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Trawnikis at Belzec

SCHMIDT / SMIDT, Christian Genrichovic (Heinrich)

Last Update 10 March 2006

18 February 1917 - 09 April 1944

Born possibly in Latvia. Died by suicide in Italy. Buried (grave no 949) at the German Military Cemetery at Costermano, near Verona.
We may conclude that Schmidt was in charge of Trawnikis, guarding the Jewish "Sonderkommando".

Rudolf Reder stated about Schmidt:
The young Volksdeutsche Heni Schmidt took even more delight in his bestial mission. He was probably a Lett (Latvian) - he spoke German strangely, saying "t" instead of "s" ("vat" instead of "vas"). To the askars he spoke Russian. He did not like spending a single day away from camp. Nimble, quick on his feet, thin, with the face of a blackguard, always drunk, he raced around the camp from four in the morning until evening, inflicting pain, gazing meditatively on the suffering of the victims and revelling in the sight. "He's the worst of the thugs," the prisoners whispered, and immediately answered, "they're all the worst."

Wherever people were being tormented most, he was always the first to show up. He was always there for goading the unfortunate victims along to the chambers, he listened closely to the women's piercing, air-splitting screams escaping the chambers. He was the "soul" of the camp, the most degenerate, monstrous, bloodthirsty. He gazed with pleasure into the burnt-out faces of the workers returning to the barracks at night, exhausted to the final limit. He couldn't resist landing his whip full force on everyone's heads. "When one of us managed to duck, he chased him down and had to make him suffer ... At three-thirty in the morning, the askar sentry (fom the night shift?) who walked around the barracks at night was already pounding on the door and shouting, "Auf! Heraus!" Before we could get out of bed, the thug Schmidt burst in and chased us out of the barracks with his riding crop ..., run through the barracks hitting out left and right".

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