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Hans Dambach

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Hans Dambach (b. 30 March 1915 in Hassloch; † 8 July 1944 in Widuty, Ukraine[1]) was a German SS man and concentration camp guard.

Life

Dambach arrived at the Dachau concentration camp in 1933 as an SS supervisor. Julius Zerfaß, who witnessed Dambach in Dachau in 1933/1934, later referred to him as an SS Scharführer in his published Erlebnisbericht Dachau eine Chronik for this period.[2] As Obertruppführer, he later took on duties as a clothes steward[3] and, in the capacity of an SS company commander, the supervision of Barrack No. 10 of the camp, which housed, among other things, the infirmary. As library sergeant, he was also in charge of the camp library set up in barrack 10.[4]

During his time in Dachau, Dambach was notorious as one of the camp’s most brutal and cruel guards. In the camp literature on Dachau Concentration Camp and in later research, he appears as one of the most frequently mentioned “torturers” of the camp.

“During corporal punishment a blanket was thrown over the delinquents’ heads, then the most notorious thugs beat them. They were, among others, the former foreign legionnaire Kantschuster, Dambach from Haßloch, Trenkle, Tremmel and Lutz.”[5]

As head of Barracks 10, Dambach also prevented the monarchist journalist Erwein von Aretin from being taken to the comparatively safe command.[6] The SPD politician Kurt Schumacher recalled being harassed in Dachau in 1935 by an SS leader named Dambach, to whom, however, he attributed the first name Walter.[7]

As late as 1937, Dambach is documented as an SS Scharführer and Blockwalter in Dachau.[8] The SOPADE, the foreign SPD, mentioned him in one of its reports that year:

“Block leader is the SS Scharführer Dambach. He treats the prisoners very badly. One often hears his roaring ranting. There are guards outside the barrack door and none of the prisoners are allowed to enter the camp yard. It is explained to them that no one under the age of ten can hope to leave the camp again.”[9]

Later Dambach was transferred to the Gusen concentration camp and placed under the command of Karl Chmielewski as Schutzhaftlagerführer with the rank of Hauptscharführer.[10]

Dambach died as a participant in World War II with the rank of lance corporal.[11] His grave is located on the war cemetery in Potylicz/Potelitsch.

Individual references

  1. Manfred Geisler: Die pfälzische Sozialdemokratie. Beiträge zu ihrer Geschichte von den Anfängen bis 1948/49, 1999, p. 550 mentions that Dambach came from Haßloch.
  2. Julius Zerfass: Dachau. S. 201.
  3. Eike Fröhlich: Bayern in der NS-Zeit. 1983, S. 85.
  4. Torsten Seela: Bücher und Bibliotheken in nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslagern: das gedruckte Wort im antifaschistischen Widerstand der Häftlinge. 1992, p. 30 and Richardi: Schule der Gewalt. S. 87.
  5. Geisler: Die pfälzische Sozialdemokratie. Beiträge zu ihrer Geschichte von den Anfängen bis 1948/49. 1999, p. 550.
  6. Dachauer Hefte. bd 7, 1991, p. 36.
  7. Günther Scholz: Kurt Schumacher. 1988, S. 92.
  8. Personal entry in Ernst Schraepler: Causes and Consequences. Vom deutschen Zusammenbruch 1918 und 1945 bis zur staatlichen Neuordnung Deutschlands in der Gegenwart. 1979, S. 129.
  9. Deutschland-Berichte der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands (Sopade), vol. 4, 1937.
  10. Fritz Bauer: Justiz und NS-Verbrechen. Sammlung deutscher Strafurteile wegen national-sozialistischer Tötungsverbrechen 1945-1999. vol. 26, p. 752 and Karl Dietrich Bracher: Justiz und NS-Verbrechen. Sammlung deutscher Strafurteile wegen national-sozialistischer Tötungsverbrechen 1945-1999. vol. 30, p. 439.
  11. Bracher: Justiz und NS-Verbrechen. Sammlung deutscher Strafurteile wegen national-sozialistischer Kötungsverbrechen 1945-1999. vol. 30, p. 439.