Moeser, Hans Karl, born 07-04-1906, in Darmstadt, a merchant by trade, joined the Nazi Party in October 1929 (Member No. 155301) and the SS in July 1931 (Member No. 9555). In July 1940 Moeser joined the staff at the newly opened SS-Hinzert concentration camp,
infamous for its brutality, and later he transferred to Neuengamme. From May 1943 until October 1943 he was posted to the Auschwitz III Monowitz concentration camp as Kompanieführer of the Wachbatallion (Guard Battalion) in IG Farben’s “Buna” plant. By the end of April 1944 he was also Kompanieführer of the Men on Watch at the Auschwitz I main camp.
He transferred to the Dora central camp, where the Germans build there V2 rockets, on 01-05-1944, initially serving as Deputy Protective Custody Camp Leader ( Schutzhaftlagerführer) and then in July promoted to First Protective Custody Camp Leader. Here he was to commit the atrocities that would lead to his later trial and execution. During hangings of prisoners, for instance, he sometimes had the ropes cut while the victims were still alive so as to prolong their suffering. In February, 1945, as the Red Army overran German positions on the Eastern Front, the SS headquarters personnel at Auschwitz evacuated to Mittelbau-Dora. Auschwitz commander Richard Baer, here on the left and his staff took over the Dora complex and Moeser was again made Deputy Leader, this time under Franz Hössler. On the advice of his lawyer Baer refused to testify and died of a heart attack in pre-trial detention on 17-06-1963, age 51. Hößler 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. On 17-11-1945, age 39, Hößler was sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was carried out by British hangman Albert Pierrepoint on 13-12-1945 at Hameln prison.
Pierrepoint 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.
On 05-05-1945, as American 3rd Armored Division closed in on Mittelbau-Dora, Moeser led a forced evacuation of over 3,000 prisoners to the railhead for transfer to Neuengamme. Due to the wartime situation the train was diverted to Ravensbrück concentration camp instead. The prisoners were then led on a death march for the last stage of their journey.
Trial, conviction and execution, The Dora defendants, Hans Moeser 3rd from the right
Moeser was arrested at the end of the war. Following the June 1945 Fedden Mission investigation of the Dora conditions, Möser was among 19 defendants tried by the American General Military Government Court in the Dora Trial (The United States of America versus Arthur Kurt Andrae et al., Case Number 000-50-37), part of the Dachau Trials. For his crimes, Andrea was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Proceedings began on 07-07-1947 and lasted until December 30. Moeser was found to have been present at hangings and personally shooting prisoners execution-style during escape attempts. The responsibility for the death marches during the final evacuation of Dora were also attributed to Moeser. In his trial statement he said:
The same way, with the same pleasure, as you shoot deer, I shot a human being. When I came to the SS and had to shoot the first three persons, my food didn’t taste good for three days, but today it is a pleasure. It is a joy for me.”
According to that same testimony, the camp received a frightful order on Good Friday, which fell on March 30 in 1945: drive every last prisoner into those tunnels and bring down the caves around them. “No prisoner should be allowed to fall into Allied hands alive.”
The speedy arrival of the American 3rd Armored Division under command of General Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. and 104th Infantry Division under command of Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. “Terrible Terry” just days later prevented that order from taking effect.
Death and burial ground of Moeser Hans Karl.
Found guilty, he was the only defendant in the Dora Trial sentenced to death. Following appeals, Moeser was executed by hanging at Landsberg Prison on 26-11-1948, by hangman John Clarence Woods. While serving with the 7th Engineer Brigade in Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, on 21-7-1950, Woods was electrocuted while attempting to repair an engineer lighting set. Woods is buried in Toronto Township Cemetery, Toronto, Kansas
Hans Moeser, SS Obersturmführer is buried on the Spöttinger Landsberg cemetery between many other war criminals and with view at Hitler’s 1923 prison room.