Authors

Object ID

2012.1.382

Object Name

Letter, Recommendation

Date

8-22-1944

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Description

Tan document including rip and water damage. Titled, "Personal-Antrag." Includes typewritten biographical information.

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Oswald Pohl was the head of the economic office of the SS and ultimate overseer of the concentration camp system. It was Pohl who was responsible for harvesting dental gold, hair, eyeglasses, etc. for the Nazis. He was captured and executed in 1951.

This letter was a request that Friedrich Fritz Hartjenstein be promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer. This personal-antrag was sent to the SS personnel headquarters from Oranienburg and signed at bottom by an unidentified SS Gruppenfuhrer, perhaps the inspector of concentration camps, Richard Glucks. Hartjenstein was described as a camp commandant. The recommendation also gave a record of his prior military service. In part, it read: "In May 1944, he took over the concentration camp Natzweiler as commander. He made it a model camp and it continues to expand and organize the establishment of a larger working stock [slave labor]. Hartjenstein is for my service area particularly suitable. I recommend his promotion to SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer..." On the verso, Pohl signed his approval of the promotion. Beneath appear yet more details concerning Hartjenstein, including his children's birthdates, his service record -- including dates of service at Auschwitz and Natzweiler -- his military education, dates of promotion, etc.

Freidrich Hartjenstein (1905-1954) began his SS work at Sachsenhauser in 1938. The following year he was transferred to Niederhagen and in 1941 he served for a year with the 3rd SS division Totenkopf, a Waffen SS combat division. In 1942, he was appointed the commandant of Birkenau. This was the main camp at Auschwitz, which contained the extermination facilities and crematoria. In 1944, Hartjenstein was appointed commandant of Natzweiler concentration camp in France. In 1945 he went to work at Flossenburg concentration camp. He would die while awaiting execution by the French. Natzweiler, a labor and punishment camp at which 25,000 people suffered and died, was evacuated only a few weeks after Hartjenstein received his promotion.

Dimensions

11 1/2 x 8 1/4"

Keywords

Overseer of the concentration camp system, Convicted, Berlin, Oranienburg, Oswald Pohl, Fredrich Fritz Hartjenstein

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