Theodor Eicke (* 17. October 1892 in Hampont, Elsass Lorraine; † 26. February 1943 in Michailowka close Orjol, Russia) was SS-Obergruppenführer, boss of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, commander of the KZ DAK-strikes and inspector of the concentration camp nature.
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youth and the First World War
Theodor Eicke visited the elementary school and to 1909 the six-form high school in Hampont. Its school achievements were below average, it fallow the school 1909 off and hit a military career, with 23. Infantry regiment in Landau began. During the First World War breaking out soon he became paymaster with the 3. and later with 22. Infantry regiment. It provided its service at the west front and with the iron cross of second class was distinguished. During the war, to 26. December 1914, married Eicke the Bertha Schwebel originating from Thuringia. To 5. April 1916 was born its daughter Irma.
after the war it separated 1919, like many different, also not completely voluntarily in the rank of a Unterzahlmeisters from the army service. This and associated unemployment led with it to a deep dislike against the new republic. Only in July 1920 he found a place as a paid informant for the police in Ilmenau, became however soon again to dismiss, since he had worked politically against the republic. For exactly the same reason it lost its new positions in the subsequent years again and again as a policeman - in Cottbus, Weimar, Sorau and Ludwigshafen.
In the year 1923 he found a firm employment in Ludwigshafen as „a safety commissioner “for counter-espionage with the industrial union colors, in which he remained until 1932. Although it led an economically secured life starting from 1923, it could not resign itself to the German defeat in the First World War and its civilian life. Thus it became nearly inevitable at the 1. December 1928 member of the NSDAP and received the party number 114.901. Eicke joined at the same time the SA , whose paramilitärische adjustment corresponded to its own military view of life. To 20. For August 1930 it changed from the SA to the SS, since it saw better career chances in the smaller and elitären federation, what also soon was confirmed. To 27. November 1930 it was carried to the SS-Sturmführer and kommandierte the SS-storm 148 in Ludwigshafen. Its commitment and success finally already found the sympathetic consideration of Himmler, it to 30. January 1931 to the storm spell leader carried. Eicke set up a new SS-Sturmbann and successfully opposed the efforts of the Rhineland-Palatinian gau leader Joseph Bürckel to take shelter all SA and SS-federations of the Rhine country. To 15. November 1931 became Eicke banner leader and commander of the 10. SS-banner „Rheinpfalz “. Because of its political activity and the world economic crisis he lost his work with the I.G. Colors. To 6. March 1932 was arrested Eicke because of illegal possession of explosive and because of appointment to committing a set of bomb attacks and political murders in Bavaria and condemned to two years detention. By the intervention of the Nazi-friendly Bavarian Minister of Justice Franz Gürtner a detention delay was granted to it, which it used immediately, in order to take up its political activities to Ludwigshafen again. In order to create and further processes avoid it except range of the German police, Himmler it sent to 18. September 1932 to Italy. In order to compensate „the exile “, Eicke received the rank of an upper leader.
In Italy it led a camp at the Gardasee for SS-men, who as it from Germany had fled. Also from there out it continued its feud with gau leader Bürckel. Bürckel tried to use Eickes exile in order to exclude this too entmachten and from the party. Eicke wrote old comrade its in Ludwigshafen a number of wild letters, in which he swore revenge and threatened to blow up Bürckel into air.
to 10. March 1933 could return Eicke to the Mach seizure by Adolf Hitler again to Ludwigshafen. It soon appointed from Himmler to the commander of the KZ DAK-strike. Here Eicke justified the SS-Totenkopf-federations, which were meant particularly for the guard of the concentration camps. To 30. January 1934 it was carried to the SS-Brigadeführer and to 20. June 1934 appointed the leader in the staff of the Reichsführers SS.
To 30. June 1934 participated Eicke actively in the murder Ernst Röhms as well as the entire SA point. He shot Röhm in its Stadelheimer cell and for reward highest “service gentleman of all SS-Wachverbände” and was only directly subordinated to the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler.
After beginning of the Poland campaign Eicke was assigned to set up from the SS-Totenkopf-federations a division. This was used for the first time with the France campaign and kommandiert by it. The division had to accept however strong losses, since it let attack usually very inconsiderately. Admits became the division also by its massacre accomplished by. To 8. July 1941 was wounded Eicke by a mine heavily, in-supplied to a military hospital and turned only to 21. September to its division back. To 15. January 1941 he got the knight cross and to 20. April 1942 oak leaves in addition lent and was carried to the SS-Obergruppenführer. To 26. June 1942 was recalled Eicke and began with the structure of a new SS-Totenkopf-division in Sennelager. To 30. January 1943 was used the new division at the east front with Charkow and combined then after heavy losses with the old division. To 26. February 1943 flew Eicke with a Fieseler stork over a Russian occupied village, was shot and died. After it thereafter a SS-armored infantryman-regiment of the dead head division was designated.
- Karin Orth: The system of the National Socialist concentration camps. A political organization history. Hamburg edition, Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3930908522
- Johannes Tuchel: The inspection of the concentration camps 1938-1945. The system of the terror. Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3894681586
- Charles W. Sydnor Jr.: Soldier of death. 3. SS-division „Totenkopf “1933 \ u20131945, Schöningh, Paderborn, 2002 ISBN 3-506-79084-6
- Otto Gritschneder: The leader has you condemned to death… - Hitler's “Röhm Putsch murders” before court, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-406-37651-7
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|SHORT DESCRIPTION||SS-Obergruppenführer of the SS-Totenkopfverbände and general of the weapon SS; To commander of the KZ DAK-strike|
|DATE OF BIRTH||17. October 1892|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Hampont, circle Château Salins in Elsass Lorraine, district Lorraine|
|DYING DATE||26. February 1943|