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Franz Kutschera

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Franz Kutschera

Young Franz Kutschera

Franz Kutschera (22 February 1904 in Oberwaltersdorf in Lower Austria – 1 February 1944 in Warsaw, Poland) was an SS-Brigadeführer and Gauleiter of Carinthia. As SS and Police Leader of the Poland's Warsaw district, he was sentenced to death by Armia Krajowa ((AK) Polish Home Army) in agreement with the Polish government in exile and assassinated.

Life and career

Visit of Heinrich Himmler in Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in 1941. To the left of Himmler, Gauleiter of Carinthia Franz Kutschera wearing a long black coat.
August Eigruber (far left), Franz Ziereis (left), Himmler (front), Karl Wolff (right) and Franz Kutschera (far right) in KZ Mauthhausen (April 1941)

Kutschera was a shipboy in 1918 in the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Afterwards, he became a gardener. In the 1920s, he lived in Czechoslovakia. He joined the NSDAP in late 1930 and the SS in late 1931.

From 1935 until March 1938 Kutschera was leader of the 90th SS Standard Carinthia, which became known after his death as Franz Kutschera. During Anschluss with Nazi Germany, he was for a short time (February to May 1938) managing Gauleiter of Carinthia, and thereafter first acting Gauleiter, and then finally Gauleiter in 1940-1941. After the Anschluss he became a member of the Reichstag, Maintaining this position until his death. Early in 1939 he became an honorary judge at the People's Court.

Announcement of death of 60 Polish hostages shot by Nazi-German authority in Poland

Kutschera was appointed an SS-Brigadeführer in 1940 and late in 1942 a Major-General of the police. He distinguished himself in the fight against the Resistance with his fanaticism and skill. Hence, he was appointed SS and Police Leader, first from April 1943 in the Mogilev district of the Soviet Union and then as of September 1943, and until his death on 1 February 1944, the Police leader of the District of Warsaw in the occupied Poland.

Assassination by the Polish resistance

Kutschera was sentenced to death by the secret Special Court of the Polish Underground State for the crimes against the Polish nation, in particular mass murders of civilians in occupied Warsaw. The death sentence was approved by the Polish government in exile and the execution order was given by the commander of KeDyw, Gen. Emil August Fieldorf “Nil”. The assassination, code named "Operation Kutschera" a part of "Operation Heads", was carried out in front of Kutschera’s Warsaw residency and near the Warsaw SS headquarters.[1] He was succeeded by Paul Otto Geibel.

References

  • Dunin-Wąsowicz, Marek (1957) "Zamach na Kutscherę", Warszawa
  • Mazower, Mark (2008) Hitler's Empire, Penguin Press, ISBN 978-1-59420-188-2
  • Stachniewicz, Piotr (1982) "AKCJA "KUTSCHERA", Książka i Wiedza, Warszawa

Notes

  1. ^ Mazower, Mark (2008) Hitler's Empire, pp 495
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