Eberstein, Freiherr Friedrich Karl, born 11-01-1894 in Halle, Eberstein’s father was the Prussian Major Ernst Freiherr von Eberstein. Karl von Eberstein was educated from 1904 to 1912 in the Royal Prussian cadet school in Naumburg (Saale) and at the main cadet school Groß-Lichterfelde near Berlin. From 1913 to 1914, Eberstein studied agriculture and general economics at Martin Luther University because he was unable to do military service for health reasons. In his youth, Eberstein met Reinhard Heydrich, who was then ten years younger, Eberstein’s mother was Heydrichs’ godmother. Early on in World War I Karl served in the German Army with Field Artillery Regiment 17 in August 1914. He was also a balloon observer , and later a battery commander in Artillery Regiment 16. He was awarded the Iran Cross Second Class and the Iron Cross First Class. After World War I, Eberstein fought as a member of the Freikorps in Middle Germany and/or Upper Silesia and also with the Halle “Protection Police”. After that, he went into banking was a member of the German nobility, early member of the Nazi party , the SA, Reichstag delegate, an Higher SS and Police Leader HSSPF and SS-Oberabschnitt Führer, head of the Munich Police in World War II, introduced Reinhard Heydrich to Heinrich Himmler
and was a witness at the Nuremberg Trials. Eberstein joined the Nazi party in 1922, quit after the Beer Hall Putsch, then came back in 1925. On 17-12-1927 Karl von Eberstein married Helene Meinel-Scholer (1892-1969), a daughter of a manufacturer from Klingenthal. A son emerged from the marriage. From 1928 to 1929 Eberstein worked as an independent manufacturer of wool and cotton in Gotha, later he was the manager of a local travel agency. On 01-02-1929 Eberstein became a member of the NSDAP again under his old lot number, NSDAP-nr.: 15 067 in April 1922. On 01-05-1929 he became a member of the SS, SS-nr.: 1386. On 12-04-1929 he became adjutant of the SS-Staffel VIII “Thuringia” in Weimar as SS-Sturmführer. From May 1930 to January 1930, Eberstein was a municipal councilor in Gotha. From 01-07-1930, he worked primarily as a leader in the SA and SS, and initially as an adjutant for an SS Oberführer in Thuringia, who was the first government at the time with the participation of the NSDAP. On 01-02-1931, he changed to the staff of the Obersten SA-Führung (OSAF), and in November 1931, became Gausturmführer for Munich-Oberbayern. Eberstein, was promoted to SA-Gruppenführer on 15-09-1932. From 01-07-1932 he led the SA-Group “Hochland” in Munich. He was on Himmler’s staff. Eberstein was part of Himmler’s strategy to attract members of the nobility and aristocracy to the SS. He held the very early SS membership number of 1386. He was one of the first officers of the SS, as an SS-Sturmführer on 01-04-1929. He also joined the SA in July 1930 but left it later. Eberstein was the police president of Munich during the Kristallnacht and Holocaust Denier David Irving claimed that Eberstein was a witness to Hitler’s anger on that night, and that Eberstein’s testimony at Nuremberg helps prove that Adolf Hitler (did you know) did not approve of Kristallnacht ? Eberstein played a part in the first meeting of two of the major leaders of both the SS and later the Holocaust Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler. Eberstein and Heydrich’s families were both from Halle on the Saale. His mother was Heydrich’s godmother. He was also a friend of Lina Heydrich von Osten,
Reinhard Heydrich’s wife. Acting on the advice of Karl von Eberstein, Himmler agreed to interview Heydrich. When Himmler cancelled Heydrich’s interview in Munich due to alleged illness, Lina ignored the message, and sent Heydrich on a Munich bound train. Karl met Heydrich at the station and drove him to meet Himmler. Himmler received Heydrich and hired him as the chief of the new SS ‘Ic Service’ or Intelligence Service (which would later become known as the Sicherheitsdienst, the SD . In late 1941 and early 1942, Eberstein was involved in the case of the Soviet POWs at Stalag VII A, Moosburg and the conflict between some military officers and the SS over the murder of the POWs.
Eberstein was a witness at the Nuremberg Trials. In his testimony, Eberstein gave organizational information about the SS , its relationship to the SA , to the German nobility, to the Nazi party, to the SD and Gestapo, how many people were in it, where it started, the 1933-1935 Himmler purges, its changes during the war, and other organizational details. He escorted Arthur Neville Chamberline and Edouard Daladier, during his visit to Munich to sign the Agreement Pact in the Führerbau, room 105, on the Königsplatz, with Hitler and Benito Mussolini
Eberstein claimed he had a dispute with Gauleiter, Paul Giesler, after Giesler ordered him to kill 2.500 prisoners should the Americans approach, and he refused. He stated the general SS mostly ceased to exist by the start of the war, and that the Gauleiters; and “Reich Defense Commissioners”, under Martin Ludwig Bormann, were to blame. He claimed to have no knowledge as to the Einsatzgruppen, Einsatzkommandos, Auschwitz. SS Hauptsturmführer, Josef Mengele infamous for performing human experiments on camp inmates in Auschwitz, including children, for which Mengele was called the “Angel of Death”. Eberstein stated he was in Munich during the entire war, thought foreign newspaper reports of atrocities were “enemy propaganda”, and said it was impossible to “penetrate into the secret sphere of these extermination camps”. Eberstein also stated that he had no authority over the camp commander, and didn’t know about the numerous executions inside the camp. Eberstein claimed he had nothing to do with Adolf Otto Eichmann and never saw him and that the SS troops in Dachau were separate from the rest of the SS and “we met them only occasionally”. He did admit that some members of the Allgemeine-SS became concentration camp guards. He claimed the mass deaths in the camps on Typhus and allied bombing of medicine factories. Karl von Eberstein was dismissed from all posts on 20-04-1945 for “defeatism”, by Gauleiter Paul Giesler, on orders from Martin Bormann. Giesler committed suicide age 49, on 08-05-1945, near Hintersee. On 15-11-1948 Eberstein was classified by a German Denazification court as a class III Nazi.
Death and burial ground of Eberstein, Freiherr Friedrich Karl.
In 1950 he lived in the town of Tegernsee. Karl von Eberstein worked until his retirement, as a bank employee and as an employee of a reception desk at the casino in Bad Wiessee. Several appeals were conducted to get him to a classification other than category II as “incriminating” and on 15-02-1953, Eberstein was placed in category IV as “follower”. The prosecution’s investigation against Eberstein as the accused was without consequences.
Eberstein died at the old age of 85, on 10-02-1979, in Tegernsee and is buried with his wife Helene, born Meinel-Scholer, who died age 76 on 01-04-1969, on the Stadtfriedhof of Tegernsee, next to the grave of Flyer Ace Major, Kommandeur II/J.G 52, Gerhard “Gerd” Barkhorn
and Generalmajor der Flieger, Kommandeur District München, Johannes “Hans” Höfert.