iron Cross 2nd Class and wounded in the upper jaw by a bullet in World War I, studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg, committed suicide 2 June 1945 at Schluchsee, Baden-Württemberg, said the following on collecting specimens for study:

“By procuring the skulls of the Jewish-Bolshevist Commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive but characteristic sub-human, one has the chance to obtain palpable scientific data.  The best practical method is to turn over alive all such individuals.  Following induced death of the Jew, the head, which should not be damaged, should be separated from the body and sent in a hermetically sealed tin can filled with preservative fluid.”

Dr. August Hirt performing an examination

Dr. August Hirt performing an examination

Dr. August Hirt2016-03-28T19:19:49-06:00

Heinrich Müller

Heinrich Müller

Heinrich Müller was born in Munich, Bavaria, 28 April 1900, the son of working-class Catholic parents.  In the final year of World War I, he served as a pilot for an artillery spotting unit, during which he was decorated several times for bravery, to include the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the Iron Cross 1st Class, the Bavarian Military Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords and the Bavarian Pilots Badge.

Müller joined the Bavarian Police in 1919.   During the immediate post-war years, Müller was involved in the suppression of attempted Communist risings in Bavaria (He became a lifelong enemy of Communism after witnessing the shooting of hostages by the revolutionary “Red Army” in München, during the Bavarian Soviet Republic.)  During the Weimar Republic, Müller served as the head of the München Police Department, where he acquainted with many members of the Nazi Party including Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich.

After the 1933 Nazis rise to power, Heydrich – as head of the Security Service – recruited Müller to the SS.  In 1936, as head of the Gestapo, Heydrich named Müller that organization’s Operation’s Chief.  Heinrich Müller quickly rose to the ranks, achieving the grade of SS-Gruppenführer in 1939.  With the consolidation of law enforcement agencies under Heydrich in the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), Müller became the chief of the RSHA “Amt IV”  (Office #4 or Deptartment #4.)  At about the same time, he acquired the nickname “Gestapo Müller” to distinguish him from another SS general of the same name.  The nickname would soon bring an aura of dread associated with Müller for many.  He was also called “Bloody Müller.”

Photo supposedly of Heinrich Müller hunting

Photo supposedly of Heinrich Müller hunting

As the Gestapo chief, Heinrich Müller played a leading role in the detection and suppression of all forms of resistance to the Nazi regime, succeeding in infiltrating and destroying many  underground networks of the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.  Müller was also active in resolving the Jewish question; Adolf Eichmann headed the Gestapo‘s Office of Resettlement and then it’s Office of Jewish Affairs (the Amt IV section called Referat IV B4), as Müller’s subordinate.  Müller attended the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942 that formalized responsibilities for the destruction of Europe’s Jews.

In 1942, Müller successfully infiltrated the “Red Orchestra” network of Soviet spies and used it to feed false information to the Soviet intelligence services.  While not the commander of any Einsatzgruppe, he received regular reports on their progress in Russia.  In February 1943, he presented Heinrich Himmler with firm evidence that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr Military Intelligence Organization, was involved with the anti-Nazi resistance; however, Himmler told him to drop the case.  During the war, Müller received the Knights Cross of the War Service Cross.

After the failure of the July 20, 1944 Bomb Plot to assassinate Hitler, Müller assumed responsibility, for arresting and interrogating anyone suspected of involvement.  Müller’s agents arrested over 5,000 people during the next six months.  In April 1945, Müller was among the last group of Nazi loyalists assembled in the Führer Bunker, as the Soviet Army fought its way into Berlin.  One of his last tasks was to interrogate SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein in the basement of the Church of the Trinity, near the Reichs Chancellery.  Fegelein was Himmler’s liaison officer to Hitler and after Müller’s interrogation, he was shot on April 28, 1945 on Müller’s evidence that Fegelein was attempting to flee Berlin.

Müller’s fate has been the subject of speculation; many historians believe that he was killed, while others opine that he worked for the Soviet Union or the United States Central Intelligence Agency after the war.  Other theories speculated that he escaped to South America.  The most intriguing option of Müller’s fate came from Walter Lüders, a former member of the Volkssturm (Peoples’ Defense Force.)  Lüders said that he had been part of a burial unit, which had found the body of an SS General in the garden of the Reich Chancellery, with the identity papers of Heinrich Müller.  The body was subsequently buried in a mass grave at the Old Jewish Cemetery on Grosse Hamburger Strasse, then in the Soviet Occupation Sector.

Was the Gestapo chief buried here ?

Was the Gestapo chief buried here ?

There appears to have been no investigation of this gravesite since the war to assess the validity of this witness.  Speculation continues, with the recent book Grey Wolf postulating that Müller was part of an elaborate escape plot that ended in Argentina.  In any case, “Gestapo Müller” once boasted, “I’ve never had a man in front of me yet whom I did not break in the end.”  Was Müller broken in death at the end of the war or did he escape?

Heinrich Müller2016-04-05T20:52:53-06:00

Glenn A. Waser

Glenn A. Waser — Captain and Commander of the PBS Garrison Stockade Number 1. He was an MP officer. Born in Ohio in 1909, he graduated from the University of Illinois in 1933. Glenn A. Waser entered the service on July 7, 1942.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

Glenn A. Waser2015-09-11T19:05:24-06:00

Bert Ward

Bert Ward — First Sergeant. Born in Michigan in 1909, he enlisted in the Army on April 10, 1939 in Cordele, Georgia. Prior to his enlistment, Ward, who was a candy-maker, lived in Genesee County, Michigan. Bert Ward was discharged ay Indian Town Gap Military Reservation on August 15, 1945 and went to Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

Bert Ward2015-09-11T19:05:55-06:00

John C. Urbaitis

Major (Doctor) John C. Urbaitis — Major Urbaitis was born on September 5, 1906 and died on April 23, 1984. Urbaitis is buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in McKean County, Pennsylvania.

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John C. Urbaitis2016-02-17T11:56:56-06:00

Clyde R. Thorn

Clyde R. Thorn — First Lieutenant, Infantry, and Acting Commander of the PBS Garrison Stockade Number 1. He was born on May 13, 1910 at Harrisburg, Arkansas. He enlisted in the Army on April 13, 1942; he later was commissioned an officer on December 26, 1942. Clyde Thorn died in Batesville, Arkansas on March 6, 1992. Clyde R. Thorn is buried there at Oaklawn Cemetery.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

Clyde R. Thorn2013-10-04T15:22:19-06:00

Thomas F. Robinson

Thomas F. Robinson — Technician 3rd Class and assistant to Master Sergeant John C. Woods. Robinson was born in New York in 1920; he was married and had two years of high school. At the time of his enlistment, he lived in Westchester, New York. A baker by trade, he enlisted in 1942 in Bayonne, New Jersey; prior to working with Woods, Robinson was assigned to the 554th Quartermaster Depot. Thomas F. Robinson was discharged November 9, 1945 in New York City.

If you are a related family member of this soldier, PLEASE Email me; I need additional information on him and hopefully a picture in uniform.  I can also provide additional information on him to you.

Thomas F. Robinson2013-10-04T15:23:26-06:00
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