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Kurt Hubert Franz (January 17, 1914--July 4, 1998 in Wuppertal) was an SS officer and one of the commanders of the Treblinka extermination camp.



Kurt Franz was born in 1914 in Düsseldorf. His father was a merchant and he also had a sister. After attending the elementary school in Düsseldorf for 12 years, he worked as a cook for the restaurant "Hirschquelle" before he gave his final exam.

He enlisted in the German army in 1935 and eventually entered service in the SS. He was sent into the Buchenwald concentration camp before being transferred in 1939 of the Action T4 euthanasia project.

In 1942 he was sent into the camp of Belzec. Later he assumed the post of deputy commandant at the Treblinka camp on the orders of Franz Stangl.

Franz was known for his unusual amount of cruelty and sadism. Alexander Donat, a holocaust survivor and historian, said that Franz's dog Barry was trained to bite the genitalia of the prisoners. He became an appointed official on June 21, 1943 on the orders of Adolf Hitler himself. After the revolt of Treblinka in 1943 Franz was told to dismantle the camp and to eliminate every trace of evidence that it ever existed.

Following the war, Franz returned to his former occupation as a cook and worked in Düsseldorf for 14 years until his arrest on December 2, 1959. A search of his home found a photo album of the Treblinka horrors with the title, "The Most Beautiful Years of My Life" [1].

In 1965 he was sentenced to life. He was released in 1993 for health reasons. Kurt Franz died in Wuppertal in 1998.


"I cannot say how many Jews in total were gassed in Treblinka. On average each day a large train arrived. Sometimes there were even two. This however was not so common.

"In Treblinka I was commander of the Ukrainian guard unit as I had been in Belzec. In Treblinka as in Belzec the unit consisted of sixty to eighty men. The Ukrainians' main task was to man the guard posts around the camp perimeter. After the uprising in August 1943 I ran the camp more or less single-handedly for a month; however, during that period no gassings were undertaken.

"It was during that period that the original camp was demolished. Everything was leveled off off and lupins were planted..."[2]


  1. ^ Dick de Mildt, In the Name of the People: Perpetrators of Genocide in the Reflection of their Post-war Prosecution in West Germany (Martinus Nijhoff, 1996), p256
  2. ^ Holocaust: Kurt Franz testifies regarding Treblinka

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