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Karl Jäger

Karl Jäger (20 September 1888 – 22 June 1959) was a Swiss-born SS officer and Einsatzkommando leader.

Contents

Early life and career

Jäger was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. In World War I he received the Iron Cross (1st Class). He joined the Nazi Party in 1923 (serial no. 359269) and the SS in 1932 (serial no. 62823). He was assigned to Ludwigsburg, then to Ravensburg, in 1935, and to Münster in 1938, where he was named head of the local office of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). During the invasion of the Netherlands on 10 May 1940, Jäger was named commander of Einsatzkommando 3, a unit of Einsatzgruppe A.

Mass murders in eastern Europe

Einsatzgruppen killing people in 1942 in the Ukraine at Ivangorod. Jäger organized thousands of murders like these.

From July 1941 until September 1943 Jäger was assigned commander of the SD Einsatzkommando 3 in Kaunas, Lithuania. During this time, reports detailing calculated acts of mass murder were routinely submitted to his superiors. Some of these reports survived the war and are collectively referred to as the "Jäger Report". Reassigned back to Germany near the end of 1943, Jäger was appointed commander of the SD in Reichenberg in the Sudetenland.

Escape, capture, and suicide

Jäger escaped capture by the Allies when the war ended, assumed a false identity, and was able to assimilate back into society as a farm hand until his report was discovered in March 1959. Arrested and charged with his crimes, Jäger committed suicide in prison in Hohenasperg while he was awaiting trial in June 1959.

The Jäger Report

Among all Nazi documents detailing calculated acts of mass murder and other atrocities, the "Jäger Report" is one of the most horrifying. It provides a detailed account of the murderous rampage of this "special squad" in Nazi-occupied Lithuania. Jäger was instrumental in the brutal and systematic destruction of the Jewish community of Lithuania.

References

  • Klee, Ernst, Dressen, Willi, and Riess, Volker, "The Good Old Days" -- The Holocaust as Seen by its Perpetrators and Bystanders, (translation by Deborah Burnstone) MacMillan, New York, 1991 ISBN 0-02-917425-2, originally published as (German) Klee, Ernst, Dreßen, Willi, and Rieß, Volker (Hrsg.): Schöne Zeiten. Judenmord aus der Sicht der Täter und Gaffer. S. Fischer, Frankfurt / Main 1988. ISBN 978-3-10-039304-3
  • (German) Krausnick, Helmut, and Wilhelm, Hans-Heinrich: Die Truppe des Weltanschauungskrieges. Die Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1938-1942. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3421019878
  • (German) Stang, Knut: Kollaboration und Massenmord. Die litauische Hilfspolizei, das Rollkommando Hamann und die Ermordung der litauischen Juden. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main [u.a.] 1996, ISBN 3-631-30895-7

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