Klein, Fritz, born 24-11-1888 in Feketehalom, Austria-Hungary (now Codlea in central Romania), was considered a Volksdeutscher, or ethnic German. He studied medicine at the University of Budapest and completed his military service in Romania, finishing his studies in Budapest after World War I. He lived and worked as a doctor in Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), Romania.
In 1939, as a Romanian citizen he was drafted into the Romanian army, where after the outbreak of the war with the Soviet Union in 1941 he served as paramedic on the eastern front. In May 1943, Romanian fascist dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu,
on a demand from Hitler to release ethnic Germans in the Romanian Army, drafted them into the German army. Hence Klein became a soldier in the Waffen-SS, was listed in the SS-Personalhauptamt, and was posted to Yugoslavia. The SS Hauptamt was the central headquarters of the Schutzstaffel (SS). The main office was established as SS-Amt in 1931 and had the task of conducting various units of the Allgemeine-SS. The leaders of the Hauptamt were SS-Gruppenfuhrer Curt Wittje (1934-1935), SS-Obergruppenführer August Heißmeyer (1935-1939) and SS Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger (1939-1945) Curt Wittje SS-Gruppenfuhrer and Politician who was released from the SS in 1938 on suspicion of homosexuality. Wittje was mentioned again in January 1942 on a list of SS members. Wittje was shot in the Soviet Union after a trial before a Soviet military tribunal for war crimes on 06-03-1947, age 52. SS-Obergruppenführer August Heißmeyer was tried and convicted as a “major Nazi offender”. After his release, of 3 years imprisonment Heißmeyer went to live in Schwäbisch Hall. He became the director of the West German Coca-Cola bottling plant. He died on 16-01-1979, five days after his 82nd birthday. Heissberger was married to Gertrud Emma Scholtz-Klink, her third husband.
She was a Nazi Party member and leader of the National Socialist Women’s League. Scholz-Klink, mother of ten children, died age 97, on 24-03-1999, in Tübingen-Bebenhausen.
On 15-12-1943, Dr. Kleine arrived in Auschwitz concentration camp, where at first he served as a camp doctor in the women’s camp in Birkenau. Subsequently, he worked as a camp doctor in the Gypsy camp. He also participated in numerous selections (“Selektionen”) on the ramp. In December 1944 he was transferred to Neuengamme concentration camp, from where he was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in January 1945. He remained at the camp with commandant Josef Kramer and assisted in handing it over to British troops. Klein here on the left was imprisoned and forced to help bury all unburied corpses in mass graves . The British Army Film and Photographic Unit Number 5 photographed Klein standing in a mass grave, in a well-known 1945 photo.
When asked how he reconciled his actions with his ethical obligations as a physician, Klein famously stated:
“My Hippocratic oath tells me to cut a gangrenous appendix out of the human body. The Jews are the gangrenous appendix of mankind. That’s why I cut them out.”
Klein, here next to the Commander of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Josef Kramer and 44 other camp staff were tried in the Belsen Trial by a British military court at Lüneburg. The trial lasted several weeks, from September to November 1945. During the trial Anita Lasker testified that he took part in selections for the gas chamber.
Death and burial ground of Klein, Dr. Fritz.
He was sentenced to death and hanged at Hamelin prison by Albert Pierrepoint on 13-12-1945, age 57. Pierrepoint was an English hangman who executed between 435 and 600 people in a 25-year career that ended in 1956. His father, Henry, and uncle Thomas were official hangmen before him. Albert Pierrepoint died 10-07-1992, aged 87, in Southport, Merseyside, England.
Klein was buried on the Hameln prison cemetery but with all other hanged criminalsis reburied in holy ground at Am Wehl Cemetery. The graveyard had graves with crosses but after many discussions about the Neo Nazi visits, on 05-03-1986 all 200 Iron Crosses were removed and the graveside is now a grass field..