Irma Grese – the beauty and the beast
Irma Grese (born on October 7, 1923 in Wrechen, Mecklenburg, died on December 13, 1945 in Hamelin), best known as a supervisor (SS-Aufseherin) in German concentration camps and a member of the SS support staff. One of the most cruel, ruthless and bestial overseers in the camps.
In the summer of 1942, she was sent to the women's camp in Ravensbrück to be trained as an SS supervisor. She completed the training in March 1943. Then, at her own request, she was directed to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Initially, she worked as a telephonist at Camp A and Camp B, then she guarded the road construction and garden commandos. At the end of 1943, she was promoted to the position of SS-Oberaufseherin, acting as the deputy chief supervisor of the women's camp in Brzezinka. In May 1944, she became the supervisor at Camp C, and then the manager of female prisoners in a female penal company, whose members had to perform the hardest earthworks. In December 1944, she became the report writer at the Auschwitz-Birkenau women's camp.
She was bisexual. She had intimate contact with, among others, the commandant of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, Josef Kramer, and Maria Mandl, as well as with prisoners. She often took part in "parties" at the SS holiday resort in Międzybrodzie Bialskie. Irma actively participated in the selections carried out at the railway ramp, where, with a wave of her hand, she decided whether a person would stay alive or go to the gas chamber.
After the war, she was captured and sentenced in the Bergen-Belsen trial in Lüneburg in 1945. Irma and other torturers were sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out by an English executioner, Albert Pierrepoint, on December 13, 1945 at 9:34am in the prison in Hameln.
I recommend the recently published book entitled “The Beautiful Beast: The Life & Crimes of SS-Aufseherin Irma Grese” by Daniel Patrick Brown.
Archival photos - public domain. If copyright has been violated, please contact me. The photos have been added for information, not for profit or for surreptitious advertising.