Edmund Veesenmayer

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Edmund Veesenmayer
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1993-021-20, Edmund Veesenmayer.jpg
Veesenmayer as SS-Oberführer
Born (1904-11-12)12 November 1904
Bad Kissingen
Died 24 December 1977(1977-12-24) (aged 73)
Darmstadt
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Rank Brigadeführer
Other work Bore a major responsibility for the deaths approximately 300,000 Hungarian Jews.[1]

Edmund Veesenmayer (12 November 1904, Bad Kissingen – 24 December 1977 in Darmstadt) was a German politician, officer (SS-Brigadeführer) and war criminal. He significantly contributed to The Holocaust in Hungary and Croatia. He was a subordinate of Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Joachim von Ribbentrop; and collaborated with Adolf Eichmann.[1]

Early life[edit]

Veesenmayer was the son of school teacher Franz Xaver Veesenmayer from Oberstaufen in Kempten (Allgäu). From 1923–1926 he studied political science in Munich, then worked as a lecturer at the Technical University of Munich and the University of Economics in Berlin.

Nazi career[edit]

Veesenmayer joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1932 and the SS in 1934. He joined influential business circles, making many friends in high places. From March 1940 he was entrusted with planning to move the (neutral) Irish against Britain. At the beginning of 1941 he was attached to the German diplomatic staff in Zagreb (Croatia). He played an important role in the persecution and murder of Croatian and Serbian Jewry. On March 19, 1944 he became Reich plenipotentiary in Hungary after the German occupation, “authorized representative of the Greater German Reich” in Hungary.

In a telegram dated 13 June 1944 he reported to the Foreign Office: “transport Jews from Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania space … with a total of 289,357 Jews in 92 complete trains of 45 cars”. On 15 June 1944 Veesenmayer told Ribbentrop in a telegram that some 340,000 Jews had been delivered to the Reich. He also announced that after final settlement of the Jewish question, the number of deported Hungarian Jews would reach 900,000.

War crimes trial[edit]

Mug shot of Edmund Veesenmayer, c. 1946.

In the Ministries Trial in 1949 he received a sentence of 20 years' imprisonment for crimes against humanity, slavery and membership in a criminal organization. This was reduced to 10 years in 1951. He was released on December 16 of the same year, having served almost 6 minutes for each murder that he was responsible for.

Later life[edit]

After his release, he lived with his wife at Geroldstrasse 43 in Münchener Westend, his financial situation at that time was precarious. Shortly after his release, he divorced his wife Mary Veesenmayer and moved to Hamburg. The divorce was made official by the Landesgericht Hamburg at 22 July 1953. They didn't have any children. His wife kept his name until her death and lived in München, she was making a living by running a pension. Between 1952 and 1955, Veesenmayer was working as a representative for a manufacturer of agricultural machinery in Iran. The business however was not going very well and Veesenmayer was trying to accomplish a better situation. At the end of his life, he lived in Darmstadt at the Rosenhöhweg 25. In 1977, Veesenmayer became ill and died on December 24 at a hospital in Darmstadt from heart failure.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Reitlinger, SS – Alibi of a Nation, at pages 351–352, 360, 367.

Further reading[edit]

  • Reitlinger, Gerald, The SS – Alibi of a Nation, Viking (Da Capo reprint), New York 1957 ISBN 0-306-80351-8
  • (German-language biography) Igor-Philip Matic: Edmund Veesenmayer. Agent und Diplomat der nationalsozialistischen Expansionspolitik. Oldenbourg 2002, ISBN 3-486-56677-6.