Rudolf Hoss, (1900- 1947) ;

Commandant of the Auschwitz, Poland 1940, extermination camp, the most infamous of all camps, where commandant Hss, developed his mass extermation techniques. Rudolf Hss entered the army at the age of 17 in WWI and won an Iron Cross. In 1919 he was in the Rossbach Freikorps with Martin Bormann; they were jointly indicted for the murder of a man whom they accused of betraying Germany in the French-occupied Ruhr. Hss was jailed in 1924 and released in 1928. With Bormann as a sponsor, he was invited to join the SS in 1934 and worked in Dachau concentration camp, transferring to Sachsenhausen in 1938. From 1940 to 1943 he was commandant of Auschwitz and was noted for his brutal efficiency: he was the first to use Zyklon-B gas for extermination. So successfill was Hss that he was posted to the SS headquarters department controlling concentration camps, WVHA, as Deputy Inspector General. In 1945 he avoided arrest and worked on a farm until detected. He was called as a witness for the defence of Kaltenbrunner at Nuremberg, trying to show that extermination was only carrying out orders. He gave evidence of the care with which over two millon people had been killed under his command at Auschwitz, the system for disposing of bodies, for collecting gold teeth and rings for the SS treasury and women's hair for upholstery. Hss was hanged by the Poles in Auschwitz camp in 1947. He had resented any suggestions that he was a sadist. 'I am completely normal,' he wrote in his autobiography, 'I led a completely normal life.'