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Karl Streibel
Karl Streiber at Trawniki (with potbelly, smiling) inspects the company of Hiwis (some still wearing Soviet Budionovkas)
Born October 11, 1903
Place of birth Chiemgau, Upper Bavaria, German Empire
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service until 1945
Rank Sturmbannführer
Unit 3rd SS Division Logo.svg SS-Totenkopfverbände

SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Streibel (born October 11, 1903) was the second and final commander of the Trawniki concentration camp – one of subcamps of the KL Lublin system of Nazi concentration camps in occupied Poland during World War II.[1] Streibel was born in the area of Chiemgau in Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria). He joined the NSDAP and the SS at the age of 29, in November 1932. He was promoted to Obersturmführer just before the Nazi German invasion of Poland. He was appointed leader of Trawniki by Globocnik on October 27, 1941 to conduct training of the collaborationist auxiliary police a.k.a. "Hiwis" (Hilfswilligen, lit. "those willing to help") for service with Nazi Germany in the General Government. His camp had also imprisoned Polish Jews condemned to slave labor. The Jews were all massacred in Operation Harvest Festival on November 3, 1943.[1][2][3]

The Trawniki men (German: Trawnikimänner) took part in Operation Reinhard, the Nazi extermination of Jews. They conducted executions at death camps and in Jewish ghettos including at Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka II, Warsaw (three times, see Stroop Report), Częstochowa, Lublin, Lwów, Radom, Kraków, Białystok (twice), Majdanek as well as at Auschwitz, not to mention Trawniki itself,[4] and the remaining subcamps of KL Lublin/Majdanek including Poniatowa, Budzyn, Kraśnik, Puławy, Lipowa, but also during massacres in Łomazy, Międzyrzec, Łuków, Radzyń, Parczew, Końskowola, Komarówka and all other locations, augmented by the SS and the Reserve Police Battalion 101.[5][6]

A free man[edit | edit source]

On June 24, 1944, Streibel escaped from Trawniki with his own SS Battalion Streibel toward Kraków and Auschwitz, ahead of the Soviet offensive. They retreated again through Poland and the Czech Republic to Dresden, Germany, where his battalion was disbanded between March 4 and April 12, 1945. Streibel and his Hiwis blended in with the civilian population and disappeared from sight.[7] Nothing was known about his whereabouts until his indictment in 1970. Streibel was put on trial in Hamburg for his wartime activities, and in 1976 acquitted of any wrongdoing and set free.[8] German prosecutor Helge Grabitz believed his word, but also granted him partial memory impairment.[9] Streibel was declared innocent of inciting violence; without prosecution right of appeal.[8][10] Further accounts of his life appear missing.[11] For some 30 years thereafter, the German authorities were unanimous about not prosecuting any of the foreign SS helpers at all. The next war crimes trial against a former Hiwi from the SS Battalion Streibel, was launched in 2009 in Munich against the 89-year-old John Demjanjuk from Sobibór, thus resulting in more questions than answers.[12][13] An actual roster of Hiwis from Trawniki who were deployed to the annihilation of the Warsaw and the Białystok Ghetto, as well as some 1,200 original SS service sheets writtnen in German, still exist today.[7] Most of the documents are located at the SFB Archive in Moscow, because most of them were captured during the liberation of Lublin, Majdanek and Trawniki camps in the summer of 1944. The SS personnel files also show that a small number of Hiwis mutinied and were punished by death by the Germans after their capture (as in Auschwitz).[7] Possibly as many as one thousand Trawniki men who dared to return to their homeland were apprehended and tried for treason by the Soviets. There were no acquittals. Most defendants were sentenced to Gulag, but released under the Khrushchev amnesty of 1955.[4]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mgr Stanisław Jabłoński (1927–2002). "Hitlerowski obóz w Trawnikach" (in Polish). The camp history. Trawniki official website. http://www.trawniki.hg.pl/traw/obozjab.html. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  2. Jack R. Fischel (Jul 17, 2010). "Trawniki labor camp". Historical Dictionary of the Holocaust. Scarecrow Press. pp. 264–265. ISBN 0810874857. http://books.google.ca/books?id=EzBZP92xwUUC&lpg=PA265&dq=Trawniki&pg=PA264#v=onepage&q=Trawniki&f=false. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  3. Donald L. Niewyk, Francis R. Nicosia (2012). "Trawniki. A labor camp". The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. Columbia University Press. p. 210. ISBN 0231528787. http://books.google.ca/books?id=nzJAXkfozW8C&lpg=PA210&dq=Trawniki&pg=PA210#v=onepage&q=Trawniki&f=false. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Trawniki". Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007397. Retrieved July 21, 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "USHMM1" defined multiple times with different content
  5. Browning, Christopher R. (1992; 1998). "Arrival in Poland" (PDF file, direct download 7.91 MB complete). Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Penguin Books. pp. 52, 77, 79, 80. http://hampshirehigh.com/exchange2012/docs/BROWNING-Ordinary%20Men.%20Reserve%20Police%20Battalion%20101%20and%20the%20Final%20Solution%20in%20Poland%20(1992).pdf. Retrieved May 1, 2013. "Also: PDF cache archived by WebCite." 
  6. ARC (2004). "Erntefest". Occupation of the East. ARC. http://www.deathcamps.org/occupation/erntefest.html. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 David Bankir, ed (2006). "Police Auxiliaries for Operation Reinhard by Peter R. Black" (Google Books). Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust. Enigma Books. pp. 331–348. ISBN 192963160X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=M7KbsHLnbwgC&pg=PA331&lpg=PA331&dq=Hamburg,++Karl++Streibel&source=bl&ots=snongsA_nf&sig=rPpoAZ4yJJckdezrIaZ8kGHP98g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ol2rUdfJAdDDiwLD1IDQCQ&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Hamburg%2C%20%20Karl%20%20Streibel&f=false. Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ralph Hartmann (2010). "Der Alibiprozeß". Den Aufsatz kommentieren. Ossietzky 9/2010. http://www.sopos.org/aufsaetze/4bdfd55e42f57/1.phtml. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  9. Matthias Janson (2008). "Strafsache Trawniki". Veröffentlicht in konkret 11/2009, S. 38f.. Matthias Janson. http://www.matthiasjanson.de/arbeitsprobe_konkret2.html. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  10. Kimberly C. Partee (20-22 october2011). "Ukrainian Collaboration on Trial and the Trawniki Men Delivering Justice and Writing History" (PDF file, direct download 126 KB). Danyliw Research Seminar in Contemporary Ukrainian Studies. Clark University, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. http://www.ukrainianstudies.uottawa.ca/pdf/P_Danyliw2011_Partee.pdf. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  11. Ian Dixon (June 1990). "Streibel, Karl". http://www.redcap70.net/A%20History%20of%20the%20SS%20Organisation%201924-1945.html/S/STREIBEL,%20Karl.html. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  12. Steve Rosenberg (30 November 2009). "John Demjanjuk war crimes trial begins in Munich". The BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8386576.stm. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  13. Georg Bönisch and Jan Friedmann (2009). "The German Demjanjuk: Witness in War Crimes Trial Could Face Indictment" (news report). Spiegel Online. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-german-demjanjuk-witness-in-war-crimes-trial-could-face-indictment-a-658656.html. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 

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