German Criminals

Germany may be the land of castles and cars, breads and beer and music and festivals but there is more to this country than what meets the eye. A haven for food aficionados and car enthusiasts, art lovers and adventure fanatics, this multi-cultural ethnic country has gained prominence for its deep-rooted historical background and scenic locales. Adding to its eminence have been famous German men and women who through their work have helped the country stand tall on the world map. Be it Albert Einstein or Karl Marx, Rudolf Diesel or Martin Luther or even Max Weber, Germany is famous for producing some of the greatest historical figures. But is the German land about all good and no bad. Well, there is a lesser publicised side to the country as well. Germany, like other countries of the world, is troubled by crime and criminals. Though the crime levels have been consistently dropping down, one cannot ignore the fact that Germany is not a crime-free nation. The country is reeling from crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, weapon trafficking, extortion, prostitution, money laundering and contract killing. Plus there are organized crime by crime families and organized crime syndicates. Check this segment to find out more about German criminals, their offences and their crimes that have put a black mark on the country’s status.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked German Criminals

 1 Josef Mengele

Josef Mengele
56
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: March 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
Died: February 7, 1979

Known as Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele was the chief doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp and was responsible for killing thousands of Jews as well as torturing the prisoners mercilessly and conducting inhuman experiments on them. These included injecting them with chemicals and stitching twin children together. Despite his horrible crimes, the infamous Nazi doctor could never be captured.

 2 Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann
54
Famous As: Nazi SS Officer
Birthdate: March 19, 1906
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany
Died: June 1, 1962
Adolf Eichmann was a Nazi lieutenant colonel and one of the chief organizers of the Holocaust, that involved mass deportation and murder of Jews. In 1962, Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina and was then taken to Israel. He was eventually tried and hanged for crimes against humanity.

 3 Irma Grese

Irma Grese
14
Famous As: Nazi Guard
Birthdate: October 7, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Feldberger Seenlandschaft, Germany
Died: December 13, 1945

Irma Grese, or the Hyena of Auschwitz, served as an SS guard at the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Ravensbrück. She was also the warden of the ladies’ section of the Bergen-Belsen camp and ended up being convicted of torture and murder of prisoners. She was executed at 22.

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 4 Armin Meiwes

Armin Meiwes
8
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: December 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Essen, Germany
Armin Meiwes, also known as "The Master Butcher," was a computer repair man who killed and ate engineer Jürgen Armando Brandes, who had voluntarily offered himself to be eaten, in response to an advertisement on an online cannibalism-oriented forum. Armin is now serving a life sentence for murder.
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 5 Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch
13
Famous As: Nazi Concentration Camp Overseer, War Criminal
Birthdate: September 22, 1906
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: September 1, 1967
Ilse Koch was the wife of Karl-Otto Koch, the Nazi commandant of the Buchenwald and Majdanek concentration camps. Also known as Beast of Buchenwald, The Bitch of Buchenwald, and Butcher Widow, she was tried by the U.S. military for her sadistic abuse of war prisoners. She died of suicide.

 6 Rudolf Höss

Rudolf Höss
12
Famous As: German Nazi Officer
Birthdate: November 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baden-Baden, Germany
Died: April 16, 1947

Rudolf Höss was a German SS officer who was convicted of war crimes after the defeat of Nazi Germany. The longest-serving commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp, Höss implemented means to accelerate the Final Solution, a Nazi plan for the genocide of Jews. Upon his order, pesticide Zyklon B was used in gas chambers, killing millions of people.

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 7 Willi Herold

Willi Herold
4
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: September 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chemnitz, Germany
Died: November 14, 1946
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 8 Oskar Dirlewanger

Oskar Dirlewanger
4
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: September 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: June 7, 1945
German military officer Oskar Dirlewanger established and led the Nazi SS penal unit Dirlewanger during World War II. He had also participated in World War I and the Spanish Civil War, winning the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class. He died in Allied custody at the Altshausen prison camp.

 9 Albert Kesselring

Albert Kesselring
3
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: November 30, 1885
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marktsteft, Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany
Died: July 16, 1960
One of Hitler’s most reliable strategists during World War II, Albert Kesselring was a loyal Luftwaffe general. His exploits include operations in Poland, France, and Britain. Following the Nuremberg trials, he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted. He was released after being diagnosed with throat cancer. 

 10 Hans Frank

Hans Frank
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 23, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

Hitler’s legal advisor Hans Frank was made the governor-general of Poland after World War II broke out. Known as the Butcher of Poland for his atrocities against the Jews, he was hanged at the end of the Nuremberg Trials. He penned his autobiography while awaiting his execution.

 11 Oskar Groening

Oskar Groening
7
Famous As: War Criminal
Birthdate: June 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nienburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
Died: March 9, 2018

Oskar Groening was a German SS Unterscharführer at the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was in charge of counting and sorting the money retrieved from the prisoners arriving at the camp. At the end of the war, he surrendered to the British and was transferred to Britain as a prisoner of war. Years later, he was named a war criminal.

 12 Wilhelm Canaris

Wilhelm Canaris
4
Famous As: Chief of the Abwehr (1935-44)
Birthdate: January 1, 1877
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Aplerbeck
Died: April 9, 1945

While Wilhelm Canaris became one of Hitler’s most trusted secret agents, he was actually supplying information to Britain all along. He went down in history as a man who was hanged twice for treason, first as part of torture for a few moments, and then for good.

 13 Herschel Grynszpan

Herschel Grynszpan
4
Famous As: Murderer
Birthdate: March 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hanover
Died: May 8, 1960

Herschel Grynszpan was a German Jew best remembered for assassinating a German diplomat named Ernst vom Rath to avenge the persecuted Jews. Rath's assassination had a huge impact on the Jews as the Nazis cited his murder as justification for their planned antisemitic pogroms against the Jews in Germany. Herschel Grynszpan disappeared in 1944 and was declared dead in 1960.

 14 Fritz Haarmann

Fritz Haarmann
6
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: October 25, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: April 15, 1925

 15 Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie
14
Famous As: Nazi Leader
Birthdate: October 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bad Godesberg
Died: 1991 AD

Klaus Barbie was a Gestapo and SS official during the Nazi era. Dubbed the Butcher of Lyon, Barbie was known for having tortured prisoners of the Gestapo while stationed in Lyon, France. It is also believed that he played a major role in the execution of Che Guevara. Barbie's life and work inspired the 2007 documentary film My Enemy's Enemy.

 16 Karl Brandt

Karl Brandt
5
Famous As: Personal Physician of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: January 8, 1904
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
Died: June 2, 1948

Karl Brandt was a German physician. He served as a Schutzstaffel (SS) officer in Nazi Germany and became Adolf Hitler's personal doctor. He organized and administered the Aktion T4 euthanasia program, in which between 275,000 and 300,000 people were killed in psychiatric hospitals. He was later executed for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

 17 Ernst Röhm

Ernst Röhm
11
Famous As: Nazi War Criminal
Birthdate: November 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: July 1, 1934

Regarded by Hitler as a potential rival, Röhm was murdered at the Führer’s order. Ernst Röhm was a prominent German military officer and an early member of the Nazi Party. He was wounded thrice in World War I and was briefly imprisoned for his part in the Beer Hall Putsch. 

 18 Joachim von Ribbentrop

Joachim von Ribbentrop
8
Famous As: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nazi Germany (1938-45)
Birthdate: April 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wesel, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

German politician Joachim von Ribbentrop was Nazi Germany’s minister of foreign affairs from 1938 to 1945. He let Hitler use his summer house, Schloss Fuschl, for secret Nazi meetings. Ribbentrop was eventually convicted of war crimes and became the first Nuremberg defendant to be hanged to death.

 19 Martin Bormann

Martin Bormann
20
Famous As: Private Secretary of Adolf Hitler
Birthdate: June 17, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wegeleben, Germany
Died: May 2, 1945

Martin Bormann was a Nazi Party official. Bormann headed the Nazi Party Chancellery, and gained immense power after he was accepted into Adolf Hitler's inner circle. In 1935, he became Hitler's personal secretary and served as the minister of the Nazi Party after Hitler's suicide in 1945.

 20 Niels Högel

Niels Högel
4
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: December 30, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wilhelmshaven, Germany

 21 Peter Kürten

Peter Kürten
4
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: May 26, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: July 2, 1931

 22 Paul Blobel

Paul Blobel
0
Famous As: Military leader, Criminal
Birthdate: August 13, 1894
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Potsdam, Germany
Died: June 7, 1951

 23 Gerda Steinhoff

Gerda Steinhoff
0
Famous As: Guard
Birthdate: January 29, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrzeszcz, Gdańsk, Poland
Died: July 4, 1946

 24 Franz von Papen

Franz von Papen
5
Famous As: Former Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: October 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Werl, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany
Died: May 2, 1969

Franz von Papen was a German politician, Prussian nobleman, diplomat, and General Staff officer. From 1933 to 1934, he served under Adolf Hitler as the Vice-Chancellor of Germany. After World War II, Franz von Papen was indicted alongside other war criminals in the Nuremberg trials. However, he was later acquitted of all charges.

 25 Alfred Jodl

Alfred Jodl
9
Famous As: Chief of the Operations Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command (1939-1945)
Birthdate: May 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

Alfred Jodl was a German colonel-general who played an important role throughout World War II by serving as Chief of the Operations Staff of a German Armed Forces High Command called the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. After the war, Jodl was tried at the Nuremberg trials and was found guilty on charges, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.

 26 Elisabeth Becker

Elisabeth Becker
0
Famous As: Guard
Birthdate: July 20, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nowy Staw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1946

 27 Julius Streicher

Julius Streicher
5
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 12, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dinkelscherben, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946
Julius Streicher went from being an elementary school teacher to establishing the anti-semitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer. He led an adulterous life and even spread rumors about his rival party members, which eventually led him to lose all party posts. He was eventually hanged after the Nuremberg trials.

 28 Helmut Oberlander

Helmut Oberlander
1
Famous As: War criminals
Birthdate: February 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Molotschna, Ukraine

 29 Wanda Klaff

Wanda Klaff
1
Famous As: Camp guards
Birthdate: March 6, 1922
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Danzig, Free City of Danzig
Died: July 4, 1946

 30 Juana Bormann

Juana Bormann
1
Famous As: Prison guard at several Nazi concentration camps from 1938
Birthdate: September 10, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Birkenfelde, German Empire
Died: December 13, 1945

 31 Adam Worth

Adam Worth
0
Famous As: art thief
Birthdate: 1844 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Prussia
Died: January 8, 1902

Adam Worth was a German-born American thief whose short stature earned him the nickname Napoleon of the criminal world. It is widely believed that he was the inspiration behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Professor James Moriarty. In the 1976 period comedy film Harry and Walter Go to New York, Adam Worth was portrayed by English actor Sir Michael Caine.

 32 Martin Gottfried Weiss

Martin Gottfried Weiss
0
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: June 3, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weiden, Germany
Died: May 29, 1946

 33 Brigitte Mohnhaupt

Brigitte Mohnhaupt
1
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: June 24, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rheinberg, Germany

 34 Gudrun Ensslin

Gudrun Ensslin
1
Famous As: Far-left terrorist and founder of the West German far-left militant group Red Army Faction
Birthdate: August 15, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bartholomä, Germany
Died: October 18, 1977

 35 Fritz Klein

Fritz Klein
1
Famous As: Military physician, War criminal
Birthdate: November 24, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Codlea, Romania
Died: December 13, 1945

 36 Birgit Hogefeld

Birgit Hogefeld
1
Famous As: Red Army Faction
Birthdate: July 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wiesbaden, Germany

 37 Hans von Salmuth

Hans von Salmuth
1
Famous As: Military General
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Metz, France
Died: January 1, 1962

 38 Herta Ehlert

Herta Ehlert
4
Famous As: Camp guard
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 4, 1997

 39 Beate Zschape

Beate Zschape
1
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: January 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jena, East Germany

 40 Ludolf von Alvensleben

Ludolf von Alvensleben
2
Famous As: SS functionary and Police Leader
Birthdate: March 17, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle, Germany
Died: April 1, 1970

 41 Denis Cuspert

Denis Cuspert
0
Famous As: Former Rapper, ISIL member
Birthdate: October 18, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: January 17, 2018

 42 Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich
33
Famous As: Nazi Official
Birthdate: March 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle
Died: June 4, 1942

Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi police officer and a high-ranking SS. Heydrich is widely regarded as one of the main architects of the Holocaust, a World War II genocide that killed some six million Jews. Described by Adolf Hitler as the man with the iron heart, Heydrich is regarded as the darkest figure of the Nazi era by many historians.

 43 Curveball

Curveball
0
Famous As: Defense Intelligence Agency cryptonym
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: Iraq

 44 Adelheid Schulz

Adelheid Schulz
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: March 31, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lörrach, Germany

 45 Wilhelm Keitel

Wilhelm Keitel
8
Famous As: Chief of the German Armed Forces High Command (1938-45)
Birthdate: September 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bad Gandersheim, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

Wilhelm Keitel was a German field marshal. As the chief of the Armed Forces High Command, Keitel was Nazi Germany Armed Forces' highest-ranking officer during World War II. Wilhelm Keitel was responsible for the loss of many lives as he signed several criminal orders. After the war, he was indicted as one of the war criminals and sentenced to death.

 46 Alfred Rosenberg

Alfred Rosenberg
8
Famous As: Nazi Party theorist
Birthdate: January 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tallinn, Estonia
Died: October 16, 1946
Alfred Rosenberg led the NSDAP Office of Foreign Affairs in Nazi Germany. Known for his work The Myth of the Twentieth Century, which explored the Nazi ideology, he was hanged as a war criminal after the Nuremberg trials. He was also one of the proponents of Positive Christianity.

 47 William Joyce

William Joyce
7
Famous As: Fascist Politician
Birthdate: April 24, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 3, 1946

American-born fascist politician William Joyce was a Nazi propaganda broadcaster to UK during World War II. He later became a German citizen. As a young man, he joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and rose through the ranks to become the BUF's Director of Propaganda. Following the end of World War II, he was arrested for treason and executed.

 48 Irmgard Möller

Irmgard Möller
1
Famous As: Terrorist
Birthdate: May 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bielefeld, Germany

 49 Christine Schürrer

Christine Schürrer
0
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: June 30, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany

 50 Ludwig Fischer

Ludwig Fischer
1
Famous As: Politician, War Criminal
Birthdate: April 16, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kaiserslautern, Germany
Died: March 8, 1947