German War Criminals

The German Empire was one of the Central Powers in the World War I, and numerous war crimes were perpetuated under the orders of the empire. Nazi Germany, under the dictatorship and control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party also witnessed an unprecedented number of war crimes. The brutality of German war criminals has been written about in numerous accounts by the witnesses and survivors of the horrendous crimes committed against humanity. General Lothar von Trotha, of the Imperial German Army was widely condemned for his brutality in the Herero Wars, particularly for his role in the genocide that led to the near-extermination of the Herero. Josef Mengele, a physician in Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II was a member of the team of doctors responsible for the selection of victims to be killed in the gas chambers and for performing deadly human experiments on prisoners. Josef "Sepp" Dietrich was another war criminal who participated in a series of political extra-judicial executions during the Night of the Long Knives. Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, a leading member of the Nazi Party, was one of the people most directly responsible for the Holocaust. This section provides you information about the life and works of notorious German war criminals.

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 War 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 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.

 5 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.

 6 Willi Herold

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

 7 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.
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 8 Hans Frank

Hans Frank
8
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.

 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 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.

 11 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.

 12 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.

 13 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. 

 14 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. 

 15 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.

 16 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.

 17 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.

 18 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.

 19 Helmut Oberlander

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

 20 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.

 21 Paul Blobel

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

 22 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

 23 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

 24 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

 25 Herta Ehlert

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

 26 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

 27 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

 28 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.

 29 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

 30 Hildegard Lächert

Hildegard Lächert
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: January 20, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: 1995 AD

 31 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.

 32 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.

 33 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.

 34 Greta Bösel

Greta Bösel
1
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: May 9, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wuppertal, Germany
Died: May 3, 1947

 35 Friedrich Flick

Friedrich Flick
1
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: July 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Germany
Died: July 20, 1972

 36 Friedrich Jeckeln

Friedrich Jeckeln
4
Famous As: Former SS commander during the Nazi era
Birthdate: February 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hornberg, Germany
Died: February 3, 1946

Friedrich Jeckeln was a German military officer and SS commander. He played a major role during World War II, serving as a Higher SS and Police Leader in the Soviet Union. He was personally responsible for organizing the murders of more than 100,000 people. After the end of the war, Jeckeln was convicted of war crimes and executed in 1946.

 37 Herta Bothe

Herta Bothe
7
Famous As: Concentration camp guard during World War II
Birthdate: January 3, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Teterow, Germany
Died: March 16, 2000

 38 Fritz Sauckel

Fritz Sauckel
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 27, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haßfurt, Germany
Died: October 16, 1946

 39 Karl Gebhardt

Karl Gebhardt
6
Famous As: Medical doctor and a war criminal during World War II
Birthdate: November 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Haag in Oberbayern, Germany
Died: June 2, 1948

Initially a professor of sports medicine, Karl Gebhardt later joined the Nazi camp. He had headed the German Red Cross and also developed sports for the physically disabled. After being accused of failing to treat Reinhard Heydrich, he conducted deadly experiments on concentration camp inmates to prove his innocence.

 40 Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach

Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
1
Famous As: Industrialist
Birthdate: August 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Essen, Germany
Died: July 30, 1967

 41 Dorothea Binz

Dorothea Binz
4
Famous As: Officer
Birthdate: March 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Templin, Germany
Died: May 2, 1947

 42 Karl Eberhard Schöngarth

Karl Eberhard Schöngarth
1
Famous As: Military personnel
Birthdate: April 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: May 16, 1946

 43 Stefan Baretzki

Stefan Baretzki
2
Famous As: Known for SS guard at Auschwitz
Birthdate: March 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Died: June 21, 1988

 44 Rudolf Brandt

Rudolf Brandt
1
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: June 2, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: June 2, 1948

 45 Viktor Brack

Viktor Brack
4
Famous As: Member of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and a convicted Nazi war criminal, who was one of the prominent organisers of the euthanasia programme Aktion T4
Birthdate: November 9, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haaren, Aachen, Germany
Died: June 2, 1948

One of the leaders of the Action T4 euthanasia plan that exterminated the physically and mentally disabled, Nazi Party member Viktor Brack also specialized in child euthanasia. He was also chosen to plan a sterilization drive for physically fit Jews. He was eventually hanged for his war crimes.

 46 Dieter Wisliceny

Dieter Wisliceny
2
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: January 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Możdżany, Poland
Died: May 4, 1948

 47 Ludwig Fischer

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

 48 Anton Thernes

Anton Thernes
1
Famous As: Military leader
Birthdate: February 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Germany
Died: December 3, 1944

 49 Wilhelm Ruppert

Wilhelm Ruppert
1
Famous As: Guard
Birthdate: February 2, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Frankenthal, Germany
Died: May 29, 1946

 50 Erich Naumann

Erich Naumann
1
Famous As: War crimal, Police officer
Birthdate: April 29, 1905
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Meissen, Germany
Died: June 7, 1951