In the last days of the war, Himmler advised Höss to disguise himself among Kriegsmarine personnel. He evaded arrest for nearly a year. When arrested on 11 March 1946 in Gottrupel, Germany, he was disguised as a gardener and called himself Franz Lang. His wife had revealed his whereabouts to protect her son, Klaus, who was being “badly beaten” by British soldiers.
Rudolf Höss testified at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg on 15 April 1946, where he gave a detailed accounting of his crimes. He was called as a defense witness by Ernst Kaltenbrunner’s lawyer, Dr. Kauffman.
His trial lasted from 11 to 29 March 1947. Höss was sentenced to death by hanging on 2 April 1947. The sentence was carried out on 16 April next to the crematorium of the former Auschwitz I concentration camp. He was hanged on a short-drop gallows constructed specifically for that purpose, at the location of the camp’s Gestapo.
Featured Image: Rudolf Höss on the gallows, before his execution / Image: Andrzej Gass