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Thread: Pol Bat 306

  1. #1
    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    Default Pol Bat 306

    Recently I acquired an ID booklet set of a member of one of those notorious Police Battalions, Pol Bat 306, which was responsible for the murder of 16.200 Jews and 6.000 Soviet POW’s.
    Four officers of this unit were convicted for being an accessory to the murder of 16.200 people during the war by the West German court of Frankfurt in the 1970’s; the company commander of the second company, Günter Waltz, was prosecuted separately by the court in Augsburg in the 1960’s, he was convicted for seven murders he committed during the war and got a 13 years prison sentence.
    Because of these prosecutions we know a lot of details about this particular police unit and that makes telling the story of Hermann Findeisen, an NCO in the notorious second company of Polizei Batallion 306 pretty easy.

    Hermann Findeisen (°1911) was a painter from Bottrop, from August 1933 till February 1934 he served with the RAD and in April 1935 he joined the Algemeine SS (the political branch of the SS), in April 1940 he volunteered for the Waffen SS but instead of joining a Waffen SS unit he was assigned to the third company of Pol Bat 306, a police unit with men from the Frankfurt am Main region, they trained for five months in their home town and were then transferred to Lublin in occupied Poland, he was now attached to the 4th company, a MG company but this company was soon dissolved and absorbed in to the second company.
    - I’ll concentrate on the actions and crimes of the second company, which was the unit with which Hermann Findeisen served the entire war.
    Their first task was to ethnically cleans the Lublin region, Polish farmers were driven from their homes to make room for ethnic Germans; these evictions were sometimes violent and it happened that people were shot and killed while running away, not much details were recorded.
    In the summer of 1941 they executed 12 people as a reprisal for a murder attempt on the German governor Frank.
    In September they shot an unknown number of Jews in Biala Podlaska, in this period the Jews living outside of the ghetto were declared outlaws and could be shot and killed on the spot.
    Also in the autumn of 1941 they executed 10 Polish officers in the prison of Biala Podlaska.
    The CO Waltz was rather keen on taking care of the Jewish problem and he personally shot several people who he thought to be Jews; in the winter of 1941 while driving around with his wife he shot a 50 year old woman who he regarded to be a Jewish, he also encouraged his men to be ruthless.
    And finally they transported a large group of Lublin Jews to Auschwitz.
    But Jews and local Poles weren’t their only victims, in the region of Biala Podlaska was also a POW camp for Red Army prisoners, In July 1941 the local SD office had selected +/- 5.000 POW’s from this camp, they accused them of being members of the communist party and ordered their execution, this execution was done by the men of 2/Pol Bat 306 in the forest of Huisinka, this operation got the codename “Hühnerfarm” (chicken farm).
    In November 1941 a similar operation took place, now code named “Hasenschießen” (hare shooting), 780 Russian POW’s were executed; for one officer of Pol Bat 306, this was to much, he not only refused to take part in it, he also publicly protested against it, finally they had enough of his disobedience and he was court martialed, was sentenced to time in prison and eventually ended up in KL Buchenwald, this officer that didn’t kept his mouth shut was Dr Hornig.
    In February 1942 they kept on murdering civilians, at least 20 people were shot, among them also women.
    In February 1942 they were used in combat for the first time as part of the Kampfgruppe Jeckeln and from April 1942 on wards with 223ID around the Ladogasee.
    In July 1942 they were pulled from the front line for reorganization, his company became the sixth company of Polizei Rgt 15, they served under the command of Adolf Prützmann, the HSSPF for Southern Russia.
    The fought an anti partisan war in the Pinsk area from July till December 1942.
    In October 1942 they destroyed the Jewish ghetto in Pinsk, their biggest crime, men of Pol Bat 306 searched the houses in the ghetto, marched the victims to the execution site, drove them in to pits and murdered people inside the ghetto; on the first day of the action 10.000 Jews were shot, eventually 16.200 were murdered.
    In December 1942 once again they moved to the front to fight as regular soldiers, this time on the Don front.
    On Christmas day 1942 he was admitted to hospital with frost bite to both feet, in January 1943 he was awarded the EKII.
    He was in various hospitals until April 1943, then he rejoined his unit which was now based in Norway and from September 1943 on wards he served in Italy, dirty warfare against Italian partisans.
    His war ended in May 1945 in Northern Italy, he was kept POW until July 1946 and picked up his life as a painter in hometown.
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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    His "Dienstausweis", on it you can see the signatures of Lt Plantius and Hauptmann Waltz, both convicted (war)criminals.
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    His Wehrpaß, not much details in this one but we know that he volunteered for the Waffen SS in April 1940, he became a member of the armed SS in April 1943, when his unit became SS Polizei Regiment 15.
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    "I was just a policeman during the war." A relic and reminder of the banality of evil.

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    Community Organizer Hambone's Avatar
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    Excellent stuff Peter, thank you for posting. He should have been hanged.
    “Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose.” - Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, 1933-1945

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    Moderator Peter U's Avatar
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    This is what makes WW2 special, for Nazi Germany WW2 was not only a war against nations but also a war against an idiology, races and religions, a war that had to be fought without mercy and this battle wasn't only fought on the actual frontline, the frontline was everywhere there enemy was, thus the killing continued even if the enemy had surrendered and was detained in a POW camp or was a citizen of an occupied nation and in case of the Jews even childern, women and the elderly were seen as an enemy that had to be eliminated.
    Police units like Polizei Batallion 306 played an important part in this war against the enemies of the Nazi state and although they had NSDAP and Algemeine SS members in their ranks, they initially weren't a part of the SS as an organisation, nevertheless they provided the necessary muscle for the SS in this dirty war and many members of the Pol Bat's gladly participated in their assigned tasks.

    For those that want to know more about this subject matter, I have some book advice:
    - This book, written by C.Browning, is a classic and gives a good insight on how these Polizei units worked:
    https://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-.../dp/B01G1F0F84

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    Senior Member mauser202's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter U View Post
    This is what makes WW2 special, for Nazi Germany WW2 was not only a war against nations but also a war against an idiology, races and religions, a war that had to be fought without mercy and this battle wasn't only fought on the actual frontline, the frontline was everywhere there enemy was, thus the killing continued even if the enemy had surrendered and was detained in a POW camp or was a citizen of an occupied nation and in case of the Jews even childern, women and the elderly were seen as an enemy that had to be eliminated.
    Police units like Polizei Batallion 306 played an important part in this war against the enemies of the Nazi state and although they had NSDAP and Algemeine SS members in their ranks, they initially weren't a part of the SS as an organisation, nevertheless they provided the necessary muscle for the SS in this dirty war and many members of the Pol Bat's gladly participated in their assigned tasks.

    For those that want to know more about this subject matter, I have some book advice:
    - This book, written by C.Browning, is a classic and gives a good insight on how these Polizei units worked:
    https://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-.../dp/B01G1F0F84
    I was thinking of this very book as I read your post. It is a very interesting read, almost unreal at times in portraying the sadism and eagerness to do their duty some of these men had. How any of them could ever go back to a normal life with their family’s is beyond me.

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    ax - hole Warrior1354's Avatar
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    As always thank you Peter for your work and your translations. Very important history to learn during a very brutal and evil time.

    Have to say this guy was lucky the Soviets never found him. Mostly likely would have been a tree dance or a TT-33 pistol if they were that merciful.
    "Don't use your musket if you can kill 'em with your hatchet"

    Major Robert Rogers 1757 Founder of the U.S Army Rangers

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    Typical west German courts. They did everything in their power to clear people, pardon them and give them reduced sentences. Some people were cleared because there were “no eye witnesses.” Which makes sense, because they were all executed. Others were cleared because eye witnesses were discredited by being too young during the events, and thus couldn’t take them in, or too old when testifying, and thus they couldn’t be relied upon.

    Say what you want about the Soviets, but they didn’t fuck around with war criminal trials. If this guy was lucky, he would’ve been given the choice between execution, or getting “only” 20 years for agreeing to testify against his comrades. If he was unlucky, there wouldn’t be a choice.
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    There is an interesting book that covers this subject in depth. “Ordinary Men” by Christopher Browning, it covers the “exploits” of Reserve Police battalion 101.

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