Johanna Langefeld

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Johanna Langefeld (March 5th, 1900 - January 26th, 1974) was a concentration camp supervisor from 1938-1942.

Life Until 1938

Johanna was born in Kupferdreh (modern-day Essen) to a family of Lutheran German Nationalists. She married Wilhelm Langefeld in Mulheim in 1924, but he died of lung cancer in 1926. 2 years later, Johanna fell pregnant with another man, left him and moved to Dusseldorf, where she gave birth.

From 1934 to 1935 she worked as a teacher, with the latter year seeing her become a guard at a prison for prostitutes and homeless women in Brauweiler. In 1937, Johanna became a fully-fledged member of the Nazi Party, applying for a job as a concentration camp guard a year later.


She was given a job in the Lichtenburg women's camp under commandant Theodor Eicke and women's camp commandant Günther Tamaschke, becoming the supervisor the next year, putting her in a position of command over the murder of political prisoners held there. In May of 1939, Lichtenburg was closed down and Johanna was transferred to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where Margot Dreschel trained under her. As supervisor at Ravensbruck, Johanna was in charge of the selections during the 14f13 killing campaign, making her responsible for all the gassings perpetrated in Ravensbruck during that time.

In 1942, Johanna was transferred to Auschwitz to oversee the building of a new women's camp. As supervisor of the Auschwitz women's camp, she fell out with commandant Rudolf Höß, resulting in Höss relieving Johanna of her position. Heinrich Himmler later reinstated Johanna after she appealed to him during his visit to Auschwitz in 1942.

After receiving an injury of the meniscus, Johanna was transferred back to Ravensbruck on the direct orders of Oswald Pohl and resumed her position as supervisor of Ravensbruck, leaving Maria Mandel to take over from her as supervisor of the women's camp. However, she was dismissed for showing excessive sympathy for the Polish inmates, resulting in her being charged with breach of duty. She was released without trial and worked for BMW until the end of the war.


In 1945, Johanna was arrested for war crimes and genocide, and was extradited to Krakow in 1946. On 23 December, she escaped with the help of Polish guards as a reward for the treatment of Polish inmates in Ravensbruck. She lived in a convent until about 1957, when she went to live in Munich, where she died, having never faced punishment for her crimes.