photography by swartz



14. Kurt Hubert Franz - "the doll"


In 1932, Kurt Franz, at the age of 18, became an ardent follower of Hitler. After two years of serving at the Buchenwald concentration camp, he was assigned in 1939 to the "euthanasia program" (code-named "Operation T4") at Linz where 100,000 mentally-ill, crippled, and incurably sick individuals were killed by deadly injections or gassing. On July 22, 1942, when Treblinka opened, Franz arrived as its Deputy Commandant under Franz Stangl.

An extremely handsome man, Kurt Franz was nicknamed lalka Polish for "the doll." Franz came to Treblinka with "Barry," his dog, which had been trained to mutilate the genitals of the male inmates.

In 1943, Franz became Commandant of Treblinka and was there until the revolt and destruction of the camp by the inmates on August 2, 1943 only 60 Jews survived. After the war, Franz was captured in Dsseldorf and tried in October 1964 before the Court of Assizes; he was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1965.

A photograph album from his days in Treblinka was found in his apartment. The title of the album, translated into English, read "The Best Years of My Life."

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Last modified: 07/15/03