Military Wiki
Gustav Sorge
Personal details
Born April 24, 1911
Died 1978
Military service
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
3rd SS Division Logo.svgTotenkopfverbände
Rank SS-Hauptscharführer

Gustav Hermann Sorge (April 24, 1911, Rydzyna, Silesia – 1978, Rheinbach, prison), nicknamed "Der eiserne Gustav" (The Iron Gustav) for his brutality, was an SS-Hauptscharführer and a guard at Esterwegen concentration camp in the Emsland region of Germany prior to being assigned to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Among the many people who were murdered at Sachsenhausen by Sorge was Leon Sternbach, a professor of classical philology at Jagiellonian University and the paternal uncle of famed chemist Leo Sternbach. Sorge became a prisoner of war of the U.S.S.R. after the war, was tried as a war criminal in the Sachsenhausen trial held in the former city hall of Berlin-Pankow in 1947 along with Sachsenhausen commandant Anton Kaindl, prison block director Kurt Eccarius and others, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sorge was subsequently repatriated to West Germany in 1956 on the condition that he continue to serve the life sentence imposed by the Soviets. He was put on trial with fellow SS guard Wilhelm Schubert in Bonn (West Germany) for the 1941 murders of over 13,000 Soviet prisoners of war, many of whom where invalided at Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The murders were carried out on a daily basis for six weeks. The retrial was ordered by the Federal Ministry of Justice of Germany to assuage public conscience that the original verdicts in 1947 were indeed warranted. He was convicted of 67 individual murders and numerous counts of manslaughter and resentenced to a life term. He was sent to Rheinbach prison near Bonn,[1][2] where he died.

See also[]


  1. Ernst Klee: The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich persons: who came before and after 1945. Publisher: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007. ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 (German)
  2. The SS: Alibi of a Nation, 1922-1945 Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 21, 1989) Language: English ISBN 0-306-80351-8 ISBN 978-0306803512

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