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Dorothea Binz (March 16, 1920 – May 2, 1947) was an SS supervisor at Ravensbrück concentration camp during the Second World War.

Contents

Life

Born to a middle class German family in Försterei Dusterlake, Binz attended school until she was fifteen. Afterwards, she spent time as a maid but disliked the job, so she applied at a local SS office and was sent to Ravensbrück on September 1, 1939, to undergo training as a guard.

Camp work

Binz served as an Aufseherin under Oberaufseherin Emma Zimmer, Johanna Langefeld, Maria Mandel, and Anna Klein-Plaubel. She worked in various parts of the camp, including the kitchen and laundry. Later, she is said to have supervised the bunker where women prisoners were tortured and killed.

In August 1943, Binz was promoted to Stellvertretende Oberaufseherin (Deputy Chief Wardress). Her abuse was later described as unyielding. As a member of the command staff between 1943 and 1945, she directed training and assigned duties to over 100 female guards at one time. Binz reportedly trained some of the cruelest female guards in the system, including Ruth Closius. There is one report that Binz used an axe to chop a Polish prisoner to death during a woodchopping kommando (forced labour assignment).[citation needed]

At Ravensbrück, the young Binz is said to have beaten, slapped, kicked, shot, whipped, stomped and abused women continuously. Witnesses testified that when she appeared at the Appellplatz, "silence fell." She reportedly carried a whip in hand, along with a leashed German Shepherd and at a moment's notice would kick a woman to death or select her to be killed. French prisoners nicknamed her La Binz (The Binz).[citation needed]

Binz reportedly had a boyfriend in the camp, an SS officer named Edmund Bräuning. The two are said to have gone on romantic walks around the camp to watch women being flogged, after which they would stroll away laughing. They lived together in a house outside the camp walls until late 1944, when Bräuning was transferred to Buchenwald concentration camp.[citation needed]

Capture and execution

Binz fled Ravensbrück during the death march, was captured on May 3, 1945, by the British in Hamburg and incarcerated in the Recklinghausen camp (formerly a Buchenwald subcamp).

Binz was tried with other SS personnel by a British court at the Ravensbrück Trial and was hanged at Hameln on May 2, 1947 for war crimes.

Sources

Most of the information in this article comes from the following sources:

  • The Camp Women: The Female Auxiliaries Who Assisted the SS in Running the Nazi Concentration Camp System, page 42
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