The Judge

One of the greatest ironies to come out of Auschwitz: at one point the SS sent an administrative judge, Dr. Konrad Morgen, to investigate corruption there. Obviously, the problem was not that people were being murdered at the camp; it was that the work of the camp--murder-- was not being carried out according to SS standards. All goods seized from the inmates and victims of the gas chambers were supposed to be shipped back to Berlin, to the government; instead, a barracks known as "Canada" had been stacked high with booty, and the camp Commander, Rudolf Hoss and SS men in charge were benefiting by it. In addition, at least two men at the camp--Hoss and Lieutenant Maximilian Grabner--were having affairs with inmates. Morgen had earlier obtained the execution of the commandant of Buchenwald on similar charges. Morgen had Grabner arrested and brought back to Berlin for questioning; he was ultimately sentenced by Nazi justice to twelve years in prison for crimes including some of the killings which had taken place at the "Black Wall" between Block 10 and Block 11.

In the complicated web of SS regulations as applied by Morgen, the shooting of prisoners at the Black Wall was illegal, while their murder inside Block 11 by phenol injection was perfectly legal, as were the gas chambers.

Hoss, after tiring of his mistress, Eleanor Hodys, had ordered her murdered, but Morgen rescued her and sent her to Berlin (where the SS killed her anyway, toward the end of the war).

Morgen testified at Nuremberg and practiced law again in Germany after the war.

Friedrich, pp. 25-27, 51; Lifton, 138-139, 387; Conot, 297.