Profession: commandant of concentration camps

By mid-April 1946, the defendants were still trying to deny the fact of the mass extermination of people in concentration camps. According to them, it was all propaganda and exaggeration. But eventually, a man came to the podium and bluntly stated that he himself had sent 2.5 million prisoners to death and he had personally implemented the “final solution to the Jewish question”. This was Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz. Let's try to consider the commandants of the Nazi concentration camps in depth and analyse the people whose official duty was to organise torture and mass murder.

‘I Recalled the Smoke of Auschwitz’

Pravda’s special Nuremberg correspondent, the celebrated writer Boris Polevoi (who would soon shoot to fame in the Soviet Union for his book “The Story of a Real Man”) knew much more about Auschwitz than many other eyewitnesses at the Nuremberg trials. He visited the camp two days after it had been liberated by the Red Army in January 1945 and interviewed prisoners and witnesses, afterwards writing a memo about it to the Political Department at the Front. On 15 April 1946, he published his impressions of the examination of Rudolf Höss, the former commander of Auschwitz Extermination Camp, by the Nuremberg tribunal on the same day in an article for the Soviet Information Bureau. The authors of “Nuremberg: Casus Pacis” found the article in the archives of Sovinformburo. The full version of Polevoi’s article about Auschwitz is published for the first time.
House of Academician Andrei Sakharov in Arzamas-16 (Sarov), where the scientist lived in the early 1950sHouse of Academician Andrei Sakharov in Arzamas-16 (Sarov), where the scientist lived in the early 1950s

Secret Science Centre for the Development of Soviet Nuclear Bomb

On 9 April 1946, the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a secret decree No. 805-327ss on the creation of Design Bureau No. 11 (KB-11) for the development of nuclear weapons at Laboratory No. 2 of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now the National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute"). Soviet scientists were ordered to create a domestic atomic bomb in the shortest possible time. Defence plant No. 550 in the village of Sarov in the Mordovian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (now the city of Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod Region) became the technical base of Design Bureau No. 11.
Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.

The “Nodding Donkey” and Its Strategist

Adolf Hitler had a complicated relationship with the military. The career officers, brought up in the tradition of the Kaiser's Germany, could hardly trust the Austrian corporal; many openly despised the Führer. Hitler faced military opposition many times – ranging from quiet sabotage to an attempted assassination. But some generals became the mainstay of the Nazi regime and at the same time - war criminals on an international scale. Two of them, Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, signed Germany's surrender in World War II and appeared before the Nuremberg trials.

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