Jost, Heinrich Maria “Heinz”., born 09-07-194 in the northern Hessian Homberg (Efze) – Ortsteil Holzhausen – in Hersfeld, to a middle-class Catholic and nationalistic family. Heinrich Jost, Heinz’s father, was a pharmacist and later became a fellow Nazi Party member. Jost attended grammar school in Bensheim, graduating in 1923. As a student he became a member, and eventually a leader, of the Jungdeutsche Orden (Young German Order), a nationalistic paramilitary movement. The Young German Order in March 1920 in Kassel by the later chairman, the Leutnant a. D. Artur Mahraun, founded together with other returnees and temporary volunteers Jost studied law and economics at the Universities of Giessen and Munich. Artur Mahraun died 29-03-1950, age 59, in Gütersloh.
Jost completed his civil service examination in May 1927. Heinz’s legal career began as a legally trained civil servant employed in Hesse. He later worked in the district court at Darmstadt. Jost joined the Nazi Party on 02-02-1928, with an NSDAP membership number of 75,946. He performed various functions for the party’s operations in southern Hesse. The brother of Heinz a real Nazi, Erich Jost had been stabbed in August 1929 at the Fourth Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg by men of the “Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold”. At the funeral were next to Hitler also other Nazi greats, for example, Reich Governor and Gauleiter of Hesse-Nassau-South, Jakob Sprenger, who is on the right of Hitler.
Trapped by the American forces at the end of the war, Sprenger, age 60 and his wife committed suicide on 07-05-1945
From 1930 Jost settled as an independent lawyer in Lorsch, Hesse. After the Nazi seizure of power in March 1933, Jost was appointed Director of Police in the city of Worms and then to police director of Giessen. From this period came his association with Nazi, jurist, police chief, SS-Obergruppenführer and Nazi Party leader and theoretician from Darmstadt, Hesse, Werner Best, who brought Jost into the main Nazi intelligence and security agency, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). SS Obergruppenführer Werner Best survived the war and died in Mülheim, North Rhine-Westphalia, on 23-06-1989, age 85.
On 25-07-1934, Jost began his full-time career with the SD. His SS membership number was 36,243. In May 1936, Jost was promoted in the SD Main Office to head Department III 2 (Foreign Intelligence Services). In 1938, Jost was head of the Einsatzgruppe Dresden which occupied Czechoslovakia. In August 1939 Jost was tasked by Reinhard Heydrich with obtaining the Polish uniforms needed for the false flag attack on the station in Gleiwitz.
When the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office) or RSHA was organized in September 1939, Jost was appointed as chief of Amt VI (Office VI) Ausland-SD (foreign intelligence). One of the chief purposes of Amt VI was to counteract foreign intelligence services that might try to operate in Germany. He also served as an SS officer in the German invasion of Poland in 1939.
Jost’s career suffered by being linked with Werner Best, who was a rival of Reinhard Heydrich. Best lost a power struggle with Heydrich who went on to become one of the most powerful men in the Nazi state. In March 1942, Jost was fired from his position as Chief of Ausland-SD. Jost’s place was taken by Brigadeführer Walter Schellenberg, a deputy of Heydrich. Schellenberg had been tasked by Heydrich with building up a case for Jost’s removal. According to Schellenberg, Jost was lacking in bureaucratic skill and drive.
Jost was sent to command Einsatzgruppe A, whose previous commander Franz Walter Stahlecker, had recently been killed in a battle with partisans. Stahlecker was the most cruel commander of the four Einsatzgruppen – murder commands active in Eastern Europe during Operation Barbarossa. He was killed 23-03-1942, age 41, in Krasnogvardejsk, Rusland. Einsatzgruppe A was then operating in the Baltic States and in Belarus, then known as White Russia or White Ruthenia. Jost became Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Commander of the Security Police and the SD) or BdS in Reichskommissariat Ostland, with his headquarters at Riga. Jost retained this position until September 1942. According to Jost, this position carried substantial responsibility:
During the time the territory under his jurisdiction was subject to army control, Jost as Chief of Einsatzgruppe A cooperated with the army command. When the territory came under civilian administration, he, as Commander in Chief of Security Police and SD received his orders from the Higher SS and Police Leader Friedrich Jeckeln. In both cases Jost was responsible for all operations conducted in his territory. After the war Jeckeln and the other defendants were found guilty, sentenced to death and hanged at Riga on 03-02-1946, age 51, in front of some 4,000 spectators.
After his Einsatzgruppen command, Jost was able to secure a position with the occupation administration for the eastern territories that was run by Alfred Rosenberg, where he acted as a liaison officer between Rosenberg and the Wehrmacht commander in southern Russia, Ewald von Kleist.
At his later trial, Jost claimed that he held this position until May 1944, when as a result of enmity from SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, he was forced to enlist with the Waffen-SS as a second leutnant. Himmler decided in January 1945, that Jost should be retired from the SS with a pension. Otto Ohlendorf
and Heinz Jost, as defendants in the Einsatzgruppen Trial.
In April 1945, Jost was arrested in Gardelegen, in Saxony-Anhalt. The defendants receives his indictment from Colonel. C.W. Mays, Marshal of the Military Tribunal, before the Einsatzgruppen Trial. The defendants (left to right) are, Otto Ohlendorf
, Heinz Jost, Erich Naumann
and Erwin Schulz.
He was charged with murders committed by Einsatzgruppe A
. Jost tried to avoid responsibility for these crimes by claiming that the murders, or at least some of them, occurred before he came into the command of the unit:
Jost also claimed, through his attorney, that whatever he had done was justified by “self-defense, necessity, and national emergency”. He claimed further that he had had nothing to do with carrying out the Fuehrer Order (Führerbefehl) for the extermination of entire populations. These claims were rejected by the tribunal as being inconsistent with each other: “If, as a matter of fact, the defendant committed or approved of no act which could be interpreted either as a war crime or crime against humanity, the argument of self-defense and necessity is entirely superfluous.”
Jost did testify that when in May 1942 he received an order from Heydrich to surrender Jews under 16 and over 32 for liquidation, he placed the order in his safe and declined to transmit it. The tribunal found that the evidence contradicted him. According to Einsatzgruppen status report number 193, dated 17-04-1942, there was an execution in Kovno [Kaunas], on 07-04-1942, of 22 persons “among them 14 Jews who had spread Communist propaganda”.
In addition, the tribunal found, that on 15-06-1942, one of Jost’s subordinates wrote to the RSHA, requesting shipment of a gas van (used by the Einsatzgruppen for executions by means of carbon monoxide asphixiation) and gas hoses for three gas vans on hand. Jost denied any knowledge of this letter but admitted that the subordinate in question had the authority to order equipment.
Death of Jost, Heinrich Maria “Heinz”.
In 1951, Jost was released from Landsberg prison. He then worked in Düsseldorf as a real estate agent. He died in 12-11-1964, age 60, at Bensheim an der Bergstrasse