Grünewald, Adam.

Back to all people
ss member

Grünewald, Adam, born 20-10-1902 in Frickenhausen am Main, Bavaria, the son of a carpenter who died when he was 8, Grünewald apprenticed as a baker but found work difficult to come by when the First World War ended and the demobilised soldiers entered the labour market

Attracted to the nationalist propaganda prevalent at the time Grünewald joined the Freikorps before signing on with the army for a 12-year stint. Leaving the army as a staff sergeant in April 1931 Grünewald again struggled to find employment and so joined the Sturmabteilung. He rose to the rank of Obersturmbannführer in the SA before switching to the SS, SS nr.: 253 631, shortly after the Night of the Long Knives, as the leader of the SA Ernst Röhm  and other leaders were murdered, on 30-06-1934.

Adam received military training under SS Obergruppenführer, and Kommandeur of the Totenkopf” Division Theodor “Papa” Eicke,

and married in the 1920s. By 1931 Grünewald had risen in the army to the rank of SS Unterfeldwebel. In that year he became a member of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (the German Nazi Party), NSDAP Nr 536 404.. Although he first worked full-time with the SA, he became an SS officer in the SS-Division Totenkopf in 1934.

From the mid 1930s Grünewald served as a guard at the Lichtenburg concentration camp. After that he was Schutzhaftlagerführer, in 1938 and 1939 in Dachau concentration camp and in 1943 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In October he was promoted to camp commander of Camp Vught,  where he replaced Karl Chmielewski .Such was his cruelty, he was dubbed Teufel von Gusen or the Devil of Gusen. Chmielewski gained a reputation for corruption too, and he was eventually tried for personally enriching himself through stealing diamonds from prisoners.

Camp Vught (German: Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch) was one of three German concentration camps in the Netherlands during World War II. The other two are the transit camps Amersfoort and Westerbork where Anna Frank and her family was accommodated. was. Camp Vught was located in the North Brabant town of Vught near the IJzeren Man recreational lake. It functioned as a concentration camp for more than a year and a half.

Chmielewski was deprived of his position and rank in 1943, being succeeded as commandant by Adam Grünewald, and ended the war as an inmate at Dachau concentration camp.

Chmielewski disappeared into Austria after the war. By 1953, he was back in Germany, under an assumed identity, where he had taken up farming. He was tried in that year for perjury, fraud and bigamy, and sentenced to a year in prison. After his real identity was established, he was arrested by West German police in January 1959, accused of nearly two hundred counts of murder. At his trial in 1961, he was found guilty of causing the deaths of prisoners through his brutality, and was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. The court pronounced him a sadist who took pleasure in killing prisoners, whom he did not see as human, by scalding them with boiling water.

Chmielewski was released from prison in March 1979, on mental health grounds, and spent his last years in a care institution at Chiemsee. He died age 88 on 01-12-1991 in Bernau am Chiemsee.

Grünewald was guilty of the so-called “bunker drama” in January 1944. On January 15, together with other camp officers such as SS Obersturmführer Hermann Hermann Wicklein Wicklein and SS Obersturmführer Arnold Strippel ,Grünewald and Wicklein were sentenced by the SS court to 3 years and 6 months in prison respectively. Grünewald had already been replaced as camp commander by SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Hüttig in February 1944. However, SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler

revoked the sentence, after which Grünewald was demoted to a regular soldier and reassigned to his old SS division. SS Herman Wicklein after the end of the war he was taken prisoner by the British, from which he managed to escape in September 1945. After 1945 he is said to have lived in Oberhausen. Wicklein was married and had at least one child. Nothing is known about his further life.

After the war, SS Sturmbannführer Hüttig was held in Allied internment. He was sentenced to death on 02-07-1954 by a French military court in Metz, but the death sentence was not enforced. In 1956, he was released from detention after eleven years and led a discreet life at home, until his death on 23-02-1980, age 85 in Wachenheim

Hüttig was one of only a handful of camp commanders interviewed by Israeli historian Tom Segev for his book on the commandants Soldiers of Evil. During the course of the interview, he admitted to Segev that “I knew very well what I was going to do in the SS”

SS Arnold Stripper was convicted of war crimes at the Third Majdanek Trial before the West German Court in Düsseldorf (1975–1981) for his actions at Buchenwald and at the Majdanek concentration camp, Poland, where he served as deputy commandant. He was implicated in the torture and killing of many dozens of prisoners including 42 Soviet POWs in July 1942. Strippel received a nominal 3+1⁄2-year sentence. He also received 121,500 Deutsche Mark reimbursement for the loss of earnings and his social security contributions, which he used to purchase a condominium on Talstrasse in Frankfurt, which he occupied until his death, on 01-5-1994, age 82, in Frankfurt

Death and burial ground of Grünewald, Adam.

The so-called Bunker drama, which had occurred in his camp on the night of 15 to 16 January 1944. 74 female prisoners were imprisoned in cell 115 by order of Grünewald for protesting against the incarceration of a fellow prisoner. The 9-square-meter space was poorly ventilated and ten women suffocated during the confinement. The drama soon became known outside the camp and was covered extensively by the illegal press. This was a thorn in the side of the Nazi leadership in the Netherlands, because such incidents could fuel the resistance in the Netherlands. The Bunker, where the Bunker drama took place.

Grünewald was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. He was spared a harsher sentence on the grounds of his military service and the court accepting his claim that he “didn’t wish for the death of ten women.” In March 1944, after serving nearly a month in prison, Grünewald was pardoned, but stripped of his rank and ordered to fight on the Eastern Front as a common soldier. He finished the war with the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf under command of SS Brigadeführer Hellmuth Becker and died during a German counteroffensive in the siege of Budapest, on 22-05-1945, age 42. His final rank was SS-Sturmbannführer

In November 1947, SS Brigadeführer Hellmuth Becker was put on trial before a Soviet military court in Poltava and sentenced to 25 years forced labor for war crimes. While serving his sentence, Becker “tried his jailers’ patience” by attempting to manufacture explosives, leading to his retrial. “The personification of the brutal Landsknechts who formed the high-ranking officers of the Waffen-SS”, he was convicted and executed on 28-02-1953, aged 50, Prison camp No. 337, Sverdlovsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union

SS Sturmbannführer  Adam Grünewald is buried at the German war cemetery of Veszprem, Hongarije: Section 2, Row 15, Grave 531.

Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:

Share on :


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *