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See commandants: Rudolf Hoess Josef Kramer Franz Stangl Irmfried Eberl
Richard Baer (b. 1911) was commandant of Auschwitz I from May 11, 1944 and of Auschwitz II (Birkenau) from the end of 1944 until the evacuation of the camp in January 1945. After the war he lived near Hamburg under the assumed name Carl Neumann, working as a forester. He was arrested on December 21, 1960, and soon became the main prosecuted at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, then in preparation. Baer however never testified before the court, since he died in his prison cell in June 1963. The cause of death is variously given by historians as “natural causes” or “circulatory ailments,” but the autopsy did not rule out “ingestion of an odorless, non-corrosive poison” (cf. W. Stäglich, Auschwitz: A judge looks at the evidence, pp. 233-5). According to a brief article in the French right-wing newspaper Rivarol Baer had denied any knowledge of homicidal gas chambers during his pre-trial interrogations. A Brief List of the Conveniently Deceased by Thomas Kues
Finally, the account of Mr. Christopherson draws attention to a very curious circumstance. The only defendant who did not appear at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial in 1963 was Richard Baer, the successor of Rudolf Höss as commandant of Auschwitz. Though in perfect health, he died suddenly in prison before the trial had begun, "in a highly mysterious way" according to the newspaper; Deutsche Wochenzeitung (July 27th, 1973). Baer's sudden demise before giving evidence is especially strange, since the Paris newspaper Rivarol recorded his insistence that "during the whole time in which he governed Auschwitz, he never saw any gas chambers nor believed that such things existed," and from this statement nothing would dissuade him. In short, the Christopherson account adds to a mounting collection of evidence demonstrating that the giant industrial complex of Auschwitz (comprising thirty separate installations and divided by the main Vienna-Cracow railway line) was nothing but a vast war production centre, which, while admittedly employing the compulsory labour of detainees, was certainly not a place of "mass extermination". Did Six Million Really Die? by Richard Harwood
See: Convenient Nazi deaths
Dr. Josef Mengele, Richard Baer, Karl Hoecker, and Walter Schmidetski.
Richard Baer, known as the last Commandant of Auschwitz (see: Auschwitz-Birkenau)
Richard Bär, Josef Mengele, Josef Kramer, Rudolf Höss