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Franz Walter Stahlecker
Franz Walter Stahlecker
Franz Walter Stahlecker
Born (1900-10-10)October 10, 1900
Sternenfels, Germany
Died March 23, 1942(1942-03-23) (aged 41)
Krasnogvardeysk, Russia
Occupation Lawyer
Known for Holocaust perpetrator

Franz Walter Stahlecker (10 October 1900 – 23 March 1942) was Commander of the Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo) and the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) (German language: Befehlshaber der Sipo und des SD; BdS) for the Reichskommissariat Ostland in 1941–42.[1] Stahlecker commanded Einsatzgruppe A, the most murderous of the four Einsatzgruppen (death squads during the Holocaust) active in German-occupied Eastern Europe.[2]

Early career

Map, included in a report Stahlecker sent to his superiors in October 1941, summarizes 220,250 murders committed by Einsatzgruppe A under his command

Born in Sternenfels in 1900, he was trained as an administrative jurist.[3] From 1919–20 Stahlecker was a member of the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund and the Organisation Consul. He joined the Nazi Party in 1932. 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] 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] 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.

Differences of opinion with Reinhard Heydrich motivated him to move to the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office), after which he held posts in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia under SS-Brigadeführer Karl Hermann Frank and, in 1940, in Norway, where he was promoted to SS-Oberführer.[4]

Einsatzgruppe A

In June 1941 Stahlecker was promoted to SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor der Polizei and took over as commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe A[3] in hopes of furthering his career with the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), Nazi Germany's security police and intelligence organization. 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". By winter 1941, Stahlecker reported to Berlin that Einsatzgruppe A had murdered some 249,420 Jews. He was killed in action on 23 March 1942, in a clash with Soviet partisans near Krasnogvardeysk, Russia.[2]


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