Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess was born on 25 November 1900 in Baden-Baden, Germany. He grew up in a Catholic Family and attended grammar school in Mannheim. By the age of 15 he vounteered to join the army during World War I. He, then, fought at the Turkish, and later, at the Palestinian front, where he was promoted to corporal and he received a couple of military rewards. After the war defeat he fought in the free corps at the Baltics, in Upper Silesia and in the Ruhr region. In 1923, Hoess, already a member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), was convicted to ten years of jail because of murdering (so-called revenge killing or extra-judicial murder) the teacher Walter Kdow. However, in 1928 he was granted amnesty and released from prison. In 1929 he married Hedwig Hensel, with whom he had five children.
In 1933 Rudolf Hoess joined the SS and he was called up to the Totenkopf-SS (Skull-SS) by Himmler. In 1936 he became roll-call leader in the concentration camp Dachau. After having worked for two years in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, he was appointed commander in the concentration camp Auschwitz in 1940.
In the following years Rudolf Hoess established, according to the visions of Himmler, the biggest extermination facility for humans of all time. In March 1941, acting under the order of Himmel, he contributed to the construction of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. After Himmel informed him about the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, he ordered to construct four big crematoria with gas chambers and he used, for the first time, the gas Cyclone B, a highly poisonous form of cyanhydric acid, to exterminate Jews, as he deemed the execution by gun to be inefective and costly. The introduction of gas chambers in the showers in order to ensure gasification without a rebellion is also attributed to Rudolf Hoess.
On average death through gasification occurred after approximately three to ten minutes, whereupon Cyclone B caused severe pain. After valuables were taken away from the dead, the bodies were deposited holes, where gasoline was sprayed on them. It is estimated that up to 10.000 human beings were killed like this on a daily basis.
After the implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, Rudolf Hoess supervised the inhuman and iniquitous actions on Polish Resistance fighters, Roma and Sinti, Soviet prisoners of war, and victims of pseudo-medical experiments.
In November 1943, after a corruption scandal Hoess was recalled from Auschwitz and employed as head of the Administrative Unit D in the SS- Economical and Administrative Office, an entity responsible for concentration camps, and later, he became the deputy head of the SS-Economical and Administrative Office.
In May 1944, at the request of Himmler, Rudolf Hoess returned to the concentration camp Auschwitz in order to take care of the extermination of Hungarian Jews. Under his command and supervision the killing of more than 400’000 people was prepared.
After the end of WWII, Hoess used the name Franz Lang, boatman of the navy and after his release from a detention camp he worked in agriculture. In 1946 he was recognised and detained in Flensburg by the British Military Police.
Rudolf Hoess was detained in Flensburg on 11 March 1946 by the British Military Police. After being tortured, he revealed his true identity.