Wisliceny, Dieter°

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WISLICENY, DIETER°

WISLICENY, DIETER ° (1911–1948), German *ss officer. Originally a journalist, he joined the ss in 1934 and also the sd, where he served in its headquarters in Berlin (see *Gestapo). In 1936 he was appointed head of its Jewish subsection (ii 112), but was transferred in 1937 to the sd in Danzig. *Eichmann, who had been one of his subordinates in ii 112, got him attached in 1940 to the rsha's Jewish section (iv d4). Wisliceny was sent to Slovakia as "adviser" for Jewish affairs in the German legation. Slovakia was an ally of Germany and quite responsive to it. He supervised the introduction of the anti-Jewish legislation in Slovakia. In the spring of 1942 he organized the deportation of 55,000 Slovak Jews to Poland. When deportations were stopped, inter alia by the intervention of the Church and some say even the government, Wisliceny started negotiations on the *Europa Plan with the "Working Group" (see Gisi *Fleischmann and Michael *Weissmandel), which believed that it had come upon a formula for saving the Jews by ransom. An initial sum was given Wisliceny, who reported it to his superiors; more was promised but could not be delivered. But the initial acceptance spurred the Working Group into activity to obtain the money and offer it to Nazi officials. In March 1943 Eichmann sent him to *Salonika to deport the Jewish community. Wisliceny carried out his task in two months, utterly destroying the Jewish community and sending it to Auschwitz. He stayed in Greece until the end of 1943, when he returned to Slovakia. From March 19, 1944, he served on the staff of Eichmann's special commando in Hungary. He organized the mass deportations of 437,402 Jews on 147 trains within 56 days. Once again Jewish leaders tried to approach him in an effort to save the Jewish community. He was the liaison in the negotiations with the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest in the so-called Blood for Goods exchange. In December 1944 Eichmann had become suspicious of him, and arranged his transfer to the section of the Gestapo dealing with Slovak affairs. At the end of the war Wisliceny surrendered to the Americans and served as an inexhaustible source of evidence. After having been both a prosecution and defense witness at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, he was extradited to Czechoslovakia. After a prolonged trial in Bratislava he was condemned to death and hanged (1948). During his incarceration he wrote important affidavits regarding the Final Solution, his boss Adolf Eichmann, the Mufti of Jerusalem, and the proposed Blood for Goods exchange.

bibliography:

International Military Tribunal, Trial of the Major War Criminals, 24 (1949), index; J. Lévai, Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry (1948), passim; R.L. Braham, Hungarian Jewish Catastrophe: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography (1962), index; L. Rothkirchen, Ḥurban Yahadut Slovakia (1961: incl. comprehensive Eng. summary), index; M. Molho and J. Nehama, Sho'at Yehudei Yavan 19411944 (1965), 134–40 and index; Reitlinger, Final Solution (1953), index; Hilberg, Destruction of the European Jews (1961), index. add. bibliography: Y. Bauer, Jews for Sale: Nazi-Jewish Negotiations 19331945 (1994).

[Yehuda Reshef /

Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)]