Despite his English sounding name, Harald Turner was born in the town of Leun in the district of Hesse in Germany in 1891. He served as an SS commander in Serbia during WWII.
His description of some crimes he had been involved in are truly chilling, not so much because of the horrific crimes themselves but more in the business as usual kind of way he described them. Below are some examples.
“Already some months ago, I shot dead all the Jews I could get my hands on in this area, concentrated all the Jewish women and children in a camp and with the help of the SD got my hands on a “delousing van,” that in about 14 days to 4 weeks will have brought about the definitive clearing out of the camp…” Dr. Harold Turner’s letter to Karl Wolff, dated April 11, 1942
The “Delousing” van he referred to were Gas vans.
Between 16 September 1941 and 2 December 1941, Franz Böhme,as Commanding General and Commander of Serbia, ordered the reprisal executions of 2,000 civilians in Kragujevac after a partisan assault on 22 soldiers of the 421 Korps-Nachrichten-Abteilung.
It was not only for the partisan assault but also for what Böhme saw as the betrayal and the backstabbing by the Serbians which caused so much German blood in 1914. The civilians were to be Jewish and Gypsies.
On October 11 ,Harald Turner reported the following.
“After thorough exploration of the square and preparation, the first shooting took place on October 9, 1941.
The prisoners were picked up from their camp in Belgrade at 5.30 am with their emergency luggage. Providing them with spade and other tools, for a job which was faked. Each vehicle was guarded by only three men, to hide the fact of what really was about to happen
The transport took place without any difficulties. The mood of the prisoners during transport and preparation was good. They were happy about the distance from the camp, because their accommodation had not been to their liking as of yet. The prisoners were set to work 8 kilometers from the shooting site and afterwards taken to the site. The shooting took place by rifle at a distance of 12 meters. For each prisoner 5 marksmen were ordered to shoot. Additionally , two marksmen were available to the doctor, who had to kill the prisoners via head shots as instructed by the doctor.”
That day 180 men were murdered.
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