Arnold Strippel

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Arnold Strippel
Official portrait
Personal details
Born 2 June 1911
Died 1 May 1994(1994-05-01) (aged 82)
Military service
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service 1934 - 1945
Rank Obersturmführer, SS (First Lieutenant)

Arnold Strippel (2 June 1911 – 1 May 1994) was an SS-Obersturmführer and a member of the SS-Totenkopfverbände who while assigned to the Neuengamme concentration camp was given the task of murdering the victims of a tuberculosis medical experiment conducted by Kurt Heissmeyer.[1][2]

Strippel served in various concentration camps starting in 1934 when he joined the SS. His first assignment was at Sachsenburg, his next was Buchenwald, where he participated in the shooting of 21 Jewish inmates on November 9, 1939, following the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler in Munich. While at Buchenwald, Strippel caught an inmate who was using a rope and some paper to alleviate heavy loads he was carrying on his work detail. This was against camp regulations (stealing Third Reich property), so Strippel decided to make an example out of him. "You used this rope; you'll hang on a rope. And the whole camp will watch as you twist in the wind." The inmate's hands were tied behind his back and he was lifted two feet off the ground from a tree. The weight of his body was all on the shoulder joints and the pain was "excruciating beyond all description."[3]

Strippel's next assignment from March – October 1941 was the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Occupied France. Strippel then served in Majdanek near Lublin Poland, Ravensbrück, then at Peenemünde on the Usedom peninsula, in the Karlshagen II forced labor camp, the site of V-2 rocket production and launches. From there the 's-Hertogenbosch concentration camp in Vught, the Netherlands, more commonly known as Camp Vught. His final assignment was at Neuengamme, where he would oversee the murders of the twenty Jewish children involved in Kurt Heissmeyer's experiments, their four adult caretakers and twenty-four Soviet P.O.W.'s. They were all hung in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school, the adults from overhead pipes and the children from a hook on the wall.[citation needed]

War crimes trial

Strippel was convicted of war crimes at the Third Majdanek Trial before the West German Court in Düsseldorf (1975–1981) for his actions at Buchenwald and at the Majdanek concentration camp, Poland, where he served as deputy commandant (Case no. 145 & 616 in Frankfurt District Court). He was implicated in the torture and killing of many dozens of prisoners including 42 Soviet POWs in July 1942. Strippel received a nominal three-and-a-half year sentence. He also received 121,500 Deutsche Mark reimbursement for the loss of earnings and his social security contributions, which made him a wealthy man.[citation needed] He used this windfall to purchase a condominium in Frankfurt, which he occupied until his death.[4][5]


  1. Schwarberg, Gunther (1984). Der SS-Arzt und die Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm [The murders at Bullenhuser Damm : the SS doctor and the children]. Erna Baber Rosenfeld, Alvin H. Rosenfeld (trans.). Indiana University Press. ISBN 3-88243-095-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Neumann, Klaus (2000-12-21). Shifting memories: the Nazi past in the new Germany. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-08710-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Werber, Jack. Saving children: Diary of a Buchenwald Survivor and Rescuer. Transaction Publishers (Jan 1 1996). ISBN 978-1-56000-250-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Thomas Schattner. "Strippels Blutspur durch Europas KZs – Sie begann vor 70 Jahren hier in Unshausen, im heutigen Schwalm-Eder-Kreis" (PDF file, direct download 78.2 KB). Archiv und Ausstellung der Universität Kassel (in German). Gedenkstätte Breitenau. pp. 57–62. Retrieved 2013-04-26.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. JVL (2013). "Third Majdanek Trial". Majdanek extermination camp. Jewish Virtual Retrieved 2013-04-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>