These former SS men who served in Sobibor were brought to trial in
in September 1965
charged with murdering Jews in the Sobibor death camp.
Name --- Result --- T4
Bolender, Kurt --- Suicide --- Burner
Dubois, Werner --- 3 years imp. --- Burner, driver
Frenzel, Karl --- Life imp. --- Burner
Fuchs, Erich --- 4 years imp. --- Driver
Ittner, Alfred --- 4 years imp. --- T4 office
Jührs, Robert --- Acquitted --- Male nurse
Lachmann, Erich --- Acquitted --- ?
Lambert, Erwin --- Acquitted --- Builder
Schütt, Heinz-Hans --- Acquitted --- Office chief
Unverhau, Heinrich --- Acquitted --- Gas chamber assistant
Wolf, Franz --- 8 years imp. --- Photographer
Zierke, Ernst --- Acquitted --- Driver
Before the above trial several key SS personnel who had served at Sobibor were tried, such as
SS-Oberscharführer Hubert Gomerski
, who was arrested but
acquitted in a 1947
euthanasia trial. When his participation in the crimes committed
at Sobibor were proven,
he was sentenced to life imprisonment on 25 August 1950
Then SS-Untersturmführer Johann Klier
was arrested. Based
on the testimony of Sobibor survivors, that Klier
was a person who felt
compassion for the Jews and secretly tried to help them, he was released.
One of the worst murderers SS-Oberscharführer Erich Bauer
gas chamber chief, was recognised on the streets of
. On 8 May 1950
was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life in prison, as the death penalty had been abolished.
died in the
In the 1965/66
trials the accused claimed that once assigned to a death camp
there was no way out, citing Christian Wirth
’s statement to
the personnel at Sobibor:
"If any of you dont like it here, you can leave, but under the earth not over it.
However, facts show otherwise, such as Klier
, who asked to be
transferred out of Sobibor, and this was allowed without punishment.
Only one member of the Sobibor personnel SS-Unterscharführer
, admitted guilt in his court testimony at
. His court testimony read:
"It is clear to me that in the extermination camp, murder was committed. What I have done was
only to assist in the murder. If I were to be found to be guilty it would be justified, murder is
murder. We are all guilty. The camp had a chain of command and if one link in the chain were to
refuse to co-operate then the whole system would collapse... We did not have the courage to disobey orders.
, the first commander of Sobibor, was tried for his
activity at Treblinka
. Sobibor was excluded for administrative purposes.
A few of the Ukrainian guards who served at Sobibor were brought to trial in the Soviet Union,
such as B. Bielakow, M. Matwijenko, I. Nikifor, W. Podienko, F. Tichonowski,
Emanuel Schultz and J. Zajcew
. They were found guilty and executed for their crimes.
In April 1963
, at a court in
where Sasha Pechersky
was the chief
prosecution witness, ten former Ukrainian guards were found guilty and executed, one was sentenced to fifteen
years in prison.
A third trial was held in Kiev
in June 1965
where three former death camp guards from Sobibor and Belzec
were executed by firing squad.
Robin O’ Neil. Belzec - The Forgotten Camp
Thomas Blatt. Sobibor - The Forgotten Revolt
Gitta Sereny. Into that Darkness
© ARC 2006