Harald Turner

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Harald Turner (born October 8, 1891 in Leun , † March 9, 1947 in Belgrade ) was a German lawyer , Prussian State Councilor , SS group leader and deputy head of the SS - Race and Settlement Main Office .

From 1941 to 1943, as head of the German military administration in Belgrade, Turner played a leading role in the murder of Jews and Roma in Serbia . In 1944, as deputy head of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office, he was in charge of the German policy of Germanization, particularly in Poland and the Soviet Union .


The son of a lieutenant graduated from the Kronberger Hof high school in Geisenheim . From 1908 to 1920 he did military service in the German army as an infantry officer and from 1919 to 1920 in the Freikorps Wesel .

In 1916 he married Heidi Bechtel. A year later, daughter Irmingard was born and in 1918 son Harald. Turner emerged from the First World War as a war-injured person. He received several military awards and medals. He later received a doctorate in law and was employed by the Prussian Ministry of Finance.

In 1930 Turner became a member of the NSDAP ( membership number 970.460), and in 1932 also a member of the SS . From 1933 to 1936 Turner was the district president in Koblenz and then worked as a ministerial director in the Prussian Ministry of Finance.

From 1934 to 1944 Turner was a leader in the SS staff : In April 1934 he joined the SD main office (later part of the Reich Security Main Office ) and was appointed SS brigad leader in January 1939. After the attack on Poland , he worked in the administration of the General Government from the end of 1939 . In July 1940 he was appointed head of the German military administration to Paris .

In September 1941 Turner was appointed SS group leader and head of the German military administration in Serbia , with Georg Kiessel becoming his deputy . Here Turner quickly gained a dubious reputation for the swift and ruthless murder of the Serbian Jews and Roma , as evidenced by various documents. In an order dated October 26, 1941, for example, he wrote “that Jews and Gypsies in general represent an element of insecurity and thus a threat to public order and security. It is the Jewish intellect that provoked this war and that must be destroyed ”. Only six months later, on April 11, 1942, he reported to Karl Wolff from Himmler's personal staff about the murders carried out: “Months ago I shot everything that was within reach of Jews in this country and had all Jewish women and children concentrated in one camp and at the same time, with the help of the SD, acquired a ›delousing truck ‹ (note: this is a camouflage expression for a gas truck ) ”. On August 29 of the same year he boasted in a lecture to the Wehrmacht Commander Southeast: "Serbia is the only country in which the Jewish and Gypsy questions are resolved".

In early 1944 Turner was appointed deputy head of the SS Race and Settlement Main Office in Berlin (for Richard Hildebrandt ). However, when he criticized the NSDAP in the SS Junker School in Bad Tölz in August 1944 and demanded that the SS take the place of the NSDAP, he was removed from his post and sent to the front. Thereupon he came into British captivity and was extradited to Yugoslavia in 1945 according to the London Statute . 1947 Turner was in Belgrade by train executed .

See also


  • Walter Manoschek: “Serbia is free of Jews”: military occupation policy and the extermination of Jews in Serbia in 1941/42 . Oldenbourg, Munich 1993. ISBN 3-486-55974-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 633.
  2. a b c Quote from Ernst Klee: The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Fischer Taschenbuch 2005, p. 633.