SS Standartenführer Karl Jäger, Einsatzkommando leader who perpetrated acts of genocide during the Holocaust.


Karl Jäger was born 20-September 1868 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. In World War joined the German army, where he received the Iron Cross (1st Class) and other awards. After World War I, Jäger, an orchestration  maker by profession, obtained a managerial position with the Weber orchestration factory in Waldkirch. He joined the Nazi Party in 1923  Nr. 359269) and founded the local party chapter, as a result of which he became known as “Waldkirch’s Hitler”. The Weber company went bankrupt in 1931, and he was unemployed for several years, but – according to his own claims – he spurned unemployment support from the government of the Weimar Republic, which he despised. By 1934, he had used up all his savings, and his wife Emma separated from him, though their divorce was not formalized until 1940..He joined the SS as early as 1932, Nr 62823), but his rise within the SS under Heinrich Himmler began only in 1935.

Heas SS Standartenführer was assigned to Ludwigsburg,  then to Ravensburg in 1935, and to Münster in 1938, where he was named head of the local office of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). During the invasion of the Netherlands on 10 May 1940, Jäger was named commander of Einsatzkommando 3, a unit of Einsatzgruppe A, under command of SS-Brigadeführer Dr. Franz Walter Stahlecker   Franz Walter Stahlecker was killed on March 23, 1942, age 41, during an action of partisans at Krasnogvardeisk in Russia.. Mass murders in eastern Europe as Jäger was instrumental in the brutal and systematic destruction of the Jewish community of Lithuania.  From July 1941 until September 1943 Jäger served as commander of the SD Einsatzkommando 3a, a sub-unit of Einsatzgruppe A  Under Jäger’s command, the Einsatzkommando, with the help of Lithuanians, shot Jewish men, women and children indiscriminately. It perpetrated the Ninth Fort massacres of November 1941.  The Ninth Fort massacres of November 1941 were two separate mass shootings of 4,934 German Jews in the Ninth Fort near Kaunas, Lithuania. These were the first systematic mass killings of German Jews during the Holocaust

During this time, reports detailing calculated acts of mass murder were routinely submitted to his superiors. Some of these reports survived the war and are collectively referred to as the “Jäger Report”. Reassigned back to Germany near the end of 1943, Jäger was appointed commander of the SD in Reichenberg in the Sudetenland.

Einsatzgruppen killing people in 1942 in the Ukraine at Ivangorod. Jäger organized thousands of murders like these.The Jäger Report

The actions by Einsatzkommando 3, including the Rollkommando Hamann killing squad were tallied by Jäger himself. Rollkommando Hamann was a small mobile unit that committed mass murders of Lithuanian Jews in the countryside in July–October 1941, with a death toll of at least 60.000 Jews The report keeps an almost daily running total of the liquidations of 137,346 people. The “Jäger Report” provides a detailed account of the murderous rampage of this “special squad” in Nazi-occupied Lithuania.

Escape, capture, and suicide, as Jäger escaped capture by the Allies when the war ended, assumed a false identity, and was able to assimilate back into society as a farm hand until his report was discovered in March 1959. Arrested and charged with his crimes, Jäger committed suicide by hanging himself in prison in Hohenasperg  while he was awaiting trial in June 1959


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