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SS Men at Auschwitz - Robert Mulka "The man who knew nothing"

Robert Mulka

The man who knew nothing about Auschwitz


Robert Mulka

Robert Mulka was born on the 12 April 1895 in Hamburg, Germany: the son of a postal employee. After completing Realschule and a year of army service he served an apprenticeship in a business firm. In August 1914 he volunteered for the army that fought in World War One, serving in France, Russia and Turkey, and he rose to the rank of lieutenant.


After the war ended in November 1918, he joined the Baltic Guard, a right-wing paramilitary force, “to prevent the advance of Bolshevism in the West.”  He returned to Hamburg in 1920, returning to the business community, that same year the Hamburg District Court sentenced him to eight months imprisonment and two years loss of civil rights for failing to account for funds confiscated by him in the Baltic, a charge Mulka fiercely contested.


In 1931, he founded his own import –export business whilst remaining a reserve officer, taking part in manoeuvres, he was promoted to first lieutenant, but after his conviction, he was expelled from the army reserve. Mulka joined the Waffen- SS and he was assigned to serve in Auschwitz concentration camp at the beginning of 1942, where so he was told, “a large prison camp with a farm had to be supervised.”


In May 1942 he became Commandant Hoess’s adjutant and he was arrested in March 1943 for making a critical remark about a speech made by Dr Paul Josef Goebbles, the Propaganda Minister, but was released a short time later and the proceedings against him dropped. He returned to Hamburg on leave, and when the Allies commenced their bombing campaign he volunteered for the SS North Sea command. In early 1944, he was transferred to an SS engineer school near Prague.


Mulka became ill and once more he was granted home leave, and he returned to Hamburg, where he stayed until the Nazis capitulated in May 1945. Between the 8 June 1945 and the 28 March 1948 he was interned in various camps, such as, Iserbrook, Neumunster, Eselheide/ Paderborn, as well as in the War Criminal camps at Fischbek and Neuengamme.


A Hamburg de-Nazification chamber sentenced him to eighteen months imprisonment, “for familiarity with the events in Auschwitz,” but the sentence was reviewed and Mulka was put into Category V, which allowed him a free access to employment without restrictions.


Mulka was married, the father of a son and daughter, another son died during the Second World War, and when the Auschwitz trial started in December 1963 worked for an export firm founded by him and since transferred to his son.


At his trial in Frankfurt, Mulka claimed he knew nothing about the fact that many prisoners seemed to be dying and of course he issued no orders that had any connection to the murder or death of Jews or Gypsies at Auschwitz.


Mulka in Hamburg 1962

He claimed that the atmosphere at Aushwitz disgusted him stating things that occurred there shocked him from the very beginning. When asked what specifically shocked him he mentioned the striped cloths of the prisoners.


"Just the striped clothes?" the judge asked.


"The SS men in Auschwitz had no class, no style" he replied.


When questioned about his role as second in  command of the camp in 1942 he stated he worried a lot about whether or not the camp could afford some entertainers he wished to bring in.


When questioned about the gassing of Jews he stated:


 The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team


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