Erna Petri

Given NameErna


ww2dbaseErna Kürbs Petri was married to SS officer Horst Petri. Her husband was posted to L'viv (German: Lemberg), Ukraine during the German occupation of Ukraine. As the manager of the family's estate of Grzenda, she mistreated the forced laborers working on the farm and had delivered several female Ukrainian workers to a concentration camp. In 1943, she killed four Jewish men who escaped from a nearby forced labor camp onto her property. Later, she discovered six Jewish boys aged 6 to 12 on her estate and found that they had escaped from a train heading for Sobibor Concentration Camp; she took them home, fed them, and then executed them in the back of the neck with a pistol in nearby woods. In 1962, the couple was found guilty by the government of East Germany; Horst Petri was sentenced to death and Erna Petri was given a life sentence.

ww2dbaseSource: Wendy Lower, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

Last Major Revision: Dec 2015

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Justin Smith says:
6 Nov 2017 02:54:04 AM

This article doesn`t tell the worst of it. Erna Petri has admitted (e.g. “The German War” by N Stargardt p291/2) to murdering 6 young Jewish children (aged 6 to 12), one after the other. She revealed how they were crying, "but more of a low moan" once she started. This is one of the most appalling instances of human depravity but should be publicised for that very reason.
2. Ken Besig says:
5 Mar 2018 12:10:13 AM

By 1943 every German was either a committed genocidal Nazi supporter, or he was in jail, concentration camp, a cemetery, or had left Germany. The accounts of the assistance given by German civilians in the mass murder of Jews and others are horrific, there were 8 million forced laborers/slaves working throughout Germany in factories, farms, and homes, and German Nazi women were notorious for abusing and outright murdering these often Russian slaves with the approval of their husbands and the authorities. Nazism involved the entire German nation, even those Wehrmacht officers who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944 were only trying to save their own skins anyhow.
3. Anonymous 025 says:
4 Feb 2019 10:54:12 AM

what day was Erna born
4. Anonymous says:
6 Nov 2020 07:04:14 PM

I have worked with a few German women who were not even alive during WWII who became very hostile towards me when they realized I was British. I had not even told them that my Father was a soldier in N.W. Europe during WWII.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust

Related Books:
» Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields

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