Silvain Wolf-Just a holiday trip

Silvain Wolf was just a footnote in history. But his story is an important one to tell.

He was born on October 7,1902 in Beek, a small town in the province of Limburg, in the South East of the Netherlands.

In 1930 he moved to nearby Sittard, where he got a job with his uncle Adolf Wolf- In the shop Wolf & Hertzdahl. (Which is a shop I often passed when I worked in Sittard.)

On August 25,1942 Silvain got the call to report for labor in Germany. He wanted to hide but was too late. He was initially sent to Westerbork. In Westerbork he wrote a few letters to his family. Below is part of the text of one of those letters.

“We are all good… Mrs van de Hors is keeping well too. Sophie(his sister) needs to remain tough, or do something else……. We had red cabbage and rotten unpeeled potatoes, and will disappoint more often.

You all keep strong, it is just a Holiday trip”

That last line says so much. He was still anticipating a return home. This was because the Nazis had created the illusion that all wasn’t that bad. On August 28,1942 he was put on a transport to Auschwitz.

But Silvain and other men were taken off the train in Kosel ,about 80 km away from Auschwitz. From labor camp Kosel the men were sent to other camps ,after that theirs and Silvain’s fate is unknown. There is only a footnote saying ‘Died in middle Europe’ not even the date is known. They put Silvain’s date of death on April 30,1943 but that is a fictional date.

He was punished and killed because he was Jewish.

sources

https://www.stolpersteinesittardgeleen.nl/Slachtoffers/Silvain-Wolf

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/123000/silvain-wolf

https://www.tracesofwar.nl/books/1648/Een-voetnoot-bij-de-wereldgeschiedenis.htm

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Westerbork-Distraction from fate.

I have done several blogs on Westerbork before. The reasons why I highlight Westerbork so much are.

  1. It was the place where most Dutch Jewish and Jewish Refugees passed through before being sent to extermination camps
  2. It had initially set up as a refugee center for Jews prior to the war.
  3. Although the death toll was much lower in Westerbork then in other camps ,i was also one of the most sinister camps.

It is the sinister aspect I want to go into here. The biggest crime comitted in Westerbork was that it gave those who were imprisoned there hope or rather false hope. It was a distraction to the real fate that awaited them.

The Dutch government established a camp at Westerbork in 1939 to intern Jewish refugees, mostly from Germany. The first refugees arrived in Westerbork in October of that year. In April 1940, there were approximately 750 Jewish refugees housed in the camp. Some of them were German Jews who had been passengers on the St. Louis ship.

As you can see the picture above is of a football team. Amidst all the killing, torture, deportations and other horrors in Camp Westerbork, they actually found time to set up a football competition.

Some of the prisoners were well know European players, or players who played for major European teams.

Westerbork had facilities like a hospital, an orphanage with a playground, and a football competition fall into that category. The prisoners got hope and a sense of normality out of this.

How did the idea of a football competition come from ? In 1943 a small group of prisdoners went from Westerbork to Amsterdam where they had to work in a factory. Whilst on the train from Assen to Amsterdam, they read a paper, De Telegraaf, a widespread Dutch Newspaper. In this newspaper, it said that the national football competition was still going on. When reading this news, one of the group members got angry; they were playing without him! How could this be?

Within that group that traveled to Amsterdam were multiple footballers, such as Ignatz Feldmann, a famous professional footballer from Austria in the 1920s and the 1930s.

Feldman was one of the best defenders at that time. He was quite famous , not only in Austria but also in The Netherlands. So he had a certain status within Camp Westerbork and the Jewish community. During that train journey from Assen to Amsterdam, he came up with the idea of starting a football competition in the camp. The camp commandant allowed it.

It was a quiet professional-looking competition. With matches being played every week.

Eddy Hamel was an American Jew who played for AFC Ajax, Amsterdam. Ernst Alexander was a Jewish player for FC Schalke 04 and Árpád Weisz a Hungarian Olympic football player and manager, he was managing FC Dordrecht in the Netherlands when the war broke out. They all were murdered in Auschwitz.

But football was not the only thing that distracted the prisoners from their fate. There were factories, music, playgrounds, it was nearly like an ordinary town.

Camp Westerbork also had a school, orchestra, hairdresser, and even restaurants designed by SS officials to give inmates a false sense of hope for survival and to aid in avoiding problems during transportation.

The camp administration was headed by a German commandant. Westerbork had three commandants, all of whom were SS officers: Erich Deppner (July 1942–September 1942); Josef Hugo Dischner (September–October 1942); and Albert Konrad Gemmeker (October 1942–April 1945). German SS men and a rotating group of Dutch civilian and military police guarded the camp. In addition to the German and Dutch personnel, a Jewish police force ,called the Ordedienst or the OD, kept order in the camp.

Below is a film that shows life in Westerbork-It was recently discovered and restored. It is a long film but it is well worth the wwatch.

sources

https://schalke04.de/verein/schalke-hilft/handlungsfelder/stehtauf/ernst-alexander-auszeichnung/

https://footballmakeshistory.eu/football-at-the-concentration-camp/

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Band of Brothers

I recently bought a subscription for an application called Now TV. I basically bought it because it has some great box sets on it like ‘Sopranos’ .Howver I also saw that ‘Band of Brothers’ was on it too.

I forgot how good and powerful the show is. Last night I watched the second last episode, episode 9 titled “Why we fight” it is the episode where they come across one of the sub camps of Dachau. There is one powerful line in that episode which describes all the ‘enemies’ of the Third Reich.

“They are musicians, clerks, artists, doctors, teachers, Poles or Gypsies they are Jews, considered “undesirable” by the Germans. ” None of the men in the camp had any military connection.

There is one other scene earlier on in the episode, and I hadn’t noticed it before,. One of the men of EZ company entered a shop looking for VAT 69 whisky. Behind them there is a poster of a company called Opekta.

That is the company that Anne Frank’s father Otto managed in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank wrote in her diary on June 20, 1942: “Since we are Jews, my father went to the Netherlands in 1933. He became director of the Dutch Opekta company for jam production. “

source

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185906/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

European Hate

When you look at the picture you might think that it is an innocent portrayal , of a street somewhere in the Netherlands.

A typical Dutch scene. Someone cycling, two bikes parked against a sign. What could be hateful here?

It is actually the sign itself that has a message of hate. It says “Jews not wanted” or “Jews not desired” . Above the sign there is another one, it gives us the name of the town ‘de Bilt’ . This is not just any town in the Netherlands, it is one of the most affluent towns in the country, it has been for centuries. It was the birthplace of Joan Gideon Loten, a prominent member of the Dutch East India Company .It was also the birthplace of Johan Beyen a politician, who helped create the European Economic Community. During World War II, he was, in addition to his position at Unilever, financial advisor to the Dutch government in exile in London. In 1944, he played an important role during the Bretton Woods conference where the foundations were laid for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. From 1946, he was the Dutch representative in the board of the World Bank and from 1948 also in that of the IMF.

The town is also where one of America’s wealthiest families originated from , the Vanderbilt family.

So a very influential town. No one in the town had to fear any hardships or job losses caused by Jews, yet this was one the lies spread by the Nazis.

The hateful rhetoric was based on nothing. Of course the sign, as many other signs, were put up on order by the Nazis, but there was little or no resistance by the population to put up them up.

The Holocaust didn’t happen overnight it was a gradual process.

De Bilt is and was also the home of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) since 1854. One of the institutes employees was Kittie Koperberg.

Kitty was fired from her job at the KNMI on November 21,1940 because she was Jewish. Even if she hadn’t been fired it was made very clear that she was no longer welcome in De Bilt. Like so many other Jews, Kittie was sent to Westerbork from there she was put on a transport to Sobibor on May 11,1943. When she arrived in Sobibor on the 14th of May she was murdered.

It is easy for me to judge in retrospect, however I don’t feel like it is a judgement but a critical analysis of the history of a dark era of the country I was born in. If we can’t be critical about our past we can never be critical about the present or the future. We will not learn from the mistakes that were made.

I know some people will jump on this blog to criticize the Dutch. But this will more then likely be done by people who live in one of the countries, that are currently white washing their mistakes, actively revising the history and distort it to suit their current narrative.

The hate against the Jews didn’t only exist in Germany but all over Europe.

The millions of victims of the Holocaust, and those who survived deserve better then that.

sources

https://cdn.knmi.nl/system/readmore_links/files/000/000/927/original/Kittie_Koperberg_1892-1943.pdf?1523974128

https://oorlogsgravenstichting.nl/persoon/83004/catharina-helmina-koperberg

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vrouwen-toen-en-nu-kitty-koperberg-1892-1943-elly-pieta-van-beek/?originalSubdomain=nl

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Hans Weinberg murdered in Dorohucza

Hans Weinberg would have celebrated his 100th birthday today. Although there is not that much data on Hans, and the data which is available his very clinical, it does illustrate the horrors of the Holocaust.

Hans was born on November 22,1921 in Amsterdam He was murdered-although some may say died- on November 30,1943 in Dorohucza a labor camp in Poland.

I had not heard of Dorohucza before. This is how Dutch historian and Holocaust survivor Jules Schelvis described the camp.

“In Dorohucza, we lacked the most basic amenities. The inmates who were there were sleeping in dilapidated barracks. The roof had large gaps, so that lying on the bare floor, one had an unobstructed view of the sky. There was always a penetrating stench of dirty clothes and unwashed bodies. Drinking water was not there. We were given black gunk they called coffee and soup, which consisted of half a liter of water with pieces of sauerkraut and an almost transparent slice of dog food. The water from the river that flowed past the camp was undrinkable. It was very dirty, because the river also served as a laundry room by the prisoners when they unsuccessfully tried to get rid of their lice after work.”

Dorohucza was the location of a forced labor camp of the Lublin Reservation complex. According to Jules Schelvis, at least 700 Dutch Jews were imprisoned there building latifundia of Generalplan Ost for the German settlers. Jules Schelvis and Hans Weinberg were both prisoners there.

Hans Weinberg’s timeline.

Born November 22,1921 in Amsterdam.

May 10,1940, German troops invade the Netherlands. Hans is 18.

January 7,1941 Hans and other Jews were no longer allowed to go the cinema.

May 3.1942 ,all Dutch Jews including Hans had to wear a Yellow star.

Hans was imprisoned in Camp Westerbork, the Netherlands until July 20,1943.

On July,20 1943, Hans was deported to Sobibor, Poland. There were 2245 people on that transport. Age 0 to 12-19;age 13 to 18-297;age 19 to 25-179; age 26 to 35-179; age 36 to 50-375;age 51 to 65-563; age 66 to 80-380; age 80+ 253

November 30,1943 Hans is murdered in Dorohucza. The sad thing is he came from an extermination camp to be murdered in a labor camp.

Sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Hans-Weinberg/02/168909

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/213905/hans-weinberg

https://www.geni.com/projects/Dorohucza-Labor-Camp/38202

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Michel Polak and Mirjam Brilleman- 1 year old and 8 month old enemies of the state.

There are no pictures of Michel Polak and Mirjam Brilleman.

There is only a picture of one the place they were murdered. Auschwitz and more then likely Auschwitz-Birkenau.

There are no pictures of the 2 children because they were born on November 20,1941 in Amsterdam. The Nazis already had a tight grip on Dutch society at that time. The live of Jews had already been made difficult and they were denied a great number of luxury items. The parents of both kids probably could not afford a camera or were simply not allowed to have one.

There were still professional photographers, but many Jews just wanted to keep a low profile.

Mirjam Brilleman was murdered on July 23, 1942 aged 8 months

Michel Polak was murdered May 21.1943 in Sobibor aged 1.

Never Forget what hate can do.

Music in Westerbork.

Compared to other concentration camps ,Westerbork was ‘reasonably’ safe and life was less harsh there, But that is also what made it a more sinister place.

From 1942 to 1945, Westerbork was a transit camp (Durchgangslager) located in the Netherlands. As a transit camp, Westerbork served as a temporary collection point for Jews in the Netherlands prior to their deportation by the Germans to killing centers and concentration camps in the east.

Westerbork was originally established in 1939 by the Dutch before the German invasion of the Netherlands. It began as a refugee camp for German Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi persecution.

The Nazis created an illusion that all of the measures they had introduced for the Jews were only temporary. They even had a football league in the camp.

Music also played a big part in Westerbork. The picture at the start of the blog is of Jazz violinist Benny Behr. He is playing for some of the children of the camp. For them he would play uplifting children’s songs. Fr older people who would also play classical pieces.

Benny Behr was married to a non-Jewish woman, Wien Bouwina Sijtina Havinga. Because of that he enjoyed freedoms which other Jews did not have. But these freedoms were only temporary On August 1,1944 Benny ended up in Westerbork, where he remained until the camp was liberated in April 1945.

The Westerbork Serenade is the title of a love song written by Dutch singing duo,Nol (Arnold Siméon) van Wesel and Max (Salomon Meyer) Kannewasser aka Johnny and Jones, just before their deportation to Auschwitz in 1944. The play tells the true story of Jewish cabaret performers held by the Nazis in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork, and portrays songs and vaudeville sketches that were actually staged in the camp revues. Some of Berlin’s greatest stars performed at Westerbork, thereby delaying their transport to death camps.

In 1943 Max,Nol and their wives were arrested and were send to the Westerbork transit camp.In the camp they performed once under the name Jonny und Jones because only the German language was allowed during performances. In 1944 they were sent on a day’s work assignment from Westerbork to Amsterdam, during which they managed to secretly record the song “Westerbork Serenade”.

The song starts off , with them singing that they don’t feel like themselves and that they aren’t great. Their hearts beat like the airplane demolishing yard, which was actually the job assigned to them in the camp, dismantling crashed warplanes.

This the translation of the lyrics

Hello we feel a little out of order,
To pull myself together is quite hard,
Suddenly I’m a different person,
My heart beats like the airplane wrecking yard.

I sing my Westerbork serenade,
Along the little rail-way the tiny silver moon shines
On the heath.
I sing my Westerbork serenade
With a pretty lady walking there together,
Cheek to cheek.
And my heart burns like the boiler in the boiler house,
Oh it never hit me quite like this at Mother’s place
I sing my Westerbork serenade,
In between the barracks I threw my arms around her
Over there
This Westerbork love affair.
And so I went over to the medic,
The guy says: “there is nothing you can do;
Oh but you will feel a whole lot better
After you give her a kiss or two
(But that you must not do…)”

Even in this dark period they managed to keep composure and a sense of humour.

On 4 September 1944 Van Wesel and Kannewasser were deported on one of the last transports from Westerbork to a number of concentration camps: Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Ohrdruf and Bergen-Belsen. They died of exhaustion during the last days of the war in 1945.

Transports were a traumatic experience for Jews in Westerbork. Witness testimonies mention confusion, distress, and brutality. For example, Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus, who kept a diary of life in Westerbork, described a transport that took place on June 1, 1943. He wrote:

“The transports are as nauseating as ever.… Men, quiet, stone-faced; women, often in tears. The elderly: stumbling, faltering under their burden, tripping on the bad road sometimes into pools of mud…. Whoever hesitates, whoever dawdles, is being assisted; sometimes herded, sometimes shoved, sometimes beaten, sometimes punched, sometimes persuaded by a boot, quickly shoved aboard the train…. When the cars are full, the prescribed number of deportees having been loaded, the cars are sealed…. The commandant signals the departure: a wave of the hand. The whistle sounds … a heart-rending sound is heard by everyone in the camp. The grungy snake, now fully loaded, crawls away.”

The transport Mechanicus describes included 3,006 people. It arrived at the Sobibor killing center on June 3, 1943. Jules Schelvis, who had spent six days in Westerbork prior to deportation, was the only known survivor of this transport.

Looking back at the picture at the start of the blog. When you take it out of context, you might think it is a group of scruffy kids hassling a violin player. However when you put it in the context of Westerbork and the Holocaust, there is the realisation that most, if not all, of these kids listening to the music in Westerbork, will have been murdered shorty afterwards. And that knowledge breaks my heart.

sources

Home

https://westerborkportretten.nl/bevrijdingsportretten/benny-behr

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/westerbork

Donation

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Porajmos-The Roma Holocaust.

On 15 November 1943, Himmler ordered that Romani and “part-Romanies” were to be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.

Between 1933 and 1945, Roma and Sinti in Europe were targets of Nazi persecution. Building on long-held prejudices, the Nazi regime viewed Roma as “a-socials” (outside “normal” society) and as racial “inferiors.” During World War II, the Nazis and their collaborators killed hundreds of thousands of Roma men, women, and children across German-occupied Europe.

Mass killings of Roma reached their pinnacle on July 31–August 2, 1944, when the Germans began the liquidation of the Zigeunerlager (“Gypsy camp”) at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Almost 3,000 Roma were put to death in this single operation.

Under the rule of Nazi Germany, the Roma were persecuted, detained and executed as part of the Holocaust. Roma call the Roma Genocide the Porajmos, which means the ‘Devouring’ in Romani language.

Drawing support from many non-Nazi Germans who harbored social prejudice towards Roma, the Nazis judged Roma to be “racially inferior.” The fate of Roma in some ways paralleled that of the Jews. Under the Nazi regime, German authorities subjected Roma to arbitrary internment, forced labor, and mass murder. German authorities murdered tens of thousands of Roma in the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Serbia and thousands more in the killing centers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The SS and police incarcerated Roma in the Bergen-Belsen, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Ravensbrück concentration camps. Both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in the so-called Generalgouvernement, German civilian authorities managed several forced-labor camps in which they incarcerated Roma.

Under Adolf Hitler, a supplementary decree to the Nuremberg Laws was issued on 26 November 1935, classifying the Roma as “enemies of the race-based state”.

Under the July 1933 sterilisation law, many Roma were sterilised against their will.

August 2nd is assigned Roma Holocaust Memorial day because on the night of 2nd August 1944, the remaining 2,897 Roma women, old men and children from the so called “Zigeunerlager” or “Gypsy” camp were killed in gas chambers. There were no Roma and Sinti survivors from Auschwitz concentration camp.

SS medical researchers assigned to the Auschwitz complex, such as SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele, received authorization to choose human subjects for pseudoscientific medical experiments from among the prisoners. Mengele chose twins and dwarves, some of them from the Gypsy family camp, as subjects of his experiments. Approximately 3,500 adult and adolescent Roma were prisoners in other German concentration camps; medical researchers selected subjects from among the Roma incarcerated in Ravensbrück, Natzweiler-Struthof, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps for their experiments, either on site in the camps or at nearby institutes.

German military and SS-police units also shot at least 30,000 Roma in the Baltic States and elsewhere in the occupied Soviet Union, where Einsatzgruppen and other mobile killing units killed Roma at the same time that they killed Jews and Communists. In occupied Serbia, the German authorities killed male Roma in shooting operations during 1941 and early 1942. The total number of Roma killed in Serbia will never be known. Estimates range between 1,000 and 12,000.

In France, Vichy French authorities intensified restrictive measures against and harassment of Roma after the establishment of the collaborationist regime in 1940. In 1941 and 1942, French police interned at least 3,000 and possibly as many as 6,000 Roma, residents of both occupied France and unoccupied France. French authorities shipped relatively few of them to camps in Germany, such as Buchenwald, Dachau, and Ravensbrück.

Robert Ritter was a German racial scientist doctor of psychology and medicine, with a background in child psychiatry and the biology of criminality. In 1936, Ritter was appointed head of the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit of Nazi Germany’s Criminal Police, to establish the genealogical histories of the German Gypsies, both Roma and Sinti, and became the architect of the experiments Roma and Sinti were subjected to. His pseudo-scientific “research” in classifying these populations of Germany aided the Nazi government in their systematic persecution toward a goal of “racial purity”.

Roma woman with German police officer and Nazi psychologist Robert Ritter

Sometimes known as the “Forgotten Holocaust,” the Roma Genocide was excluded from the history of World War II for decades after the end of the war. There were no Roma witnesses at the Nuremberg Trials.

The genocide of Roma people wasn’t formally recognised until 1982. Until then, the West German government denied that Roma were subjects of racially motivated persecution. Instead, it was insisted that Roma were imprisoned for their ‘asocial’ and ‘criminal’ characteristics, allowing the government to avoid responsibility for racial discrimination and compensation for genocide.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/genocide-of-european-roma-gypsies-1939-1945

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/photo/victim-of-nazi-medical-experiments

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-medical-experiments

https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/what-roma-genocide

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Remembering George Okker

George Okker would have celebrated his 100th birthday today . Although turning 100 is not that common, it is not that uncommon either.

However poor George Okker didn’t even reach his 20th birthday. There is quite a bit of data on George but strangely enough no photographs. The only pit of picture I could find was an entry of the open archive database of Amsterdam which gives his date of birth, birth place, date of death and where he was murdered.

George Okker went to the Ulo (=advanced primary education) where he learned French and English. He became an office clerk. He also was member of the banjo club.He was arrested in February 1941. He was part of a group of Jewish men that was arrested during the raid in Amsterdam. On the moment of his arrest he just was about to go fishing. He had no idea why he had to go with the men. He asked them if he was arrested because there was also war in the Dutch Indies(nowadays Indonesia) where he was born. George Okker was brought to camp Schoorl and then to Buchenwald and from there to Mauthausen.

There are two letters of George known. One of 1 August 1941 in which he wrote: ‘ich denke oft an Haus und an Homoet’.

Homoet was the baker in the Tweede Jansteenstraat 64-66. The second letter was from 31 August 1941. It was a very short one.

The family doctor notified George’s family that their son had died in Mauthausen on September 12,1941.

sources

https://www.openarch.nl/kbd:ef1849e6-38d8-2f8c-dd13-dc5f53ead871

https://oorlogsgravenstichting.nl/persoon/112014/george-okker

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/26474/george-okker

Arthur Nebe-Responsible for at least 45,000 deaths.

There are some in Germany and in other countries who portray all of those involved in the 20 July plot as heroes. I believe this is a misinterpretation. Firstly they are not heroes because they did not succeed, Secondly there were quite a few of them who had no issues with the Nazi policies, but had more of an issue with Adolf Hitler.

Arthur Nebe was one of the plotters. He was to lead a team of 12 policemen to kill Himmler, but the signal to act never reached him. After the failed assassination attempt, Nebe fled and went into hiding.

Prior to this part in the plot, Nebe rose through the ranks of the Prussian police force to become head of Nazi Germany’s Criminal Police (Kriminalpolizei; Kripo) in 1936, which was amalgamated into the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in 1939.

In an August 1939 speech, he defined crime as “a recurring disease on the body of the people.” This disease was supposedly passed hereditarily from criminals and “asocial individuals” to their children. In the Nazi state, asocials were people who behaved in a way considered outside of social norms. The category included people identified as vagabonds, beggars, prostitutes, pimps, and alcoholics; the work shy (arbeitsscheu); and the homeless. This category also included Roma. The Nazi regime viewed Roma as behaviorally abnormal and racially inferior. Defining crime as a disease connected to certain groups radicalized Kripo practice.

Kripo officials from the KTI developed early techniques to gas people en masse. In October 1939, Nebe instructed the KTI to experiment with methods of killing people with mental and physical disabilities. This effort was conducted in cooperation with the Euthanasia Program. A KTI chemical engineer and toxicology expert, Albert Widmann, tested possible killing methods. He ultimately suggested carbon monoxide gas. In fall 1941, Widmann helped create gas vans. The vans used carbon monoxide gas generated from exhaust fumes.

Planners of the Operation Reinhard killing centers adopted this development. At Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, large motor engines were used to generate carbon monoxide gas for the gas chambers.

In 1941 during operation Barbarossa, Nebe volunteered to serve as the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe B, one of the four mobile death squads of the SS. During Nebe’s tenure, this deadly unit was responsible for the mass murders of 45,000 people in the areas around Bialystok, Minsk, and Mogilev. Many of these victims were Jews. Nebe was not forced to take control of this Unit, he volunteered.

In July, 1941 ,Arthur Nebe reported that a “solution to the Jewish problem” was “impractical” in his region of operation due to “the overwhelming number of the Jews”, as in 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, due to the inclusion of Jewish women and children since that month. This mean seem to some as a person with a conscience, but the only reason he said these things , is not because he didn’t want to kill more Jews, he said it because he did feel he he had enough men to do the job. Just let that train of though sink in for a minute.

In late 1941, Nebe was posted back to Berlin and resumed his career with the RSHA. Nebe commanded the Kripo until he was denounced and executed after the failed attempt to kill Adolf Hitler in July 1944.

Nebe was arrested in January 1945 after a former mistress betrayed him. He was sentenced to death by the People’s Court on 2 March and, according to official records, was executed in Berlin at Plötzensee Prison on 21 March 1945 by being hanged with piano wire from a meat hook, in accordance with Hitler’s order that the bomb plotters were to be “hanged like cattle”.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-july-20-1944-plot-to-assassinate-adolf-hitler

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nazi-kripo-criminal-police-1