Franz Josef Huber He was, since the German annexation of Austria, the head of the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna, the second largest of the Nazi police after Berlin. He served in this role from March 1938 to the end of 1944, where he was primarily responsible for the deportation to death camps of tens of thousands of Austrian Jews. Almost 70,000 of them, 40% of the entire Jewish population of Austria, was assassinated during the Holocaust.
Huber was not a normal general, he was a tall gyrfalcon who rubbed shoulders with top Nazi officials like Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Müller or Adolf Eichmann. At the end of the Second World War he was arrested and imprisoned by the US troops, who already had him on their list of people to capture. After three years of arrest, he was released and was never prosecuted for his crimes.
Huber was recycled and, according to files from the BDN, the West German secret service to which the newspaper had access The New York Times, from 1955 to 1967 worked for german intelligence. That year he was retired early because the BDN believed that it could no longer hide Huber’s past and that it was “endangering the service.”
Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo
Huber received a public pension and also worked for a company that manufactured office supplies. Murged at the age of 73 in Munich, where he had settled, never hiding his true identity. Huber reported directly to Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo.
In the sights
Müller was in charge of the Gestapo, the Border Police, the Central Reich Security Office and of the “Jewish Affairs Service” led by Eichmann. He was one of the most powerful officials in the Nazi system. He was last seen on May 1, 1945 in Berlin. It was never clarified if he died in the days of the fall of Berlin at the hands of the Soviets, if he committed suicide or if he managed to escape. His body was never found.
Americans they had Huber on their list of top Nazi officialsHe is to be captured because they knew of his crimes since he was assigned as head of the Gestapo headquarters in Vienna. His first task was to send all the leaders of the country’s Jewish community to the Dachau concentration camp, near Munich.
Huber had 900 Gestapo agents under his command and his headquarters in the Hotel Métropole, of unfortunate memory as a place of interrogation and torture of Jews and political dissidents in the Austrian capital. The building, a jewel of neoclassical architecture, was demolished in 1945 when the Soviets occupied a part of the city in 1945.
Chronology of the capture of the Austrian-German war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960. AFP
The Americans interrogated Huber, who acknowledged that he had visited the Dachau, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen camps. But he assured that he never saw any kind of cruel or inhuman act and that the prisoners were not mistreated. Tens of thousands of people died in those fields tortured, killed or without food until they starved.
The Americans, who had already visited the camps, did not believe his testimony but ended up releasing him because they considered that “cooperated”, which passed interesting information. A Nuremberg denazification court ruled in 1945 that Huber was not responsible for his crimes. The Americans believed they could use Huber to track down the missing Müller.
German historians consider that the BND knew very well who Huber was, that he was not an ordinary general but a high-ranking Gestapo official responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people. United States and Germany they allowed me to live in peace after the Second World War and until his death because they considered him to be a useful piece in the world of the Cold War.
Research The New York Times claims US intelligence documents show Huber was used because his WWII network of contacts it allowed to recruit agents in the Soviet bloc. Austria was, in the early years of the Cold War, one of the main points of contact between the Western and Soviet secret services. German public television, ARD, is preparing a documentary on Huber.
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