The execution of Auschwitz Commander Rudolf Höss

April 16, 1947 Oświęcim

On 16 April 1947, Rudolf Höss was hanged in the courtyard next to the former crematorium of Auschwitz. Höss was the Commander of the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. In this role, he was responsible for the deaths of nearly one million Jews and other prisoners in the camp.

After the war, Höss lived under a false name for a while, but in March 1946 a British team tracked him down. After his arrest, he testified in the Nuremberg Trials. The Allies handed him over to Poland, because Auschwitz was on Polish soil during the German occupation. And so, Höss was tried in Poland. 

In his cell, he wrote an autobiography. Although he regretted what had happened, Höss did not admit his guilt. He said that he had only followed orders. In March 1947, the court ruled that Höss was guilty and imposed the death penalty.