Emil Berndorff

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Emil Berndorff (born December 1, 1892 in Berlin , † October 13, 1977 in Göttingen ) was a German police officer and SS-Sturmbannführer .


After attending school, Berndorff studied law and political science at the University of Berlin . In 1914 he volunteered to take part in the First World War , in which he was deployed on the western and eastern fronts as well as in Serbia and was promoted to lieutenant in the reserve. After the war, he graduated in 1920 with the promotion of Dr. jur. from. Then he was trained as a detective inspector. In 1921, after successfully passing the detective inspector's examination, he joined the Berlin police headquarters as a detective, where he worked for the homicide department. In the homicide department, which was under the then famous criminalist Ernst Gennat , he was involved in some sensational criminal cases such as that of the train bomber Matuschka. Politically, he had been close to the NSDAP since the early 1930s . His wife joined this in 1931. In August 1932, after the ban on NSDAP membership for Prussian officials was lifted, he became a member of the student council of National Socialist detective officers in Greater Berlin founded by Arthur Nebe . Berndorff resigned from the Protestant Church in November 1941 and his wife in March 1944.

time of the nationalsocialism

In June 1933 Berndorff was transferred to the Secret State Police Office (Gestapa). There he initially worked with Willy Litzenberg in Department II 1 C (“Reaction, Opposition, Austrian Affairs”) as a deputy head and as a director of Department II 1 C 1 (Reaction). In March 1934, he succeeded Karl Futh as head of Section IV C 2, the so-called protective custody department , in the Secret State Police Office. In this capacity to sign the so-called protective custody orders, which formed the basis for the admission to the concentration camps . Berndorff joined the NSDAP in 1937 and the SS in November 1937 . In June 1938 he was promoted to the government and criminal councilor. In September 1938 he was promoted to SS-Hauptsturmführer and on April 20, 1942 to SS-Obersturmbannführer.

After the establishment of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), Berndorff kept his field of activity as head of Section IV C 2 (protective custody matters) in Office IV (Gestapo) of the RSHA. The seat of the department, which eventually comprised eleven inspectors and forty registrars, was Zimmerstrasse 16-18 in Berlin.

After 1945

After the end of the war, Berndorff hid and hired himself out as a farm worker near Husum . In mid-December 1945 he was arrested and taken to Fallingbostel via an interrogation camp in Plön and an internment camp in Neumünster . In 1947 he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the course of a panel proceedings in Fallingbostel for “belonging to a criminal organization ”. He was released in 1950, taking into account his internment. In 1955 this sentence was removed from the criminal record.

After many years of investigative activities of prosecutors Berndorff was arrested again on June 26, 1967 along with eleven of his former employees and for aid to murder accused. A change in criminal law, the new version of Section 50 (2) of the Criminal Code at the time, had the side effect that “desk perpetrators ” as assistants only had to expect lower sentences than perpetrators and maximum sentences of up to 15 years were statute-barred on May 8, 1960 . Since the investigation was only restarted in 1963, Berndorff had to be released.

Berndorff found literary processing as a secondary character in the novel Aimée and Jaguar by Erica Fischer .


  • The personal legal status of Reichsbank officials , 1921. (Dissertation)


  • Andreas Seeger: "Gestapo Müller". The Career of a Desk Offender , 1996, p. 90.
  • Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945? Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. Death register of the Göttingen registry office No. 1488/1977.
  2. Joachim Bornschein: Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller , 2004, p. 113; Klaus Drobisch / Günther Wieland : System of the Nazi concentration camp. 1933-1939 , 1993, p. 280.
  3. ↑ Seniority list of the NSDAP Schutzstaffel, 1943, No. 658
  4. ^ Gerhard Wysocki: Die Geheime Staatspolizei im Land Braunschweig , 1997, p. 51.
  5. Michael Wildt : Generation of the Unconditional. The leadership corps of the Reich Security Main Office. Revised and updated new edition. Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-930908-87-5 , p. 744.
  6. ↑ on this in detail Michael Wildt: Generation des Unbedingten. The leadership corps of the Reich Security Main Office. Revised and updated new edition. Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-930908-87-5 , pp. 828-838.