Clossius-Neudeck, Ruth.

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Closius-Neudeck, Ruth, born, 05-07-1920, in Breslau, Weimar Republic (present day Wrocław, Poland) in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland). She later married and was known as Ruth Neudeck or Ruth Closius-Neudeck.

In July 1944, she arrived at the Ravensbrück concentration camp to begin her training to be a camp guard.   

The Aufseherinnen were female guards in Nazi concentration camps during The Holocaust, of which there were about 3,700.

Neudeck soon began impressing her superiors with her unbending brutality towards the female prisoners, resulting in her promotion to the rank of Blockführerin (Barrack Overseer) in late July 1944. She very quickly managed to impress her superiors by her cold-blooded brutality.

In the Ravensbrück camp, she was known as one of the most ruthless female guards. Former French prisoner Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz commented after the war that she had seen Neudeck “cut the throat of an inmate with the sharp edge of her shovel”. Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz a member of the French Resistance survived the concentration camp and died 14-02-2002, age 81, in Paris, France. In December 1944, Ruth Neudeck was promoted to the rank of Oberaufseherin, and moved to the Uckermark extermination complex down the road from Ravensbrück. There she involved herself in the selection and execution of over 5,000 women and children. The prisoners were mistreated by Neudeck or her fellow SS Aufseherinnen. In March 1945, Neudeck became head of the Barth subcamp.

Relations between SS men and female guards are said to have existed in many of the camps, and SS Reichsleiter Heinrich Himmler had told the SS men to regard the female guards as equals and comrades. At the relatively small Helmbrechts subcamp near Hof, Germany, the camp commandant, Wilhelm Dörr , openly pursued a sexual relationship with the head female overseer Herta Haase-Breitmann-Schmidt.

Corruption was another aspect of the female guard culture. Ilse Koch, known as “The Witch of Buchenwald”, was married to the camp commandant, Karl Otto Koch. Both were rumored to have embezzled millions of Reichmarks, for which Karl Koch was convicted and executed by the Nazis a few weeks before Buchenwald was liberated by the U.S. Army; however, Ilse was cleared of the charge. Convicted of war crimes, she was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1951.

One apparent exception to the brutal female overseer prototype was Klara Kunig, a camp guard in 1944 who served at Ravensbruck and its subcamp at Dresden-Universelle. The head wardress at the camp pointed out that she was too polite and too kind towards the inmates, resulting in her subsequent dismissal from camp duty in January 1945. Her fate has been unknown since 13-02-1945, the date of the allied firebombing of Dresden

In late April 1945, Ruth Neudeck fled the camp but was later captured and detained in prison while the British Army investigated the allegations against her. In April 1948, she stood accused at the third Ravensbrück Trial, along with other Schutzstaffel (SS) women. The 28-year-old former SS supervisor admitted to the accusations of murder and maltreatment made against her.

As the Allies liberated the camps, SS women were generally still in active service and many were captured. The US imprisoned between 500 and 1000 SS women, although the majority were later released and only the higher ranking Aufseherinnen went to trial.

Death and burial ground of Closius-Neudeck, Ruth.

The British court found Neudeck guilty of war crimes and sentenced her to death by hanging. On 29-0-7-1948, age 28, she was executed by British executioner Albert Pierrepoint on the gallows at Hameln prison, West Germany. Albert Pierrepoint’s first execution was in December that year, alongside his uncle Tom. In October 1941 he undertook his first hanging as lead executioner. During his tenure he hanged 200 people who had been convicted of war crimes in Germany and Austria, as well as several high-profile murderers

The British judge, Major General Horatio Pettus Mackintosh Berney-Ficklin who feared German martyrdom, ordered that Ruth and the other hanged were buried in the Hamelin prison yard.   Berney-Ficklin died age 68 on 17-02-1961 in Cape Town. In 1954 Ruth Closius-Neudeck, is 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.

 

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