Indictment against Kurt Schulz-Isenbeck for participating in the murder of at least 90 Jewish men in Lida

Significant Findings of the Investigation & the Preliminary Inquiry

A. Personal circumstances & evolution of the accused
The accused was born 10/23/1912 in Unna/Westphalia.  After attending the Reform Realgymnasium [academically & technically oriented high school for university-bound students] in Unna, he took his final examination in March 1931.  To prepare for his intended legal studies, he spent a year as a volunteer in business.  From March 1932 to his call-up for army service in October 1934 he studied law at the universities in Heidelberg & Muenster.  Already before the conclusion of his military service in October 1935, he applied at the criminal police in Dortmund for a position as criminal police trainee.  On concluding a further semester of studies at the University of Muenster, he was hired on 4/1/136 as criminal police trainee by the Dortmund criminal police.  After his successful conclusion of a training course for criminal commissioners in Berlin-Charlottenburg, he was admitted to Kriminalkommissarplanstelle in Dortmund at the end of 1937.  [Literally:  Criminal Commissar Planning Position.  I’m not sure what this means, precisely].  He was employed there as Direktionskommissar [Direction Commissar] & later as director of the 1st Criminal Commissariat.
Early in 1940 the accused was recommended by his superiors at the time as trainee for managerial levels in the Security Police [SiPo] & SD [Sicherheitsdienst = Security Service].  After successful completion of  a selective training course [this means that the course was used as a means of selecting only some of the participants], he was first ordered to the police administrative office in Frankfurt/Main at the end of 1940 & soon thereafter to the police administrative office in Berlin.  During his employment there, the attended professional lectures at the universities in Frankfurt & Berlin to complete his education.

In the frame of this education, the accused was ordered to the Border Police School Pretsch a. d. Elbe in May 1941 & there prepared for deployment in the East.  During the formation of Einsatzgruppen, Einsatzkommandos & Sonderkommandos [=Special Commandos], he was assigned to Einsatzkommando [EK] 9 of Einsatzgruppe B.  [Later renamed Einsatzgruppe C].

With EK 9 the accused advanced to Vitebsk, was, however, ordered back to Berlin end of September/early October 1941, to continue his professional training.  At a date no longer ascertainable – probably in 1942 – he took an examination that was equated with Refrendar examination.  [In German legal training, there is a series of examinations, after which you  have a title.  The first is the refrendar exam, after passing which one is a Refrendar].  Thereupon he was ordered to the Regierungspraesident in Koenigsberg [rather like the governor of a state in the US, only it wasn’t an elected post, but a civil service position], to serve a kind of legal preparatory service at the Landratsamt Johannisberg. [A Landrat was the highest executive official at the county level.  Also a civil service position].  In August 1943 he passed the so-call Great Legal State Examination before the Reichsminister of the Interior.  Thereupon he was designated Regierungsassessor by the Reichsminister of the Interior.  [The next title up on the climb to dr. juris, or attorney].

In September 1943, the accused was ordered to Berlin as Referent for the Inspector of the Security Police [SiPo].  In October or November 1944 he was sent from Stettin to the KdS Reichenberg/Sudetenland Post, and assigned directing the Primary Satellite Post Karlsbad.  In this position, he experienced the war’s end.

To May 1947 the accused was in the British internment camp Recklinghausen.  Thereupon he worked in agriculture.  1948/49 he was administrative director at a British work unit in Bochum.  Thereafter he worked for a half year as business manager of a trade information office in Dortmund, until, on 4/1/1952, he again served in the police as Criminal Inspector in Gelsenkirchen.  In the time thereafter he attended the National Police School Erich Clausner in Duesseldorf, worked at the County Police Administration in Duesseldorf & in the Interior Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia in Duesseldorf.  Since 1960 he worked again at the County Police Administration in Duesseldorf, where at present he was assistant director of the Criminal Police Service.

The accused was a member of the SA from 4/28/1933 to 10/1/1934 and joined the general SS in 1938.  On his posting to Pretzsch he had attained the rank of SS-Obersturnfuehrer.  In conjunction with his deployment East in EK 9, he was promoted to SS-Hauptsturmbahnfuehrer effective 11/9/1941.

He had joined the Nazi party 5/1/1937.

He is married.  He has a 15-year-old daughter form this married.

The never-sentenced accused was neither wounded, nor has he experienced serious illnesses.

B. The prehistory of the crime
I. The national socialist annihilation policy against the Jews
1. In Germany
Antisemitic hate mongering played a central role in national socialist agitation from the beginning, because Jews were blamed for all national & individual misfortunes.  Antipathy toward Jews was anchored in the platform of the NSDAP.  Jews could never be “Volksgenossen” [comrades of the folk] or citizens.

In Germany, disenfranchising Jews of their rights began with the so-called take-over of the national socialists on 1/30/1933.

Jews were then excluded from political and economic life (cf. Law for restoration of the civil service of 4/7/1933, Reichsgesetzblatt I p 175 ff. Reichsbuergergesetz of 9/15/1935, Reichsgesetzblatt I p 1146 & the orders decreed thereupon).

The law for protection of German blood and German honor of 9/15/1935 (Reichsgesetzblatt I p 1146 & 1334) prohibited marriage and extramarital intercourse between Jews and citizens of “German or related blood”.

Through the decree of 4/26/1938 (cf Reichsgesetzblatt I p 414) Jews were obligated to report their financial worth.  On the basis of the 3rd Notification on Required Identity Cards of 7/23/1938 (cf Reichsgesetzblatt I p 922) Jews had to identify themselves as Jews in any transactions with public offices.  They were also required, by the 2nd Decree on executing the law on changing family names and given names of 8/17/1938 (cf Reichsgesetzblatt I p 1044) to add the additional given names “Israel” or “Sara”.

During the first major Pogrom in Germany, the “Reichskristallnacht” of 9 to 10 November 1938, Jewish citizens were killed in German territory, their businesses & residences looted and a multitude of Synagogues set on fire.

Through the 10th decree on the citizenship law of 7/4/1939 (cf Reichsgesetzblatt I p 1097 ff) Jews were forced to join into a “Reichsvereinigung” [National Association] and placed under the supervision of the Reischsicherheitshauptamt.  [The National Security Central Office].  They were thereby delivered to the absolute whim of the national socialist powers.

Through police decree of 9/1/1941 (cf Reichsgesetzblatt I p 547) Jews were prohibited to leave their residence without permission of the local police office.  From  6 years of age, they had to wear the Jewish star when out in public.

While all these measures against the Jews first had as goals their disenfranchisement and ostracism, the national socialist leadership gradually moved toward the annihilation of all Jews under their power, toward the “final solution”.

At the lastest in spring 1941, at any rate before the attack on Russia, Hitler decided on the physical annihilation of Jews and issued the corresponding orders.  Whether the order for the final solution to the Jewish question was issued orally by Hitler or in writing can no longer be determined unambiguously.

2. In Russia

In the course of planning and preparing the attack on Russia, Hitler and the remaining national socialist powers, particularly Goering, Goebbels, Himmler & Heydrich, in a consistent execution of their politics aimed against Jews and Bolshevism,  decided to kill those citizens in conquered portions of the Soviet Union who could be viewed as dangerous  or undesirable on racist or political grounds.  The attack on Russia appeared to them to be the proper moment for their annihilation activities, as it was believed that the world would be diverted from them by the events of war.

When Hitler ordered the last preparations for the attack on Russia in spring 1941 with his instruction No. 21 of 12/18/1940 (Case Barbarossa), the segments of the population who would be liquidated as “enemies of the Reich” and “potential enemies” were also named.  As such, all Russians were named, from whom there might be any danger to the army or the population measures intended for the East, without the necessity for establishing an individual had actually acted inimically against a German office or had failed to follow a German order.  Also named enemies of the Reich were officials and members of the Russian Communist Party and its branchings, the political commissars of the Russian army and officials of the state security apparatus as well as members of the Russian security police (NKVD).  A further category of “enemies of the state” were the so-called “suspected partisans”, who were to be shot without any hearing merely on suspicion of supporting partisans or having been in communication with them.

To the group of “potential enemies” were counted first of all Jews, who, according to the official standard of speech were carriers of Bolshevism and therefore contaminators of the German people, and therefore to be annihilated.  Finally, criminals, antisocial people, members of some Asiatic groups, and the mentally ill were also counted [as “potential enemeies”].

The groups of people were all to be killed, according to instructions from the national socialist commanders, without formality and without regard to sex or age.

II. Setup, organization and tasks of the Special and Einsatz Commandos in general
Annihilation planned on such a scale required well-organized units.  After units of the Security Police and the SD had been successfully used in Poland to annihilate the Polish intelligentsia and the political leadership, masse annihilation of the so-called enemies of the Reich and potential opponents in Russia was also entrusted to special units of the police, the so-called Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police & the SD.

Preparation to set up these Einsatzgruppen were undertaken in the utmost secrecy and only discussed at the highest internal levels.

The necessary written exchanges between the participating offices was done as “Geheim Reichssache” [sort of Nazi “top secret”].  On 3/13/1941 the Chief of the Wehrmacht High Command issued the “Guide lines in Special Areas”  through which then national commander of the SS Himmler was made responsible for all “special tasks”.

As the Einsatzgruppen and the Special & Einsatz Commandos under them were to become active in areas in which power lay in the hands of the troop commanders or the commanders of rear army areas, it had to be prevented that the army interfered with the activities of the Special  & Einsatz Commandos.   For this reason,  an agreement was struck on 3/26/1941 between the High Commander of the Army [Generalquartiermeister Wagner] & the Post of the Reichfuehrer SS & Chief of the German Police [SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich], in which the areas of activity of the Einsatzgruppen and the Commandos under them were precisely separated from those of the Army.

In the order thereafter issued by the Army High Command of 4/20/1941, it was said, among other things, that the observation of special security police jobs outside the troops made the deployment of security police & SD commandos necessary in the operations theater.  These commandos were under the army in regard to marching routes, lodging and provisioning.  In all other regards the commandos would execute their tasks on their own responsibility and would be directly under the command of the Reich Security Central Office.  In the order it was explicitly noted that the Special & Einsatz Commandos are justified, in the framework of their orders, “to take executive measures on their own responsibility against the civilian population”.

From May 1941, officers of the National Police, the Criminal Police, the SD, and the Order Police were collected in the Border Police Schools in Pretzsch/Elbe & in the neighboring cities Dueben and Bad Schmiedeberg, and trained for their special tasks under the direction of respected and tried party ideologues.  The members of these training sessions were told that great severity would be expected of them in a special task not further defined.  Only from instruction in Cyrillic script and lectures on living and economic conditions in the Soviet Union near the end of the training period could one guess at the direction of the upcoming assignment.

From these class members, the staff of the school and members of the Reich Security Central Office, four Einsatzgruppen, each split into 2 Special & 2 Einsatz Commandos, were established in June 1941, a few days before the attack on the Soviet Union.  The Einsatzgruppen A, B, and C were each assigned to an army unit, Einsatzgruppe D to the 11th Army, to become active in their operations theatre.  Einsatzkommando 9 belonged to Einsatzgruppe B [later renamed Einsatzgruppe C], which stood under command of SS-Brigadefuehrer & Generalmajor der Polizei Nebe, Chief of Office V of the Reich Security Central Office.  Leader of Einsatzkommado 9 was, to October 1941, former SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Filbert.

After establishment of their units, the Einsatzgruppen commanders as well as those of the Special & Einsatz Commandos were instructed in their tasks in Pretzsch by Chief of the Security Police & SD Heydrich during service talks.  Here the leaders of the commandos learned Hitler had ordered the killing of all Jews and other undesired elements in the occupied areas, and it would be the task of the Einsatz & Special Commandos to carry out these orders.  In the course [of these talks] it was stated openly that it was not military considerations, but the striving toward annihilation of Eastern European Jewry in its totality that had motivated this command.  The strictest secrecy was to be maintained in regard to this command and its execution.

During the deployment commando leaders were obligated to report daily at first, later at intervals of 3 days, to their Einsatzgruppen on commando activities.  In these reports, the number of so-called “potential enemies” killed was to be reported.  The Einsatzgruppen, in their part, compiled the individual unit reports into the so-called “Deed and Situation” Reports to the Reich Security Central Office.  In the Reich Security Central Office, the Chief of the Security Police & SD compiled the so-called “Event Reports USSR” from the incoming “Deed & Situation” reports & distributed them to the higher national offices & other posts with a top secret classification.  The Event Reports USSA were replaced in April 1942 by “Communications from the occupied Eastern Territories”, which were issued at weekly intervals.  In contrast to the Event Reports, the Communications contain only isolated reports of mass executions in the occupied Eastern territories.

The remaining members of the Special & Einsatz Commandos, including the SS-Leaders of officer rank, were not told anything about the general killing orders before the march out of Pretzsch.  There were told in ordinary terms of a difficult deployment in particularly difficult conditions hitherto not encountered

III. Einsatzkommando 9
  1. 1. Of the members of Einsatzkommando 9, 12 to 15 had SS-Fuehrer (Officer) rank;  30 to 40 were Gestapo & Kripo officials as well as members of junior rank of the SD.   The commando had 15 to 20 truck drivers and the supply column personnel.  A platoon of reservists of the Waffen-SS of about 30 men & an order police platoon of about the same size, which first joined them in Warsaw, were assigned as security forces.  In reality these security forces were intended primarily for arrests and shooting jobs.  The commando was fully motorized, weaponry consisted of carbines & machine pistols.  The SS officers and the SS junior officers wore their service pistols in addition.
  2. 2. A few days after the onset of the attack on the Soviet Union, EK 9 left Pretzsch on the 26 or 27 June 1941 and arrived in Warsaw around the 28.  From there it moved northeast to East Prussia, spent one night on German soil in Treuberg.  Here the Oberkommandofuehrer, former SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Flibert, informed the commandos who had SS-Fuehrer rank or higher, among them the accused, that above all the task of the Einsatz Commandos was to be the killing of all Jews in the occupied regions, as ordered by Hitler.  He closed his speech with an exhortation to unconditional obedience and the observation that soldiers at the front had no choice in their situation. Although there was absolutely no doubt that the ordered mass killings did not follow from military considerations, but were to serve for genocide of a group inferior according national socialist conceptions, none of the SS-Fuehrer present raised any objection to the criminal order.  ON 7/1/1941 EK 9 crossed the Reich border as it marched in the direction of Vilnius, and reached Varina, 70 km southeast of Vilnius,  where it spent the night in a forest camp taken from the Russians.  Vilnius was reached the next day.  Here EK 9 stayed until 7/20/1941.  It then advance to Vitebsk through Vileika on 7/28/1941, where the headquarters of EK 9 remained until fall 1941.
  3. 3. In order to be able to execute and report as many shootings as possible, Commando Leader Filbert, already at the onset of their advance,  formed so-called partial commandos, whose job it was to “overhaul from a security police view” villages lying to either side of the march route, that is, to kill Jews and Communists found there & then to return to the main commando.  Such a partial commando was sent to Lida in early July 1941 during the march away from the forest camp in Varina.  It executed the mass shooting of at least 90 Jews there, the substance of this proceeding.
  4. In order to guarantee an equal treatment of all SS-Leaders and the service ranks in EK 9 for disciplinary reasons, Filbert had ordered at the beginning of the advance in Treuberg, that all SS-Fuehrer would have to lead & execute at least one execution themselves at Partial Commando [Teilkommando] leaders, and that all service ranks would have to participate in at least one execution as guards or shooters as well.  Filbert, who, according to all statements by former members of EK 9 was a convinced national socialist and fully in agreement with the measures to kill Jews, according to his own statements was careful to make sure that every Commando member took part in at least one execution.
  5. 4. The mass shootings executed by EK 9 have been  already been the subject of the legally completed penal proceeding against Filbert et al. – 3 P (K) Ks 1/62 StA Berlin – and against Wiebens et al.  – 3 P (K) Ks 1/65 StA Berlin.  Former Kommando Leaders Filbert and Wiebens have been sentenced to life imprisonment and former SS-Fuehrer Struck, Tunnat, Greiffenberg, Rath, Schneider and Tangermann to prison terms.  A further proceeding against former members of EK 9, Hein et al. – 45 Js 18/62 – was dropped 2/28/1968.
Table of Contents | Previous | Next

Copyright © 2001, Irene Newhouse
HTML by Irene Newhouse

Lida District Home Page

Jewishgen | KehilaLinks