EXECUTION of Elisabeth Marschall - Bestial Nazi Head Nurse at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp - WW2

EXECUTION of Elisabeth Marschall - Bestial Nazi Head Nurse at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp - WW2. Elisabeth Marschall was born on the 27th of May 1886 in Meiningen, then part of the German Empire. Marschall was trained as a nurse and she started to work in her profession in 1909.
Before Elisabeth Marschall was transferred to the Ravensbrück concentration camp as a head nurse in April 1943, she worked in the same position at a Reichswerke Hermann Göring hospital near Braunschweig. Reichswerke Hermann Göring was an industrial conglomerate in Nazi Germany from 1937 until 1945. In November 1937, Reichsminister of Aviation Hermann Göring obtained unchecked access to state financing and launched a chain of mergers, diversifying into military industries with the absorption of Rheinmetall – a German automotive and arms manufacturer. Göring himself supervised the Reichswerke but did not own it in any sense. This industrial conglomerate provided one-eighth of German steel output during the Second World War and created a Nazi-controlled military complex that was independent of private interests. By the end of 1941 the Reichswerke Hermann Göring became the largest company in Europe and probably in the whole world, with a capital of 2.4 billion reichs marks and about half a million workers. At times Hermann Göring withdrew cash from this conglomerate for his personal expenses.

At Ravensbrück Marschall was in her position, responsible for numerous crimes committed against female prisoners.

Ravensbrück, opened in May 1939, was the only major women's camp established by the Nazis. In total, some 132,000 women from all over Europe passed through the camp, including Poles, Russians, Jews, Gypsies, and others. Of that number, over 92,000 women perished.

Starting in the summer of 1942, SS medical doctors subjected prisoners at Ravensbrück to unethical medical experiments. The main coordinator of these experiments was Karl Gebhardt and his assistants became doctors Herta Oberheuser and Fritz Fischer.

They often used a hammer to break legs of female prisoners, then infected open wounds with aggressive bacteria and monitored the healing with and without various chemical substances such as sulfanilamide, which was an early antibiotic, to prevent infections. Believing it could help in treating amputee soldiers, they also tested various methods of setting and transplanting bones. Such experiments included amputations and were often performed without any anesthesia.

Marschall’s duties at Ravensbrück also included overseeing these medical experiments and selecting prisoners for execution. Every night before the executions, she went to the infirmary camp hospital and selected the names of the women to be liquidated from the sick files. Subsequently, Marshall also compiled lists of those murdered.
Together with the SS doctor Percival Treite, Marschall participated in the random selection of 800 female prisoners who were then sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Many of them died during the transport and in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp itself.

She also participated in these selections together with doctor Adolf Winkelmann who later testified how these selections were carried out: “The searches took place on one of the camp streets or in a barracks, but very rarely. The inmates marched in a row to Doctor Richard Trommer and past me. Of course, we could only do a very superficial examination, and the people who were obviously sick, unable to work, or unable to march were searched. The inmates had to bare their legs so that we could see if they were capable of walking.” After the war both doctor Winkelmann and Elisabeth Marschall claimed they had not known that the selection could mean death in gas chambers for the prisoners.

After the end of the war, justice finally caught up with Marschall when she was tried at the first Ravensbrück trial which began on the 5th of December 1946. On the 3rd of February 1947 the British military tribunal sentenced Elisabeth Marschall to death by hanging.
However, before the sentence could be carried out, Triete, then 35 years old, committed suicide with poison on the 8th of April 1947.
She was 60 years old when the British executioner Albert Pierrepoint carried out the death sentence on the 3rd of May 1947. Marschall became the oldest female Nazi war criminal to be executed by the British occupation authorities.

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