Kdo Estland units ?

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Ostuf Charlemagne
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Kdo Estland units ?

Post by Ostuf Charlemagne » 09 Oct 2003 01:42

they were ounder command of Dr.Martin Sandberger...any infos /pics ?
Particularly about their local estonian units ?????

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Post by David Thompson » 09 Oct 2003 06:41

Ostuf -- I'll try to find some information on Estonian police formations for you. In the meantime, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum made microfilm copies of a large number of records relating to German and Estonian police formations and war crimes trials. I posted their finding aid at:

http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=15937

Here's some bio details on Sandberger, and a couple of photographs of the man in American custody:

Sandberger, Dr. jur. Martin (1911-?) [SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer] – commander, Special Command 1a (Sonderkommando 1a) Jun 1941-Sept 1943; commander, German Security Police and Security Service, Estonia 3 Dec 1941-Sept 1943; service, Reich Security Main Office Department VI B Security Service Foreign Operations in Germany and Italy (RSHA Amt VI B); service, German Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst – SD) Stuttgart; commander, German Security Police and Security Service (Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des Sicherheitsdienstes - BdS) Italy {arrested and put on trial by an American military tribunal at Nuremberg (the "Einsatzgruppe Case") on charges of ordering and participating in mass shootings of Jewish civilians in the Soviet Union; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging 10 Apr 1948 (NYT 11 Apr 1948:9:1); sentence commuted in 1951 to life imprisonment by US High Commissioner for Germany John J. McCloy, on recommendation of the Clemency Board; release from American confinement announced 9 May 1958 (NYT 10 May 19583:7). (Holo Ency 1792-1793; Field Men p. 102).}

In passing its death sentence on Sandberger, the American military tribunal stated:

"SS-Colonel Martin Sandberger studied jurisprudence at the Universities of Munich, Freiburg, Cologne and Tuebingen. He worked as an assistant judge in the Inner Administration of Wuerttemberg and became a Government Councillor in 1937. In October 1939 he was chief of the Immigration Center and in June 1941 was appointed chief of Sonderkommando 1a of Einsatzgruppe A. He left for Esthonia on the 23rd day of that month. On December 3, 1941 he became Commander of the Security Police and SD for Esthonia. He returned to Germany in September 1943.

During this long period of 26 months he had ample opportunity to be involved in the execution of the Fuehrer-Order which he originally heard in Pretzch and which was fully discussed again in Berlin before he left for the East.

Despite the defendant's protestations from the witness stand, it is evident from the documentary evidence and his own testimony, that he went along willingly with the execution of the Fuehrer-Order. Hardly had his kommando reached its first stopping place before it began its criminal work. Operational Report No. 15 reads:

"Group leader entered Riga with Einsatzkommando 1a and 2." It then describes the destruction of synagogues, the liquidation of 400 Jews and the setting up of groups for the purpose of fomenting pogroms. Sandberger seeks to deny responsibility for the executions, although it has been demonstrated that not only was he in Riga at the time they occurred, but he actually had a conversation about them with the Einsatzgruppe Chief Stahlecker before he left Riga.

This same report shows that a teilkommando of Sandberger's unit, Einsatzkommando 1a, was assigned to an operation in Dorpat; and it is interesting to note that a subsequent report (No. 88, dated September 19, 1941) tells of an execution in Dorpat of 405 persons of whom 50 were Jews. This report closes with the significant statement:

"There are no more Jews in prison."

A report dated October 15, 1941 on executions in the Ostland included one item under Esthonia of 474 Jews and 684 Communists. The defendant also denies responsibility for these killings, placing the credit or blame for them on the German Field Police and Esthonian Home Guard. It is a fact, however, that the Esthonian Home Guard was under Sandberger's jurisdiction and control for specific operations, as evidenced by the same report:
"The arrest of all male Jews of over 16 years of age has been nearly finished.
With the exception of the doctors and the elders of the Jews who were appointed by the special kommandos, they were executed by the Self-Protection Units under the control of the Special Detachment 1a. Jewesses in Pernau and Reval of the age groups from 16 to 60 who are fit for work were arrested and put to peat-cutting or other labor. At present a camp is being constructed in Harku in which all Esthonian Jews are to be assembled, so that Esthonia will be free of Jews in a short while." (Emphasis supplied)


Report No. 17, dated July 9, 1941 carries the item:
"With the exception of one, all leading communist officials in Esthonia have now been seized and rendered harmless. The sum total of communists seized runs to about 14,500. Of these about 1,000 were shot and 5,377 put into concentration camps. 3,785 less guilty supporters were released.


The defendant again admitted that his subkommando leader participated but argued responsibility for only a fraction of the "mentioned figure". He placed this "fraction" at 300 to 350 persons. In further attempted exculpation from responsibility for the numerous killings which admittedly occurred in the territory under his jurisdiction, Sandberger announced in court a system of investigations, appeal, review and re-review which involved eleven different people, one of whom was himself. The real difficulty about Sandberger's explanation is that it lacks not only support, documentary or otherwise, but it lacks credibility in itself. Sandberger's story would argue that these involved and elaborate pains were taken under the Nazi aegis to protect the lives of the very people, the supreme order under which they were operating had doomed to summary execution.

Sandberger leaves no doubt about the fact of his responsibility for at least 350 deaths in this instance:
"Q. The sum total of Communists seized runs to about 14,500; do you see that?
A, Yes, 14,500, yes.
Q. That means 1,000 were shot?
A. Yes, I get that from the document.
Q. You know it. Did you know it? Do you remember it?
A. The report must have been submitted to me.
Q. Then at one time, at least, you knew of it?
A. Yes.
Q. Were you in Esthonia then?
A. Yes, but they were not shot on my responsibility. I am only responsible for 350.
Q. You are responsible for 350?
A. That is my estimate."


On September 10, 1941, Sandberger promulgated a general order for the internment of Jews which resulted in the internment of 450 Jews in a concentration camp at Pleskau. He states he did this to protect the Jews, hoping that during the internment the Fuehrer-Order might be revoked or its rigorous provisions modified. The Jews were later executed. Sandberger claims that the execution took place without his knowledge and during his absence, but his own testimony convicts him:
"Q. You collected these men in the camps?
A. Yes, I gave the order.
Q. You knew that at some future time they could expect nothing but death?
A. I was hoping that Hitler would withdraw the order or change it.
Q. You knew that the probability, bordering on certainty, was that they would be shot after being collected?
A. I knew that there was this possibility, yes.
Q. In fact, almost a certainty; isn't that right?
A. It was probable."


Later on in his testimony his responsibility for these deaths which, of course, constitutes murder, was even more definitely admitted:
"Q. You collected these Jews, according to the basic order, didn't you, the Hitler Order?
A. Yes.
Q. And then they were shot; they were shot; isn't that right?
A. Yes.

- 162 -

Q. By members of your command?
A. From Esthonian men who were subordinated to my Sonderkommando leaders; that is also myself then.
Q. Then, in fact, they were shot by members under your command?
A. Yes.
...............................
Q. Then as a result of the Fuehrer-Order, these Jews were shot?
A. Yes."
Emphasis supplied

Sandberger's temporary absence, on the date of the execution, of course in no way affects his criminal responsibility for the deed. Although Sandberger devoted a great deal of his time on the witness stand to denial, the one admission he did make was that executive measures in Esthonia were taken under his supervision. He stated the he objected to the Fuehrer-Order:

"I objected to the decree so strongly that at first I did not think it was possible that such an order was at all thinkable.....I could not imagine that I myself would be able to do this and, on the other hand, I believed I could not ask my men to do something which I could not do myself."
Yet he testified that he regarded the Order as legal, that Hitler was the highest legislative authority, and although the Fuhrer-Order offended his moral sense, it had to be obeyed. His moral sense apparently did not always prevail for the defendant betrayed himself into a note of justification of the Fuhrer-Order when he testified:

".....when we saw in this Baltic area to what a large extent the forces then in power there had deviated in the preceding years from the basic principles of law, we were doubtlessly influenced in the sense that any possible misgivings about the legality which one still might have had were removed by this."


That Sandberger willingly and enthusiastically went along with the Fuhrer-Order and other Nazi dictates is evidenced by the eulogistic remarks which appeared in the recommendation for his promotion:

".....He is distinguished by his great industry and better than average intensity in his work. From the professional point of view, S. has proved himself in the Reich as well as in his assignment in the East. S. is a versatile SS-Fuehrer, suitable for employment.

S. belongs to the Officers of the Leadership Service and has fulfilled the requirements of the promotion regulations up to the minimum age set by the RF-SS (36 years). Because of his political service and his efforts, which far exceed the average, the Chief of the Sipo and SD already supports his preferential promotion to SS-Standartenfuehrer."
(Emphasis supplied)

From all the evidence in the case the Tribunal finds the defendant guilty under Counts I and II of the Indictment.

The Tribunal also finds that the defendant was a member of the criminal organizations SS and SD under the conditions defined by the Judgment of the International Military Tribunal and is, therefore, guilty under Count III of the Indictment." (Musmanno, Michael A., U.S.N.R, Military Tribunal II, Case 9: Opinion and Judgment of the Tribunal. Nuremberg: Palace of Justice, pp. 158-164 (original mimeographed copy),
http://www.einsatzgruppenarchives.com/t ... erger.html
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Post by David Thompson » 09 Oct 2003 07:40

And here's a little more on the Estonian police formations:

Georg Tessin and Norbert Kannapin's book Waffen-SS und Ordnungspolizei im Kriegseinsatz 1939-1945 (Biblio Verlag, Osnabrueck: 2000), p. 581 lists the forces under the commander of the German Security Police and Security Service at Reval on 1 Oct 1942 as:
591 deutsch
5110 einheimische Schutzmannschaft im Einzeldienst
5385 einheimische Schutzmannschaft in Bataillonen

for additional material on the Estonia police formations, p. 583 of the same book notes:
Estn. Schuma-Abt. Dorpat, wurde Schuma-Btl. 37
Estn. Schuma-Abt. Fellin, wurde Schuma-Btl. 38
Estn. Schuma-Abt. Poltsama, wurde Schuma-Btl. 39
Estn. Sich.Abt. Pleskau, wurde Schuma-Btl. 40
Estn. Schuma-Stamm-Abt., wurde Schuma-Btl. 41
Estn. Schuma-Bau-Abt., wurde Schuma-Btl. 42

p. 584 (after Mar 1942)
estn. Btl. Nr.29-45, 50, 286-93

pp. 586-90 (after Feb 1944) the Germans formed 6 Estonian Border Protection Regiments (Estn.Grzsch.Regt. [Pol.]), numbered 1-6, with a replacement regiment also. These units served with German Army security units rather than with the SS.

At the same time the Germans raised Self-Defense (Selbstschutz) Regiments at Reval (replacement battalion at Narwa), Fellin (battalions at Fellin and Jerwen), Pernau, and Kivi (battalions at Onno, Leisk, and Lein). Each of these regiments bore the name of the city where they were formed.

According to David Littlejohn's Foreign Legions of the Third Reich (R. James Bender Publishing, San Jose [CA}: 1987), vol. 4, pp. 137-38, the earlier Estonian Selbstschutz and police units were based on earlier anti-Soviet partisan formations. Littlejohn says that the encouragement for these early units came from the German army and police, not from the SS.

The first of these was the 181st Estonian Security Detachment (Estnische Sicherungsabteilung 181) at Tartu, followed by five other detachments, numbered 182-186. These units were nominally battalion-sized. All six detachments were later formed into East (Ost) Battalions 658-660, and shortly thereafter were renamed Estonian Battalions (Estonische Bataillone). These units were part of the German Army.

Littlejohn says that the selbstschutz units (Est. Omakaitse, officially created 2 Aug 1941 and commanded by Colonel Jaan Maide) changed their names from Schutzmannschaften to Polizei in May 1943, and were designated "(F)" for front units and "(W)" for guard units. He also mentions the 42nd Engineer (Pioneer) Police Battalion was in existence in about 1943.
Last edited by David Thompson on 09 Oct 2003 15:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 09 Oct 2003 07:52

A photograph of the reviewing stand during a parade at Tartu 25 Jul 1942. From left to right: unknown, Sandberger, Tartu mayor Paul Keerdoja, Estonian self-administration leader Dr. Hjalmar Mae, unknown German general, and Tartu Feldkommandant Nikolaus Graf von Uexkuell.

The official report of the trial of Sandberger and other Einsatzgruppen commanders by an American military tribunal at Nuernberg is available on-line at the Mazal Library, starting at:

http://www.mazal.org/archive/nmt/04/NMT04-F001.htm
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Ostuf Charlemagne
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Post by Ostuf Charlemagne » 10 Oct 2003 00:38

Hi Thompson. Thaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnksssssss !!!

That's information !

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 10 Oct 2003 03:26

Anytime, Ostuf.

chrish
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Post by chrish » 10 Oct 2003 08:32

Staf: 30.1.1945
O’Stub:
Stub: 9.11.1938
H’Stuf: 20.4.1937
O’Stuf: 13.9.1936
U’Stuf: 30.1.1936

chrish

Ostuf Charlemagne
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Post by Ostuf Charlemagne » 11 Oct 2003 03:56

Thanks Chrish.....
Thompson : a ''small '' detail :

In the official ''lecture '' against Sandberger,i see the number of 14,500 arrested communists , right ? (i say ''right ?'' because my english is far from perfect and i want to make sure i'm interpreting correctly.... also for the following :)

From those 14,500 only 1,000 were shot ?? Well,for an Einsatzgruppe officer,Sandberger looks pretty ''mild''... The NKVD shot lots more people in Estonia .

But also ,here is the ''detail'' ...according to today estonian sources
( Estonian Museum of Occupation ,go to :
http://www.okupatioon.ee/english/index.html )

6,600 estonians were killed by the Nazis (incluiding 929 jews and 243 gypsies... the ones who remains being communists and /or partisan's supporters.)

So,either the Sipo-SD / Einsatzgruppen was working like any normal,standard ,police force ,at last in Estonia .... (since so much were captured,not shot on the spot ,and even the ones who were found not guilties were released.),
either the numbers evocated by the allies at his process were supplied by the soviets,and out of reality...wich may explain why Sandberger was free by 1959..... What do you think ?

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Eistir
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Post by Eistir » 21 Oct 2003 22:55

When I was young I was reading book called "Haakristi haardes"which means caucht by swastika or atleast something that way.That book was memories of commie survivors and belive it or not not they was wining that germans was puting them in to prison for 4-5 years because they was communists and that they was helping commies before germans arrived.Well,how cruel you can get?BTW is herr Sandberger still alive or is he in walhalla allready?

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Post by Kunnar Kesküla » 22 Oct 2003 07:35

Hi Eistir!

I'm too reading this book. I'm talking with persons who knew some of them who wrote in this book. One guy who mean themselve as "innocent victim" and survived a war, was on 1941 in "Demolition bataillon" and was a active collaborator by deportations. So i will not take all from this book as 100% truth.
BTW Sandberger probably is alive in Germany. i read about that in some estonian newspaper.

Rgds
Kunnar

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Eistir
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Post by Eistir » 22 Oct 2003 21:00

Hi Kunnar!
I think most of books whitch was comming out in that time and was about WWII is most likely lies.To you remember one certain tree in Tallinn in Maarjamäe?So called Nikonov tree.Another stupid fake story and all those "heroic" storys about local heroes for example Leen Kullman story.List is long and full of german "atrocities".
Have you ever been reading book called "Surmavabrik"?

Lgp
Eistir

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Post by Kunnar Kesküla » 22 Oct 2003 21:42

Eistir wrote:Hi Kunnar!
I think most of books whitch was comming out in that time and was about WWII is most likely lies.To you remember one certain tree in Tallinn in Maarjamäe?So called Nikonov tree.Another stupid fake story and all those "heroic" storys about local heroes for example Leen Kullman story.List is long and full of german "atrocities".
Have you ever been reading book called "Surmavabrik"?

Lgp
Eistir


Tere Eistir!

No i have not reading this book. Written by who?
Yep there is enough such "heroic" stories. This Kullman story is very interesting.If i remember correctly, then she died in reality in Germany?
If you have time then visit a Estonian State Archiv and read materials about Jägala camp, specially Gerrets protocols and compare this with book "Inimesed olge valvsad". Very interesting.

Tervitades
Kunnar

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Re: Kdo Estland units ?

Post by Arensburger » 25 Nov 2008 22:05

Ruth Bettina Birn, Die Sicherheitspolizei in Estland 1941 – 1944 : Eine Studie zur Kollaboration im Osten. Sammlung Schöningh zur Geschichte und Gegenwart. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2006.

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