Perpetrator Studies Network


Täterforschung nach Auschwitz : John M. Steiners Untersuchungen (1962 bis 2014) : kann Wissen allein die Wiederholung verhindern?

By Jochen Fahrenberg.
(Please note: the announced book below is written in German)

The book is dedicated to the biography and academic bequest of John Michael Steiner – a Czech American sociologist born in Prague in 1925, died in Novato, California, in 2014. He survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps and is one of the few persecuted people who later became involved in scientific research into perpetrators. After the war he had to flee Prague because of the seizure of power by the Communist Party, first to Australia, then to the USA. He came to Germany in 1962 and was able to continue his research after his doctorate at the University of Freiburg i.Br, supported by fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation and the Fulbright-Comission.

His comparative study (1962 to 1966) of former members of the Waffen-SS and SS and former members of the Wehrmacht is unique. The results, indicating a persisting authoritarian attitude, remarkably higher in former members of Waffen-SS and SS, were published in 1970. Far more important to him were the CVs and social behavior of typical SS-men. For various reasons, the CVs were not published. Ten of these CV written for him stand out here: four authors were sentenced to life imprisonment for their multiple murders in the Auschwitz, Buchenwald or Sobibor camps; six were officers of the Waffen-SS, including an adjutant of Himmler and an adjutant of Hitler. These CVs are published here for the first time (plus two transcribed interviews).

For more information, click here

Jochen Fahrenberg is Prof. (em.) and Dipl.Psych at the institute of Psychology in Freiburg (Albert Ludwigs University)