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Terezin - The perpetrators


Memorial Cemetery in front of the Little Fort in Terezín, Czech Republic

       The ghetto was administered by the SS. Its first commandant was SS-Offizier - SS Officer Dr. Siegfried Seidl. He was commandant from November 1941 until July 1943. He was replaced by SS-Obersturmführer - SS-1st Lieutenant Anton Burger on orders of Eichmann. Burger, who acted as commandant from July 1943 until February 1944, was ordered by Himmler and Eichmann to change the appearance of Theresienstadt. This was done to accommodate and fool the Red Cross members who had requested access to a Nazi concentration camp. The changes were cosmetic in nature. Nothing worked, all was fake.

 

Dr. Siegfried Seidl. born August 24, 1911 in Tulln, Lower Austria; died February 4, 1947.

       Dr. Siegfried Seidl. born August 24, 1911 in Tulln, Lower Austria; died February 4, 1947 He was commandant from November 1941 until July 1943. First Commandant of the Ghetto of Terezin.
Siegfried Seidl interrupted his law studies after a few semesters and took on various odd jobs. In 1930, he joined the Nazi Party and in 1932 the SS. In late 1939, Seidl was called into the police as a result of his SS membership. As of January 1940, he was attached to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) – in fact Department IVB4 under Adolf Eichmann's command – and posted to the SS lead section in Posen. In 1941 he graduated from his studies, which he had taken up in 1935, to the philosophy faculty. In October 1941, Seidl was charged by the RSHA with building the Theresienstadt Ghetto.

       From 1941 until 1943, he was the Ghetto's Commandant, and as such the one responsible for mishandling and murdering thousands of people. In 1944-1945 as acting leader of the SS Special Deployment Command, Outpost Vienna, Seidl exercised control over the forced-labour camps for Hungarian Jews that had been built in Vienna and Lower Austria. On 14 November 1946, Seidl was sentenced by the Volksgericht in Vienna to death. The penalty was carried out on February 4, 1947.

 

SS-Obersturmführer - SS-1st Lieutenant Anton Burger (1911-1991)

       Seidl  was replaced by SS-Obersturmführer - SS-1st Lieutenant Anton Burger (1911-1991) on orders of Eichmann. Acted as commandant from July 1943 until February 1944.

       Born in Neunkirchen, Austria, was a Sturmbannführer in the SS. He was the second Commandant of Theresienstadt. He went into hiding after the war under an assumed name and his identity was not uncovered until 1994, three years after his death.

 

SS-Obersturmführer - SS-1st Lieutenant Karl Rahm (April 1907 in Klosterneuburg; † 30. April 1947 in Litoměřice)

       The third and also the last appointed commandant was SS-Obersturmführer - SS-1st Lieutenant Karl Rahm (April 1907 in Klosterneuburg; † 30. April 1947 in Litoměřice)  who held the reigns from February 1944 until May 1945 when the camp was liberated by Soviet Red Army.

       Before the war an unemployed mechanic, who joined the NSDAP in Austria in 1934. In 1939 he worked for Adolf Eichmann in Vienna and from October 1940 for Hans Gùnther in Prag. Hij was convicted for war crimes against humanity by a Czech court and hanged.

 

Karl Hermann Frank, (January 24, 1898 – May 22, 1946) German minister of state for the Protectorate (of) Bohemia and Moravia.

       After surrendering to the U.S. Army in Pilsen on May 9, 1945, Frank was extradited to a People’s Court in Prague and tried between March and April of 1946. After being convicted of war crimes and the obliteration of Lidice, Frank was sentenced to death and hanged in the courtyard of the Pankrac prison in Prague before 5,000 onlookers on May 22, 1946. He was buried in an anonymous pit at Prague's Ďáblice cemetery.