Blobel (1894-1951), Paul

18 March, 2009
Bovy Daniel

Blobel became member of the Nazi party in 1931 and of the SS in 1932. In 1933, he was transferred to the Security Police (SD) and became rapidly Head of the Dusseldorf West District. Winning advancement, he was promoted to the rank of colonel. From 1941 to 1942, he was responsible of the Einsatzkommando 4a operating in Ukraine. His commando massively killed prisoners of war, so-called “asocial people”, gypsies, mentally disabled people but also Jews in Lutsk, Dubno and Berdichev. In Zhitomir (mid-July 1941), he organized the massacre of Jewish males then in August, and of Jewish women separated from their children who had been killed before. The massacre took place at the moment when Friedrich Jeckeln, Ukraine’s HSSPF (higher SS police leader), asked for a strengthening of the measures taken against Jews. After the defeat of the German army in Stalingrad, Blobel’s Sonderkommando 4a beat a retreat in the direction of Minsk (via Bobruisk) where they were eventually spread out at the end of 1943. Most of the time, according to Blobel’s affidavit, Jews were executed with a single bullet shot at the back, but this was not the only way of killing them. The commandos changed that after Himmler came to Minsk and attended an execution in August 1941. Other killing methods were tried out and gas vans were chosen. Blobel directed the killing operations of the Babi Jar ravine located near Kiev. Within two days, 34,000 people were shot to death. He also directed the “Action 1005” (1942-1944) consisting in eliminating the evidences of the Nazi crimes. In Ukraine, Blobel split the commandos of that operation 1005 into 2 commandos: the Sonderkommando 1005A and the Sonderkommando 1005B. Later on, a Sonderkommando-Mitte was created to operate in Belarus. According to Rudolf Hoess’ affidavit, Blobel would have been the only one who knew exactly how many mass graves had been dispersed in the occupied territories of the East. Blobel was condemned to death on April 10, 1948 during the Einsatzgruppen Trial and executed on June 7, 1951. The Nuremberg Trial considered that Blobel was responsible for the death of at least 60,000 people.


Arad, Y., Gutman, Y., Margaliot, A. (Eds.), 1981, Documents on the Holocaust, Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland and the Soviet Union, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, Document nº. 212, pp. 471-473.

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Bovy Daniel, Blobel (1894-1951), Paul , Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on: 18 March, 2009, accessed 17/02/2020,, ISSN 1961-9898
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