Hans Stark (SS member)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hans Stark (born June 14, 1921 in Darmstadt ; † March 29, 1991 ibid) was a German SS-Untersturmführer and head of the reception department in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp .

Hans Stark, around 1944, in the uniform of the SS-Totenkopfverband
Hans Stark, around 1944, in the uniform of the SS-Totenkopfverband


From 1927 to 1931 he attended elementary school in Darmstadt and then from 1931 to March 1937 the secondary school in Darmstadt. The school performance in the grammar school was initially average, but in the last few years before leaving school it decreased. Why were frequent clashes with his father, a police inspector, who as ZwölfEnder after twelve years of service to a utility bill out of Reichswehr retired. At the time, he is said to have held the opinion that his son should be properly disciplined, for which he saw the Reich Labor Service and military service as suitable educational institutions. However, the age of recruitment for labor and military service was 17 years - on the other hand, it was possible to join the SS-Totenkopfverband at the age of 16. So the father gave his written consent to join the SS .

Training in the SS

On December 1, 1937, Stark joined the 2nd SS-Totenkopfstandard "Brandenburg" in Oranienburg near Berlin as a relay man . In the second month of his training, in January 1938, when he was only sixteen and a half years old, he was tasked with guarding prisoners in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp as an outside guard. At the end of the six months he was transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp at the end of June 1938 after a short vacation . There he had a horse train to look after horses and was later also used in the guard duty. After a year of service he was promoted to SS-Sturmmann on January 1, 1938 and to SS-Rottenführer on August 1, 1939. When the Second World War broke out , he was a group leader. He was deployed as a recruit trainer in Buchenwald from September to December 1939. Then the regiment of recruits was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp . Here he stayed until 1940. He then came to the Guard and Honor Battalion in Prague . On June 1, 1940, he was promoted to Unterscharführer . In August 1940 he was transferred as a group leader to the SS Regiment "Westland" in Munich . Here he suffered a double fracture of the lower leg from a fall from his horse. He was in the hospital for 6 weeks and then - if there was further need for treatment - he was written as “garrison usable” and released. He was therefore out of the question for an active front regiment and was transferred back to the Dachau Guard Battalion. Here he was used as an outside guard from November to December 1940.

Crimes in Auschwitz

On December 15, 1940, he and about 20 to 40 subordinates came to Auschwitz . First he was employed there as block leader in Block 7 (later Block 22) and then in the political department of the camp Gestapo in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp until 1943. In the block he controlled were mainly Polish pupils and students aged up to Imprisoned for 25 years. In May 1941 he came to the Political Department, where he was soon made head of the Admissions Department. There is said to have been the slogan "Pity is weakness" hung over his desk. Hans Stark was one of the most brutal SS men in Auschwitz. He is said to have killed all Jews who were also called Stark immediately. He is said to have drowned newborns in a bucket of cold water and to have thrown other prisoners alive (unproven) into a fire. It has been proven that Stark regularly took part in shootings and was involved in the first gassings .

Further development

Since Stark wanted to finish his schooling, he took a leave of absence from Christmas 1941 to March 1942. On March 13, 1942, he passed his Abitur examination as an external student at the Liebig Obergymnasium in Darmstadt, today the Justus Liebig School. His essay was The Liberation of Germany from the Chains of the Versailles Treaty by Adolf Hitler . He then resumed his work in Auschwitz. He was promoted to Oberscharführer on September 1, 1942. In the summer of 1942 he applied for study leave, which was granted to him from December 1, 1942 to March 31, 1943. He was enrolled on December 8, 1942 at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and studied law for one semester.

During his studies he submitted, according to his own statement, a transfer request to the SS-Obergruppenführer August Heissmeyer . After the end of his study leave, he reported back to the head of the Political Department, SS-Untersturmführer Maximilian Grabner , on April 1, 1943 . Grabner informed him that he had been sent to Dachau for a training course with effect from April 1, 1943. 4 days later he started his service in Dachau. The course of a “driver training” at an SS Junk School lasted until May 25, 1943. With effect from May 15, 1943 he was transferred to the SS Panzer Grenadier Division “Das Reich”. He was wounded twice on the Eastern Front and after the Battle of Berlin in early May 1945 was taken prisoner by the Soviets, from which he was able to escape.

After 1945

After the war ended, Stark initially went into hiding. In 1948 the Darmstadt Chamber of Arbitration classified him in the group of the less polluted, and upon his appeal he was classified as a “fellow traveler” in 1950 in the course of denazification . He took up a degree in agriculture and pedagogy and graduated for a teaching career. First he taught at the agricultural school in Lövenich near Cologne and later in Darmstadt.

In the course of investigating the Nazi crimes in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Stark was arrested for the first time in 1959 and questioned by the Ludwigsburg chief detective Alfred Aedtner . A few weeks later he was released from custody because he honestly told the examining magistrate that he had only been the groom of the camp commandant Rudolf Höss in Auschwitz . In support of this legend, there was even a photo of how he, the alleged “groom”, held the SS commandant's horse by the reins.

Stark was the defendant in the 1st Auschwitz Trial . On December 20, 1963, the trial against members of the security guards of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp began before the jury court at the Frankfurt am Main district court in the Römer . During this time, Stark commuted between Darmstadt and Frankfurt every week. He was only charged with "minor offenses" which, in the opinion of the jury, "were not suspected of having escaped and there was no risk of obscuration" . Stark was able to maintain this impression for three more months until the witness Josef Kral (inmate No. 17.401 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from June 1941 to May 1943) charged Stark with the following statement:

I saw Stark kill two prisoners with a shovel handle. And he shot a prisoner named Isaac. He first forced Isaac to drown a comrade and then his own father, Isaac's father, in a pit of water.

Stark admitted to shooting people and throwing Zyklon B into the gas chambers. He was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison in 1965. The verdict states:

In further gassings of Jewish people in May 1942, Stark often took Jewish women aside before the gassings. When the other Jewish people were in the gas chambers, he put the women against the wall in the courtyard of the small crematorium. Then he shot a woman or two in the chest and feet. Then when the other women trembled and fell on their knees and begged Stark to let them live, he yelled at them: "Sarah, Sarah, come on, stand!" Then he shot them all one by one. "

In his closing remarks he made the following statement:

I've been involved in the killing of many people. After the war I often wondered if I had become a criminal. I haven't found an answer to that. "

He was sentenced to ten years in prison under juvenile law because he was still a minor at the time of the offense (under the law at the time, younger than 21). However, Stark was released from prison in 1968.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dietrich Strothmann : Behind curtained windows. A day in the Auschwitz trial . In: Die Zeit, January 31, 1964.
  2. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich: Who was what before and after 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 596
  3. ^ Hermann Langbein: People in Auschwitz. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin Vienna, 1980, p. 567