irma, known as the ‘beautiful beast’ of Belsen, was, according to the charges brought against her at the Belsen Trial in 1945, one of the ‘most sinister and hated figures’ of the camps. Witnesses claimed that she used to beat women until they collapsed.

And she was not the only one. Renee Lacroux, a French prisoner held in Ravensbrück, told of how several female guards ‘killed the weaker ones and threw many of the girls onto the ground and trampled on them’. Just like their male counterparts, the female guards upon entering the camps were trained to become hardened and to punish prisoners severely when necessary. Many became accustomed to beating and kicking prisoners – sometimes to the point of death – with their jackboots, sticks, truncheons and, in the case of Irma Grese, with a whip made of cellophane. Some were involved in administering lethal sterilisation experiments and many were present in the selection of those prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. Some also carried a gun.

– See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/lauren-willmott/real-beast-belsen-irma-grese-and-female-concentration-camp-guards#sthash.dUBlhlsM.dpuf

Leave a Comment