Arajs commando and Police Batt. 322

Discussions on all aspects of the SS and Polizei. Hosted by Andrey.
JohnRayTaylor
Member
Posts: 303
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:38
Location: Tennessee

Arajs commando and Police Batt. 322

Post by JohnRayTaylor » 26 Oct 2002 06:00

I am looking for info on Police Batt. 322 and Arajs commando. I need info on area of ops in Latvia and lower level officiers and enlisted. I know that they were attached to Stahlecker's Einsatzs and workec with Teilcommando.Any info would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
John

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23143
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 27 Oct 2002 19:43

Arajs, Dr. jur. Viktor Bernhard (1910-1988) -- lawyer; commander, Latvian auxiliary police Riga (Lettische Hilfspolizei Riga), also known as the "Arajs Commando"; battalion commander, SS 15th and 19th Latvian Divisions {arrested at Frankfurt-am-Main using the name "Zeibot" 10 Jul 1975 by West German police on charges of complicity in the murders of 10,000-30,000 Latvian Jews between 1941 and 1943 (NYT 29 Aug 1975:1:2); put on trial 1976 by a West German court at Hamburg for war crimes committed in Latvia, including mass shootings of Jews from the Riga ghetto in the Rumbuli forest 8 Dec 1941; convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 21 Dec 1979 (JuNSV Verfahren Lfd.Nr.856; LG Hamburg 791221[(37) 5/76]); died 1988. It has been estimated that perhaps as many as 30,000 Latvian Jews were killed by the "Arajs Commando", which functioned as an auxiliary Nazi mobile killing group. (Holo Ency 851; Hitler's Willing Executioners p. 518n; Perpetrators pps. 100, 102).}

Detlavs, Karlis (c. 1916-?) – Latvian Legion member accused of shooting Jews at the Riga ghetto c. Oct 1941 and participating in the selection of Jews from the Dvinsk ghetto for execution in the Pogulanka forest c. Jun-Jul 1941 {entered US in 1946 or 20 Dec 1950; lost left leg to cancer 1973; US Immigration and Naturalization service opened deportation proceedings c. 13 Oct 1976 (NYT 14 Oct 1976:18:3; NYT 15 Oct 1976:12:1; NYT 18 Oct 1976:16:1; NYT 16 Nov 1976:19:1; NYT 1 Nov 1977:34:3; NYT 8 Nov 1977:18:4; NYT 18 Nov 1977:18:6; NYT 10 Jan 1979:12:4; NYT 11 Jan 1979:16:6); proceedings dismissed on grounds witnesses could not clearly identify Detlavs 27 Feb 1980 (NYT 28 Feb 1980:16:3).}

Inde, Edgars (c. 1910-?) -- service, Latvian Auxiliary Police; service, Arajs Kommando {entered US 1949; became US citizen 1955; Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations moved to deport 23 Aug 1988 (NYT 24 Aug 1988:II:6:6; NYT 5 Nov 1988:7:6); subsequent disposition unknown.}

Kalejs, Konrad (c. 1913-?) Latvian national; suspected of being a "Nazi death squad officer responsible for the murder of up to 30,0000 Jews, Communists and Gypsies in Latvia" {became Australian citizen; ordered deported from Great Britain c. 4 Jan 2000 (NYT 4 Jan 2000:12:4; NYT 5 Jan 2000:6:4); Latvian officials to investigate (NYT 17 Feb 2000:4:2); subsequent disposition unknown.}

Kalejs, Konstantin (c. 1913-?) [Latvian senior lieutenant] – service, Salaspils concentration camp; company commander, Arajs Commando {entered US 1959; deportation proceedings commenced 30 Mar 1985 by US Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations (OSI) on grounds of participation in the murders of thousands of Jews in WWII Latvia (NYT 31 Mar 1985:47:1); arrested on charges of failing to appear after being accused of directing the destruction of the village of Sanniki and surrounding settlements in Mar 1942 and massacring the entire civilian population 20 Apr 1985 (NYT 21 Apr 1985:11:1); bail denied 23 Apr 1985 (NYT 24 Apr 1985:16:2); subsequent disposition unknown.}

Laipenieks, Edgars (c. 1914-?) – Latvian police intelligence officer accused of murders committed in Riga Central Prison 1941 {fled Latvia 1944; moved to Chile 1948; emigrated to the US 1960; applied for US citizenship but was rejected 1973; listed by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service as being under investigation 5 Jun 1974 for war crimes activities (NYT 6 Jun 1974:30:3; NYT 6 Oct 1976:20:1); investigation reportedly dropped because Laipenieks had been recruited by the CIA for anti-Soviet intelligence work (NYT 15 Oct 1976:12:1; NYT 16 Oct 1976:50:5; NYT 18 Oct 1976:16:1); deportation blocked by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals 12 Jan 1985 (NYT 13 Jan 1985:19:1).}

Steins, Stanislavs – service, Latvian Auxiliary Security Police at Riga (Lettische Sicherheitshilfspolizei Riga) and Latvian Order Service at Riga (Rigaer Ordnungsdienst) {arrested and put on trial by an East German court at Potsdam for war crimes committed Jul-Dec 1941 at Riga, consisting of participating in mass executions of Latvian Jews at Bikernikiwald and Rumbuli Forest near Riga (27,000 victims) and participation in the liquidation of the Riga ghetto; convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 1 Oct 1979 (JuNSV Verfahren Lfd.Nr.1015; LG/BG Potsdam 791001; Ob. Gericht der DDR 791207).}

Tobiass, Erichs (c. 1910-?) -- member, Commando A of the Latvian Auxiliary Police Service (Schutzmannschaft- Schuma) {defendant's unit involved in killing approximately 30,000 Latvian Jews, communists and mentally ill persons between 1941-1943; fled to Canada and became Canadian citizen 1957; Canadian deportation proceedings begun Jan 1995 (NYT 9 Apr 1995:9:1); subsequent disposition unknown.}

JohnRayTaylor
Member
Posts: 303
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:38
Location: Tennessee

Post by JohnRayTaylor » 28 Oct 2002 06:02

Thank you Mr. Thompson. Do you know if the Arajs commando worked with Police Battalion 322? Thank you again for the info.
Regards,
JohnRayTaylor

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23143
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 29 Oct 2002 03:02

The information I have does not show the Arajs commando (Lettische Hilfspolizei Riga) working with the German 322nd Police Battalion.

The German 322nd Police Battalion was formed at Wien (Vienna) and sent to the Russian front in the summer of 1941 as part of Police Regiment Center. Major der Schutzpolizei (no first name) Nagel was the Battalion commander in 1941-1942. The 322nd Police Battalion, under the command of this officer, participated in massacres of Russian civilians at Bialystok 12-13 Jul 1941; Mogilev 19 Oct 1941; Minsk Nov 1941; and at Minsk 28-30 Jul 1942. (Ordinary Men, pp. 12-16; The Good Old Days, pp. 8-22)

In Jul (more likely Aug) 1942 the German 322nd Police Battalion became part of the 5th SS Police Regiment, stationed at Belgrade. The Regiment was based in Serbia during 1942-1944 and in 1944-1945 it relocated to Croatia. (http://www.skalman.nu/third-reich/polis-sspol-reg-5.htm)

The Arajs commando started out as an auxiliary Latvian police unit in Riga. Many of its members later joined one of the two Waffen-SS volunteer Latvian divisions (15th and 19th). Both were assigned to Army Group North on the Russian front. There is some material on the Latvian police battalions (22, 25, 276-278, 312-313, 316) in Foreign Legions of the Third Reich vol. IV, pp. 171-191.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23143
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 29 Oct 2002 21:43

Here's some additional information on the Arajs commando:

According to Exhibit 22T, People vs. Arajs, District Court of Hamburg, 1980, (v. 11, 3634) reported at JuNSV Verfahren Lfd.Nr.856; LG Hamburg 791221[(37) 5/76], the company commanders of the Arajs commando were Cukurs, Kalejs, Kalnins, Laukers, Ozols, and Svikeris.

from the decision in Kalejs v. United States, 10 F.3d 441, 442-43 (7th Cir. 1993):

Konrads Kalejs was born on June 26, 1913, in Riga, Latvia. He was educated as a professional soldier and served as a lieutenant and first lieutenant in the Latvian military. In 1940, the Russians overran Latvia. Kalejs salvaged his military career by joining the conquering Red Army, but a year later the Russians were themselves pushed out of Latvia by the Nazis, whose forces were driving relentlessly toward Russia on the eastern front. Again Kalejs sided with the victors; he deserted his Red Army comrades and, according to the evidence presented here, joined a pro-German force called the Latvian Auxiliary Security Police. The unit was also known as the Arajs Kommando after its leader Viktors Arajs, who was convicted by a German court and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1979 for committing wartime atrocities. (Arajs died in prison.)
According to the Justice Department, from July 1941 until at least June or July of 1944, Kalejs was a company commander and first lieutenant in the Arajs Kommando.

The Nazis' policy in Latvia (as elsewhere) was to murder all Jews, Gypsies and many Communists. After the German army swept through an area, a mobile killing crew would follow shortly, hopin to catch victims unaware. These mobile killing units were called the Einsatzgruppe or, in Latvia, the Einsatzkommando. According to the government's expert witness in the case against Kalejs, Dr. Raul Hilberg, a renowned Holocaust scholar and professor of political science at the University of Vermont, the Einsatzkommando assigned to Latvia had just 170 members. The logistics of attempting the systematic annihilation of the 70,000 Jews in Latvia prompted the Einsatzkommando to rely on bands of local soldiers. The Arajs Kommando was such a group. As a company commander, Kalejs was one of six or seven officers who were second in command to Arajs; he had a hundred men or more under his direction.

Dr. Hilberg testified that according to German documents, the Einsatzkommando with the help of the Arajs Kommando and similar local groups managed to murder 29,000 people (90 percent of them Jewish) before August 10, 1941. A few months later, in order to make room in Riga's Jewish ghetto for the thousands of Jews whom Hitler had shipped out of Germany, 27,800 Jews were shot in the woods near Riga in the space of three days. By January 1942, only 4,000 of the 70,000 Jews who were in Latvia at the beginning of the war were still alive. The Arajs Kommando working with the Einsatzkommando was responsible for more than half of these killings.

Kalejs and his unit had two other duties besides killing Jews in the Riga ghetto. Outside of Latvia (usually in Russia) the Arajs Kommando joined the German SS in so-called anti-partisan activity, which was little more than a cover for arresting and murdering civilians. In addition, the Arajs Kommando under the leadership of Kalejs served as guards at the Salaspils concentration camp. The conditions there were brutal, although Salaspils was a labor camp whose inmates died primarily from inhumane conditions or being shot while trying to escape, rather than a killing camp such as Auschwitz where the prisoners were systematically murdered in gas chambers. The Arajs Kommando was charged with guarding work details and preventing escapes at Salaspils.

JohnRayTaylor
Member
Posts: 303
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:38
Location: Tennessee

Post by JohnRayTaylor » 30 Oct 2002 05:18

Thank you Mr. Thompson. I have just got the book Masters of Death by Richard Rhodes. It has a little info on both the Arajs commando and 322.
I appreciate all the info. It has helped me in my reseach.
Thanks for the help and your time.
Regards,
JohnRayTaylor

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23143
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 03 Nov 2002 09:11

Here are some more members of the Arajs commando for you:

Viktor Arturovich Litsis
Januaryis Reynisovich Brentsis
Albert Kazimirovich Belinis
Adolf Karlovich Skaistkalns
Voldemar Januaryovich Zarinsh

Source: Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [manuscript RG-06.027]

JohnRayTaylor
Member
Posts: 303
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:38
Location: Tennessee

Post by JohnRayTaylor » 07 Nov 2002 05:28

Thank you again Mr. Thompson. You are abig help. I really apprecaite all the info you have given.
Regards,
John

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23143
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 02 Dec 2002 22:05

JohnRay -- Here are some Latvians convicted of participating in massacres of civilians at Minsk:

Grapis, Harald Eduardovich -- Latvian national {accused by the Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) of convoying Jews to killing sites in Minsk and fighting against Soviet partisans; arrest warrant issued 28 Jul 1949; interrogated 27 Jul 1949, 9 Aug 1949; final indictment issued 21 Sept 1949; put on trial by a Soviet tribunal in Latvia; convicted and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in a labor camp 11 Feb 1950 (Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (Federalnaia sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii - State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [US Holocaust Museum manuscript RG-06.027], Box 4, Case #39933).}

Irmeis, Marchtynsh Yakobovich -- Latvian national {accused by the Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) of participating in mass killings of Jews in Minsk; arrest warrant issued 13 Sept 1948; interrogated 12 Feb 1957; final indictment issued 23 Feb 1949; put on trial by a Soviet tribunal in Latvia; convicted and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in a labor camp; sentence justified 16 Feb 1957; execution reported 28 Oct 1952 (Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (Federalnaia sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii - State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [US Holocaust Museum manuscript RG-06.027], Box 4, Case #38829).}

Kiselis, Ansis Karlovich -- Latvian national {accused by the Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) of participating in mass executions of Jewish Soviet citizens in Minsk; arrest warrant issued 24 May 1948; interrogated 22 May 1948, 25 May 1948, 3-4 Jun 1948, 17 Jun 1948; concluding indictment issued 7 Jul 1948; put on trial by a Soviet tribunal in Latvia 5 Aug 1948; convicted and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in a labor camp 5 Aug 1948; sentence justified 20 May 1955 and 26 Jul 1955 (Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (Federalnaia sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii - State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [US Holocaust Museum manuscript RG-06.027], Box 2, Case #1814).}

Ozols, Talivallis Georgevich -- Latvian national {accused by the Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) of participating in mass killing of Jews near Riga and in Minsk; arrest warrant issued 12 Dec 1944; interrogated 9 Dec 1944, 18 Dec 1944; initial indictment issued 18 Dec 1944; concluding indictment issued 5 Jan 1945; put on trial by a Soviet tribunal in Latvia 8 Jan 1945; convicted and sentenced to death; subsequent disposition unknown (Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (Federalnaia sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii - State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [US Holocaust Museum manuscript RG-06.027], Box 6, Case #43228).}

Paurnetis, Petr Petrovich -- Latvian national {accused by the Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) of being a guard in an unnamed camp 12 km from Minsk where 10,000 Jews were held, confiscating cattle from citizens and participating in operations against Soviet citizens; arrest warrant issued 27 May 1945; interrogated 22 May 1945, 24 May 1945, 8 Jun 1945, 10 Jun 1945; concluding indictment issued 14 Jul 1945; put on trial by a Soviet tribunal in Latvia 25 Jul 1945; convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in a labor camp (Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (Federalnaia sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii - State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [US Holocaust Museum manuscript RG-06.027], Box 6, Case #43690).}

Saukitens, Albert Indrikovich -- Latvian national {accused by the Latvian KGB (State Security Committee) of participating in mass killing of Jews in Riga, the Salaspils ghetto and Maliy Trostients near Minsk and serving as a guard for the German Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst - SD) at a Minsk prison; interrogated 11 May 1962, 15 May 1962, 19 May 1962, 22-23 May 1962, 12-13 Jun 1962, 17 Aug 1962; 21 Sept 1962, 10 Oct 1962, 2 Nov 1962; interrogated in Iezins war crimes 14 May 1962, 28 May 1962, 18 Oct 1962, 18 Jan 1963; case initial indictment amended 2 Nov 1962; concluding indictment issued 23 Jan 1963; subsequent disposition unknown (Latvian State Archives of the Former Latvian KGB (Federalnaia sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossii - State Security Committee) records from Fond 1986 relating to war crimes investigations and trials in Latvia, 1941-1995 (bulk 1944-1966) [US Holocaust Museum manuscript RG-06.027], Box 6, Case #44853 and Case #44899).}

grassi
Member
Posts: 525
Joined: 23 Aug 2004 10:18
Location: Munich

Post by grassi » 12 Jun 2006 23:30

Hello!

Is pastor Harald Kalnins (1911-1997, of Latvian-German origin), who served as “Armeegeistlicher im 5. Grenzschutzregiment der 19. Division der Lettischen Legion”, in any way connected to Mr. Kalnins, who was company leader in Arajs commando?

Any help much appreciated!

grassi

User avatar
AAA
Member
Posts: 455
Joined: 31 May 2004 17:25
Location: Cold and dark

Post by AAA » 13 Jun 2006 20:39

The information I have does not show the Arajs commando (Lettische Hilfspolizei Riga) working with the German 322nd Police Battalion.
Maybe that would more likely be the Latvian shuma (auxilliary police) battalion 322-F which was formed at the same time and place the Arajs kommando disbanded (mid 1944).

I note those soviet convictions are made on KGB "evidence". (Ezergailis in The Holocaust on Occupied Latvia mentions "at least 344" cases of former Arajs kommando members in the archives of the Latvian SSR KGB archive.)

@grassi : Unlikely but possibly a relation. The Latvian surname Kalniņš is very common.

User avatar
jarek_g
Member
Posts: 275
Joined: 21 Jul 2003 15:47
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Post by jarek_g » 14 Jun 2006 06:50

About 322nd latvian police bn from: http://www.lacplesis.com/

322. kd. btl. or Latvian Police Bn. 322

Formed: Rīgā and Bauskā 23.7.44.
Commanders Capt. Ķikuts
Composition jaukts (mixed - conscripts and volunteers)
26. 7.44. Region stationed, Bauskas region.
Mission: combat duty
Units Fate: German capitulation time was in Kurzemē


Bestreg.
Jarek

Kradfahren
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: 18 Jun 2006 09:01
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post by Kradfahren » 18 Jun 2006 09:24

Regarding information about Police Battalion 322-

There is an extant history of the Battalion. It is discussed in the book by John Milfull's (Why Germany? National Socialist Anti-Semitism and the European Context) that has some 80 pages relating to the subject. Apparently there are only 268 copies of Milfull's book worldwide, at least in libraries. I have searched without success for a copy. I have the original service logbook for a member of the 322 and several original photos recently acquired for my own book research project. I would appreciate any information leading to a copy of Milfull's book (or a copy of the B322 history), and also information regarding the post-war disposition of one Georg Heinkel of the B322. Indications are that he survived the war. Many thanks.

PF
Member
Posts: 2127
Joined: 27 Oct 2004 13:19
Location: USA

Update

Post by PF » 19 Jun 2006 23:59

In regard to Konrad Kalejs:
1950 arrived in Australia (Citizenship 1957)
1994 Deported from US
1997 Forced from Canada
2000 Flees Britian
2001 Can be extradidated from Australia
BBC News 29 May 2001
2001 Died November in Australia age 88
BBC News 8 Nov 2001

Arnis Upmolis-served 10 years in Soviet Labor Camp after being convicted of
being in Arjas Commando
BBC News 26 Jan 2000

Return to “The Phil Nix SS & Polizei section”