The female guards at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Ravensbrück are less well known than their male counterparts, but they were no less brutal.
You don’t have to look too hard to find horrifying stories about Nazis.
However, one of the craziest stories revolves around a woman that not many people are aware of: Irma Grese, an S.S. officer who was so evil and heinous that even other Nazis thought she was a little insane, which she most definitely was.
Irma Grese was born October 7, 1923, to a dairy farmer in Germany.
Her life took its first dark turn in 1936 when her mother committed suicide after finding out that her father, Alfred Grese, had had an affair with a younger woman.
At age 15, Irma Grese left school and worked odd jobs around the area while attempting to become a nurse’s assistant.
Around this time, after failing to find a nursing job, she started showing interest in Hitler and joined up with a local Nazi youth group.
Shortly after joining, she found her first job at the Ravensbrück concentration camp where she became an S.S. supervisor and was subsequently sent to Auschwitz, a place where many unspeakable horrors took place, in 1943.
It was here that Grese became a straight up monster.
Not only did she help operate the gas chambers that killed thousands and thousands of Jews, she also routinely humiliated them first by having them stand outside in the rain with barely any clothing.
She also routinely beat and kicked people within an inch of their lives, shot them down in cold blood and even had a pack of half-starved dogs that she would use to bite and attack prisoners for “fun.”
Though all of that is horrifying by itself, Grese didn’t stop there.
It became apparent that she wasn’t just torturing and maiming prisoners because it was her job, an excuse many Nazis have tried to use to explain their actions.
She did it because she got off on it, literally.
Take this survivor’s story, recounted by Sonja Maria Hedgepeth and Rochelle G. Saide in their book Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust, as an example:
Irma Grese went around in camp, her bejeweled whip poised, picked out the most beautiful young women and slashed their breasts open with the braided wire end of her whip.
Subsequently, those breasts got infected by the lice and dirt which invaded every nook and corner of the camp.
They had to be cut open if the patient was to be saved.
Irma Griese invariably arrived to watch the operation, kicking the victim if her screams interfered with her pleasure and giving herself completely to the orgiastic spasms which shook her entire body and made saliva run down from the corner of her mouth.
While at Auschwitz, when she wasn’t torturing people for fun, Grese was reportedly responsible for 30 murders every day.
Then, in 1945, she was transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she earned the nickname the “beautiful beast of Belsen” because of her tight-fitting Nazi uniform, blue eyes, and blonde hair.
She was pretty much everything Hitler stood for.
On April 15, 1945, British Forces finally liberated the Bergen-Belsen camp and took Grese into custody.
She was tried for her crimes against humanity and was put to death in December at the age of 22.
She goes down in history as one of the most heinous and depraved women of World War II, though many people aren’t aware she existed at all.
*This article was originally published at modernnotion.com