|12 August 1909– 9 July 1975 (aged 65)|
Franz Six at the Nuremberg Trials.
|Place of birth||Mannheim, Germany|
|Place of death||Bolzano, Italy|
|Years of service||1930-1945|
|Commands held||2nd SS Panzer Division Das
RSHA: Amt VII Written Records.
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Dr. Franz Alfred Six (12 August 1909 in Mannheim - 9 July 1975 in Bolzano) was a Nazi official who was appointed by Reinhard Heydrich to direct state police operations in Germany and an occupied Great Britain.
Franz Six completed his classical High School in 1930, and proceeded to the University of Heidelberg to study sociology and politics. He graduated there with a degree of Doctor in philosophy in 1934. In 1936, he earned the high degree of Dr.phil.habil. and began teaching at the University of Königsberg where he also took up the position of Press Director for the German Student's Association. By 1939, he had become chair for Foreign Political Science at the University of Berlin and was its first Dean of the faculty for Foreign Countries.
Six joined the Nazi party in 1930 (he was member #245679) and the Sturmabteilung (SA) in 1932, for whom he was a student organizer. Following the dissolution of the latter, Six joined the SD in 1935 (member #107480). His academic achievements and impressive curriculum cast a spell on Reinhard Heydrich who appointed him as head of Amt VII, Written Affairs of the RSHA which dealt primarily with ideological combat.
On 17 September 1940, the same day on which Hitler abandoned the idea of an invasion of Great Britain, Heydrich charged him to plan the elimination of anti-Nazi elements in Britain following a successful invasion by the Wehrmacht, since this task would be appointed to the RSHA, which included the SD. Among other things, his responsibilities included the detention of some 2,300 individuals immediately after the conquest of Britain by Germany. Their names came from a list previously compiled by Walter Schellenberg, at that time a part of the counter-intelligence apparatus of the SD. This list included British politicians, namely Winston Churchill and other members of the Cabinet, writers like Sigmund Freud, even though he had died in September 1939, the philosopher Bertrand Russell, members of exiled governments, financiers such as Bernard Baruch and many other anti-Nazi elements. According to William L. Shirer's book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Churchill was to be placed into the hands of RSHA Amt VI (Foreign Intelligence), but most of the rest of the people on the list were to be placed into the hands of RSHA Amt IV (Gestapo). A separate list also named many organizations who would have to be dismantled as well, namely the Freemasons, the Jehovah's Witnesses and even the Boy Scouts.
Franz Six was also charged with the creation of six Einsatzgruppen located in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and either Edinburgh or Glasgow. These death squads would be charged with the elimination of civilian resistance members and Jews all over Great Britain.
After the Battle of Britain, Hitler gave up on his attempts to invade Great Britain and thus Six's plans came to nothing. On 20 June 1941, Six was assigned as chief of Vorkommando Moscow a unit of Einsatzgruppe B in the Soviet Union. During this command, Six's kommando reported "liquidating" 144 persons. The report claimed "The Vorkommando Moscow was forced to execute another 46 persons, amongst them 38 intellectual Jews who had tried to create unrest and discontent in the newly established Ghetto of Smolensk." He was promoted by Himmler himself on 9 November 1941 to SS-Oberführer for exceptional service in the Einsatz. On 31 January 1945, he was again promoted to SS-Brigadeführer. Six was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg in the Einsatzgruppen Trial of 1948. Unable to link him directly to any atrocities, the Nuremberg tribunal sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment. A clemency court commuted this sentence to 10 years, and he was released on 30 September 1952. It is alleged Six joined the Bundesnachrichtendienst in the 1950s.
Franz Six retired to Friedrichshafen in southwest Germany. He worked as a publicity/advertising executive for Porsche. In 1960, he was interviewed by British journalist Comer Clarke for his book England Under Hitler (referenced below under further reading).
Six was called as one of four witnesses by defense attorney Robert Servatius in the 1961 trial in Israel of Adolf Eichmann, and gave his testimony by deposition in West Germany. Servatius had wanted to have Six appear in person, but Prosecutor Gideon Hausner stated that the former Nazi general would be subject to arrest as a war criminal. Six's testimony was introduced in Eichmann's defense, but proved to be of more help to the prosecution.
Franz Six died in 1975.