Julian Scherner

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Julian Scherner
Karl-Hermann Frank, Julian Scherner, Otto von Oelhafen (l-r).jpg
Julian Scherner (centre), with Hermann Frank (left), and Otto von Oelhafen (right)
Born (1895-09-23)23 September 1895
Bagamoyo, German East Africa
Died 28 April 1945(1945-04-28) (aged 49)
Niepołomice, Poland
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1922)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1932-1945
Rank SS-Oberführer Collar Rank.svg SS-Oberführer (Senior Colonel)
Commands held SS-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 11 Reinhard Heydrich
SS-Truppenübungsplatz Böhmen
SS and Police Leader of Kraków
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Iron Cross, 2nd class
War Merit Cross First Class with Swords
War Merit Cross Second Class with Swords
Wound Badge
Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918

Julian Scherner (September 23, 1895 – April 28, 1945) was a Nazi Party official who served in the SS as an SS-Oberführer (Senior Colonel). Scherner is most notorious for his career as SS and Police Leader of Kraków, Poland.

Life and Death[edit]

Born in colonial Bagamoyo, German East Africa, Scherner attended a Kadettenschule or military cadet school in Imperial Germany from 1905 to 1914. In 1914, he joined the Reichsheer or Imperial army. After retiring from the military in 1920 he joined the Freikorps Oberland and in 1923 he took part in the Hitler-Ludendorff Putsch. In 1932 he joined the SS and the Nazi Party. In 1937, he became head of the Dachau SS-Führerschule or SS officers school. From September 1939 to 11 November 1939 he was regimental commander of the SS-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 11 "Reinhard Heydrich". From summer to the winter of 1940, he was commander of the 8 Totenkopf-Standarte. As an SS garrison commander of Prague, Scherner was busy between January to September 1941 in the preparations for the establishment of the SS-Truppenübungsplatz Böhmen at Beneschau, Bohemia.

On 4 August 1941, Scherner was appointed SS- und Polizeiführer (SS and Police Leader) in Nazi occupied Kraków. As such, he was responsible for the deportations to the Bełżec extermination camp, the mass shootings in Tarnów and all 'evacuations' that took place during his time there - including Aktion Krakau. He dissolved the ghetto in his own district (Kraków Ghetto) by deportating the population to Auschwitz.

His position afforded him a great deal of authority in many areas, as the title of SS and Police Leader was conferred to high-ranking Nazi Party members, reporting directly to Himmler's deputy. Like Amon Göth, however, Scherner was far too interested in the confiscated goods from the Plaszow camp.[1] Scherner was transferred to Dachau in April 1944 and appeared before an SS Court (the dreaded Hauptamt SS-Gericht) on 16 October 1944. As a result Scherner was demoted from SS-Oberführer der Reserve in the Waffen-SS to SS Hauptsturmführer der Reserve and transferred to the Dirlewanger Brigade (formally the 36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS) under SS-Oberführer Dr. Oskar Dirlewanger.

Scherner's rank in the Allgemeine SS was not changed, however.

His death was as murky and obscure as his career. He was found dead shortly before the war ended in a wooded area near Niepołomice in southern Poland.

Niepołomice Forest

Summary of his military career[edit]

Dates of rank[edit]

Scherner's stagnant career, where he held the rank of Oberführer for nearly eight years while many of his junior SS brethren passed into the ranks of SS-Generals, is speculated by historians as a result of Scherner making enemies in the SS leadership and thus he was never recommended for a higher rank. (Source: Mark Yerger)

Decorations[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In the film Schindler's List, Julian Scherner's character was played by Polish actor Andrzej Seweryn. Oskar Schindler was carrying out his work in the area under Scherner's supervision, and the two knew each other formally. In the film he is portrayed as a cold and calculating man, if somewhat coarse, and the extent of their relationship is detailed in the movie.

References[edit]

  • Gordon Williamson, Knight's Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients 1941-45 (Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2006) ISBN 1-84176-643-7.
  • Gerald Reitlinger, The SS : Alibi of a Nation 1922-1945 (1981)
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Johann Maier
Commander of 1. SS-Standarte Julius Schreck
January 1, 1934 - January 9, 1935
Succeeded by
SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Butchner
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Heinrich Jürs
Commander of SS-Abschnitt XIV
January 1, 1937 - October 1, 1937
Succeeded by
SS-Oberführer Kurt Ludwig
Preceded by
none
Commander of SS-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 11 Reinhard Heydrich
September 1939 - November 11, 1939
Succeeded by
SS-Oberführer Bernhard Voss
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Wilhelm Claasen
Commander of SS-Totenkopf-Standarte 8
January 1940 - January 10, 1941
Succeeded by
SS-Obersturmbannführer Heimo Hiertes
Preceded by
none
Commander of SS-Truppenübungsplatz Böhmen
January 20, 1941 - August 4, 1941
Succeeded by
SS-Oberführer Bernhard Voss
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Hans Schwedler
SS und Polizeiführer Kraków
August 4, 1941 - March 4, 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Theobald Thier