Oswald Kaduk (August 26 1906
– May 31 1997) was a German SS-Unterscharführer and
Rapportführer at Auschwitz concentration camp.
The son of
a blacksmith, Kaduk was born in in
Chorzów, Upper Silesia.
attending the Volksschule
he trained as
before becoming one in 1924. As
well as working at the local slaughterhouse, Kaduk also held
positions with fire fighting
at the municipal fire brigade in Chorzów and at a chemical
World War II
In 1939 he
joined the Allgemeine
SS and in 1940 he was drafted into the Waffen-SS.
He was sent to the Eastern Front
, but due to
various illnesses and stays at military hospitals he was posted to
Auschwitz in 1941. At first he was assigned to watch tower
duties in 1942, then became
Blockführer and finally Rapportführer.
Kaduk was considered to be "one of the cruelest, brutalest, most
vulgar" of SS men at Auschwitz:
Kaduk also witnessed the mass murder of people in gas chambers. On
describing his SS colleagues inserting the Zyklon B
gas, Kaduk has said:
After the war
Germany's surrender, Kaduk worked in a sugar factory in Löbau. In December 1946 he was recognized by a
former prisoner and consequently arrested by a Soviet military patrol.
In 1947 the Supreme National Tribunal
sentenced him to 25 years hard labour
but he was reprieved in April 1956.
Kaduk then went to West Berlin
at hospital as a nurse
. Despite his violent
reputation at Auschwitz, he earned himself the nickname "Papa
Kaduk" among patients.
1959 Kaduk was again arrested, and appeared in the Auschwitz Trials in Frankfurt where he was one of the main accused.
August 19 1965 the court sentenced him to life imprisonment for
in ten cases, and joint murder in at
least one thousand cases. Because of the gravity of Kaduk's deeds,
the responsible Spruchkammern
rejected various pleas for
While in prison, Kaduk was interviewed as part of a TV documentary
about SS men stationed at Auschwitz. When asked about Holocaust denial
, Kaduk says:
After the 1984 shift to the Offener Vollzug
, Kaduk was
released from the Schwalmstadt prison in 1989 due to health reasons
). He died in Langelsheim, Harz, as a
pensioner in 1997, at the age of 91.
- Demant, Ebbo (Hg.): Auschwitz — "Direkt von der Rampe weg…"
Kaduk, Erber, Klehr: Drei Täter geben zu Protokoll: Hamburg:
Rowohlt, 1979 ISBN 3499144387
- Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon
zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und nach 1945.
Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005. ISBN
- Hermann Langbein: Menschen
in Auschwitz. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin Wien, Ullstein-Verlag,
1980, ISBN 3-54833014-2.
- Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum: Auschwitz in den Augen der
SS. Oswiecim 1998, ISBN 83-85047-35-2.