Nazi Gestapo chief ‘buried in Jewish cemetery’

17May

The revelation that a prominent Nazi war criminal is buried in a Jewish cemetery in Berlin has made headlines across Germany.

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Heinrich Mueller was the head of the Gestapo, the secret state police in Nazi Germany, from 1936 to 1945.

According to Professor Johannes Tuchel, head of the German Resistance Memorial Centre, his remains are interred in the Grosse Hamburger Strasse, a Jewish cemetery in Berlin.

The new revelations are based on recently released statements from gravediggers who testified they buried an SS general in what was a mass grave. The statements had been long buried in the archives of communist East Germany.

But what in hindsight seems like a tremendous mix up, was, at the time, all too easily done.

“They had to do a job. They had to collect all the bodies and Heinrich Mueller at that moment was not a prominent person, it was only a body in a general’s uniform,” Professor Tuchel said.

Mueller was rumoured to have survived the fall of Berlin, but nobody knew exactly where he ended up after the war.

A German intelligence file stated that Mueller was in the former Czechslovakia in summer 1949, but Professor Tuchel has said the file is incorrect. 

A grave for Mueller has previously emerged but, despite his name etched on the tombstone, subsequent testing revealed it was not his body which lay inside.

Unlike other prominent Nazis during the Holocaust, Mueller was camera shy.

He was in the upper echelons of the Nazi party, even inhabiting Hitler’s infamous bunker in the days before the German leader’s death, but little is known about the man himself.

However Professor Tuchel said his atrocities were well known.

“He was deeply involved in the Holocaust, he was a member of the Wannsee Conference in 1942 and he was also responsible for the mass killings of Soviet prisoners of war.”

Despite potential pressure from the descendants of Holocaust victims, the German government has no plans to open the graves to locate Mueller. 

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