Arthur Nebe

Arthur Nebe

The last few days I have seen articles about the German government commemorating those who were involved in the  20th July 1944 assassination plot.

In a way I can understand it why they are doing this, but having that said I don’t agree with it.

Yes it is true these men planned to kill Hitler but not because they didn’t believe in his policies, because all of them had signed up to Nazi ideology one way or another. They wanted to kill them because they didn’t agree with the way he was conducting the war and the consequences of that.

Some of them had actively and willingly participated in the killing of innocent lives..

None more so then Arthur Nebe. he was a key figure in the security and police apparatus of Nazi Germany and a Holocaust perpetrator.He  was  given command of Einsatzgruppen B between June and November 1941, an extermination unit whose headquarters were in Minsk, and  also covered the area of the Moscow front.During this period of five months,he was responsible  for  46,000 executions.

Minsk

In a  report he issued on July 23,1941 , Nebe stated the idea of a “solution to the Jewish problem” being “impractical” in his region of operation due to “the overwhelming number of the Jews”; there were too many Jews to be killed by too few men. By August 1941, Nebe came to realize that his Einsatzgruppe’s resources were insufficient to meet the expanded mandate of the killing operations, resulting from the inclusion of Jewish women and children since that month.

During visits to Russia in 1941,  Himmler learned the psychological impact of shooting women and children on the Einsatzgruppen. He therefore commissioned Arthur Nebe to explore ways of killing that were less stressful for the task force.

Nebe decided to try experimenting by murdering Soviet mental patients, first with dynamite near Minsk, and then with automobile exhaust ,gas vans,at Mogilev. These vans had already been used before  in 1940 for the gassing of East Prussian and Pomeranian mental patients in Soldau.

However the Gas van was not a Nazi but a Soviet invention.The gas van was invented in the Soviet Union in 1936, by Isay Berg, the head of the administrative and economic department of the NKVD of Moscow Oblast.

vans

In March 1944, after the “Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp, Nebe was ordered by Heinrich Müller, to select and kill fifty of the seventy-three recaptured prisoners in what became known as the “Stalag Luft III murders”.Also in 1944, Nebe suggested that the Roma interned at Auschwitz would be good subjects for medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp.

Nebe was was executed in Berlin at Plötzensee Prison on 21 March 1945, because of his involvement in the July 20 plot.

 

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Sources

Traces of War

Holocaust research project

Bundesarchiv

 

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