Anneliese Kohlmann who whipped inmates including pregnant women across the face, kicking until they lost consciousness


Anneliese Kohlmann was born March 1, 1921 in Hamburg to Margret and Georg Kohlmann, a Masonic leader. On April 1, 1940, she  became a member of the NSDAP  but until November 1944 worked as a streetcar conductor. On 4 November 1944, Kohlmann joined the SS Women’s Auxiliary  and was appointed as Aufseherin at the Neugraben subcamp of the notorious Neuengamme concentration camp system using prisoner forced labour in various locations across northern Germany. The Aufseherinnen were female guards in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. Of the 55,000 guards who served in Nazi concentration camps, about 3,700 were women. In 1942, the first female guards arrived at Auschwitz and Majdanek from Ravensbrück. In March 1945, Kohlmann was transferred to slave-labor camp in Hamburg-Tiefstack.  Soon after the liberation she was arrested on the grounds of Bergen-Belsen after her former victims from Neugraben and Tiefstack identified her wearing prisoner clothes. She was kept in Celle prison until her trial. Kohlmann was found guilty of repeatedly whipping inmates including pregnant women across the face, kicking until they lost consciousness, condemning at least one female prisoner to punishment of 30 lashes for a piece of stolen bread, and sexually exploiting younger women. Women guards shortly after their arrest at Bergen Belsen, 2 May 1945-the first three wear their Nazi uniforms while Anneliese Kohlmann is wearing a poorly fitted men’s uniform because when arrested she was wearing a prisoner   She was sentenced to only two-year prison term due to her short service in the SS and the defense claim that she did not kill anyone. After serving her sentence (cut in half by time spent in jail before trial) Kohlmann remained in Hamburg. She moved to West Berlin in 1965. On September 17, 1977 Kohlmann died in Berlin at the age of 56. 

Aufseherin Anneliese Kohlmann is most remembered as one of the SS female camp guards at Bergen-Belsen, ordered to help bury the bodies of camp victims in a mass grave, which was photographed by Life Magazine’s photojournalist George Rodger and widely distributed thereafter.




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