Liebehenschel, Arthur

Arthur Liebehenschel
Arthur Liebehenschel

Arthur Liebehenschel (25 Nov. 1901 – 24 Jan. 1948), SS Obersturmbannführer, served initially at the Lichtenburg Camp, but since 1937 at the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, at the SS headquarters in Oranienburg. He became commandant of the Auschwitz Main Camp on 11 November 1943. Hermann Langbein describes him as a relatively humane commandant who abolished numerous draconian measures, such as arbitrary shootings (Langbein 1995, pp. 59-61), if those ever happened. In preparation for the arrival of the Jews from Hungary, Liebehenschel was replaced by Richard Baer, and was transferred to serve as commandant of the Majdanek Camp.

After the war, he was extradited to Poland, where he was tried during the Warsaw show trial against former members of the Auschwitz Camp’s staff. He was sentenced to death, and eventually executed.

Since the three camps Auschwitz I (Main Camp), II (Birkenau) and III (Monowitz and other satellite camps) were organizationally independent, and because no extermination activities are claimed for the Main Camp for the few months Liebehenschel was in charge of it, he reasonably could not have been accused of having contributed in any way to any atrocities. Of course, that didn’t stop the Polish judiciary from framing him anyway. His undoing was the fact that, during his time at the Inspectorate in Berlin, he had signed several permissions for the Auschwitz Camp to pick up Zyklon B at the manufacturer for the sake of combating lice, which to this day is misrepresented as orders to fetch poison gas to mass murder Jews. (See Mattogno 2016d, pp. 42-47, 58, 77f., 135, 145; 2019, pp. 193-197.)

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