Friday, March 26, 2010

Kārlis Lobe

Born on March 26, 1895, Kārlis Lobe was a lieutenant colonel in the Latvian Army before Stalin annexed his country. When Hitler army overrun Latvia during summer 1941, Lobe was appointed as a commander of a Latvian self-defence forces commander in Ventspils. During his command from July 9 to August 29, 1941, his men participated in the German SD organised imprisonment and then consequent extermination of Jewish males in the Ventspils city and environs. Having fallen out of German favour, he left out his command and work in a confectionary factory for a time.

In December 1941, Lobe joined the 1st Riga Ordnungs-Hilfspolizei and served as the Chief of Staff. In 1943, he led the 280th Latvian Police battalion, which served in the German-organised anti-partisan campaign Winterzauber (Winter Magic) in Belarus. Then he was appointed as an adviser to the Directorate of Internal Security for the Self-Administration of the Land.

When Himmler formed the Latvian Legion, Lobe transferred to the new unit. He led a regiment in the 2. Lettische SS-Freiwilligen-Brigade and awarded a German Cross in Gold on June 28, 1944. He ended war as a Waffen-Standartenführer der SS.

After the war, he was moved to Sweden. Simon Wiesenthal, a well-known Nazi hunter, tried to convince the Swedish authorities to take legal action against Karlis Lobe, who was accused of participating in the murder of Jews in the Ventspils district, among other crimes. However, Stockholm rule-out Wiesenthal appeal because he delivered it in the late 1960s that mean already exceed the 25 year statute of limitations, which by Swedish law meant that formal proceedings against him were no longer possible. Thus, Lobe can live in peace until his died on July 9, 1985 in Stockholm.

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