"I saw Hanna by the burning church, hard-faced, in a black uniform, with a riding whip"

This dark image of Hanna corresponds to the idea of the female SS guard as being particularly chilling, perhaps due to the perception that it is more unusual for women to commit acts of cruelty.  The contemporary Allied press seemed to share this idea, as many female guards became well known during the War Crimes Trials.  One notorious example was Irma Grese (Hanna would have been around the same age), who served at Ravensbruck, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.  Survivors told of how she appeared to take particularly sadistic pleasure in her treatment of prisoners, randomly whipping, beating, shooting and setting her dogs on them.  She was hanged at the age of 22, the youngest woman to do so under English law in the last century.  Another prominent female Nazi, who was tried by the USA in 1947, was Ilsa Koch, also known as ‘The Witch of Buchenwald’, as she was the wife of Karl Koch, the camp’s commandant.  Her cruelty towards prisoners led to her being the inspiration behind some (incredibly tasteless) Nazi exploitation films, especially ‘Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS’.