Franz Reichleitner

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Franz Reichleitner

Franz Karl Reichleitner (born December 2, 1906 in Ried im Traunkreis , Austria; † January 3, 1944 near Rijeka , Istria ) was an Austrian criminal police officer and SS leader. Reichleitner was deployed to the Nazi killing center in Hartheim during Operation T4 and later as a commander in the Sobibor extermination camp as part of Operation Reinhard .


Reichleitner worked in the criminal police with the rank of criminal secretary and after the annexation of Austria in March 1938 he was assigned to the Gestapo in Linz . It was here that Reichleitner met Franz Stangl , who would later become the commanding officer of the Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps .

Reichleitner was a member of the NSDAP ( membership number 6.369.213) and the SS (SS number 357.065). In the SS Reichleitner rose to SS-Hauptsturmführer.

As part of "Aktion T4", the killing of the mentally ill and the disabled, Reichleitner was deployed in the administration of the Nazi killing center in Hartheim near Linz in the spring of 1940 . In November 1940, his police colleague Franz Stangl was also transferred to Hartheim, with whom he shared a room.

After Christian Wirth was appointed inspector of all “euthanasia” institutions, Stangl became his successor as office manager in Hartheim and Reichleitner his deputy. Since the duties of the office manager in addition to the work as a board member of the special registry office , the keeping of the death register, the handling of correspondence, etc. also included local police matters, police officers were primarily used for this function.

Reichleitner married Anna Baumgartner from Steyr, a friend of Stangl's wife Theresa.

In May 1942, Stangl became the commandant of the Sobibor extermination camp . When he took over the Treblinka extermination camp in September 1942 , Reichleitner succeeded him as the new commandant of Sobibor.

After the Sobibór uprising on October 14, 1943 and the conclusion of " Aktion Reinhard ", he and most of the personnel used in this operation, including his friend Stangl, were posted to Northern Italy to "fight partisans ". Already on September 13, 1943, the head of Aktion Reinhard, Odilo Globocnik , had been appointed Higher SS and Police LeaderAdriatic Coastal Land ”, the men he knew for “ Aktion R ”, ie fighting partisans and exterminating those living there Jews, began.

On January 3, 1944, Reichleitner was shot by partisans near Fiume (now Rijeka ). After the war , he, Christian Wirth and Gottfried Schwarz , Wirth's deputy in the Belzec extermination camp , were buried in the German military cemetery Costermano in the province of Verona. Due to a refusal by the German Consul General Manfred Steinkühler before the day of national mourning in 1988 to pay tribute to the approximately 22,000 German soldiers buried there if the bones of the three SS men mentioned were not removed from the cemetery, the names of the three SS were compromised -People deleted from the cemetery “book of honor” and their ranks removed from the gravestones .


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