Equality in Everything Else: The Female Nazi Guards as Evil as the Men

 
 
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Ravensbruck's Female Nazi Guards

Now that we know a fraction of the horrid things which went through the Nazis’ death camp for women, let us get to know the people behind these grisly atrocities — the camp’s female Nazi guards who were as evil as their male counterparts.

What Sort of Women were They?

Before Dorothea Binz, Ravensbruck’s SS supervisor during WWII, was executed, her last words were: “I hope you won’t think we were all evil people”.

The words she uttered before her death totally belie the actions she and the other female guards of the camp did while they were still alive and in authority — they were purely evil.

When Ravensbruck was liberated, it had been estimated that over 50,000 women were killed in it. The female prisoners of the camp also had to contend with the bloodcurdling treatments they received from those on the lookout for them, Ravensbruck’s female Nazi guards.

Reading through the previous article which showed us but a fraction of these horrid treatments, one question pops into mind: what kind of women were they that they were able to commit such terrible things to the others of their kind?

Usually, these female Nazi guards would be equated with their male counterparts and viewed as surrogate men. But, they were quite the contrary. The female nazi guards of Ravensbruck were every bit as female as any other female out there. they did not lack femininity but instead, enjoyed being feminine and even flaunted it.

Many of them were blond and, in their own way, beautiful. As a matter of fact, other girls from the nearby town of Furstenberg envied them. When not on duty, they enjoyed the usual wiles of the female kind — picking up flowers from the forest, going boating in the camp’s nearby lake, partying and even flirting with the several male SS guards assigned in the camp.

Partying and flirting just like any other women: the SS auxiliary.
Partying and flirting just like any other women: the SS auxiliary.

Ravensbruck even had its own hair salon where the female Nazi guards would go into and get themselves pampered by hairdressers from among the prisoners in the camp. They would get their hair done [the popular style of that time was the Olympia roll where the hair was swept back and up] all the while chatting and gossiping with each other just like any other woman would.

Then, like clothing, they would don on their snarling and screaming selves, bring out their whips and allow their dogs to go after and bite the camp’s inmates.

Knowing Ravensbruck’s Female Nazi Guards

There was about 3,500 female Nazi guards who worked inside Ravensbruck in all its six morbid years of existence. From these guards, their were some who went haunted by the evil barbarity that went within its walls.

There was Johanna Langefeld, Ravensbruck’s first head guard or Oberaufseherin as she was called. Johanna did not hesitate when it came to imposing callous punishments on the women prisoners of the camp. She could keep them standing in the cold and the rain for hours on end without the flick of an eye.

Johanna Langefeld
Johanna Langefeld

 

However, she drew the line at formal floggings and even was horrified by the vivisection medical trials done on the camp’s “rabbits”. Her secretary, an inmate, recounted how she got depressed, divided over what was right and wrong and even had horrible nightmares at night.

Johanna eventually lost her position as she was deemed soft during a near-mutiny by the Poles in the camp over the “rabbits” medical experiment issue.

On the other hand, Dorothea Binz, one of the female Nazi guards of the camp, was made up of a very different cloth. Blonde, blue-eyed with rounded cheeks and an upturned nose, Binz came to be known throughout Ravensbruck as the “beautiful bitch”.

She oversaw the bunker which was Ravensbruck’s punishment block and thoroughly enjoyed her position. She loved to either hand out beatings to prisoners or torturing them by dousing them with frigid water. The camp’s residents immediately learned to avoid her eye.