ARC Main Page Aktion Reinhard

Georg Wippern

Last Update 17 August 2005

Georg Wippern was born on 26 May 1909 in Hildesheim, and during his service in Lublin, was a crucial figure in the organised plunder of the Jewish victims of Aktion Reinhard. One of his post-war statements best sums up his role in Lublin during WW2:

"In my capacity as leader of the SS-garrison administration (Standortverwaltung) Lublin, I received an order in spring 1942 from the leader of the Main Economic Administration in Berlin, Oswald Pohl, to take charge of and sort out all jewellery, valuables and foreign currency and other money confiscated from Jews and to maintain their correct delivery.
Accumulated jewellery and valuables, as well as foreign currency, were delivered to the Central Economic Administration (WVHA) in Berlin and then to the Reichsbank in Berlin on receipt. Jewellery was melted down, if the design was not of special value, and then delivered to the Reichsbank as gold bars. The same happened with silver. Local currency, Polish Zloty, was transferred by my office at the Emissionsbank in Lublin to an account at the Reichsbank.

In the early days of Aktion Reinhard, Christian Wirth delivered the confiscated jewellery and valuables from the Jews directly to the Reichsbank in an unsatisfactory manner. After the order from Pohl, Wirth had to hand over the valuables to Wippern.

Dental Gold
Dental Gold
Chopin Street Depot
Chopin Street Depot
Wippern’s sorting and processing unit was known as Abteilung Reinhard and Abteilung 1Va. Two senior SS-men were assigned to Wippern, Unterscharführer Eicholz and Dorl, who worked at different times with a small Jewish workforce of between 20-30 people. They were involved in the sorting and storing of the high value possessions removed from hundreds of thousands of Jewish families. In addition, Wippern had assigned to him trained banking personnel, SS-Obersturmführer Huber, SS-Oberscharführer Teichelmann and Rzepa, as well as an SS-Unterscharführer Pflanzer. Wippern’s special depot was located in a large five–storey building at 27 Chopin Straße, near the centre of Lublin. Items were sorted, cleaned and stored on huge shelves by 20 Jews brought from the nearby Jewish Labour Camp on Lipowa Straße.

A report by SS-Sturmbannführer Albert Franke-Gricksch mentions the depot at Chopin Straße:
"From Trawniki we travelled back to Lublin to inspect the special enterprise REINHARD. This branch has had the task of realising all mobile Jewish property in the Generalgouvernement. It is astonishing what immense fortunes the Jews have collected in their ghetto and even ragged and vermin infested dirty little Jews who look like beggars, carry with them, when you strip their clothes off them, foreign currency, pieces of gold, diamonds and other valuables. We wandered through the cellars of this "special enterprise" and we were reminded of the fairy tales of the "Arabian Nights".
Wirth's personal SS Sheet
Wippern's Office at
the Standortverwaltung
Whole boxes full of genuine pearls, cases full of diamonds, a basket full of pieces of gold and many kilos of silver coins, beside jewellery of every kind. In order to carry out a better realisation of all these valuables, the gold and silver are melted into bars. We inspected the melting process in the garden of the house. There is a small foundry where gold and silver are melted and then formed into bars and delivered to the German National Bank on certain days. 'Special Enterprise REINHARD' has so far delivered 2,500 kilos of gold, 20,000 kilos of silver, 6.5 kilos of platinum, 60,000 Reichsmark in currency, 800,000 dollars in money and 144,000 gold dollars. The huge quantity of diamonds and pearls can hardly be evaluated.

Wippern’s offices were located in adjoining buildings on the corner of the Pilsudski Allee and Lipowa Straße. The sorting depot at the Airfield Camp on Chelmska Street, which was used as the central clearing depot for the substantial quantities of clothing from the Jewish victims of the Aktion Reinhard death camps, was also under his administration. Wippern was ordered by Odilo Globocnik to equip the Belzec and Sobibor personnel with SS uniforms. Wippern stated:
"The SS- und Polizeiführer Lublin, Globocnik, had already requested from me the fitting-out of 40 men who had come from the Reich. At that time nothing had been said about a Jewish resettlement. Globocnik, ordered me to fit-out these men. They were an SS–Sonderkommando, sent from Berlin."

After the war Wippern was employed as a lower-grade civil servant. Together with his family he often moved, and lived in different towns: Saarbrücken, Hannover, Aachen, Bad Dürrheim, Homburg (Jägersburg) and Bonn. These moves may have taken place for good reasons. German authorities showed a new interest in Nazi crimes during and after the Eichmann trial.
His children didn't know about his activities in Lublin. His granddaughter describes him as an intelligent and well educated man with good manners who had always been an affectionate grandfather. He often woke up in the night, troubled by nightmares. At such times he told his wife that he dreamed of battles (he had an old gunshot wound in his shoulder). Perhaps this could be an indication that his job in Lublin didn't necessarily correspond to his character. In 1942 he visited Majdanek several times. Afterwards he returned home, became nervous and overwrought and had a permanently pale demeanour. German investigative officials questioned him after the war. No proceedings were commenced and he was never tried. This could be put down to the fact that he hadn't committed any crime in a narrower sense, but had been employed solely as chief of administration of department 1Va. So he might be a typical example of a "writing desk" offender.
In spring 1993 Wippern died in Bonn.

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