Vera Salvequart was born in 26 November 1919 in Ohníč in Czechoslovakia. She was an Sudeten Germans, were ethnic Germans living in the Czech lands. Before 1945 there were over 3 million Sudeten Germans A.K.A German Bohemians living in Czechoslovakia.
Afterward she moved to Germany and trained as a nurse in Leipzig.
10 months in Flossenbürg concentration camp
Vera Salvequart moved to Germany afterward. In 1941 the SS arrested her for having a relationship with a Jewish man and for refusing to tell the Gestapo about his identity and address.
She had to stay in jail for 10 months in Flossenbürg concentration camp.
1942 - 1944
Second time in prison for another 2 years
She served another 2 years in prison from 1942 – April 1944 for having a relationship with another Jewish man.
Arrested for helping 5 detained officers escape
On 6 December 1944, the SS arrested her and sent her for the 3rd time to jail for helping 5 detained officers escape. She was
transferred to Ravensbrück, a German concentration camp only for women from 1939 to 1945.
1944 - 1945
From a prisoner to a supervisor
Due to a shortage of personnel, the SS used German prisoners to supervise other prisoners. These supervisors as known as a kapo.
The SS chose Vera Salvequart as a kapo during her stay in Ravensbrück.
With her background as a nurse, she served the camp’s medical wing.
One of her duties is to supervise the gassing of thousands of women. She filled out death certificates for the dead, and inspect their cadavers for gold teeth.
Poisoning the sickly
She started a more active role in the killings. She was poisoning the sickly in the medical wing. It avoided the effort of having to transport them to the gas chambers.
During the trial she admitted to poisoning 50 people which 12 are dead.
"I remember that the sick had no trust in the beginning because they thought that I took part in the mass murdering. I must say that in their place, I would have had the same impression. ... they heard the woman scream and therefore assumed that I was part of the murder."
The ward nurse in camp Uckermark
On Tuesday, 18 December 1946, the main prosecution witness against Vera Salvequart. Irene Ottelard, a survivor of the camp gave evidence. In court, she identified accused no. 10 as the ward nurse in camp Uckermark.
Cross-examined by Major Stewart, Ottelard said that Salvequart had the sole responsibility for the camp. Because the SS-man in charge, Joseph Köhler, was rarely present.
Ottelard never saw a dokter in the ward. Salvequart gave injections and a “white powder” to sick women.
Ottelard was there when Salvequart gave Ottelard’s friend the deadly white powder. She saw her diying.
Under the guise of for better health, Salvequart gave prisoners the white powder. She threated them with an injection if they refused it.
Irene Ottelard saw the prisoners fell into a deep sleep after took the white powder or the injection. Within 24 hours they all died.
Vera Salvequart said in the trail “I remember that the sick had no trust in the beginning because they thought that I took part in the mass murdering. I must say that in their place, I would have had the same impression. I was locked up without interruption, couldn’t go anywhere alone, and all they knew about me was that I lived there where they murdered so many people. Additionally, the prisoners saw when I entered the washroom in the case of Schikovsky; they heard the woman scream and therefore assumed that I was part of the murder.”
Vera Salvequart was found guilty
On the court Ottleard said about Salvequart’s role in the camp, “I must say that Vera Salvequart’s behavior or attitude was very ambivalent. It is true that she saved the lives of a number of women, but it is also a fact that she killed quite a few of them.”
The testimony of a Viennese witness, Lotti Sonntag, fell heavily on Salvequart’s defense. She said that Salvequart had given some prisoners shoes from people who had been poisoned. She testified that Salvequart admitted to giving prisoners a poisonous white powder under the guise of medication because they didn’t want to take it from SS personnel.
Vera Salvequart was found guilty on Monday, February 3, 1947. She was one of five women sentenced to hang.
Petition to King George VI for a reprieve
Along with Elisabeth Marschall, Greta Bösel and Dorothea Binz. Vera Salvequart was scheduled to hang with them but she petitioned King George VI for a reprieve.
She claimed the plans for the V2 rocket had been stolen and gave it to British intelligence.
Her request for a Royal Privilege of Mercy was withheld. On Thursday, June 26, 1947, she followed the other three women to the gallows. She was the first of thirteen prisoners to be hanged that day by Albert Pierrepoint assisted by RSM O’Neill, her execution being carried out at 9:03 am. Her body was later buried in the Wehl cemetery in Hameln.