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Paul Blobel

Paul Blobel (beard grown in prison)[1]
A different mug shot of Blobel
Paul Blobel is sentenced to death by hanging at the Einsatzgruppen trial

Paul Blobel (13 August 1894 – 7 June 1951) was a German SS-Standartenführer (Colonel) and a member of the SD. Born in the city of Potsdam, he fought in the First World War, in which by all accounts he served well, being decorated with the Iron Cross first class. After the war, Blobel studied architecture and practiced this profession from 1924 until 1931, when upon losing his job he joined the Nazi Party, the SA, and the SS (he had joined all of these by 1 December 1931).[2]

In 1933 Blobel joined the police force in Düsseldorf. In June 1934 he was recruited into the SD. In June 1941 he became the commanding officer of Sonderkommando 4a of Einsatzgruppe C that was active in the Ukraine. Following Wehrmacht troops into the Ukraine, the Einsatzgruppen would be responsible for liquidating political and racial undesirables. In August 1941 Blobel decided to create a ghetto in Zhytomyr to trap 3,000 Jews who would be murdered a month later.[3] On 10 or 11 August 1941, Friedrich Jeckeln ordered him, on behalf of Adolf Hitler, to exterminate the whole Jewish population.[4] On 22 August 1941 the Sonderkommando murdered Jewish women and children at Bila Tserkva with the consent of field marshal Walther von Reichenau, commander of the 6th Army. SS-Obersturmführer August Häfner testified at his own trial:

Blobel, in conjunction with Reichenau's and Babi Yar massacre in late September 1941 in Kiev,[6] where 33,771 Jews were murdered.[7] In November 1941 Blobel received and activated the first gas vans at Poltava.[8]

Blobel was relieved of his command on 13 January 1942, officially for health reasons, but mostly due to his alcoholism.

In June 1942 he was put in charge of Aktion 1005, with the task of destroying the evidence of all Nazi atrocities in Eastern Europe. This entailed exhumation of mass graves, then incinerating the bodies. Blobel developed efficient disposal techniques such as alternating layers of bodies with firewood on a frame of iron rails.

In October 1944 he headed an anti-partisan group in Yugoslavia.

Gitta Sereny relates a conversation about Blobel she once had with one-time Chief of the Church Information Branch at the Reich Security Office, Albert Hartl.

Up to 59,018 killings are attributable to Blobel, though during testimony he was alleged to have killed 10,000–15,000. He was later sentenced to death by the U.S. Nuremberg Military Tribunal in the Einsatzgruppen Trial. He was hanged at Landsberg Prison shortly after midnight on 7 June 1951.[10] His last words were "I die in the faith of my people. May the German people be aware of its enemies!"[11]

In fiction

References

  1. ^ "SS-Standartenfüher Paul Blobel". SS individuals - B. Axis History Factbook: Gallery. 10 Jul 2004. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ Zentner, Christian Ed; Bedürftig, Friedemann Ed (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. New York: Macmillan. p. 1150.  
  3. ^ Ralf Ogorreck, Les Einsatzgruppen (Tallandier 2010), p.150, ISBN 978-2-286-03062-9
  4. ^ Ralf Ogorreck, op. cit. p. 203
  5. ^ Saul Friedländer. The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, HarperCollins, 2007, p. 217 ISBN 978-0-06-019043-9
  6. ^ Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution : The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942 (With contributions by Jürgen Matthäus), Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2004. pp. 291-292 ISBN 0-803-25979-4 OCLC 52838928
  7. ^ 1941: Mass Murder The Holocaust Chronicle. p. 270
  8. ^ Saul Friedländer. The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, HarperCollins, 2007, p. 234 ISBN 978-0-06-019043-9
  9. ^  
  10. ^ "Five death sentences were confirmed: the sentence against Oswald Pohl, as well as those passed against the leaders of the Mobile Killing Units, Paul Blobel, Werner Braune, Erich Neumann and Otto Ohrlendorf. . . . In the early morning hours of 7 June, the [] Nazi criminals were hanged in the Landesburg prison courtyard." Norbert Frei, Adenauer's Germany and the Nazi Past: The Politics of Amnesty and Integration. Columbia University Press, 2002. p. 165 and p. 173
  11. ^ "Germany: Case Closed". Time. 18 June 1951. 
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