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13.07.2017

Bitte um Hilfe: Spurensuche

 
 

 

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2017-07_spurensuche_reurs.pdf
 

 

Das IAK erreichte eine Bitte um Unterstützung von Stijn Reurs:

In the last years I have been occupied researching the Dutch collaboration with the nazi's, therefore I have interviewed many former Dutch SS members and Dutch nazi party members, some of them being involved in the Holocaust or Shoah. I think I can say, I have quite some knowledge on this topic. In the future, I will publish about my research. Besides this 'regular' research, in the last four years, I have been working on a police investigation that took place between 1945 and 1951. In 1951 the case had to be closed because of lack of evidence and the suspect was released. Over 1500 pages of police investigation that remained, have been archived by the Amsterdam city archive, the Stadsarchief Amsterdam. In 2012 I was asked by them to research the file, that has kept me busy ever since.  

To give you the story in a nutshell: in August 1945 a man, calling himself Paul, tried to hide among returning Dutch forced laborers, who where coming from Germany and heading home after the war. Paul must have been conspicuous, since he missed all the fingers of his left hand. At the German-Dutch boarder he was checked routinely, and the Dutch police found a SS bloodgroop tattoo under his arm. Therefore he was arrested and detained. Remarkably, he spoke in a mishmash of Dutch and German, and stated he was born in Amsterdam in 1917. Since he had knowledge of the Dutch language, he was taken to Amsterdam, his so called place of birth, where he was detained for the next six years. During this detention he did everything to be released from prison, to find a way out of Europe. During his imprisonment he even was able to contact the same bureau in Genoa (Italy) that helped Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann to get to South America. After his release in 1951, he emigrated to Chile.

Until today it has not been clear who this man was. From the day of his arrest in August 1945, he lived under a false identity. Regardless dozens of interrogations and the investigations by the Dutch police, who knew Paul was not telling the truth, nothing was found out about his identity. Already in those days, it was clear that he had a very good reason to hide his true identity, and that he most probably had been involved in something very bad, most presumably the concentration camps. I recently found out that the only document that Paul owned during his arrest, a Forläufiger Fremdenpass, a pass for non-German (forced) labourers, is to be proven falsified. Paul obviously prepared his new identity very detailed at the end of the war.

In the last four years, I have found out many things about him, however I was not (yet) able to find anything regarding his pre-war and wartime life, since I only have his false name. Nevertheless, I am getting closer to solving this enigma, since I have found out who's identity Paul copied. I have very good reasons to assume that Paul was involved in the Auschwitz concentration camp system, and being a high ranked nazi, most likely a SS officer. Most probably he was an educated engineer, as he stated himself. This might be one of the only truths Paul told the police during his detainment, since he worked as such for the rest of his post-war professional life. Therefore it might be a possibility that Paul worked in the Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz, or Bauinspektion der Waffen-SS und Polizei Schlesien. All of my findings on Paul, even some of his own statements, lead to the area of Katowice and Krakau, near to Auschwitz.

The story is quite complex and the devil is in the detail, therefore I tried to keep it succinctly. However, if you are interested, I will be happy to supply you with additional information. Since I need to take my chances, as 'Zeitzeuge' are still alive, I would like to write a short article for the IAK newsletter. I presume your newsletter has a wide range and former Auschwitz prisoners, who today live all around the world, might read it. There might be a possibility that Paul will be recognized by former Auschwitz prisoners, especially since his appearance must have been remarkable: he was a very short man (1.65 m) and most probably a SS officer who also had lost the fingers of his left hand. I am in the possession of several photographs of Paul, that could come together with a potential article. I hope your organization will be of help in solving this cold case, after more than seventy years.

Stijn Reurs

Wenn Sie helfen können: Kontakt kann über kontakt [at] auschwitz.info aufgenommen werden.

Einen ausführlichen deutschen Artikel von Stijn Reurs, in dem auch Bilder enthalten sind, finden Sie hier [pdf-Datei].