Fritz Katzmann or Friedrich Katzmann (6 May 1906 –
19 September 1957) was a Nazi German Major General and Polizei leader
who perpetrated genocide in the cities of Katowice, Radom, Lemberg
(Lwów), Danzig (Gdańsk), and across the Nazi German District of
Galicia during the Holocaust in occupied Poland.
Katzmann was responsible for many of the atrocities that were
perpetrated by the SS after the attack on the Soviet positions in
Operation Barbarossa. He personally directed the slaughter of between
55,000 and 65,000 Jews of Lemberg in 1941-1942 followed by mass
deportations to death camps including Janowska (pictured). In 1943,
Katzmann wrote a top secret report summarizing
Operation Reinhard in
Katzmann Report is now considered one of the most
important pieces of Germany's own evidence of the extermination
process. He managed to escape prosecution after the Second World War,
living under a false identity.[where?]
1.1 World War II
2 See also
Born in Langendreer, Westphalia into a family of a coal miner,
Katzmann was a carpenter before he lost his job and joined the SA in
December 1927. He joined the
NSDAP in September 1928 (# 98,528) and
the SS on July 1, 1930 (# 3,065). His career rapidly advanced: 20
August 1931 he was commissioned as an SS 2nd Lieutenant, and, on 1
December 1932, promoted to SS Captain. He became SS Major on 30
January 1933, promoted to SS Colonel on 17 August 1934.
He married, moved to Berlin and became the SS Commander of the 75.
Standarte “Widukind” on 4 April 1934. Katzmann participated in the
murders of the Night of the Long Knives. He became the
of the Reichstag, and, from 21 March 1938, he served as Commander SS
Section VI Breslau (Wrocław).
World War II
Following the invasion of Poland, Katzmann led Selbstschutz
executioners during murder operations in Wrocław, and in
Katowice, and on November 30, 1939 became the Higher SS and Police
Leader of occupied Radom. In the spring of 1940 he set up the Radom
Ghetto for 32,000 Jews followed by wanton violence and plunder for
personal gain. He remained in
Radom until Operation Barbarossa
during which he was transferred to
Lwów as the Higher SS and Police
Leader (SSPF) Lemberg. He was promoted to SS Brig. General on 21 June
1941, and remained in
Lwów until April 20, 1943.
Katzmann ordered the slaughter of 55,000–65,000 Jewish men, women
and children in the same year. On his orders the
Lwów Ghetto was
formed in November 1941 resulting in relocation of some 80,000 Jews.
He set up a kindergarten for ghetto children with cocoa and milk and
secretly murdered them all in one outtrip.
Katzmann became Higher SS and Police Leader of
Distrikt Galizien in
August 1941 and a month later was promoted to Brig. General of the
Police. He organized transports from
Lwów to Belzec extermination
camp as soon as the gassing operations started. By the end of 1942,
the ghetto population was reduced from 120,000–140,000 inmates to
mere 40,000. On 5-7 January 1943, 15,000 more Jews were murdered
along with members of the Judenrat. Katzmann was promoted to SS and
Police Major General on 30 January 1943 and by midyear had produced a
death toll of 143,000 more people in his district.
On 30 June 1943, Katzmann delivered his leatherbound Katzmann Report
to the SS and Police Chief in occupied Kraków. He declared in it:
“Galicia is free of Jews!” He was transferred to
Gdańsk on 20
April 1943 with the rank of Higher SS and Police Leader Danzig-West
Prussia, in time for the installation of gas chambers and
crematoria at the Stutthof concentration camp. Katzmann brought
Ukrainian auxiliaries with him.
In July 1944 Katzmann was made Major General of the
tasked with the final liquidation of the Stutthof camp with all of its
sub-camps, ahead of the Soviet advance. Gassing with
Zyklon B began
already in June. Until that point, Stutthof prisoners were considered
important for German armaments production with
churning out airplane parts right at the main camp. Stutthof had 105
sub-camps located as far as Thorn (Toruń) and Elbing (Elbląg).
Katzmann completed his job when Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, and
vanished. He lived in
Darmstadt as Bruno Albrecht. His wife and five
children never heard from him. He revealed his identity to a hospital
priest chaplain shortly before his death on 19 September 1957.
German camps in occupied Poland during World War II
The Holocaust in occupied Poland
^ a b c d e f g Claudia Koonz (2 November 2005). "SS Man Katzmann's
"Solution of the Jewish Question in the District of Galicia"" (PDF).
The Raul Hilberg Lecture. University of Vermont: 2, 11, 16–18.
Retrieved 30 January 2015.
Wendy Lower (2011). "Katzmann Report". The Diary of Samuel Golfard
and the Holocaust in Galicia. Rowman Altamira. p. 101. Retrieved
30 January 2015.
^ a b c Waldemar „Scypion” Sadaj (27 January 2010). "Fritz
Friedrich Katzmann profile".
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der
Waffen-SS und Polizei. Allgemeine SS & Waffen-SS. Retrieved 31
^ Holocaust Database (2015). "Stutthof - Sztutowo (Poland)". Forgotten
camps: Stutthof Concentration Camp, Poland. JewishGen. Retrieved 2
^ a b Holocaust Encyclopedia (20 June 2014). "Stutthof". United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
^ Thomas Sandkühler: Endlösung in Galizien. Der Judenmord in
Ostpolen und die Rettungsinitiativen von Berthold Beitz 1941-1944,
Bonn 1996, S. 426ff.
Ruth Bettina Birn: Die Höheren SS- und Polizeiführer. Himmlers
Vertreter im Reich und in den besetzten Gebieten. Düsseldorf 1986.
Joseph Wulf: Das Dritte Reich und seine Vollstrecker. Wiesbaden 1989.
Institut für Nationales Gedenken: Lösung der Judenfrage im Distrikt
Galizien / Solving the Jewish Question in the District of Galicia.
(dt., engl., poln. - der Katzmann-Report)
The Katzmann Report. Excerpt in English[permanent dead link]
The Holocaust in Poland
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