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Johann Niemann
Johann Niemann, as an Unterscharführer (Head Corporal)
Born (1913-08-04)August 4, 1913
Died October 14, 1943(1943-10-14) (aged 30)
Place of birth Völlen, Westoverledingen, German Empire
Place of death Sobibor, German-occupied Poland
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service 1934—1943
Rank Untersturmführer, SS (Second Lieutenant)
Unit 3rd SS Division Logo.svg SS-Totenkopfverbände
Commands held Sobibor extermination camp

Johann Niemann (4 August 1913 — 14 October 1943) was an SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) and deputy commandant of Sobibor extermination camp. Niemann directly perpetrated the genocide of Jews and other peoples at Sobibor during the Operation Reinhard phase of The Holocaust.[1]

Niemann joined the Nazi Party in 1931 as member number 753,836 and the SS in 1934 as member number 270,600.

Niemann first served at Bełżec extermination camp, at the rank of SS-Oberscharführer (Staff Sergeant), where he commanded Camp II, the extermination area.[2] He then was transferred to Sobibor extermination camp. Niemann was deputy commander of Sobibor on various occasions in 1942 before being given the position permanently in early 1943. After Heinrich Himmler's visit to Sobibor on 12 February 1943, Niemann was promoted to SS-Untersturmführer.[3]

Karl Frenzel, also a commandant at Sobibor, recalled how Niemann handled a particular threat of prisoner revolt within the camp:

A Polish Kapo told me that some Dutch Jews were organizing an escape, so I relayed it to Deputy Commandant Niemann. He ordered the seventy-two Jews to be executed.[4][5]

On 14 October 1943, a prisoner uprising took place throughout the Sobibor camp. Niemann was the highest-ranking SS officer who was on duty at the camp that day, and so he was the first person targeted to be assassinated by the prisoners. Johann Niemann was killed in the tailor's barracks with an axe to his head by Alexander Shubayev, a Jewish Belorussian Red Army soldier who had been imprisoned at Sobibor as a prisoner of war.[6]


  1. Sobibor - The Forgotten Revolt
  2. Yitzhak Arad (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pg. 28.
  3. Sobibor Interviews: Biographies of SS-men
  4. Thomas Blatt (1997). From the Ashes of Sobibor, pp. 235-242. Northwestern University Press.
  5. Karl Frenzel interview
  6. Yitzhak Arad (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pg. 326.

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