The Ghost of Nazi Guard Irma Grese

Irma Grese was accused of being the most notorious SS guard in the history of Auschwitz.


She was in charge of Krema Three

She came to Auschwitz camp from the small village of Wrechen, at the age of 18

She was accused of being the lover to Josef Mengele and camp commandant Kramer, among others. She was said to have coerced Jews into perverted sexual acts. Her brutality included choosing who would go to the gas chamber, beatings, whippings, shootings and skinning of three Jews.

She was brought to trial by a kangaroo court, the 12 prosecution witnesses were hysterical Jewesses that wanted blood. She denied all the absurd charges, but was found guilty, and was hung.

The Trial

Irma Grese ( middle ) at the Belsen trials. It was a British Military Tribunal with six judges.

The Jewish witnesses were in the camps for being criminals and Communist partisans.

After a fifty three day trial she was sentenced to hang.

Irma Grese’s Defense

At 16, I was an apprentice nurse at Hohenluchen, next the Labour Exchange stationed me at a dairy in Fürstenburg. In July, 1942, I was sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, which I protested against it. In March, 1943, when I went to Birkenau Camp in Auschwitz, In January, 1945, I was sent to Belsen.
I was not SS, women are not allowed to be inducted into the SS, I was as Aufseherin (assistant). I was a postal clerk in the mail-room, answered telephones, and working in the commandant’s gardening squad, arranged SS funerals at Belsen. At Auschwitz I took roll call for section C.

Lüneburg courthouse

When the allies captured Auschwitz she was tried in Lüneburg courthouse.

On 13 December 1945, at Hameln Jail, Irma and 11 others were sentenced to death and were to be hanged by Ronald Cook, assisted by Regimental Sergeant-Major O’Neill.

MP’s refused orders

Sgt O’Hare and Cpl Rick Smith were court marshaled for refusing to walk her to the gallows.


Irma was called “Stirb nicht” or little singer

She would sing German folk ballads at night in her cell. She hummed these tunes as she walked to the gallows.

The hangman commits suicide

The army hangman refused to hang Grese

Ronald Cook the original hangman refused. Major Jerome Burdik ordered him to, and that night he went home and shot himself.

Albert Peirpont was on record as the hangman ,but in 1978 two of Irma’s MPs revealed the truth.

Second hangman
Samuel Lutzheim a local Jewish hangman was subsequently chosen. Miss Grese swore that she would return from the dead if Lutzheim was allowed to touch her.

She bravely went to the gallows, smiling at the MPs who were all mesmerized by her looks and charm.

She refused a hood

As the hangman tried to put the rope over her head she became violent, and refused to be touched. The hangman then slapped her repeatedly and forced the rope over her neck

The gallows

At 12:01 on Dec 13, 1945 she was led to these gallows and hung

The hangman miscalculated the drop and Irma’s neck didn’t snap. She slowly suffocated as she fought the rope for three minutes.

Grese now becomes a folk hero

Irma Grese now becomes a legend in all of Germany

Buried In Unholy Ground

The British judge, Major-General HMP Berney-Ficklin who feared German martyrdom, ordered Irma buried in the Hamelin prison yard.

Irma Is Moved

In 1954 Irma is reburied in holy ground at Am Wehl Cemetery.

Later the prosecution main witness recanted and said she lied

Sarah Langbein

Three more admitted to lying

Rachel Gold
Lei Flem
Lena Kapinski

Other witnesses such as Watinik, Diament, Kopper, Lobowitz and Trieger, Catherine Neiger, Olga Lenygel, Dr Ada Bimko and Dr. Bendel stuck with their stories.

Another Witness Was Abraham Glinowieski

The author refers in apparent desperation to the testimony of a Jew named Abraham Glinowieski, who testified that he witnessed Grese send “thousands and thousands of people, ill and in quite good health, to the gas chambers.”


In late 1948 the hauntings began

On Jan 12 – 1948 Harak Visen was the night watchman who claims he saw the ghost.

Russian caretakers decided to close off Krema Three rather than let the legend of Irma Grese continue



This pictured was taken over 40 years ago

Between the ovens is the faint outline of a women


The building is sealed

The Russians in charge of Auschwitz sealed up the doors and windows

It seems Irma had reached ‘ Cult status ‘ and the Jewish Communists were not pleased.


Leni Riefenstahl wanted to make a movie about the haunting

The German government told her she would be arrested


After the fall of the Berlin wall researchers were allowed access

In late 1992 Heim Lansky led four of his team to Krema 3 which has been padlocked for 38 yrs

They didn’t last the night !



Krema Three is finally destroyed.


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