Gottlieb Hering

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SS-Hauptsturmführer Gottlieb Hering

Gottlieb Hering (born June 2, 1887 in Warmbronn ; † October 9, 1945 in Stetten im Remstal ) was a German police officer who was involved in " Aktion T4 " and " Aktion Reinhardt ", including as the camp commandant of the Belzec extermination camp .


Until the First World War

After graduating from school, Hering worked as a farm worker in the Leonberg district. From 1907 to 1909 he did his three years of military service in the Ulanen Regiment 20 in Ulm and then volunteered for another three years. He then joined the police force in Heilbronn in 1912 . He married in 1914 and had a son. During the First World War , Hering was drafted into the machine gun company of the 123rd Grenadier Regiment in 1915 and served on the western front in northern France until the armistice in 1918 . Most recently he held the rank of sergeant. For his war merit he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class.

Police service

After the war, Hering resumed the police work he had begun with the Heilbronn police force. In 1919 he started working for the criminal police as a police sergeant in Göppingen . In 1926 he was promoted to detective inspector. By 1929 he was promoted to chief detective and became head of the Göppingen criminal police. As head of a special commission to monitor radical political parties, Hering, who sympathized with the SPD but was never a member, stood out in the Weimar Republic as an advocate of drastic actions against members of the NSDAP , SA and SS . That's why he was dubbed a “Nazi eater”.

After the National Socialists ' seizure of power in 1933, this brought him into considerable difficulties, as Göppingen NSDAP members vehemently demanded his dismissal from the police force. A colleague, NSDAP member Christian Wirth , whom he had known from official business since 1912, campaigned for Hering despite violent protests from local SA and SS people. So he could remain in the police service , now at the police headquarters in Stuttgart . In May 1933 he joined the NSDAP. In Stuttgart he worked for Wirth in the special commission for serious crime solving murder cases. In 1937 he became criminal district secretary before taking over the management of the criminal police in Schwenningen for a few weeks in 1939 . After the outbreak of World War II , he and other high-ranking police officers were appointed to Gotenhafen ( Gdynia ) in December 1939 with the task of relocating ethnic Germans from the Soviet sphere of interest to the "new German eastern territories".

Action T4 and Action Reinhardt

After completing the job in Gotenhafen, he performed various functions in the context of Aktion T4 from the end of 1940 to mid-1942 . Hering worked, among other things, in the special registry offices of the “euthanasia” institutions in Bernburg and Hadamar and headed the special registry office in Sonnenstein , where he falsely registered the murders of disabled people. Since Hering, who worked “on a special assignment from the Führer”, had “proven himself”, the office of the Führer of the NSDAP proposed him for promotion to the Württemberg Ministry of the Interior on May 1, 1942.

After his transfer to the leadership school of the moral police and the security service (SD) in Prague in June 1942, Hering came to the Belzec extermination camp in early July 1942 as part of Aktion Reinhardt . On August 1, 1942, he replaced Christian Wirth as camp commandant, who had been appointed inspector of the "Aktion Reinhardt" extermination camps. Between July and October 1942, the transports of Jewish victims destined for gassing reached their peak. Due to the inhumane transport conditions, numerous people died while driving. On Herings's orders, those who were too weak to go into the gas chamber were taken to Camp Section II and murdered with a shot in the neck .

Hering was camp commandant of Belzec until December 1942, after which he took care of the liquidation of the camp and monitored the cremation of the corpses from the mass graves as part of the so-called “earthening” according to a procedure developed by Paul Blobel as part of the “ Sonderaktion 1005 ”. More than 400,000 corpses were cremated on three to four pyre, which were in permanent operation from November 1942 to March 1943. After the cremation of the corpses, Hering left Belzec and commissioned the remaining camp personnel to cover up all traces. Hering promised the Jewish kapos of the remaining 300 prisoners of the special detachment for the cremation that they would be brought to Lublin with good food after the camp was closed. Instead, the transport with these last Belzec inmates reached the Sobibor extermination camp on June 30, 1943 , where all the inmates of this Sonderkommando were shot. Hering was charged in front of an SS and police court on January 30, 1943 for burning two villages in the vicinity of Belzec and shooting 46 inhabitants, but was acquitted on account of his “merits”.

In the spring of 1943 Hering became the commandant of the Poniatowa labor camp , where Jewish prisoners were interned. With him other members of the Belzec camp staff came to Poniatowa. The atrocities in this camp reached their climax in the harvest festival , in which at least 14,000 prisoners were shot in this camp. After this "action" the camp was closed and Hering again monitored the cremation of the dead inmates. In addition, from mid-October 1943, as part of the termination of Aktion Reinhardt, he also dealt with the liquidation of the Sobibor extermination camp . Because of his “merits”, Hering was described by Heinrich Himmler as one of the most capable men of “Aktion Reinhardt”. However, his lack of membership in the SS led to difficulties when he was proposed for promotion with other participants in the "Aktion Reinhardt". When examining the requirements for promotion, it became apparent that Hering had already been rejected as unsuitable for SS membership in the 1939 aptitude test. Nevertheless, in 1943, at the instigation of Odilo Globocnik, he was appointed SS-Hauptsturmführer directly , without ever having been a member of the SS.

Adriatic Coastal Operation Zone

After the "Aktion Reinhardt" ended, Hering was transferred to the Adriatic coastal region of Trieste towards the end of 1943, as was the majority of the staff of the "Aktion Reinhardt" . Under Christian Wirth, who was now under Odilo Globocnik inspector of the " Special Department Operation R " of the SS and police apparatus in the Adriatic Coastal Operation Zone , Hering headed the "RI Unit" in Trieste. This special department, initially consisting of three units, RI (Trieste), R II (Fiume) and R III (Udine), served the "extermination of Jews", the confiscation of Jewish property and the fight against partisans . After Wirth's death in May 1944, Hering briefly headed the special department until Dietrich Allers Wirth succeeded him in this position in July 1944 and Hering returned to his post in Trieste, where he had been represented by Josef Oberhauser in the meantime . As the commander of the RI unit, Hering was also the camp commandant of the Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp in a suburb of Trieste. In this concentration camp, a former rice mill, up to 5000 Jewish prisoners and partisans were murdered. On April 11, 1945, Hering married the second marriage to the BDM girl Helene Riegraf, whom he had already met in Hadamar and taken with him to Trieste. In view of the approaching end of the war , the units of the “Special Department Operation R” withdrew from northern Italy at the end of April 1945 and Hering returned to Germany.

After the end of the war

After the end of the war, Hering is said to have briefly headed the criminal police in Heilbronn again. He died as a result of illness under unexplained circumstances in Stetten Castle (Remstal) , where an alternative hospital for the city of Stuttgart was located from autumn 1943. His stays and activities since December 1939 remained largely unmentioned both in his denazification procedure, which was carried out posthumously in 1948 by his much younger widow, and in his personal file kept at the Stuttgart Police Headquarters , according to which he reported “back from the mission” in October 1944. In consultation with the Ministry of Liberation, it was rather assumed that he should not be regarded as the main culprit or the accused . As a result, his widow was spared the otherwise expected forfeiture of the estate and the loss of pension rights. This decision was last confirmed in 1972 when the so-called 131 cases were checked according to the files.


  • Ernst Klee : "Euthanasia" in the Nazi state. The "destruction of life unworthy of life" . S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1983, ISBN 3-10-039303-1
  • Ernst Klee: What they did - what they became . Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-596-24364-5
  • Ernst Klee: The Personal Lexicon for the Third Reich: Who Was What Before and After 1945 . Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005. ISBN 3-596-16048-0
  • Fritz Bauer Institute (Hrsg.): Aryanization in National Socialism - Yearbook 2000 on the history and effects of the Holocaust . Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-593-36494-8
  • Michael Wedekind: National Socialist Occupation and Annexation Policy in Northern Italy 1943 to 1945: The Operation Zones “Alpine Foreland” and “Adriatic Coastal Land”. (Military history studies 38), edited by the Military History Research Office , R. Oldenbourg Verlag , Munich 2003, ISBN 3-486-56650-4
  • Information material from Bildungswerk Stanislaw Hantz e. V .: Belzec , Reader - based on a previously unpublished manuscript by the historian and director of the Belzec Memorial Robert Kuwalek
  • Israel Gutman (Ed.): Encyclopedia of the Holocaust - The persecution and murder of European Jews , Piper Verlag, Munich / Zurich 1998, 3 volumes, ISBN 3-492-22700-7

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Main State Archives Stuttgart , inventory E 151/21 (Ministry of the Interior: Personal files) , Gottlieb Hering personal files : Bü 383 Qu 52 .
  2. Erwin Bocherle: From the history of Stetten in the Remstal and its corridors. Greiner, Remshalden, 2005. ISBN 3-935383-92-4 , p. 42.
  3. ^ State archive Ludwigsburg , denazification documents Gottlieb Hering : EL 902/24 Bü 10162 .
  4. State Archives Ludwigsburg , Gottlieb Hering personnel file : EL 51/1 I Bü 1252.