Wisliceny, Dieter

Dieter Wisliceny
Dieter Wisliceny

Dieter Wisliceny (13 Jan. 1911 – 4 May 1948) SS Hauptsturmführer, was one of Adolf Eichmann’s deputies at the office at Germany’s Department of Homeland Security (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) dealing with the so-called “Jewish question.” As such, he was involved in the ghettoization and eventual deportation of Jews from several eastern European countries.

Together with Wilhelm Höttl, Wisliceny was instrumental in “establishing” for the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (IMT) that six million Jews had died as a result of National-Socialist persecution and extermination policy, although Wisliceny only confirmed five million victims.

After the war, Wisliceny was arrested for his involvement in mass deportations of Jews. He testified for the prosecution during the IMT. Asked about how many Jews were killed during the “Final Solution,” Wisliceny claimed that Eichmann had talked about four, sometimes even five million Jews subjected to the “Final Solution,” but that he does not know how many of them survived. In other words, the number of Jews included in the “Final Solution” did not necessarily mean they had been killed. After all, deportation, not murder, was Eichmann’s and Wisliceny’s job. What happened to the Jews at their destinations was, strictly speaking, none of their business. However, when asked whether Eichmann, during their last meeting in February 1945, had said anything about the number of Jews actually killed, Wisliceny stated (IMT, Vol. 4, p. 371):

“He said he would leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had 5 million people on his conscience would be for him a source of extraordinary satisfaction.”

Eichmann, however, denied this during his own trial at Jerusalem in 1961 (Aschenauer 1980, pp. 460f., 473ff., 494).

While Höttl was rewarded for his collaboration with the Allies in cementing the six-million death-toll figure by never being subject to any prosecution, Wisliceny was extradited to Stalinist Czechoslovakia, put on a show trial, sentenced to death and executed; he was 37.

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