This page was created by Jessica Evans, a senior math major at UCSB (link to author's page). In researching the women active in the Nazi movement, I came across Herta Bothe. Although I could find nothing on her childhood, I feel it is important to include her in this website as she stands as a representation of women guards, active during the Holocaust, and known for cruelty. (sources)
Herta Bothe was a camp guard at Bergen-Belsen in 1945. From her own account, she arrived there sometime between February 20th-26th, 1942, but it wasn't until mid-March, 1942, that she was put in charge of a wood kommando. She denied all acts of cruelty to prisoners.
From other accounts, Bothe was infamous for her brutality. She was known as a sadist, often beating prisoners without mercy. In trial, Sala Schiferman served as a witness against Bothe, testifying that she saw Bothe beat an 18-year-old girl for eating peelings in the kitchen. When prisoners protested, Bothe said, "I will beat her to death." The girl was later declared to be dead by camp doctors. Another witness, Luba Triszinska, accused Bothe of frequently beating internees with wooden sticks and causing their deaths. Bothe was known for shooting at weak women as they were carrying the heavy containers of food. One man, Wilhelm Grunwald, testified that he saw Bothe do this sometime between April 1st-15th, 1945. Bothe claimed that she never used anything but her hands to beat the women under her command and that she never carried a pistol.
At the Belsen trial, Bothe was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the war crimes she committed.