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Saturday, June 7, 2014


On this date, 7 June 1951, 4 of the 24 defendants at the Einsatzgruppen trial who were sentenced to death were executed by hanging at Landsberg Prison. I will post the information about The Commander of Einsatzgruppen C, Paul Blobel from Wikipedia and other links.


Paul Blobel (beard grown in prison)
Paul Blobel (August 13, 1894 – June 7, 1951) was a German Nazi war criminal, an SS-Standartenführer (Colonel) and a member of the SD. Born in the city of Potsdam, he participated in the First World War, where by all accounts he served well and was 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).

In 1933 he 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 Ukraine. Following Wehrmacht troops into Ukraine, the Einsatzgruppen would be responsible for liquidating political and racial undesirables. In August 1941 Blobel decided to create a ghetto in Zhytomyr to enclose 3,000 Jews who would be murdered a month later. On 10 or 11 August 1941, he received the order from Friedrich Jeckeln on behalf of Adolf Hitler to kill the whole Jewish population. 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:

The Wehrmacht had already dug a grave. The children were brought along in a tractor. The Ukrainians were standing around trembling. The children were taken down from the tractor. They were lined up along the top of the grave and shot so that they fell into it. The Ukrainians did not aim at any particular part of the body....The wailing was indescribable.

Blobel, in conjunction with von Reichenau and Friedrich Jeckeln's units, organized the Babi Yar massacre in late September 1941 in Kiev, where 33,771 Jews were murdered. In November 1941 Blobel received and activated the first gas vans at Poltava

Executions of Kiev Jews by German army mobile killing units (Einsatzgruppen) near Ivangorod Ukraine. The photo was mailed from the Eastern Front to Germany and intercepted at a Warsaw post office by a member of the Polish resistance collecting documentation on Nazi war crimes. The original print was owned by Tadeusz Mazur and Jerzy Tomaszewski and now resides in Historical Archives in Warsaw. The original German inscription on the back of the photograph reads, "Ukraine 1942, Jewish Action [operation], Ivangorod."
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.

A different mug shot of Blobel
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.

Hartl had told me of a summer evening—that same hot summer in 1942—in Kiev when he was invited to dine with the local Higher SS Police Chief and Brigadeführer, Max Thomas. A fellow guest, SS Colonel Paul Blobel, had driven him to the general's weekend dacha. 'At one moment—it was just getting dark,' said Hartl, 'we were driving past a long ravine. I noticed strange movements of the earth. Clumps of earth rose into the air as if by their own propulsion—and there was smoke; it was like a low-toned volcano; as if there was burning lava just beneath the earth. Blobel laughed, made a gesture with his arm pointing back along the road and ahead, all along the ravine—the ravine of Babi Yar—and said, 'Here lie my thirty-thousand Jews.'

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 June 7, 1951. His last words were "I die in the faith of my people. May the German people be aware of its enemies!".

In fiction

Defendant Paul Blobel is sentenced to death by hanging at the Einsatzgruppen Trial.

  • Our men taking part in the executions suffered more from nervous exhaustion than those who were to be shot.
    • Quoted in "Minister of death: the Adolf Eichmann story" - Page 131 - by Quentin James Reynolds, Zwy Aldouby - 1960
  • The nervous strain was far heavier in the case of our men who carried out the executions than in that of their victims. From the psychological point of view they had a terrible time.
    • Quoted in "Echoes from the Holocaust: Philosophical Reflections on a Dark Time" - Page 26 - by Alan Rosenberg, Gerald Eugene Myers - History - 1988
  • The executions of agents, partisans, saboteurs, suspicious people, indulging in espionage and sabotage, and those who were of a detrimental effect to the German Army, were, in my opinion, completely in accordance with the Hague Convention.
    • Quoted in "The Eichmann Kommandos" - Page 153 - by Michael Angelo Musmanno - 1961
  • Every spy and saboteur knew what he had to expect when he was arrested.
    • Quoted in "The Eichmann Kommandos" - Page 154 - by Michael Angelo Musmanno - 1961
  • Out of the total number of the persons designated for the execution, fifteen men were led in each case to the brink of the mass grave where they had to kneel down, their faces turned towards the grave. When the men were ready for the execution one of my leaders who was in charge of this execution squad gave the order to shoot. Since they were kneeling on the brink of the mass grave, the victims fell, as a rule, at once into the mass grave.
    • Quoted in "The Eichmann Kommandos" - Page 157 - by Michael Angelo Musmanno - 1961
  • I have always used rather large execution squads, since I declined to use men who were specialists for shots in the neck (Genickschussspezialisten). Each squad shot for about one hour and was then replaced. The persons who still had to be shot were assembled near the place of the execution, and were guarded by members of those squads, which at the moment did not take part in the executions.
    • Quoted in "The Eichmann Kommandos" - Page 157 - by Michael Angelo Musmanno - 1961
  • After each firing order, when the shots were addressed, somebody looked at the victims, because the victims were then put into the grave when they did not fall into the grave themselves, and these tasks were in the field of tasks of the men of the individual Kommandos. The edge of the grave had to be cleaned, for instance. Two men who had spades dealt with this. They had to clean it up and then the next group was led there.
    • Quoted in "The Eichmann Kommandos" - Page 158 - by Michael Angelo Musmanno - 1961
  • I would not say that they were happy. They knew what was going to happen to them. Of course, they were told what was going to happen to them, and they were resigned to their fate, and that is the strange thing about these people in the East.
    • Quoted in "The Eichmann Kommandos" - Page 162 - by Michael Angelo Musmanno - 1961

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