18 juni 2024

Getting paid to be a concentration camp guard!

During the Second World War unfortunately quite a few Dutch people chose to actively collaborate with Nazi Germany. Collaboration could come in many different forms, but whatever was done, there were bad examples and then there were really bad examples! Here is one especially ghastly form of collaboration: a Dutch person who was an SS concentration camp guard.

This item is listed in Corinphila auction nr. 244 (“kavel” nr. 2925, part of the Kees Adema collection). The text as supplied by Corinphila:
“Concentration Camp Dachau money order München-Foorst b.Zuften 21.8.43 (Voorst near Zutphen) sent from the SS Standortverwaltung Dachau (administration of the camp) to a Dutch SS-member (probably salary for the work as a guard returned to the Netherlands), received 27.VIII.43”

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The man named Friedrich Wagenaar was, according to one of the texts which come with this item, probably a concentration camp guard at Dachau. Even amongst the ranks of the SS this type of work was not exactly considered heroic and often people were hired who wouldn’t have been considered “good enough” for the Waffen SS. We know exactly how many “pieces of silver” he got for his work: 367,77 Reichsmarks, which was, after deductions, worth 277,14 Dutch guilders in 1943.

What this man’s type of work meant is well-known to the world, but here is one individual reminder of the results of these men doing their ghastly business: a returned envelope because the complete family had been murdered in yet another camp, Sobibor. Samuel Gruenebaum and his family were murdered upon arrival there in May 1943.

This is in short the item text as supplied by Corinphila (kavel nr. 2928) for this Gruenebaum cover:
“Concentration Camp Sobibor, air mail letter Hilversum-New York 25.VIII.1941, German Frankfort censor, addressee unknown Not in directory/ Station W, with 3x retour, US censor label and stamp This article has been held/ by the office of censorship, after the war returned to the Netherlands, could not be delivered because sender and his family (fam. Guenebaum) did not survive Sobibor. Opened on the right.”

Information and images used here by permission. Please note Netherlands+Philately and Corinphila have no (legal/financial) connection.

Ivo Spanjersberg

Ivo Spanjersberg

Webmaster. Collecting Korean revenue stamps (see http://www.spanjersberg.net/). Also member of Korea Stamp Society (https://www.koreastampsociety.org/) & Nederlandse Vereniging voor Fiscale Filatelie (http://www.belastingzegels.nl/).

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