On 15 February 1945, there were 26,000 women and girls in the 26 Buchenwald women’s subcamps. They were guarded and harassed by 319 SS men and 567 women overseers. The nickname the Hungarian Jewesses in the Penig subcamp gave the overseer Annemarie was scathing: “Pig-Face Anne”.
Most of the women overseers were labourers or office employees who had been recruited from their companies for the local women’s camps. For a little bit of extra pay and prestige, but also sometimes out of conviction, they became perpetrators. They received their training as “SS women” in the Ravensbrück concentration camp from female overseers who had been in the concentration camp service for years.
The inmate Rosa Deutsch drew caricatures of her overseers in Penig: at the far right the “woman from Ravensbrück”. She is the one with the most robust and self-confident appearance. Next to her are Rézi (Rosi) with the mean expression and Trude with a stick and boots. To the far left “Schweinsgesicht [Pig-Face] Anne”.
Simone Erpel (ed.), Im Gefolge der SS-Aufseherinnen des Frauen-KZ Ravensbrück: Begleitband zur Ausstellung, Berlin 2007.
Jutta Mühlenberg, Das SS-Helferinnenkorps: Ausbildung, Einsatz und Entnazifizierung der weiblichen Angehörigen der Waffen-SS 1942–1949, Hamburg 2010.