The organized deportation of the Jews from the Polish town of Sieradz.
June 03, 2013, 3:00pm / 57
Franz Six joined the NSDAP party in 1930 and the SA (the precursor to the SS) two years later where he acted as the student organizer until he joined the SD in 1935.
Impressed by Six’s work, Reinhard Heydrich (the Blond Beast) appointed him s head of Amt VII, Written Records of the RSHA that dealt with ideological tasks such as the creation of anti-semitic and anti-masonic propaganda, and monitoring the Nazi indoctrination of the public.
During the planning stages of Operation Sea Lion (the German invasion of Great Britain), Six was charged with the responsibility of eliminating all anti-Nazi elements within Great Britain following the invasion. This responsibility included the detention and elimination of some 2,300 individuals immediately after the occupation of GB. To give you an idea of who made up that number, these people included the likes of Winston Chuchill and other members of the Cabinet, philosopher Bertrand Russell, and various members of exiled governments.
Not only that, but Six planned out six Einsatzgruppen squads to be located in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and either Edinburgh or Glasgow. These death squads were to eliminate the expected civilian resistance and the Jews of the island.
When Operation Sea Lion was abandoned, Six’s responsibility turned to the East where he was put in charge of a unit Einsatzgruppe B in the USSR. During his stint at this position, his Kommando reported to have liquidated 144 persons which included intellectual Jews and those who had tried to create unrest in the Smolensk ghetto. For his mens’ accomplishment, Heinrich Himmler promoted Six.
At the end of the war, Six stood trial in Nuremberg during the Einsatzgruppen trial in 1948. The tribunal was unable to link him directly to any of the atrocities but still sentenced him to 20 years in prison. He only served 10, and was released on 30 September 1952.
After his release, Franz Six served as an advertising executive Porsche.
March 18, 2013, 1:00pm / 14
Officially named the 36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, it was commonly referred to as the Dirlewanger Brigade. Formed originally to combat partisan activities in Poland, they like most units saw eventual combat against the Red Army during the death rattle days of the Reich.
Initially the 36th was a unit composed of convicted poachers, but over time it began to become home to an increasing number of common Third Reich criminals. In contrast to those who served in the Wehrmacht’s penal battalions for minor offenses, the volunteers sent to the “Dirlewanger Brigade” had been convicted of such major crimes that would have been considered criminal in even civilian courts. In theory, it was believed that service in the “Dirlewanger” would rehabilitate even the most loathsome criminal but, in fact, it simply provided them with the ability to continue committing criminal acts without repercussions but against the partisan forces.
By September 1940, after news spread and hundreds of concentration camp criminal prisoners applied, the formation numbered over 9000 men strong. As the unit grew, so did the severity of the crimes the members committed. It became common for one soldiers to have committed either assault, burglary, rape or all three.
The notoriety of the Dirlewanger has allowed them to survive in popular culture; the name has been showcased in the video game Velvet Assassin and as the inspiration for the antagonist unit in the USSR film Come and See (1985).
March 03, 2013, 3:00pm / 69