Le RSHA comprend 7 divisions (Amt - Ämter au pluriel):
- Amt I : Service du personnel pour l'ensemble du RSHA.
- Amt II : Questions administratives, économiques et droit.
- Amt III : Inland SD (Sicherheitsdienst) - Service de renseignement et de sécurité intérieure.
- Amt IV : Gestapo - Recherche des adversaires du régime et répression.
- Amt V : Kripo - Police criminelle
- Amt VI : Ausland SD (Sicherheitsdienst)- Service de renseignement et de sécurité à l'étranger.
- Amt VII : Documentation, études et recherches idéologiques.
SS - Schutzstaffel - Allemagne nazie
"Echelon de protection" ou "Section de protection".
8 Août 1938: Mauthausen, le premier camp de concentration en Autrriche, le seul à avoir jamais été classé niveau III dans l'échelle d'horreur des nazis entre en opération.
Nous svons grâce à Simon Wiesenthal et sans entrer dans trop de détails que les camps de concentration étaient classé par niveau de barbarie: à titre d'exemple Dachau et Buchenwald (qui n'étaient pas éxactement des Club Meds) étaient classé 1, Auschwitz était classé partiellement 1 et partiellement 2, Flossenheim était classé 2, mais Mauthausen et ses sous camps auront le sinistre privilege d'être le seul camp de concentration à avoir été classé de niveau 3. Les atrocités commises à Auschwitz sont plus largement connues en raison du nombre surréaliste de personnes (agées ou non, hommes, femmes et enfants) qui ont froidement été assassinées en masse par gazage. Simon Wiesenthal décrit Mauthausen avec la pudeur de lithote Britaniques: “Un camp pour homme, ouvert en Août 1938, près de Linz dans le nord de l'Autriche, Mauthausen sera classé par les SS comme le camps de la plus grande sévérité. Les conditions devaient y être brutales, même dans les standards des camps de concentration. Près de 100,000 concentrationaires de toutes nationalités furent mis à travailler à mort ou torturés à mort dans ce camp avant l'arrivée des troupes américaines en Mai 1945.” Les sous camps de Gusen 1 et 2 et d'Ebensee atteignait les sommets dans l'horreur. Les médecins qui arrivèrent à Ebensee après avoir vécu le débarquement, la campagne des Ardennes, la libération de Dachau et de Buchenwald et étaient donc considérablement aguerris... tombèrent malade de ce qu'ils trouvèrent à Ebensee.
C'est le 18 Novembre 1943 que Franz Ziereis avait créé Ebensee en Haute Silésie, Autriche, dans les montagnes à l'extrémité Sud du Lac Traun (Traunsee) comme camps auxiliaire de Mauthausen . franz ziereis, commandant Mauthausen y avait initialement envoyé le plus brutal de ses sbires: georg bachmayer.
Début Mars 1944: “De plus, en 1944, vers la fin d'une conférence des chefs de Bureaux (du RSHA), au retour d'une visite officielle de kaltenbrunner's à Vienne et à Linz, il rapporta sa visite du camp de concentration de Mauthausen parlant de son ami ziereis qui commandait ce camps. kaltenbrunner rapporta avec fierté qu'il avait virtuellement lui-même en tant que "Chef des SS" et "Leader de la Police" à Vienna, construit ce camp lequel dorénavant produisait l'armement le plus précieux protégé par des bombardements aériens" (or Mauthausen était exposé mais seuls ses sous camps de Gusen 1 et 2 et Ebensee avaient des usines creusées dans les montaagnes par les concentrationaires ”.
Walter Schellenberg. UK Affidavit pour Nüremberg part III
Mon père eut la triste gloire d'avoir commencé à Buchenwald (qu'il qualifiait avec une noire ironie de "sanatorium des camps de concentration" en raison de ce qu'il avait vécu par la suite) puis, après le bombardement de Buchenwald (et oui Buchewald a aussi été bombardé), fut transféré à Flossenburg (classé 2) et finalement atterit à Ebensee qui fut libéré le 6 mai 1945. N'étant pas rapatriable, il du y rester sous surveillance médicale du Dr William Vincent McDermott Jr., de Boston puis en convalescence quelques semaines. Pendant cette période il tomba par hasard sur le commandant du camps, Otto Riemer, qui s'était caché entretemps dans la région et dont la voiture était en panne. Ayant prévenu une jeep qui passait, les G.I. lui donnèrent à lui et un de ses co-détenus polonais des armes avec lequel ils abbatirent le nazi, sa compagne et leur chien. A ce jour les historiens écrivent qu'Otto Riemer a réussi à s'enfuir. Mon père a toujours regretté ce geste de libération d'une haine, d'une souffrance et d'une humiliation refoulées. Il pensait que le juste châtiment aurait été la traque de ces monstres pour le restant de leurs jours et son geste l'avait profondément dégouté en le frustrant de tout soulagement.
Voici le témoignage du médecin qui a libéré Ebensee (la description m'était trop douloureuse à traduire, j'en demande pardon à ceux qui ne parlent pas l'anglais): Dr William Vincent McDermott Jr., a Boston surgeon who had gone through Omaha Beach, the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, the conquest of Germany discovers hell. “… we came to the gates of the concentration camp, where French prisoners had hung a large sheet with the words “Honneur à nos libérateurs.” As we entered the gates; we faced a horror story. Words couldn’t approach the actual facs that hit our eyes, ears and noses.
The camp itselfwas located on the outskirts, at the foot of a huge cliff that formed a sheer side of one of the surrounding mountains. This put the prisoners in immediate proximity to their work, which consisted of blsting, digging, and chipping away in th solid rock to form a series of subterranean chambers and corridors in the depths of the mountain. When finished, this was to have been a part of the nazis’ southern redoubt about which so much has been written: the Festung Europa.”
The general arrangement was not remarkable (there were innumerable draughty one story wooden barracks spread over a wide area of many acres surrounded by a high barbed-wire fence with sentry towers at close intervals and strong floodlights around the perimeter. So far it sounds very little different from any prisoner-of-war camp anywhere, but if ever there was a place created with calculated sadism, frightfulness, and horror, this was it! Ebensee was technically a death camp for Mauthausen, the largest of the concentrations camps in Austria.No one who entered the camp was supposed to survive, but while they lived, the were forced to work on excavations in the mountains during all daylight hours. The prisoners were all “political,” that is non-military, but there would seem to be no rhyme or reason to explain why they were here –some were members of the underground in all parts of Europe, some were Jews, some were editors of Newspaper (Paris-Soir, for example) and they were of every age, nationality and occupation with what seemed to be a very high percentage of men in the upper intellectual bracket –lawyers, editors, doctors, professors, businessmen, etc. On entering the camp, everything was taken from them and they were given a thin shirt and trousers with prison-stripe design and a winter “overcoat” of equally thin texture. Each man was assigned one-half of a double-decker bunker bunk in one of the barracks. The bunk were so jammed together that hundreds of men slept in one small building, under the command of a Kapo – a prisoner who had been subverted by the Germans with special privileges to maintain order and to brutalize his own compatriots- unbelievable! There was no water, no heat, no latrines, and no cooking or eating ustensils or facilities. The prisoners had no shoes and went barefoot even in winter. Rations consisted of six ounces of bread per person pe day with some potato-peeling soup, which they fished out of a container with anything they could find or make. A man doesn’t survive long on that diet although some managed to stretch out their life span a few months by various means including eating roots and grasses.
The prisoners were worked all day every day until they were too weak to climb the steps of the excavations, at which point one of two things happened. Most were sent to the “hospital” (several barracks in which a selected number of doctor-prisoners were allowed to work, but with no equipment), where the Germans put them on half rations in order to speed up death. If someone lingered too long, he was disposed of either by the SS or by a fellow prisoner, whom the German had bribed to kill by means of a promise of extra-rations; a sadistic method of further degrading the prisoners, since the Germans certainly had no compunctions about murder. Gas chambers were constructed to resemble a shallow room. The doomed men were given a small piece of soap and told to take a shower, and then the door was closed behind them and the gas turned on. The eventual disposal of the bodies was theoretically carried outin the crematorium. The German genius miscalculated, owever, because the crematorium could only handle two hundred bodies per day. When we arrived, we found a large room next to the crematorium in which hundred of bodies were stacked like cordwood up to the ceiling, and outside were several mass graves in which thousands of prisoners had been interred. When we arrived, we took charge of the “hospital area,” in which several thousands of worst cases were incarcerated. The military government handled the rest of the camp. The sight of any one of the prisoners would have horrified any one; what the several thousand hospital cases were like was beyond imagination. Doctors become more or less accustomed to the sight of illness, suffering and death, but we were all physically sick after our first view of the camp. These men were walking skeletons, every bone of the skull and trunk standing out sharply. Their bodies were bent, twisted, and shrunken by disease and torture. They all had horribly diseased skin, huge running sores, areas of osteomyelitis where wide sections of bones were exposed and discharging pus, and a number of large open empyemas draining from their chests. A few had their wounds covered with paper bandages that the Germans had kindly given to the doctors. I can’t begin to enumerate the prevalent diseases. There were cases of typhus, tuberculosis (men racked with coughs and bringing up blood), dysentery so severe that the men were completely incontinent. Almost every one of these thousands had at least several terrible conditions and all, of course, had some degree of dysentery and were wasted by starvation, so they presented the grotesque picture of a distended abdomen and feet and ankles swollen by nutritional edema with the rest of the body shrunken literally to skin and bones. Any one of these cases would be unbelievable, and, when they were lying, crawling or walking around by thousands, it surpassed everything the human mind could imagin. Those who were to sick to move were lying in barracks, six and eight to one double-decker wooden bunk, in condition of indescribable filth and covered with millions of lice, bedbugs, and flies. We could smell the camp before it came in sight. These men had been normal, healthy, happy human beings once upon a time but the majority of them were worse than animals now, without any instinct of cleanliness, pride, modesty, or shame. Driven to their desperate state by months of insensate brutality, they groveled and pleaded for food, which they wolfed down like beasts. When we began feeding them light meals, they would cluster around the containers afterwards, scrape the sides with their fingers, and gnaw at their nails to get what had collected there. I set down a box of soap for a few minutes and when I came back, half of it had been eaten. It was an endless panorama of mass brutality and calculated sadism such as has never before taken place in this world to my knowledge…
Medically speaking, we were faced with an impossible situation. You could watch men die by the dozens as you walked around. Five fell dead while they were waiting in line for the first meal we served. There were not enough medical supplies, vitamins, plasma, or doctors in the world to give all these men all over Germany what they needed in the way of immediate individual treatment. They were dying by the hundreds and would continue to die at a diminishing rate for a while. All we could do was gradually improve the living conditions, sanitation, food and cleanliness and slowly begin medical treatment. On orders from army headquarters, all the Austrians of the whole district were put to work in the camp – scrubbing the barracks, cleaning up the filth, washing the bedridden patients, etc.- not only because we needed the workers, but also to impress forever in their minds the true frightfulness of the regime that they had fostered and condoned for twelve years. They were made to load the hundred of beaten, wasted, and bloody bodies on to flat horse-driven carts, bring them through the main street of the town, and dig individual graves in a large plot on the outskirts, which was to be prominently marked ‘German Atrocity Cimetery”, with each grave individually identified whenever possible by name, number and cross or star of David.
For us even though we had read and heard of such horrors for the past few weeks, the reality was a staggering blow. For them or at least for those who could still react in any way, the liberation was a miracle in a world of despair, and all Americans were will always be a race of mortal gods… This was such a sad commentary on a race supposedly civilized and exposed to Christianity, but I had given up even attempting to answer the question of how human beings could do all this. The whoe damn country was pathological and I am no psychiatrist.”
Source: McDermott, Dr William Vincent Jr. A Surgeon in Combat European Theatre-World War II, Omaha Beach to Ebensee, 1943-1945. Wm. L. Bauhan – 1997 p 255
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