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Wolfgang Kügler was an SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) and a Teilkommandoführer (detachment leader) for Einsatzkommando 2, a subdivision of Einsatzgruppe A.[1] Following World War II, he was tried and found guilty of war crimes before a court in West Germany. His sentence was reported to have been 8 months in prison and a fine. The most serious charge against him was that he had organized and been a commandter at the massacre of about 2,700 Jews, mostly women and children, on the beach at Liepāja, Latvia. Kügler claimed he was absent on leave in Germany when these murders occurred.

Contents

1 The Einsatzgruppen and the SD 2 Activities in Latvia 3 The December massacre at Šķēde 4 Career after Latvia 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

The Einsatzgruppen and the SD[edit] The Nazi occupation regime planned to kill as many "undesirable" people as possible in the immediate wake of the invasion, Operation Barbarossa. "Undesirables" in the Baltic States included Communists, Gypsies,[2] the mentally ill, and especially Jews. The executions were to be carried out by four task forces, known as Einsatzgruppen (A, B, C, D); for the Baltic States the responsible unit was Einsatzgruppe A, initially under the command of Franz Walter Stahlecker.[3] A Nazi secret police organization known as the Sicherheitsdienst or SD furnished most of the personnel for the Einsatzgruppen. The SD first established its power in Latvia through Einsatzgruppe A, which was subdivided into units called Einsatzkommandos 1a, 1b, 2 and 3.[4] As the front line moved further east, Einsatzgruppe A moved out of Latvia, remaining in the country only a few weeks, after which its functions were taken over by the "resident" SD,[4] Activities in Latvia[edit] Kügler arrived in Liepāja, Latvia on 10 or 11 July 1941, to take over command of the resident SD. From then until April 1943 he was responsible for the massacres in Liepāja and the vicinity.[5] Consistent with SD practice, orders for killings were not issued in writing but were given only orally. Kügler travelled to Riga every two weeks to receive instructions.[6] Kügler personally supervised at least one mass shooting.[7] The December massacre at Šķēde[edit] In December 1941 the Liepāja SD, together with their Latvian collaborators, carried out the execution of approximately 2,700 Jews on the beach at Šķēde.[8] Photographs were taken of the December killings and these survive today. They are some of the most well known images of the Holocaust in Latvia.[9] Whether Kügler was actually present at the December massacre is a matter of dispute. At post-war trials, several German SD witnesses said Kügler was absent on leave, while all the Latvian witnesses said he was present.[10] Career after Latvia[edit] In April 1943 Kügler was replaced by SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Kurt Jurgschait. According to a post-war trial in Germany, the grounds for his removal were his theft of property that had once belonged to the Jews whom he had murdered. He was also suspected of being too friendly with the Latvians, including his mistress and interpreter, Mrs. Kronbergs.[10] Professor Ezergailis reports that Kügler was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment and a fine.[10] Notes[edit]

^ Klee, Gold Old Days, at page 297 ^ Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies, at pages 122 to 126 ^ Roseman, The Wannsee Conference, at pages 39 to 47 ^ a b Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, at page 245 ^ Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, at page 291. ^ Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, at page 231, n.7 ^ Klee, Gold Old Days, at page 127 ^ Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, at pages 293 to 296 ^ Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, at page 57, n.48 ^ a b c Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, at page 307, nn.76 and 77

References[edit]

Ezergailis, Andrew, The Holocaust in Latvia 1941-1944 -- The Missing Center, Historical Institute of Latvia (in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) Riga 1996 ISBN 9984-9054-3-8 Klee, Ernst, Dressen, Willi, and Riess, Volker, eds. "The Good Old Days" -- The Holocaust as Seen by its Perpetrators and Bystanders, MacMillan, New York 1991 (translation by Deborah Burnstone) ISBN 0-02-917425-2 Lewy, Guenter, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies, Oxford University Press 2000 ISBN 0-19-512556-8 Roseman, Mark, The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution -- A Reconsideration, Holt, New York, 2002 ISBN 0-8050-6810-4

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Holocaust in Latvia.

Liepajajews.org (modern aerial images of trench at shooting sight at Skede) Film of mass shootings at Šķēde, archived at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (This is a short film about 1.5 minutes long, taken of an August 1941 shooting at Šķēde by a German soldier.)

v t e

The Holocaust in Latvia

Main article The Holocaust Related articles by country Belarus Estonia Lithuania Norway Poland Russia Ukraine

Crimes

Burning of the Riga synagogues Dünamünde Action Jelgava Pogulianski Rumbula Liepāja (Šķēde)

Victims

Jewish people of Latvia Gypsies Joseph Carlebach Simon Dubnow Else Hirsch

Perpetrators

Alois Brunner Rudolf Batz Fritz Dietrich Otto-Heinrich Drechsler Erich Ehrlinger Karl Jäger Friedrich Jeckeln Heinz Jost Konrāds Kalējs Ernst Kaltenbrunner Wolfgang Kügler Rudolf Lange Hinrich Lohse Friedrich Panzinger Hans-Adolf Prützmann Eduard Roschmann Alfred Rosenberg Martin Sandberger Albert Sauer Rudolf Joachim Seck Franz Walter Stahlecker Eduard Strauch

Nazi occupation and organizations

Einsatzgruppen Reichskommissariat Ostland Rollkommando Hamann

Collaborators

Individuals Viktors Arājs Herberts Cukurs Kārlis Lobe

Organizations Arajs Kommando Latvian Auxiliary Police Schutzmannschaft

Ghettos and camps

Daugavpils Ghetto Jungfernhof concentration camp Kaiserwald concentration camp Riga Ghetto Salaspils concentration camp

Documentation

Generalplan Ost Jäger Report

Concealment

Sonderaktion 1005

War crimes investigations and trials

Einsatzgruppen trial Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission

Righteous Among the Nations

Jānis Lipke Roberts Sedols

Memorials

Bikernieki Memorial

Related articles

The Holocaust Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germany

v t e

Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos

People

Director

Reinhard Heydrich Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Commanders of Einsatzgruppen

Humbert Achamer-Pifrader Walther Bierkamp Horst Böhme Erich Ehrlinger Wilhelm Fuchs Heinz Jost Erich Naumann Arthur Nebe Otto Ohlendorf Friedrich Panzinger Otto Rasch Heinrich Seetzen Franz Walter Stahlecker Bruno Streckenbach

Commanders of Einsatzkommandos, Sonderkommandos

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski Rudolf Batz Ernst Biberstein Wolfgang Birkner Helmut Bischoff Paul Blobel Walter Blume Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock Otto Bradfisch Werner Braune Friedrich Buchardt Fritz Dietrich Karl Jäger Friedrich Jeckeln Waldemar Klingelhöfer Wolfgang Kügler Walter Kutschmann Rudolf Lange Gustav Adolf Nosske Hans-Adolf Prützmann Walter Rauff Martin Sandberger Hermann Schaper Karl Eberhard Schöngarth Erwin Schulz Franz Six Eugen Steimle Eduard Strauch Martin Weiss Udo von Woyrsch

Other members

August Becker Lothar Fendler Joachim Hamann Emil Haussmann Felix Landau Albert Widmann

Collaborators

Viktors Arājs Herberts Cukurs Antanas Impulevičius Konrāds Kalējs Algirdas Klimaitis

Groups

German

SS RSHA SD Orpo 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz Sonderdienst

Non-German

Schutzmannschaft (Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian) Arajs Kommando Lithuanian Security Police Rollkommando Hamann TDA Ypatingasis būrys

Crimes

Belarus

Łachwa Ghetto Minsk Ghetto Slutsk Affair

Estonia

Kalevi-Liiva

Latvia

Burning of the Riga synagogues Dünamünde Action Jelgava Pogulianski Rumbula Liepāja (Šķēde)

Lithuania

Ninth Fort Kaunas June 1941 Kaunas 29 October 1941 Ninth Fort November 1941 Ponary

Poland

Operation Tannenberg Intelligenzaktion AB-Aktion Operation Reinhard

Russia

Gully of Petrushino Zmievskaya Balka Lokot Autonomy

Ukraine

Babi Yar Drobytsky Yar Drohobycz Kamianets-Podilskyi Lviv pogroms Mizocz Ghetto Odessa

Records

The Black Book Commissar Order Einsatzgruppen trial Generalplan Ost Jäger Report Korherr Report Special Prosecution Book-Poland (Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen) Eins

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