Franz Walter Stahlecker

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Franz Walter Stahlecker
Full Name: Franz Walter Stahlecker
Occupation: Commander of the Sipo & SD
Crimes: Genocide
Type of Villain: Nazi Commander

Franz Walter Stahlecker (10 October 1900 – 23 March 1942) was Commander of the Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo) and the Sicherheitsdienst(SD) (German: Befehlshaber der Sipo und des SD; BdS) for the Reichskommissariat Ostland in 1941–42. Stahlecker commanded Einsatzgruppe A, the most murderous of the four Einsatzgruppen (death squads during the Holocaust) active in German-occupiedEastern Europe.He was killed in action during a clash with Soviet partisans; he was replaced by Heinz Jost.

Early life

Stahlecker was born into a wealthy family in Sternenfels on 10 October 1900. From 1919–20 Stahlecker was a member of the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund and the Organisation Consul. He studied at the University of Tübingen, where he obtained a doctorate of law in 1927. On 14 October 1932, he married Luise-Gabriele Freiin von Gültlingen; their marriage produced four children.

Early Nazi career

On 1 May 1932, Stahlecker joined the Nazi Party (no. 3,219,015) as well as the SS (no. 73,041). On 29 May 1933, he was appointed deputy director of the Political Office of the Württemberg State Police. In 1934, he was appointed head of the Gestapo in the German state of Württemberg and soon assigned to the main office of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD).[2] On 11 May 1937, he became head of the Gestapo in Breslau. After the incorporation of Austria in 1938, Stahlecker became SD chief of the Danube district (Vienna), a post he retained even after being promoted to SS-Standartenführer.[2] In the summer of 1938, Stahlecker became Inspector of the Security Police in Austria, succeeding Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller.[4] As of the 20th of August, 1938, Stahlecker was the formal head of the Central Agency for Jewish Emigration in Vienna, though its de facto leader was Adolf Eichmann.[5] Differences of opinion with Reinhard Heydrichmotivated Stahlecker to move to the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office), after which he held posts as the commander of the Security Police and SD in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia under SS-Brigadeführer Karl Hermann Frank. In mid-October 1939, Eichmann and Stahlecker decided to begin implementation of the Nisko Plan.

On 29 April 1940, Stahlecker arrived in Oslo, Norway,where he held various posts, most notably as commander of about 200 Einsatzgruppe members of the Security Police and SD. He was promoted to SS-Oberführer. He was succeeded in this position in autumn 1940 by Heinrich Fehlis.[10]

Annotated map from the report sent by Stahlecker, summarizes 220,250 murders committed by Einsatzgruppe Aunder his command by October 1941; Estonia is marked as "JudenFrei" {Free of Jews}

Notably, the map used to illustrate Stahlecker's statistics shows Soviet Byelorussia as it was after the 1939 Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland, not before 1939 (pink). In this map, territories of prewar Poland invaded by the USSR in 1939 are marked in yellow.

Einsatzgruppe A

On 6 February 1941 Stahlecker was promoted to SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor der Polizei and took over as commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe A, in hopes of furthering his career with the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), Nazi Germany's security police and intelligence organization. In June 1941, Einsatzgruppe A followed Army Group North and operated in the Baltic states and areas of Russia up to Leningrad.[2] Its mission was to hunt down and annihilate the Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and other "undesirables". In a 15 October 1941 report, Stahlecker wrote:

A wounded Stahlecker on 22 December 1941

By winter 1941, Stahlecker reported to Berlin that Einsatzgruppe A had murdered some 249,420 Jews. He was made Higher SS and Police Leader (German: Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer, HSSPF) of Reichskommissariat Ostland, which included Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, at the end of November 1941.Stahlecker was killed in action on 23 March 1942, in a clash with Soviet partisans near Krasnogvardeysk, Russia.Heinz Jostthen assumed command of Einsatzgruppe A.