Ferdinand aus der Fünten
Ferdinand Hugo aus der Fünten (17 December 1909 in Mülheim – 19 April 1989 in Duisburg) was an SS-Hauptsturmführer and head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam during the Second World War. He was responsible for the deportations of Jews from the Netherlands to the German concentration camps.
Aus der Fünten was initially an employee in the Jewish section of the RSHA under the command of Adolf Eichmann. After the occupation of the Netherlands by German troops, Aus der Fünten became head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam. In this capacity, he was subordinate to the commander of the Sicherheitspolizei and the SD in The Hague. As head of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration, he organized the registration and arrest of Dutch Jews. The Jews were taken to Westerbork transit camp, deported to extermination camps in Poland. Among those deported were also sick and insane Jews from Amsterdam and Apeldoorn. For Jews who had married non-Jews, he threatened them with deportation in order to force their sterilization. He held the rank of Hauptsturmführer in the SS in 1941.
After the war Aus der Fünten was brought to trial and on 12 July 1950 was sentenced to death by the Netherlands. The death penalty was commuted to lifetime imprisonment on 4 January 1951. Aus der Fünten was imprisoned at Breda with Willy Lages, Joseph Johann Kotälla and Franz Fischer as one of the "Breda Four", the only German war criminals of the Second World War to be imprisoned in the Netherlands. Lages was released in 1966 due to serious illness (although he lived for another five years), Kotälla died in prison.
During the 1960s, discussions started about whether the remaining prisoners should be set free, since the "Breda Four" were the only German war criminals still in captivity in Europe. Politicians opting for releasing the remaining war criminals were met with staunch opposition from the populace. In 1988, the Dutch government under Prime Minister Dries van Agt decided on releasing Fischer and Aus der Fünten. The news led to mass demonstrations and emotional debates. However, they were released on 27 January 1989 and deported to Germany. Shortly after his release, Aus der Fünten died on 19 April 1989.