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Camp administration and guards

From spring to fall of 1933, the Osthofen Concentration Camp was run by the Worms police department. SS officer Heinz Ritzheimer served as the local head of administration. After Dr Werner Best, State Commissioner for the police in Hesse, had been dismissed in the fall of 1933, the Darmstadt police department took over the administration of the camp.

During the initial months, the guards consisted of members of the SS and SA from Osthofen, Worms and the surrounding area who had been appointed as “auxiliary police officers" (Hilfspolizisten). They received an allowance for their work. Former prisoners unanimously reported that some guards were feared as thugs whilst others behaved in a more restrained way.

In the fall of 1933, the SA men were withdrawn from guard duty. They were replaced by SS members of Special Guard Detachments (Sonder- und Wachkommandos) from Darmstadt and Offenbach. They were particularly feared in the camp because of their brutality.

Following the closure of the Osthofen concentration camp, both the Hessian Ministry of State and Hessian Reich Governor Sprenger were determined to find appropriate positions for these “proven" SS men. As a result, some served as guards at the Dachau Concentration Camp, and others were employed by the Hessian state police.

No guard was prosecuted after 1945 for his criminal activities at the Osthofen Concentration Camp.

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