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2 Lt. Maximilian Grabner.

Maximilian Grabner (born 1905 died 1948), Austrian Gestapo chief in Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, the infamous torture chamber Block 11 was Grabner's own empire.

Born in Vienna, he joined the Austrian police force in 1930 and became a member of the then-illegal Nazi Party in 1933. After the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, he joined the SS and became a member of the Gestapo. He arrived at Katowice during the outbreak of the World War II. He was transferred to Auschwitz concentration camp less than one year later and became Chief of Political Department of Gestapo there.

As Gestapo chief he was responsible, among other things, for the fight against the resistance movement in the camp, as well as for the prevention of escapes and of all contact with the outside world. These tasks were carried out with horrendous cruelties against the prisoners and a large number of incarcerations in the bunker in Block 11. Grabner's staff members, such as Wilhelm Boger, who was only brought to justice in the early 1960s, carried out so-called sharpened interrogations, during which the victims were systematically tortured.

Grabner, together with the commander of the Schutzhaftlager, initiated, on a regular basis, clearings of the bunker: the inmates were examined and many of them were sent directly to the inner courtyard between Block 10 and Block 11, where they were shot.

In 1943, he was arrested for theft, graft and corruption and was put on trial in Weimar a year later. After the trial, he returned to Katowice.

Grabner was arrested by the Allies in 1945. He was turned over to the Poles in 1947, facing charges of murder and crimes against humanity and was sentenced to death in the Auschwitz Trial. He was hanged in 1948.

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