Just want to update my progress on this enquiry. I have had no luck with anyone coming back as you can see but I have PM'd some other venerable members and so far one has provided me with valuable information. I have also done some more digging and I want to appeal again to members who may be in a position to provide answers.
The Facts so far:
(1) Antony Beevor wrote an article in the Daily Mail (June 2009) which stated that ''. Kurt Meyer, the divisional commander, had shot 50 Jews near Modlin in Poland in 1939. Later, during the invasion of the Soviet Union, he ordered a village near Kharkov to be burned to the ground. All its inhabitants were murdered''.
He also apparently put this claim into his book (D Day and the battle for Normandy) It appears on page 181 and the source is referenced as:
(2) Peter Lieb's book: (2007)
Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg ? (Page 159)(available on google search with source refs)
“in der Tat wurde Meyer vorgeworfen, 1939 als Kompaniechef bei modlin in polen 50 juden erschossen zu haben und 1943 bei Charkow ein ganzes dorf niedergebrannt und alle Bewohner ermordet zu haben.”
Google translates this as follows:
‘in fact Meyer was accused of having shot and killed in 1939 as a company commander at Modlin in Poland 50 Jews and 1943 in Kharkov burned down an entire village and killed all the inhabitants.’
Source:Vgl.TNA.TS 26/856 Report of the supreme Headquarters of the Allied expeditionary force. Court of enquiry. Shooting of Allied prisoners of war by the 12th SS Panzer division (Hitler Jugend)in Normandy France 7-21 June 1944.
I have ordered this document TS26/856 from the British archives but it looks like I will have to wait a while to see it as the quote to get it can take up to 10 days. I have however, been given a another relevant report from a fellow member which is the interrogation report of Alfred Legenfeld who stated that he had been court martialed due to his refusal to carry out the murder of 50 Jews in Modlin by his commander Kurt Meyer. This report it numbered TS208/4295 and in the most part is quoted in the 2nd post on this thread. At this stage I am presuming that this document is included in the source doc that I have ordered and that there has to be other documents which bridge the gap from Legenfeld's story that he refused to carry out this order to the assertion of Lieb and Beevor that Kurt Meyer carried out the killing.
With regard to the incident itself, I am having great difficulty finding out any other source for this atrocity. I have searched Jewish and Polish memorial sites which list killings in Modlin in this time frame (albeit only in English) I have found one account that lists a bands master from the LSSAH being charged with ordering his troops to kill Jews, he was charged with this crime by his superiors but after the intervention of Adolf Hitler, the charges were dropped. (SS Leibstandarte: The history of the first SS division 1939-1945 by Rupert Butler) there were also reports that 500 polish soldiers and 100 civilians were killed in the moat of the fortress of Modlin when the siege ended, I have not fully investigated this as nothing points to this being the atrocity Meyer is accused of. Nothing yet has surfaced to verify that this killing of 50 Jews even took place. Legenfeld also claimed it happened in October 39, but the LSSAH received orders to move out on Oct 1st (Grenediers, Kurt Meyer page 8).
So my appeal is as follows:
Does anyone have a copy of TS26/856 which I think would mainly deal with war crimes by the 12th SS in Normandy but should also have details of these crimes in Modlin and Kharkov.?
Can any native speaking Poles and Germans have a look on their language sites to see if they can come up with any details of the killing in Modlin?. At the moment I'm just concentrating on the Modlin one but if anyone has other source evidence on the Kharkov case, it would be welcomed.
Has anyone more details of the 100 civilians killed when the siege ended, what German division was accused of this crime?
Can someone access Legenfelds service record to see if it backs up his story?
Any thoughts or ideas for any other avenues of inquiry on this thread or by PM would be welcome as I am not qualified in this field and my search resources are limited. I will post any further findings I make.