Streckenbach (1902-1977), Bruno

3 March, 2009
Bovy Daniel

When Nazi troops invaded Poland, Heydrich created five Einsatzgruppen who followed the five German armies. That “elite of extermination” was later reinforced with members of the order police (Orpo) and the Waffen SS coming from the Totenköpfe (skulls’ unit) employed in the concentration camps. The head of one of those Einsatzgruppen in activity from August 1939 to November 1939 was Bruno Streckenbach. On October 31, 1939, he informed Hans Frank, General Governor for the East, about Himmler’s intention to organize the deportation of all Jews coming from regions that were now part of the Reich while about one million Poles “of good origin” would be “imported” into the Reich in order to be “depolonized”. Streckenbach replaced Best in training the future Einsatzgruppen. He was transferred – on his demand – to the Waffen SS in 1942. During the Nuremberg Trial, Ohlendorf accused him and said that Streckenbach transmitted the extermination order at a meeting concerning the missions of the Einsatzgruppen in mid-June 1941. Walter Blume, the leader of the Sonderkommando 7 confirmed that version. Another meeting took place on June 17, 1941, in Heydrich’s office in Berlin. On July 2, they received written instructions. From April 1944 to May 8, 1945, Streckenbach headed the 19th Waffen SS unit from Latvia operating in the East. He was made prisoner by the Russians in 1945 and liberated in 1955.


Wildt, Michael, Der Hamburger Gestapochef Bruno Streckenbach”, in: BAJOHR, F., SZODRZYNSKI, J. (Eds.), 1995, Hamburg in der NS-Zeit. Hamburg: Ergebnisse.

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Bovy Daniel, Streckenbach (1902-1977), Bruno , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 3 March, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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