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Gerhard Maurer - Department DII in the Economic Administration Head Office

Gerhard Maurer – Described by Rudolf Höss

Department DII in the Economic Administration Head Office


SS Colonel Gerhard Maurer testifies for the defense at the trial of former camp personnel and prisoners from Dora-Mittelbau

Gerhard Maurer, Director of Department D-II in the Economic Administration Head Office


Gerhard Maurer was born in Halle on the 9 December 1907, was a member of the Nazi Party and the SS and, from 1934, a colleague of Oswald Pohl, later the Head of the WVHA.


As the financial activities of the SS expanded in 1937-1938, Himmler made Oswald Pohl responsible for modernizing the economic administration. Pohl's efforts would lead to the formal establishment of the WVHA in 1942. Pohl was dedicated to Himmler's New Order, and he tried to recruit men who shared these views.


So in 1942 as an SS Colonel Maurer took over Office D-II, which was responsible for the deployment of prisoner labour in the concentration camps. As the demand for labor increased, Pohl tasked Maurer to improve upon the statistical surveillance of the concentration camp populations. A category was created for inmates  labeled "unfit to labor;" Maurer later developed a more detailed description of this category including numerical codes and standardized forms.


Maurer favored "labor over corpses" and worked closely with the leaders of the armaments industry and created the administrative basis for the rigorous exploitation of the prisoners, for example, appointing in every camp a director responsible for the problems encountered in optimising the productivity of the forced labour deployed in the armaments industry.


In 1943 he became deputy to Richard Glucks, Inspector of Concentration Camps, whom he virtually replaced in dealing with serious matters. He testified at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and was extradited to Poland, where he stood trial in Krakow. He was found guilty and executed by hanging on the 2 April 1953.


Rudolf Höss on Maurer:


“He was a business man and a veteran member of the Party and the SS. He originally came from Saxony. Before 1933 he held a senior position as accountant in his local SS unit.


In 1934 he took an administrative post in the SS in Munich, and Pohl brought him into the auditing department. His skill as an auditor had already been noticed by Pohl, and he was employed in the newly established Central Administration Office concerned with the commercial undertakings of the SS, of which Pohl later made him an inspector.


Maurer thus gained knowledge of the concentration camps and took a particular interest in matters connected with the industrial employment of the prisoners. He obtained an insight into the peculiarities of the commandants and commanders of the protective custody camps and their negative attitude towards these industrial schemes.


Rudolf Höss

Most of the older commandants and commanders felt that the prisoners employed in the commercial undertakings were too well treated and also that the heads of these undertakings were learning too much from the prisoners about what went on in the camps. They played many tricks on the executives of these industries.


They would, for example, suddenly remove skilled men and employ them on outside work, or retain them in the camp, or they would send them prisoners who were quite unfit for work.


Maurer dealt ruthlessly with these schemes by giving Pohl many reports which he found useful. On Maurer’s instigation and in order to avoid these unedifying intrigues, Pohl later made the camp commandants directors of all the commercial undertakings set up in the camp. They received a considerable monthly allowance for this according to the size of the industries, and later they received a share of the profits. As a result, the commandants paid more attention to these industries, and their subordinates were forced to recognise their needs.


It was Maurer, however, who persuaded Pohl to introduce a system of bonus payments. Later, in 1944, Maurer drew up, at Pohl’s request, the regulations for the payment of prisoners, which laid down that every prisoner was to be paid according to the work he had done. These regulations were never carried into effect.

Read more here: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/economics/maurer.html

The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team


Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto
H.E.A.R.T 2009

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