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Arthur Liebehenschel: Wikis


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Arthur Liebehenschel (25 November 1901 - 28 January 1948) was a commandant at the Auschwitz and Majdanek death camps during World War II. He was convicted of war crimes after the war and was executed.


Liebehenschel was born in Posen (now Poznań). He studied economics and public administration. Too young to serve in World War I, he served as a sergeant major in the German Reichswehr afterwards. In 1932, he joined the NSDAP Nazi party (member number 39 254), and in 1934 was commissioned in the SS, where he served in the Totenkopfverbände. Liebehenschel became the adjutant in Lichtenburg concentration camp, and two years later was transferred to the inspectorate of the concentration camps in Berlin. In 1942, when the "SS- Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt" (WVHA - Office of economic policy) was founded, Liebehenschel was assigned to the new Amtsgruppe D (Concentration Camps) as head of Office D I (Central Office).

On 10 November 1943, Liebehenschel was appointed commandant of Auschwitz extermination camp, succeeding Rudolf Höß. When Höß returned to Auschwitz, Liebehenschel was appointed commandant of the Majdanek extermination camp on 19 May 1944, succeeding Martin Gottfried Weiss. The camp was evacuated because of the Soviet advance on Nazi Germany, and Liebehenschel was ordered to Trieste, Italy to the office of Odilo Globocnik, Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer (HSSPF) for Operational Zone Adriatic Coast (OZAK). Liebehenschel became head the SS Manpower Office there.

At the war's end, Liebehenschel was arrested by the American Army and was extradited to Poland. He was convicted in the Auschwitz Trial in Kraków and was executed by hanging on January 28, 1948.


Liebehenschel had one son and three daughters by his first wife, Gertrud,[1][2] the youngest of which, Barbara Cherish (born 1943), now lives in the United States. In 2009, she published My father, the Auschwitz commandant, in which she outlined actions by Liebehenschel that improved the prisoners' lives, but also discussed his participation in a genocidal system.[3] Together with another daughter, Antje, she was interviewed in 2002 in ZDF about living with their father's guilt.[2] Liebehenschel had a son by his second wife, Anneliese. Lebehenschel's first wife, whom he left during the war, suffered from mental health issues after the war and died by her own hand in a hospital for the mentally ill in 1966.[3]


  1. ^ Moorhead, Joanna (June 20 2009). "My father, the Auschwitz commandant". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  2. ^ a b Dreykluft, Friederike (November 5 2002). ""Die Schuld des Vaters getragen"". History. ZDF.,1872,2021382,00.html?dr=1. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  3. ^ a b Cacciottolo, Mario (16 November 2009). "The child of Auschwitz's Kommandant". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-11-16.  


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