Military Wiki
Carltheo Zeitschel
Born (1893-03-13)13 March 1893
Died April 1945
Nationality German
Alma mater University of Freiburg
Known for organizing the deportation of Jews in France

Carltheo Zeitschel also Carl Theo,[lower-alpha 1] (13 March 1893,[1] Augsburg[2] - April 1945, Schmölln[citation needed] was a German physician, diplomat, and Nazi functionary.[3][4][5] Among other things, he is known to have been instrumental in the Holocaust in France and Tunisia. As a Judenreferent at the German Embassy in France, he organized the deportation of Jews from the occupied France.[6][7][8]

Early life and education

He was the son of the pharmacy owner Franz Zeitschel and Ella van Hees. From 1911, he studied medicine at the University of Freiburg[9] and worked as an assistant doctor in a military hospital in Freiburg during World War I.



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After graduating in 1918, he was discharged from military service, from 1919 to 1920, he was a member of the de (Freikorps Reinhard) in Berlin, at the same time he was a medical assistant at Klinikum im Friedrichshain before later becoming a doctor in sanatoriums in the Black Forest. From 6 August 1923 onward, he was a member of the Nazi party. Between 1925-35, he worked as a doctor and from 1930-31 as a personal physician to Wilhelm II in Doorn. In 1933 he became a member of the Reich Cabinet.

Pre-war diplomacy and military

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From 1935-37, he was the Head of Unit for colonial questions and for the Far East in the Reich Propaganda Ministry, and, after 1936, he was head of the NSDAP Office of Colonial Policy.

In November 1937, he came to the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt or AA), even before Hitler's reshuffle of the Government, the Armed Forces Command, and the appointment of Joachim von Ribbentrop as foreign minister on 4 February 1938. There he was Legationsrat and clerk in the Colonial Department. In June 1939, he was briefly German Consul in Lagos in the British colony of Nigeria.

On 20 April 1939 he joined the SS as Hauptsturmführer simultaneously with the appointment as SS officer on the staff of the Reich Main Security Office. Beginning in November 1939, Zeitschel was representative of the Foreign Office with the military commander in Warsaw and special representative of that office for the settlement of the Warsaw Diplomatic Corps. In 1940 he was a member of the de (Sonderkommando Künsberg), which organized the art theft by the German troops in Brussels.

Zeitschel and Dannecker organized the traveling exhibition, Le Juif et la France ("Jews and France") in the occupied part of France in 1941

World War II

Judenreferent in Paris

Zeitschel worked in Paris beginning in June 1940, first in the office of the representative of the Foreign Office with the military commander in France.[10] He was then tasked by Ambassador Otto Abetz in the German Embassy to continue to be involved as in Warsaw for the settlement of the foreign missions, and was involved in the theft of Jewish art collections, "in the custody of the German embassy".[11][2] From September 1940, he was promoted as commissioner for Jewish affairs and Masonic affairs liaison with the commander of the state police and the SD (Security Office) and was parallel to his career in the diplomatic service for Sturmbannführer. On 5 September 1941, with Dannecker he led the opening in Paris of the exhibition Le Juif et la France ("The Jew and France").[12][page needed]

As Judenreferent, he was one of the forces behind of the Final Solution in France, the deportation and murder of Jews.[13] The participation of the German Ambassador in the Jewish measures was necessary, both in unoccupied France with the Vichy government as well as in occupied France. In a document submitted in the Eichmann trial, the close cooperation between the German intelligence service (Sicherheitsdienst, or SD) in France, with the German embassy comes up with the BdS Helmut Knochen, and Theodor Dannecker as its representative in Paris on the one hand, and on the other hand expressed (Ernst Achenbach, later FDP foreign policy and almost German-EEC Commissioner, takes part here):

In August 1941, Zeitschel put pressure on Abetz, so this is "personally" the commitment caught by Heinrich Himmler, "that the Jews present in the concentration camp can be deported to the East, once this permit transport"[14][full citation needed][15][16] and then put the pressure on Dannecker.

Zeitschel was informed in top secret processes and knew about the Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942. He applied the minutes of the proceedings from junior state secretary Ernst Woermann to the deportation of French Jews.[17][lower-alpha 2]

In the Nuremberg trials a letter by Zeitschel from February 5, 1946 was read:

The Independent Commission of Historians - Foreign Office presented in the book Das Amt 2010,[19] in response to the book clear that the role of the Embassy in Paris and the Foreign Office has been underestimated in driving the Holocaust in France so far. Zeitschel gave Abetz to late summer of 1941 in which he proposed a memorandum on the way to Berlin.

make destruction or sterilization of the European Jews, with the aim that they lose about 33 v. H. their becoming rare by these measures.[20][21]

In Berlin, Abetz met this Memorandum with Ribbentrop and Hitler, immediately before Hitler's decision to deport Jews from Germany.

Judenreferent in Tunis

Almost simultaneously Zeitschel met with Rudolf Rahn, in 10 May 1943 representatives of the Foreign Ministry at the German Afrika Korps was November 15, 1942 to, on 13 November 1942 in Tunis bridgehead a he after the defeat Erwin Rommel and the surrender the Italian and German divisions left again in May 1943.[Clarification needed] In Tunisia the Einsatzkommando of Walter Rauff began on 24 November 1942. On 6 December 1942, Rauff agreed in a meeting with the General Walther Nehring and Rahn, on the use of Jewish forced laborers and instituted a system of labor camps, organized by Theo Saevecke.[22] Vichy France, Italy and the leadership of the Afrika Korps, between which the "zbV envoy"[23] had to convey to Rahn, that the demands of the SS men were rejected in his own words, because otherwise it would have affected Tunisia and Italian Jews.[24]

Paris Embassy

Until July 1944 Zeitschel was back at the German Embassy in Paris. He also worked out a project for the reorganization of the Paris police in the service of the occupier and was responsible for the organized looting of Parisian art works from galleries.[25] After the dissolution of the Embassy in Paris, he was on 1 August 1944, at the headquarters of the SS Oberabschnitts Spree, whose director was Obergruppenführer August Heissmeyer.

Death and posthumous sentencing

Zeitschel apparently died in April 1945 in Schmölln but this is impossible to confirm definitively. Ernst Klee wrote in Personenlexikon des Dritte Reich: "... Zeitschel should be dead, killed in 1945 in a bomb attack in Berlin".[26] The French judiciary sentenced him in 1954 in absentia for his crimes to lifelong forced labor. In the trial of Abetz, and in the much later judicial proceedings concerning the Jews deported from France, the name Zeitschel was mentioned repeatedly by the defendants and their witnesses to make a main culprit responsible.[26][27]



  1. Also attested in German or English sources or both, are: Carl-Theodor, Carl Theodor, Karl-Theodor, and Karl Theodor.
  2. After 1945, his superiors Ribbentrop, Weizsäcker, Woermann and Abetz [18] denied all knowledge of this.
  3. "Das Amt, here translated as "The Ministry", refers to the German Foreign Office (Auswärtige Amt or AA).


  1. Kapel 1986, p. 216.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ray 2000, p. 371.
  3. Marrus 1995, p. 78.
  4. Browning 2014, p. 198.
  5. Dreyfus 2015, p. needed.
  6. Ray 2000, chap.10 §4.
  7. Klarsfeld 1977, p. 25.
  8. Meyer 2005, p. 30.
  9. "Universitätsarchiv der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg - Diplome aller Fakultäten" (in German). Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  10. Poliakov 1989, p. 118.
  11. Poliakov 1989, pp. 123-26.
  12. Thalmann 1999, p. needed.
  13. Brunner 2004, p. 42.
  14. Dokument VEJ 5/285
  15. Poliakov 1989, p. 120.
  16. Browning 2006, p. 466.
  17. Poliakov 1989, p. 121.
  18. Ray 2000, p. 372.
  19. Conze 2010.
  20. Aufzeichnung, 21.
  21. Unabhängige Historiker Kommission (10 December 2010). "Unser Buch hat einen Nerv getroffen". Suddeutsche Zeitung GmbH. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  22. Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Martin Cüppers: Halbmond und Hakenkreuz.
  23. Paul Seabury: Die Wilhelmstrasse.
  24. Rudolf Rahn: Ruheloses Leben: Aufzeichnungen und Erinnerungen.
  25. Aufbau, New York, Jg. 12, Nr. 3, 18.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Brunner 2004, p. 43.
  27. Ray 2000, p. 373.

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