„Meine Familie hatte es gut in Auschwitz“

Das Leben der Lager-SS in Auschwitz-Birkenau nach Dienstschluss

  • Anna-Raphaela Schmitz
Keywords: everyday life of perpetrators, normality, Holocaust studies, Auschwitz-Birkenau

Abstract

For SS personnel, the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp was a workplace and residence. This article focuses on the lives of the male perpetrators after official hours and explores what influence this had on their work within the camp complex and vice versa. Family structures as well as comradeship among perpetrators were meant to help maintain a subjectively experienced sense of ‘normality’. Retrospectively, it seems difficult to imagine that the SS families managed to have a ‘normal’ life in close proximity to the concentration camp. They benefited from the amenities of the infrastructure that developed around the camp complex. They often took advantage of the practice of robbery and appropriation of the prisoners’ goods. Since work life and private life in Auschwitz-Birkenau were intertwined in this way, the Holocaust and the mass crimes should also be examined from this perspective.

Published
2019-02-13
Section
ARTICLES