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Friedrich Jeckeln (2 February 1895 - 3 February 1946) was an SS-Obergruppenfuhrer who served as an SS and Police Leader in occupied Russia during World War II. Jeckeln led one of the largest collection of Einsatzgruppen and was personally responsible for ordering the deaths of over 100,000 Jews, Slavs, Roma, and other "undesirables" of the Third Reich.
Upon the outbreak of World War I, Jeckeln was commissioned a Leutnant, serving from 1914 to 1918 first as an artillery officer and then as a pilot trainee. During his WWI service, Jeckeln was awarded the Wound Badge in Black and the Iron Cross 2nd Class.
After being discharged following Germany's defeat, Jeckeln worked as an engineer before joining the Nazi Party on October 1, 1929. In December 1930, Jeckeln applied to join the Schutzstaffel (SS) and was accepted as a member the following month. Jeckeln was promoted to the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer in March 1931 and put in charge of the 1st Strumbann (Battalion) of the 12th Standarten (Regiment) in the Allgemeine-SS. By the end of 1931, he had been promoted again and was the Standartenführer in charge of the 17th SS-Standarten.
By July 1932, Jeckeln was serving as an SS-Abschnitt (Brigade) commander and had been promoted to the rank of SS-Oberführer. He was also elected as a member of the Reichstag that same year. In January 1933, the month the Nazis came to power in Germany, Jeckeln was put in charge of SS Group South, and promoted to SS-Gruppenführer the next month. Jeckeln spent the next three years as an SS Group Commander and Political Police Commissioner before being promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer (General) in 1936. He was then made the SS and Police Leader of Western Germany and also served as commander of SS-Oberabschnitt (Division) West.
When World War II began, Jeckeln was called up to active duty in the Waffen-SS. As was the practice in the SS, Jeckeln took a lower rank from his Allgemeine position and served as an officer in Regiment 2 of the Totenkopf Division. In 1941, however, his front line service was terminated and was called in by Heinrich Himmler to serve as Higher SS and Police Leader of Eastern Russia. The main purpose of this assignment was to serve as supreme commander of the SS-Einsatzgruppen which were performing mass murders in the region and to also crush partisan activity.
In February 1945, now a General der Waffen-SS und Polizei, Jeckeln was appointed to command the SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Korps and also served as Commander of Replacement Troops and Higher SS and Police Leader in Southwest Germany. Upon the war's conclusion, Jeckeln was captured by the Red Army and interrogated, most likely under torture, before being placed on display at a show trial in Riga, Latvia. His trial began February 3, 1946 and he was executed later that day.
Summary of SS Career
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