The Belsen Trial
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Josef Kramer, the Commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and 44 other staff members were brought before a British Military Tribunal on September 17, 1945 at Lüneburg.
The charges against three of the staff members (Nikolas Jenner, Paul Steinmetz and Walter Melcher) were dropped before the trial. One of the 44 staff members, Ladislaw Gura, fell ill and was not tried by this court, leaving only Kramer and 43 others in the dock at Lüneburg.
On April 17th, 1945, 47 other staff members at Bergen-Belsen were arrested, including 12 of the Kapos who were trusted prisoners appointed by the guards as camp supervisors.
Twenty of these 80 guards died after the British took control, according to Eberhard Kolb, the Chairman of the Academic Advisory Council for the Extension and Redevelopment of the Memorial Bergen-Belsen. Kolb says that most of them died of typhus, but others died of ptomaine poisoning from eating food provided by the British.
Schreirer was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Staroska was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Hoessler and Bormann were both hanged.
Out of the 20 who were convicted only on Count One, or crimes committed at Bergen-Belsen, four were hanged: Karl Flrazich, Franz Stofel, Anchor Pinchen, and Wilhelm Dorr.
Both Kramer and Dr. Klein were convicted on Courts One and Two. Both were sentenced to death by hanging. They were both hanged at Hamelin Prison on December 13, 1945.
The three women were hanged separately, first Grese, then Volkenrath, then Bormann. The 8 men were hanged in pairs to save time. The hanging was all finished just in time for the mid-day meal.
26-year old Elizabeth Volkenrath was hanged. Volkenrath was found guilty of war crimes in both camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen.
42-year-old Juana Bormann was hanged. After working at Birkenau from 15 May 1943 to the end of December 1943, Bormann testified that she came to Belsen in the middle of February 1945
Franz Hoessler was hanged for crimes committed at Auschwitz-Birkenau