Heinz Hermann Schubert

SS-First Lieutenant Heinz Hermann Schubert, joined the NSDAP on May 1, 1934, having previously served in the Hitler Youth Organization. In October 1934 he joined the SS. From October 1941 to June 1942

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he served as adjutant to Ohlendorf, Chief of Einsatzgruppe D. At the trial he testified that his duties consisted mostly of attending to the personal affairs of his chief, the receiving and filing of correspondence, the making of appointments, receiving visitors and so on. It would appear, however, that he was more than a office boy with shoulder straps.

Schubert's own affidavit answers the question as to whether he is guilty under Counts I and II of the Indictment. The pertinent parts of this affidavit read as follows:

" In December 1941 -- I do not remember the exact date -- I was assigned by Ohlendorf or Seibert to supervise and inspect the shooting of about 700 to 800 people, which was to take place in the close vicinity of Simferopol. The shooting was undertaken by the Special Command 11b, one of the formations of Einsatzgruppe D. My task in connection with the shooting consisted of three parts:

a) to see that the location of the shooting be remote enough, so that there could be no witnesses to the shooting;

b) to supervise that the collection of money, jewels, and other valuables of the persons who were to be shot, be completed without the use of force; and that the persons designated for this by the Special Command 11b, hand over the collected items to the administration leaders and their deputies in order to have them passed on to Einsatzgruppe D.

c) to supervise that the execution be completed in the most humane and military manner possible, exactly according to Ohlendorf's orders.

After the execution I had to report personally to Ohlendorf that the execution had been carried out exactly to his orders.

As commissioner of Ohlendorf I followed his orders. I went to the Gypsy quarter of Simferopol and supervised the loading of the persons who were to be shot, into a truck, I took care that the loading was completed as quickly as possible and that there were no disturbances and unrest by the native population. Furthermore, I took care that the condemned persons were not beaten while the loading was going on. Since it was my task to supervise the whole execution, I

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could only stay a short time at each phase of it.

The place which was designated for the shooting of these Russians and Jews was several kilometers outside of Simferopol and about 500 meters off the road in an anti-tank ditch. Among other things I ascertained that the traffic in that region was stopped by persons designated for this and was detoured on side roads. When the condemned persons arrived at the place of execution, they were ordered to leave their money, their valuables and papers at a place designated for the collection. I watched that none of the deposited items were kept by the SS- and Orpo-men who were designated for collection. The depositing of this property by the condemned persons was finished without the use of force. I supervised this phase carefully, in order that all the valuables could be handed over to the Einsatzgruppe D, for subsequent remittance to Berlin.

For a short time, when the people who were to be shot were already standing in their positions in the tank ditch, I supervised the actual shooting which was carried out in strictest conformity with Ohlendorf's orders -- in a military and humane manner, as far as possible. The people were shot with submachine guns and rifles. I know that it was of the greatest importance to Ohlendorf to have the persons who were to be shot killed in the most humane and military manner possible because otherwise -- in other methods of killing -- the moral strain (seelische Belastung) would have been too great for the execution squad.

I have read this statement, consisting of three pages in the German language and declare that it is the whole truth to the best of my knowledge and belief. I had the opportunity to make changes and corrections in the above statement. I made this statement of my own free will without any promise of reward, and I was not subjected to any threat or duress whatsoever.

Nuernberg, Germany, the 24 February 1947

(Signature) Heinz Hermann Schubert"

That the execution described by Schubert actually took place is established conclusively not only by reports but by the testimony of other witnesses as well. In fact, Schubert himself said:

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"This was the execution which has been discussed here repeatedly. It was the execution for which the 11th Army had given orders to the Einsatzgruppe to carry it out before a certain time. This deadline, as far as I know, was Christmas or the end of the year 1941."
At the trial the defendant endeavored to dilute the force of his affidavit by saying that the word "supervise", which is frequently used in his narrative, does not correctly report the functions he performed at the execution; he did not supervise but merely inspected. The affidavit consisted of three pages, he made a correction on page 1 and initialed the correction, placed his abbreviated name at the bottom of the first two pages and signed his full name at the bottom of the last page.

However, even if the affidavit were to be disregarded, his account on the witness stand of the part he played in the execution of defenseless and innocent people could clearly take him within the purview of Control Council Law No. 10.

When asked why these 700 to 800 people were shot he replied:

"I did not know why the individuals were being executed. It is possible that there were persons among then who, because of some special examination were being executed. As for me, in general, however, I was certain of one thing, that this was an execution based on the Fuehrer-Order."

When asked what he did in the early stages of this operation he emphasized that he did not select the place for the execution. It was then pointed out to him that his affidavit did not so indicate:

"This does not say that you selected it. It says that you went there to make certain that the place selected for the shooting was so located that it would fall within the regulations, namely, that there would not be any unnecessary witnesses to the shooting."

He affirmed this version. With regard to the taking of the valuables he also confirmed in court:

"I convinced myself that the collection of money and valuables of people to be shot was not done by force, etc."

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The defendant tried to convey the impression that he merely looked on, more or less, as a spectator, but he admitted that he would have interfered if the execution had been laid in the wrong place, if weapons not prescribed by the Chief of the Einsatzgruppe were used, and in general he would have intervened if things were not going "well."

Schubert's criminal involvement in the Christmas massacre of Simferopol is complete and presents no mitigating circumstances.

His general participation is the venture of Einsatzgruppe D while he was it adjutant is not to be doubted. The defendant Ohlendorf declared in an affidavit:

"The only people whom I generally assigned to inspections were, except for Schubert, Willi Seibert and Hans Gabel."
Schubert sought to minimize the implications of this statement and denied that he had been "generally assigned to inspections." He did, however, state that he knew "definitely" that Gabel "carried out such inspections". It would be strange, indeed, that Ohlendorf should mention three names, and it developed that the only one who performed the duties he assigned to them should be that one person who did not appear in this trial as a defendant.

It is also clear that the defendant was thoroughly aware of the instructions generally given by the Chief of the Einsatzgruppe with regard to the "manner of carrying out executions." It is furthermore evident that, as adjutant, Schubert was current on the assignments given to various members of the staff and, therefore, had full knowledge of the main purpose of the Einsatzgruppe.

From all the evidence in the case the Tribunal finds the defendant guilty under Counts I and II of the Indictment.

The Tribunal also finds that the defendant was a member of the criminal organizations SS and SD under conditions defined in the Judgment of the International Military Tribunal and is, therefore, guilty under count III of the Indictment.

Musmanno, Michael A., U.S.N.R, Military Tribunal II, Case 9: Opinion and Judgment of the Tribunal. Nuremberg: Palace of Justice. 8 April 1948. pp. 220 - 224 (original mimeographed copy)

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Electric Zen
Ken Lewis
July 16, 1998
Rev. 1.0