13 December 1945 – Josef Kramer
Having been in charge of the gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he transferred to Belsen as Commandant where he soon became known as the ‘Beast of Belsen’ fuelled by stories of his unashamed brutality.
As the war drew to a close, the Allies were let in to the camp early as a result of an outbreak of typhus. But nothing could have prepared the British soldiers for the sight of rotting corpses strewn around the camp.
Of course, the Beast’s pivotal role in the mass genocide of prisoners was to catch up with him. Kramer was hanged for his war crimes, aged 39, by Albert Pierrepoint in a series of hangings following the Nuremberg Trials.
In the film Pierrepoint Kramer was played by Michael Norton.