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Heinrich Worster

Heinrich Worster was born in Osthofen in 1909 and joined the SS in 1933. From May 1st 1933 to June 1st June 1934 he served as a guard at the Osthofen concentration camp. In 1934 he was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp where he served as the head of administration. Worster rose to the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain) and later became head of administration at the Majdanek concentration and extermination camp near Lublin in occupied Poland. According to witnesses Worster was one of the chief perpetrators in the murder of 17,000 Jews from Lublin and the surrounding area. In spite of this evidence, he was never prosecuted. After the end of World War II, he returned to Osthofen where he died on October 4th 1963.

Richard Hofmann

Hoffman was born in 1913. After attending grade school, he worked on his father’s farm. He joined the Hitler Youth in 1928 at age 15 and the Nazi Party and the SS at some point before 1933. Dr Werner Best, State Commissioner for the Police in Hesse swore him in as an auxiliary police officer. From March 1933 until its disbandment in July 1934, Hoffmann served as a guard at the Osthofen Concentration Camp. Afterwards, he served as a guard in Darmstadt and at the Dachau and Oranienburg Concentration Camps. In 1936 he was transferred to the new Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp where he served in the camp headquarters. From July 1943 Hoffman fought in World War II, until he became a Yugoslav prisoner of war in May 1945.
After his release, Hoffman worked as a truck driver and factory worker in Yugoslavia and later in Austria. In 1965 he was extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany under an arrest warrant. In 1970 he was sentenced to life in prison by the State Court in Cologne (Landgericht Köln) for five counts of murder committed at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Many prisoners of that camp had called him a “feared and brutal thugs and slave-driver”. He was regarded by them as “especially cruel, malicious and sadistic”. He was not prosecuted for several other counts of murder and sadistic abuse, because the crimes could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In 1967 prosecutors in Mainz had investigated Hoffmann for crimes committed at the Osthofen Concentration Camp. The proceedings were stopped by senior prosecutors, “because there was no evidence of any offenses”. Hofmann died in prison in Bonn on July 5, 1979.

Heinz Jost –Chief of Police in Worms

s the newly appointed Chief of Police in Worms, Heinz Jost (birth name: Heinrich Maria Jost) had overall responsibility for the Osthofen concentration camp. His predecessor as Chief of Police, the Social Democrat Heinrich Maschmeyer, had been suspended from duty. Maschmeyer was subsequently imprisoned in the Osthofen concentration camp, where he was frequently abused and humiliated. In 1942, Jost, a qualified lawyer, was appointed Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Commander of the Security Police and the security service SD) in the Reichkommissariat Ostland. The Reichkommissariat Ostland was an administrative unit set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Eastern Europe, which comprised Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as well as parts of Belarus. Jost was also commander of the infamous Einsatzgruppe A, a mobile killing squad which murdered several hundred thousand Jews and a large number of the Polish intelligentsia.  The US Military Tribunal in Nuremberg sentenced Jost to life imprisonment for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the so-called Einsatzgruppen trial on April 8th 1948. The tribunal found that Jost “was the main perpetrator and co-perpetrator of the extermination program in his area.” In 1951 the sentence was reduced to 10 years and Jost was released from prison in December 1951. The war criminal was a free man again. Jost later worked as a real estate agent in Düsseldorf, before settling in Bensheim (South Hesse), where he died in 1964.

Gottfried Lebherz, head of Gestapo at the Osthofen concentration camp

Gottfried Lebherz was born in 1893 in Zoznegg near Konstance. As an employee of the Darmstadt Gestapo he was sent to Osthofen in December 1933 where he served until May 1934. He conducted interrogations, checked admissions, and approved discharges from the concentration camp. After the war, Lebherz was classified a major offender in denazification court proceedings and sentenced to seven years in a labor camp. The sentence was reduced by the appeal court to three years and six months in a labor camp. His conviction was changed to “guilty of minor crimes”. Proceedings on a count of acting as an accessory to manslaughter were stayed by the Darmstadt district court in 1961.

Camp doctor Dr Reinhold Daum

Dr Reinhold Daum was born in Nieder-Moos (near Fulda in eastern Hesse) in 1892. He joined the Nazi Party in July 1926 and served as leader of the Oppenheim district from 1929 until June 1932. From 1931 to 1933 he was a member of the Hessian State Parliament. In January 1933 he joined the SS in his capacity as medical doctor. As SS-Sturmbannarzt he was responsible for the medical care of the prisoners in protective custody at the Osthofen concentration camp. When prisoners arrived at the concentration camp he certified their “fitness for detention” and on their discharge their “fitness for work”, irrespective of the physical abuse they had suffered. Witness reports tell us that Daum did not provide adequate medical care to the prisoners.
In 1940 he had risen to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel ) and was promoted to head the Office for Popular Health and Racial Policy in the district Koblenz-Trier.

Otto Wilhelm Krebs

Otto Wilhelm Krebs was born in 1895 in Alsheim, a village close to Osthofen. He fought in World War I and was wounded at the front. After his active service he left the army to complete his secondary education in 1925. He then worked on his own farm which he later sold. Until 1929 he worked as a sales representative in the textile industry. At this time, he was living in Osthofen. When he lost his job, he applied for a position as county forester in Bensheim in Hesse. Allegedly on the advice of the head forester, he joined the SS. Before 1933 he had been a member of the moderately conservative Deutsche Volkspartei (German’s People Party, DVP). At the Osthofen Concentration Camp he did not serve as a guard, but was in charge of the work schedule. Former prisoners did not report any ill-treatment on his part. In 1935 he was expelled from the SS. His professional situation improved though, because he then received the position as forester that he had unsuccessfully applied for in 1929. In 1938, after joining the Nazi party, he received a well-paid position at Department of Viticulture at the Reichnährstand, an organization that regulated food production. As a result his financial situation improved greatly. From 1940 to 1944 he fought in World War II as a reserve captain. After the end of the war, Krebs lived in Heidesheim near Mainz. He died in Oberwesel in 1977.

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