born September 22, 1899
Georg Brehm, identification photograph from the Cologne Criminal Police, 1927 (Main Public Record Office Düsseldorf)
Georg Brehm grew up in Cologne with his five siblings. His father died at a young age. His mother was forced to raise the children alone and do cleaning and laundry work in order for the family to survive. Brehm was a soldier in the First World War. Afterwards he worked as a welder.
As an eighteen-year-old, Brehm spent six months in prison for several cases of petty theft. In the following years, he came into conflict with the law repeatedly. He dealt in stolen goods and was prosecuted for counterfeiting and driving without a license. In March 1937, Brehm was taken into custody by the Cologne Criminal Police during a wave of arrests of persons with criminal records throughout the German Reich. The SS interned these men in concentration camps as “career criminals”.
After two years in the Buchenwald concentration camp, Georg Brehm arrived at the Flossenbürg camp on April 26, 1939. He received the number 299 and a green triangle. Georg Brehm worked in the concentration camp storeroom. He was put in charge of food allocation, a task that improved his own chance of survival. In January 1945, Georg Brehm was “released” from the Flossenbürg concentration camp to an SS “Probationary Front Unit.”
Georg Brehm survived the war. He died in Cologne at age seventy-six.
Radio message from the Flossenbürg concentration camp to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, January 12, 1945 (International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen)
The Dirlewanger SS storm brigade was one of the “Probation Units” to which a few concentration camp prisoners were “released” for war duty.