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Josef Schwammberger

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Title: Josef Schwammberger  
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Subject: Nazi concentration camp personnel, Elliot Welles, Eduard Roschmann, Rodolfo Freude, Eli Rosenbaum
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Josef Schwammberger

Josef Franz Leo Schwammberger (February 14, 1912 – December 3, 2004) was a member of the SS (Schutzstaffel) during the Nazi era.

During the Second World War, Schwammberger was a commander of various SS Arbeitslager (forced-labor camps) in the Kraków district (late August 1942 until spring 1944). He was arrested in Innsbruck, Austria, in the French occupation zone after the war on July 19,1945, but escaped in January 1948 and within months was able to enter Argentina, where he lived under his own name and obtained citizenship. West German authorities sought his extradition beginning in 1973, and Argentine officials tracked him down on Nov. 13, 1987. After two years of fighting extradition, he was returned to Germany in May 1990 for trial. His capture cost the German state of Baden-Württemberg just under 500,000 Deutschmark.

At his trial, which lasted nearly a year, (1991 until 1992) Schwammberger denied being guilty of the crimes of which he was charged; he simply admitted that "Ghetto A" was taken to the Przemyśl camp. On May 18, 1992, he was condemned by the Stuttgart regional court (Landgericht) to life imprisonment, which he was to serve in Mannheim. He was found guilty of seven counts of murder and 32 counts of accessory to murder.

The court ruled that on Sept. 21, 1942, which was Gestapo soldiers.[1]

In August 2002, the Mannheim regional court declined a parole request due to the unusual cruelty of his offences; he had been found guilty of carrying out arbitrary murders based on racial hatred against Jewish people.

His wife Käthe Schwammberger would die in 2003 at the age of 87 in Argentina before Schwammberger himself would die in prison on December 3, 2004, aged 92.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center was instrumental in bringing him to justice.[1] Also contributing to the case against Schwammberger, including his extradition from Argentina, was Elliot Welles.[2]


  1. ^ a b Kinzer, Stephen (May 19, 1992). Last' Nazi Criminal Gets Life Sentence"'".  
  2. ^ Fox, Margalit (December 3, 2006). "Elliot Welles Is Dead at 79; Indefatigable Nazi Hunter".  
Other sources
  • "Joseph Schwammberger, 92, Nazi Labor Camp Commander, Dies".  
  • Christian, Shirley (March 25, 1990). "Argentina to Extradite Ex-SS Man". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  • Christian, Shirley (July 10, 1988). "NAZI VICTIMS SEEK ARGENTINE JUSTICE". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  • Christian, Shirley (September 3, 1989). "Argentine Court Moves to Extradite Ex-Nazi". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
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