Emma Zimmer

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Emma Anne Zimmer (née Mezel; 14 August 1888 – 20 September 1948) was a female overseer at the Lichtenburg concentration camp, the Ravensbrück concentration camp and the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination/concentration camp for several years during the war.

Mezel was born in 1888 in Schlüchtern. In 1938, Emma became a guard at the Lichtenburg early concentration camp, where she became assistant camp leader under Johanna Langefeld. In 1939 she was assigned to the Ravensbrück concentration camp where she served as assistant chief leader, and in October 1942 she became assistant camp leader at Auschwitz II (Birkenau) as an SS-Stellvertretende Oberaufseherin. [1]

On 1 June 1943, one month before her 55th birthday, she was granted permission to stay on staff as a female overseer at Ravensbrück, despite her age. She was one of the first chief woman officers at Ravensbrück from 1939-41 and took an active part in the selection of internees to be gassed during 1941 at the Bernberg Euthanasia Center near Berlin. Zimmer served as a guard at Ravensbrück and was known in the camp for being brutal and sadistic in her guard duties.[citation needed] At Auschwitz, Emma was particularly feared: "Our supervisor was an old and mean SS-woman called Emma Zimmer. She was vicious and dangerous and frightening us constantly with threats, proclaiming in a sadistic voice, “I will report you and then you will go away, you know where? Just one way-up the chimney.” We hated her and were scared of her."[2]

She was awarded the War Merit Cross Second Class without swords.[3] Zimmer stood trial at the seventh Ravensbrück Trial and was sentenced to death for her war crimes. She was hanged by Albert Pierrepoint on the gallows at Hamelin Prison on 20 September 1948; she was 60 years old.[citation needed]

See also

Further reading


  1. The Blessed Abyss: Inmate #6582 in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp for Women By Nanda Herbermann, p. 195
  2. Lore Shelley, Auschwitz-The Nazi Civilization (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992) p. 33
  3. Klee, Ernst (2013). Auschwitz. Täter, Gehilfen und Opfer und was aus ihnen wurde. Ein Personenlexikon (Auschwitz. Perpetrators, agents and victims and what became of them. A personal glossary) (in German). Frankfurt am Main. p. 450.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>