Biberstein (born Ernst Szymanowski), Ernst Emil Heinrich, born 15-02-1899 in Hilchenbach, 10 months after Adolf Hitler (did you know), attended the elementaryschool in Muehlheim on the Ruhr and in Neumuenster-Holstein, and afterwards a classical high school where he passed his final examination in 1917. From 1917 until March 1919 he served with the army as a private in the infantry. From March 1919 to 1921 he studied protestant theology. He passed his first theological examination in April 1921 and then went for 6 months to a preachers’ seminary; after that he was a curatefor 12 months. His first post as a pastor he got on 28-12-1924 in Kating Schleswig-Holstein, which he held until November 1927. From then on until November 1933 he was a pastor in Kaltenkirchen Schleswig-Holstein, in the district of Begeberg. From November 1933 until August 1935, he was “Kirchenprobst” or “Superintendent” [presiding minister of the Provincial Protestant Church] in Bad Segeberg, Holstein. In August 1935 he was called to the Reich Ministry of Church Affairs in Berlin as atheological expert where he functioned until he was drafted in the army on 10-03-1940.
In the army he took part in the Holland and France campaigns as a corporal. On 22-10-1940 he was draft deferred by the Reich Plenipotentiary of Internal Administration and was assigned to the Chief of the Security Police and of the SD.
He became an SS Obersturmführer , member of the SD and commanding officer of Einsatzcommando 6. During World War I he was a private from March 1917 to 1919 and left the army. He joined fanatic the Nazi party, nr 40718, in 1926, age 27, and then the SS on 13-09-1936, his membership number was 272692. From March through October 1940 he was again a soldier. In 1941, SS Obersturmbannführer, Ernst Biberstein changed his name from Szymanowski or Schzymanowski to Biberstein. After the assassination of the head of the RSHA, Reinhard Heydrich
he was assigned command of Einsatzgruppe C in June 1942. Biberstein, a unscrupulous man, was a defendant at the Einsatzgruppen Trial during the Nuremburg Trials. His trial began in September 1947 and ended 09-04-1948, he pleads not guilty during his arraignment at the Einsatzgruppen Trial. At his arraignment, along with all other defendants, he plead, of course, not guilty on all charges.
During his time of office as commander of Einsatzkommando 6, between September 1942 and June 1943 about 2,000 to 3,000 executions were performed inthe area of my Einsatzkommando. He personally superintended an execution in Reztocwhich was performed by means of a gas truck. The persons destined for death – aftertheir money and valuables, sometimes the clothes also, had been taken from them –were loaded into the gas truck which held between 50 and 60 people. The truck was then driven to a place outside the town where members of the Kommando had already dug a mass grave. He himself saw the unloading of the dead bodies, their faces were in no way distorted, death came to these people without any outward signs ofspasms. There was no physician present at unloading to certify that the people wererally dead. The gas truck was driven by the driver Wilhelm Sackenreuter of Nuremberg who had been most carefully instructed. Wilhelm Sackenreuter clings to the wheel as he drives his truck off the bumpy road. He drives up to a couple of SS soldiers who are smoking their morning cigarette in front of the entrance of an old mine near Stalino, now Donetsk in Ukraine. Driver Sackenreuter is wearing a spotless black SS uniform, but that does not prevent him from lying under his car to tinker. The gray car is most like a moving van: you cannot look into the cargo space and the rear doors are locked with iron bars. With a cigarette in the corner of their mouth, the SS officers of Einsatzgruppe C watch everything indifferently – they know what is about to happen and have experienced it so many times during their journey through the huge part of the Soviet Union that the Germans have conquered. Wilhelm Sackenreuter gets up, jumps into the cabin and turns the key. The engine starts to hum again.
Moments later, there is a beating from the cargo space, which quickly turns into loud banging.”Germans, let us out! We beg you! “It sounds from the truck. The pleas turn into desperate screams and the vehicle starts to swing back and forth on the country lane, because the prisoners are trying to get out of it with all their might. However, after a few minutes the noise decreases, and suddenly it is completely silent. Sackenreuter stops the engine, walks backwards and opens the heavy doors of the cargo area with difficulty. He quickly steps aside when the doors swing open and prevents him from being hit by the bodies falling out of the car. With a flashlight the driver shines in the cargo area, which is still blue from the exhaust gases. Men, women and children are mixed up in distorted positions.”All dead,” he observes, and gives the members of the Einsatz Group the signal that they can empty the moving gas chamber. The massacre on this beautiful spring day in 1942 went according to plan. This “chariot of death”, as the nickname says, will soon do its work again.
The victims were stripped of valuable articles, rings and gold properties, and partially of clothes, gassed, and left in a mass grave. Biberstein was also present at executions where victims were made to kneel at the edge of a pit and killed with a submachine gun.
He was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, which was later commuted to life imprisonment in 1951, like SS Obergruppenführer, Führer SS Hauptamt, Gottlob Berger.
Death and burial ground of Biberstein (born Ernst Szymanowski), Ernst Emil Heinrich.
He was released in 1958 and lived in the town of Neumunster together with the WWII Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 45th Volks Grenadier Division , Richard Daniel
and Generalmajor der Artillerie, Commander of the 383rd Artillery Regiment, Martin Hartmann. He lived a long “happy?” life and died at the old age of 86, on 08-12-1986. Biberstein-Szymanowski is buried on the Nordfriedhof in Neumünster, close to the graves of the two Generals.