[EN] Berlin, Grünberg, Krakau, Drohobycz …

Born in Berlin in 1916, Günter Kahlenberg grows up in humble circumstances, attends school with moderate success and then completes an apprenticeship as a plumber. He appears inconspicuous, but has a great need for recognition. He is not yet twenty years old when he joins the „General Göring“ regiment. This police organisation, founded by Hermann Göring during his time as Prussian Minister of the Interior and later named after him, was part of Göring’s house power in the competition with Nazi bigwigs and recruited mainly from Nazi organisations and the Hitler Youth. The members of the regiment were raised to be radical National Socialists and anti-Semites and received military training even before the invasion of Poland. In February 1939 Günter Kahlenberg was transferred to the border police in Schwerten in the district of Grünberg (Silesia). Right from the beginning of the invasion of Poland in September 1939, he is deployed as a police officer for the occupying forces. As a prospective criminal police officer, he fails the first examination in December 1940 – a repetition is only possible after two years. However, this did not prevent his deployment as a security policeman.

In March 1941, he was transferred to the security police in Krakow, the „capital“ of the Generalgouvernement. Here he meets Anneliese Ehlert, a secretary born in 1918, who works for the Organisation Todt as a stenotypist. Günter Kahlenberg is deployed as a security policeman during the invasion of the Soviet Union and the occupation of Galicia. Initially at the Stanislau field office, he is later transferred to the Drohobycz field office (security police). He persuades Anneliese Ehlert to follow him. She works as a secretary, first in the economic office of the county administration (Kreishauptmannschaft), later in the Hoch-Tief office in Drohobycz. Despite his advances, they do not marry: she distances herself more and more inwardly from her fiancé. Günter Kahlenberg does not stand out for his particular zeal and achievements on duty – he likes more to make big speeches. But he is at the forefront of operations against Jews. Eduard Jurkschat, who serves as a driver for the security police, calls Kahlenberg a very dangerous fellow who was involved in all mass murders. There is no investigation or list of his involvement in the murders, as Kahlenberg was no longer alive when a public prosecutor in Germany finally started an investigation into National Socialist crimes of violence against members of the Sipo Drohobycz in the mid-1960s. He is also accused of having looted Jewish property on a large scale, including a fur coat for his mother, watches and diamonds. From the beginning of 1944 until the end of the war, Kahlenberg was deployed in Verona in Italy – the reasons and circumstances for his transfer are not known.

Behrendt – von Platen

According to his own statements, he sets off for Berlin at the beginning of July, where he arrives on 15 July 1945. As a security policeman in Drohobycz, he is on a war crimes list: he is arrested and interrogated on 16 July 1945 in the Berlin-Bohnsdorf 233 RZ (Soviet zone) criminal police station. The transcript reveals a mixture of fiction and truth that he served up to the interrogators. From March 1941 to the end of 1943, he claims to have been on internal duty with the criminal police in Krakow – not a word about his deployment in the district of Galicia, in Stanislau and Drohobycz. Instead, he claims that he had to accompany several transports of escaped and recaptured forced labourers and that he allowed 45 prisoners to escape during one of these transports. Because of this, he claims, criminal proceedings were brought against him for negligent guarding of prisoners, and that is why he was transferred to Italy. Then he expands on his legend as an anti-fascist: in Verona he claims to have joined the partisans on 20 December 1944. He has no proof – he tells a story that he assumes will make him unsuspicious and be well received by the investigators.

After interrogation, he was handed over to a Red Army commando in Berlin-Grünau on 17 July 1945. Three days later he managed to escape from there. For whatever reason, his relatives wanted nothing to do with him. On 21 July in the afternoon at 5 p.m., his aunt informs a security guard of the whereabouts of the wanted Günter Kahlenberg, who is then seized on the street corner Greifswalder Straße / Danziger Straße. In police station 67, where he is taken, there is obviously chaos: the reason for the arrest does not seem to be known, Kahlenberg has no papers and his personal details are not checked further. He enters himself in the admission book as Günter Behrendt, who lives at Swinemünder Straße 31 with a „Fräulein von sowieso“ (from a letter from the head of the Berlin-Bohnsdorf criminal police to the Berlin-Treptow criminal investigation department, 30 July 1945). A „Fräulein von sowieso“ is unknown at the address mentioned. Further enquiries and surveillance of the parents remain fruitless: Günter Kahlenberg has disappeared.

On 23 November, an official at the registry office in Herne records the death of Günter von Platen, a graduate engineer, under register no. 1921/45. According to the municipal criminal police, von Platen was born in Berlin on 15 November 1914, was married and lived in Wewer no. 232 near Paderborn. After an armed robbery, von Platen died on 17 November in the evening at 9:45 p.m. in the Sankt-Marien-Hospital in Herne as a result of a bullet in the right neck, combined with respiratory and circulatory failure. In the following year, proceedings 4 Kls 51/46 were opened against Schellberg and others for street robbery at the Bochum Regional Court – in the course of these proceedings it was revealed that the graduate engineer Günter von Platen was in fact Günter Kahlenberg.

short biography Günter Kahlenberg

Sources: Bundesarchiv, Personalunterlagen BDC; LASH Abt. 352.4 Bd. 1737, Bl. 2155-2157; Bd. 1760, Personalunterlagen Kahlenberg; Bd. 1731, Bl. 414; Bd. 1734, Bl. 1326