Amon Leopold Goeth was raised in the same faith and place as Oskar Schindler. “He ceased observing the rites of the church in 1938 when his first marriage had failed. He studied Engineering, Phyisics, and Math in high school and was therefore a practical man, no thinker, but he considered himself a philosopher.” (Keneally, page 159) “He joined the National Socialist Party early in 1930. When the Austrian Republic banned the party in 1933, he was already a member of its security force, the SS.” (Keneally, page 160) Goeth and Schindler worked closely with each other and were very friendly. They would drink and play cards together.
He was an SS Hauptsturmführer and the commandant of the Nazi concentration camp in Plaszow in German-occupied Krakow, Poland during World War II. He was known for his brutal shootings and beatings of Jews in his camp. Helena Hirsch, a Schindler survivor, recalled, “He wore a specific hat and white gloves on days that he was planning on killing many people. We all knew it was coming. Sometimes he would even whistle contently on those days, too.” Another Schindler survivor remembered, “Goeth would ride a white horse through the camp and would stop to shoot you if you were walking too slow, stopped to catch your breath, or even looked at him.”
He was tried as a war criminal after the war. After the Supreme National Tribunal of Poland at Krakow found him guilty of murdering tens of thousands of people, he was executed by hanging not far from the former site of the Plaszow camp.
*These clips demonstrate Goeth’s unforgiving nature. He was known for being extremely brutal and killing Jews for target practice.