Hanns Benkert was born in Würzburg in 1899. After attending secondary school and studying mechanical engineering, he worked his way up to become plant manager and board member of Siemens in Berlin. Benkert joined the NSDAP in 1937. In 1940, the Wehrmacht's Armaments Inspectorate III appointed him military economy leader.
Due to the increasing number of German skilled workers drafted into the Wehrmacht, Benkert became increasingly involved in the deployment of forced laborers from 1940 onwards. At the Siemens factories in Berlin, Berlin Jews were employed in "closed labour operations", foreign workers and, since 1944, concentration camp prisoners.
After liberation, Hanns Benkert had to face a denazification trial. He was not exonerated, since the Spruchkammer in Berlin-Spandau determined on the basis of the evaluation of personnel cards of Jewish forced laborers that the Siemens-Schuckert-Werke had been dominated by a "very petty use of administrative penalties. Benkert had personally participated in the reporting of a Jewish forced laborer to the Gestapo. Hanns Benkert died in Berlin in 1948. In an appeal procedure, which was conducted by his wife after his death, another Berlin court acquitted him.