Jerusalem Report

Hitler’s harpies

History professor Wendy Lower bemoans the scant attention that German women have received for their integral role in Nazi war crimes.

British soldier guards Bergen-Belsen warden Irma Grese, 22, in August 1945 with Josef Kramer
Photo by: COURTESY IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM
IRMA GRESE, a young blonde with a coquettish smile and a killer’s stare, earned herself several monikers from the inmates of the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, where she worked as a warden during World War II.

“The Beautiful Beast,” aka “the Beast of Belsen,” and “The Hyena of Auschwitz” loved tormenting female prisoners by whipping them savagely and setting her guard dogs on them. Dolled up in tailored and perfumed finery, the actress wannabe strutted haughtily among bedraggled inmates, lording it over them with sadistic delight. In 1945 she was executed for crimes against humanity at age 22.



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