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Fritz Schmidt
Fritz Schmidt - Treblinka II.jpg
Fritz Schmidt in Treblinka II
Born c. 1906
Died c. 1982 (aged 75–76)
Place of birth Eibau, Germany
Allegiance Flag of German Reich (1935–1945).svg Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel Schutzstaffel
Rank SS-Unterscharführer Collar Rank Unterscharführer, SS
Unit SS-Totenkopfverbände
Commands held Treblinka extermination camp, Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral

SS-Unterscharführer Fritz Schmidt (1906–1982) born in Eibau, Germany, was a Holocaust perpetrator who began his World War II career as a guard and driver at the Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre and at the Bernburg Euthanasia Centre in 1940–41 with the rank of SS-Unterscharführer. Schmidt was transferred to Treblinka extermination camp along with other gassing specialists in 1942. While in Treblinka, he was in charge of the engine room feeding exhaust to the gas chambers. After the closing of the camp in 1943 he was moved to Trieste headquarters of the Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral where the Risiera di San Sabba killing centre was being set up. After the war he was arrested by the Allies in Saxony and questioned. In December 1949 he was put on trial and sentenced to nine years in prison (possibly amnestied). He lived in West Germany until his death in 1982.[1]

SS-Oberscharführer Heinrich Matthes, chief of the extermination area at Camp 2 and deputy commandant of Treblinka extermination camp testified later about Schmidt's role in the killing of Jews.[2]

About fourteen Germans carried out services in the upper camp. There were two Ukrainians permanently in the upper camp. One of them was called Nikolai, the other was a short man, I don't remember his name... [Ivan,[3] said Yankel Wiernik] These two Ukrainians who lived in the upper camp served in the gas chambers. They also took care of the engine room when Fritz Schmidt was absent. Usually this Schmidt was in charge of the engine room. In my opinion, as a civilian he was either a mechanic or a driver...

Altogether, six gas chambers were active. According to my estimate, about 300 people could enter each gas chamber. The people went into the gas chamber without resistance. Those who were at the end, the Ukrainian guards had to push inside. I personally saw how the Ukrainians pushed the people with their rifle butts...

The gas chambers were closed for about thirty minutes. Then Schmidt stopped the gassing, and the two Ukrainians who were in the engine room opened the gas chambers from the other side.[4]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Dasa Drndic (trans. Ellen Elias-Bursać) (2014). Trieste. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 235. ISBN 0547725140. http://books.google.ca/books?id=2peHAgAAQBAJ&q=%22Fritz+Schmidt%22#v=snippet&q=%22Fritz%20Schmidt%22&f=false. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  2. Various authors. "Excerpts from testimonies of Nazi SS-men at Treblinka: Stangl, Mentz, Franz & Matthes". Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/treblinkatest.html. Retrieved 14 May 2014. "Source: Yitzhak Arad 1987; E. Klee, W. Dressen, V. Riess 1988 (The Good Old Days)" 
  3. Yankel Wiernik (1945). A Year in Treblinka. American Representation of the General Jewish Workers' Union of Poland. http://www.zchor.org/wiernik.htm. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  4. Quoted in Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka - the Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Indiana University Press - 1987, p. 121.

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