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Hermann Julius Höfle  pron. also Hans (or) Hermann Hoefle (19 June 1911 – 21 August 1962)[1] was an Austrian-born SS- Sturmbannführer
Sturmbannführer
(major). He was deputy to Odilo Globocnik
Odilo Globocnik
in the Aktion Reinhard
Aktion Reinhard
program, serving as his main deportation and extermination expert. As such he was heavily involved in crimes against humanity during the Holocaust.

Photocopy of personal documents of Hermann Höfle, from his personal file, Berlin Document Center

Contents

1 Background

1.1 Crimes against humanity

2 Höfle Telegram 3 After the war 4 References 5 Literature

Background[edit] Born in Salzburg, Austria, Höfle joined the NSDAP
NSDAP
on 1 August 1933, with party number 307,469. He joined the SS at the same time. Before the war, he worked as an auto mechanic.[1] Crimes against humanity[edit] After the conquest of Poland, Höfle served in Nowy Sącz, in Southern Poland. In November 1940 he served as an overseer of a Jewish
Jewish
labour camp southeast of Lublin. Up to December 1941 Höfle was in Mogilev, Russia. He was involved in deportations to the camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. He lived and worked from the Aktion Reinhard headquarters with the Julius Schreck
Julius Schreck
Barracks, Ostland Strasse, in Lublin. Höfle was "Coordinator" of Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
and deputy to Odilo Globocnik (effectively making Höfle second-in-command within the program), serving as his main deportation and extermination expert. Höfle had chief authority of Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
beside Globocnik. At the beginning of the operation, he held the rank of Hauptsturmführer (Captain). SS members, including those from Action T4
Action T4
who were assigned to the operation, reported to the headquarters in Lublin
Lublin
and were instructed to their duties by Höfle. For an example of the limited paperwork, every member of Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
signed the following declaration of secrecy:

I have been thoroughly informed and instructed by SS Hauptsturmführer Höfle, as Commander of the main department of Einsatz Reinhard of the SS and Police Leader in the District of Lublin: 1. that I may not under any circumstances pass on any form of information, verbally or in writing, on the progress, procedure or incidents in the evacuation of Jews
Jews
to any person outside the circle of Einsatz Reinhard staff; 2. that the process of the evacuation of Jews
Jews
is a subject that comes under "Secret Reich Document," in accordance with censorship regulation Vershl V. a;... 4. that there is an absolute prohibition on photography in the camps of Einsatz Reinhard;... I am familiar with the above regulations and laws and am aware of the responsibilities imposed upon me by the task with which I have been entrusted. I promise to observe them to the best of my knowledge and conscience. I am aware that the obligation to maintain secrecy continues even after I have left the Service. — From: Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka.[2]

As head of the "Main Department" (German: Hauptabteilung), Höfle was in charge of the organization and manpower of Operation Reinhard. He coordinated the deportations of Jews
Jews
from all areas of the General Government and directed them to one of the extermination camps.[2] The deportation orders were coordinated and channeled through SS authorities from Höfle's office for the Lublin
Lublin
reservation, through the district SS and Police Leaders, down to the localities where the expulsions were to take place. Around May 1942 in the General Government, a substitution policy developed for a short time in which Polish workers who were sent to the German Reich were gradually replaced with Jewish
Jewish
laborers. It became standard procedure to stop deportation trains from the Reich and Slovakia in Lublin
Lublin
in order to select able-bodied Jews
Jews
for work in the General Government, the others being sent on to their deaths in Belzec. In this way, many Jews
Jews
were temporarily spared death and instead relegated to forced labor. Hermann Höfle
Hermann Höfle
was one of the chief supporters and implementers of this policy.[3][4] Höfle personally oversaw the deportation of the Warsaw Ghetto, the so-called Großaktion Warschau. The operation was preceded on 20 and 21 July 1942 by a spree of randomly killing actions along the streets of the Ghetto and by the arrest and brutal imprisonment of many others taken as hostages among counselors, department managers and those connected in a way or another to the Judenrat. All this was to intimidate and soften the Judenrat
Judenrat
to the new upcoming measures. The day after, in the morning of 22 July, Sturmbannführer
Sturmbannführer
Höfle, accompanied by an entourage of SS and government officials, arrived at the Judenrat
Judenrat
in the Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
and announced to the chairman, Adam Czerniaków, that the Jews, regardless of sex or age and with but a few exceptions, were to be evacuated to the East. The exceptions were workers in German factories who had valid work permits, Judenrat employees, the Jewish
Jewish
Order Service, hospital patients and employees, and the families of the exempt. The deportees were allowed to carry with them 15 kg of baggage, food for three days, money, gold, and other valuables. The order also called for 6,000 Jews
Jews
to report to the Umschlagplatz
Umschlagplatz
every day by 4 p.m. to board the trains for deportation.[5] Adam Czerniaków
Adam Czerniaków
wrote in his diary on 22 July 1941 (he committed suicide the next day):

Sturmbannführer
Sturmbannführer
Höfle (who is in charge of the evacuation) asked me into his office and informed me that for the time being my wife was free, but if the deportation were impeded in any way, she would be the first one to be shot as a hostage. — From: Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka[6]

Höfle also played a key role in the Harvest Festival massacre of Jewish
Jewish
inmates of the various labour camps in the Lublin
Lublin
district in early November 1943. Approximately 43,000 Jews
Jews
were murdered during this operation which was the single largest German massacre of Jews
Jews
in the entire war. Höfle rejoined Globocnik in Trieste, after various missions in the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Belgium. Höfle Telegram[edit]

Telegram from Hermann Höfle
Hermann Höfle
listing the number of deaths in the extermination camps during a 14-day period in 1942 and for the whole year 1942 (1,274,166). (L) stands for Lublin/Majdanek, (B) for Bełżec, (S) for Sobibor and (T) for Treblinka
Treblinka
extermination camp.

Main article: Höfle Telegram On 11 January 1943, Höfle sent a radiogram from Lublin
Lublin
to SS-Obersturmbannführer Franz Heim
Franz Heim
in Kraków, who was at the time the deputy commander of the Security Police and SD in the General Government, and to SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann
in Berlin. The message documented the total deportations of Jews
Jews
to the four Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
camps through 31 of December 1942. Today this document is called the Höfle Telegram. After the war[edit] On 31 May 1945 Höfle was found hiding in Möslacher Alm near the Weissensee Lake in Carinthia (Southern Austria) by the British, along with SS storm troopers Ernst Lerch
Ernst Lerch
and Georg Michalsen. After two years in the British interrogation center Wolfsberg (Carinthia), he was released to the Austrian judicial system. On 30 October 1947, under oath, he was released to continue his earlier occupation as an auto mechanic in his birthplace, Salzburg.

Höfle following his arrest in 1961 in Austria.

After an extradition request on 9 July 1948 by the Polish government, he fled to Italy, where he lived under a false name until 1951. Later he returned to Austria, and then emigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany. There he was employed briefly as an informant for U.S. Army Counterintelligence. Höfle returned to Salzburg, where he lived as a free man until 2 January 1961, when he was arrested by the Austrian authority and sent to prison in Vienna, where in 1962 he hanged himself before his trial could begin.[7] References[edit]

^ a b Klee 2003. ^ a b Arad 1987, pp. 18-9. ^ Friedländer 2008, p. 347. ^ Browning 2000, p. 74. ^ Reich-Ranicki 2001, p. 235-8. ^ Arad 1987, p. 61. ^ Reich-Ranicki 2001, p. 242.

Literature[edit]

Arad, Yitzhak (1987). Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka: The Operation Reinhard Death Camps. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253113696.  1999 edition in Google book. Browning, Christopher R. (2000). "Chapter 3 - Jewish
Jewish
Workers in Poland: Self-Maintenance, Exploitation, Destruction". Nazi Policy, Jewish
Jewish
Workers, German Killers. Cambridge University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0521774901. Retrieved 31 May 2016.  Friedländer, Saul (2008). The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 (Reprinted ed.). New York City: Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0060930486.  Klee, Ernst (2003). Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945 [People Dictionary of the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945] (in German) (Second updated ed.). Frankfurt: S. Fischer. ISBN 978-3100393098.  Reich-Ranicki, Marcel (January 2001). Mein Leben (in German) (2nd ed.). München (Germany): Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag. pp. 235–42. ISBN 3-423-12830-5.  Peter Witte, Stephen Tyas: A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews
Jews
during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942. In: Holocaust Genocide Studies 15 (2001), S. 468-486 Josef Wulf: Das Dritte Reich und seine Vollstrecker. K. G. Saur Verlag KG, München 1978, ISBN 3-598-04603-0, S. 275-287

v t e

The Holocaust
The Holocaust
in Poland

Main article The Holocaust Related articles by country Belarus Belgium Croatia Denmark Estonia France Latvia Lithuania Norway Russia Ukraine

v t e

Camps, ghettos and operations

Camps

Extermination

Auschwitz-Birkenau Chełmno Majdanek Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
death camps

Bełżec Sobibór Treblinka

Concentration

Kraków-Płaszów Potulice Soldau Stutthof Szebnie Trawniki Warsaw

Mass shootings

AB Action Bronna Góra Erntefest Jedwabne Kielce cemetery Aktion Krakau Lviv pogroms Lwów professors Palmiry Sonderaktion Krakau Tannenberg Tykocin Bydgoszcz Wąsosz Bloody Sunday

Ghettos

List of 277 Jewish
Jewish
ghettos in German-occupied Poland (1939–1942) Będzin Białystok Brest Częstochowa Grodno Kielce Kraków Lwów Łódź Lubartów Lublin Międzyrzec Podlaski Mizocz Nowy Sącz Pińsk Radom Siedlce Sambor Słonim Sosnowiec Stanisławów Tarnopol Wilno Warsaw

Other atrocities

Action T4 Grossaktion Warsaw Human medical experimentation

v t e

Perpetrators, participants, organizations, and collaborators

Major perpetrators

Organizers

Josef Bühler Eichmann Eicke Ludwig Fischer Hans Frank Globocnik Glücks Greiser Himmler Hermann Höfle Fritz Katzmann Wilhelm Koppe Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger Kutschera Erwin Lambert Ernst Lerch Oswald Pohl Reinefarth Scherner Seyss-Inquart Sporrenberg Streckenbach Thomalla Otto Wächter Wisliceny

Camp command

Aumeier Baer Boger Braunsteiner Eberl Eupen Kurt Franz Karl Frenzel Karl Fritzsch Göth Grabner Hartjenstein Hering Höss Hössler Josef Kramer Liebehenschel Mandel Matthes Michel Möckel Mulka Johann Niemann Oberhauser Reichleitner Heinrich Schwarz Stangl Gustav Wagner Christian Wirth

Gas chamber executioners

Erich Bauer Bolender Hackenholt Klehr Hans Koch Herbert Lange Theuer

Physicians

von Bodmann Clauberg Gebhardt Fritz Klein Mengele Horst Schumann Trzebinski Eduard Wirths

Ghetto command

Auerswald Biebow Blösche Bürkl Konrad Palfinger von Sammern-Frankenegg Stroop

Einsatzgruppen

Wolfgang Birkner Blobel Felix Landau Schaper Schöngarth von Woyrsch

Personnel

Camp guards

Juana Bormann Danz Demjanjuk Margot Dreschel Kurt Gerstein Grese Höcker Kaduk Kollmer Muhsfeldt Orlowski Volkenrath

By camp

Sobibór Treblinka

Organizations

Einsatzgruppen
Einsatzgruppen
(SS) Ordnungspolizei
Ordnungspolizei
(Orpo battalions) WVHA RKFDV VoMi General Government Hotel Polski

Collaboration

Belarusian

Belarusian Auxiliary Police BKA battalions Brigade Siegling Black Cats Central Rada

Jewish

Jewish
Jewish
Ghetto Police Żagiew ("Torch Guard") Group 13 Kapos Judenräte

Russian

Waffen-SS "RONA" Waffen-SS "Russland" Ostlegionen, Bataillone (Cossack Division, Russian "ROA")

Ukrainian

Ukrainian Auxiliary Police SS Galizien Ukrainian Liberation Army Schutzmannschaft
Schutzmannschaft
(Battalion 118, Brigade Siegling, 30. Waffen SS Grenadier Division) Trawnikimänner

Other nationalities

Estonian Auxiliary Police Latvian Auxiliary Police
Latvian Auxiliary Police
(Arajs Kommando) Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalions
Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalions
(Schutzmannschaft, Ypatingasis būrys) Pieter Menten
Pieter Menten
(Nederlandsche SS)

v t e

Resistance: Judenrat, victims, documentation and technical

Organizations

AK AOB Bund GL PKB ŻOB ŻZA

Uprisings

Ghetto uprisings Białystok Częstochowa Sobibór Treblinka Warsaw Ghetto
Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising

Leaders

Mordechai Anielewicz Icchak Cukierman Mordechai Tenenbaum Marek Edelman Leon Feldhendler Paweł Frenkiel Henryk Iwański Itzhak Katzenelson Michał Klepfisz Miles Lerman Alexander Pechersky Witold Pilecki Frumka Płotnicka Roza Robota Szmul Zygielbojm

Judenrat

Jewish
Jewish
Ghetto Police Adam Czerniaków Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski

Victim lists

Ghettos

Kraków Łódź Lvov (Lwów) Warsaw

Camps

Auschwitz Bełżec Gross-Rosen Izbica Majdanek Sobibór Soldau Stutthof Trawniki Treblinka

Documentation

Nazi sources

Auschwitz Album Frank Memorandum Höcker Album Höfle Telegram Katzmann Report Korherr Report Nisko Plan Posen speeches Special
Special
Prosecution Book-Poland Stroop Report Wannsee Conference

Witness accounts

Graebe affidavit Gerstein Report Vrba–Wetzler report Witold's Report Sonderkommando photographs

Concealment

Sonderaktion 1005

Technical and logistics

Identification in camps Gas chamber Gas van Holocaust train Human medical experimentation Zyklon B

v t e

Aftermath, trials and commemoration

Aftermath

Holocaust survivors Polish population transfers (1944–1946) Bricha Kielce pogrom Anti- Jewish
Jewish
violence, 1944–46 Ministry of Public Security

Trials

West German trials

Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Auschwitz trials Treblinka
Treblinka
trials

Polish, East German, and Soviet trials

Auschwitz trial
Auschwitz trial
(Poland) Stutthof trials Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission

Memorials

Museum of the History of Polish Jews Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Majdanek State Museum Sobibór Museum International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz March of the Living

Righteous Among the Nations

Polish Righteous Among the Nations Rescue of Jews
Jews
by Poles
Poles
during the Holocaust Garden of the Righteous

v t e

Treblinka
Treblinka
extermination camp

Timeline and List of individuals responsible

Camp organizers

Odilo Lotario Globocnik Hermann Julius Höfle Erwin Hermann Lambert Richard Wolfgang Thomalla Christian Wirth

Commandant

Irmfried Eberl

11 July to 26 August 1942

Franz Paul Stangl

1 September 1942 to August 1943

Kurt Hubert Franz

August to November 1943

Deputies

Theodor van Eupen Heinrich Arthur Matthes Karl Pötzinger

Gas chamber executioners

Gustav Münzberger Fritz Schmidt

Other officers

Max Biala Paul Bredow Herbert Floss Erich Fritz Erhard Fuchs Lorenz Hackenholt Hans Hingst Josef Hirtreiter Otto Richard Horn Kurt Küttner Karl Emil Ludwig Willy Mätzig Willi Mentz August Wilhelm Miete Max Möller Willi Post Albert Franz Rum Karl Schiffer Otto Stadie Ernst Stengelin Franz Suchomel

Guards

"Ivan the Terrible" John Demjanjuk a Feodor Fedorenko Nikolay Yegorovich Shalayev "Trawnikis" a

Prominent victims

Ernst Arndt Yitzchok Breiter Amalia Carneri Julian Chorążycki Samuel Finkelstein Artur Gold Ludwik Holcman Janusz Korczak Berek Lajcher Henryka Łazowertówna Yechiel Lerer Yitzchak Lowy Simon Pullman Natan Spigel Symche Trachter Zygmunt Zalcwasser Lidia Zamenhof

Resistance Survivors

Richard Glazar Chil Rajchman Sol Rosenberg Kalman Taigman Jankiel Wiernik Samuel Willenberg Franciszek Ząbecki

Nazi organizations

General Government SS-Totenkopfverbände

Aftermath Memorials

Treblinka
Treblinka
trials

a Alleged b Numbering 90 to 120

Death camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau Bełżec Chełmno Jasenovac Majdanek Maly Trostenets Sajmište Sobibór Treblinka

v t e

Sobibór extermination camp

Camp organizers

Odilo Lotario Globocnik Hermann Julius Höfle Richard Wolfgang Thomalla Erwin Hermann Lambert Karl Steubl Christian Wirth

Commandant

Franz Paul Stangl a Franz Karl Reichleitner b

Deputies

Karl August Wilhelm Frenzel Hermann Michel Johann Niemann Gustav Franz Wagner

Gas chamber executioners

Hermann Erich Bauer Heinz Kurt Bolender

Other officers

Rudolf Beckmann Paul Bredow Herbert Floss Erich Fritz Erhard Fuchs Siegfried Graetschus Lorenz Hackenholt Josef "Sepp" Hirtreiter Jakob Alfred Ittner Erich Gustav Willie Lachmann Willi Mentz Paul Rost Ernst Stengelin Ernst Zierke Heinrich Barbl

Guards

Ukrainians

Ivan Demjanjuk "Trawnikis" c Volksdeutsche

Prominent victims

Helga Deen Anna Dresden-Polak Emanuel Lodewijk Elte Else Feldmann Isidore Goudeket Jakob van Hoddis Han Hollander Gerrit Kleerekoper Pati Kremer Kurt Lilien Juan Luria Messaoud El Mediouni Helena Nordheim Abraham de Oliveira Emanuel Querido Jud Simons Philip Slier Leo Smit Max van Dam Michel Velleman

Resistance Survivors

Survivors

Philip Bialowitz Thomas Blatt Selma Engel-Wijnberg Leon Feldhendler Dov Freiberg Alexander Pechersky Jules Schelvis Joseph Serchuk Stanislaw Szmajzner

Nazi organizations

General Government SS-Totenkopfverbände

Planning Methods

Documents Evidence

Operation Reinhard

Höfle Telegram

Aftermath Memorials

Sobibór trial Sobibór Museum

Related topics

The Holocaust Operation Reinhard Nazi concentration camps Extermination camp

a 28 April to 30 August 1942 b 1 September 1942 to 17 October 1943 c Up to 200

Death camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau Bełżec Chełmno Jasenovac Majdanek Maly Trostenets Sajmište Sobibór Treblinka

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 73641954 LCCN: no2007109

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