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Heinrich Seetzen (b. 22.06.1906 – d. 28.09.1945)

Heinrich Seetzen was a major war criminal and the head of the Hamburg Gestapo from the beginning of 1940 until August 1942. Seetzen was born on June 22, 1906 in Rüstringen, northern Germany. After finishing school he went to study law. He joined the Eutin Gestapo in 1934 and was appointed head of the Aachen Gestapo shortly after. During the years 1938 and 1939 he served in the Gestapo offices of Vienna and Stettin. At the beginning of 1940 he was appointed head of the Hamburg Gestapo and remained in that position until August 1942. However, from July 1941 to July 1942 he also served in occupied Soviet territory as leader of a special command of Einsatzgruppe D. In this position Seetzen was directly responsible for the murder of at least 15,000 innocent people.

Following his return to Germany, he was appointed Higher SS- and Police Leader in the Kassel district, and in mid May 1943 he was appointed Inspector of the Security Police in Breslau. During his appointment there, he was involved in the killing of 50 of the POWs who escaped from the Stalag III camp. In April 1944 he was appointed Commander of the Security Police in Prague and shortly after he was sent to Minsk in the capacity of Higher SS- and Police Leader for the areas of central Russia and White Ruthenia. In this position, he commanded Einsatzgruppe B, a death squad responsible for the murder of more than 150,000 people, the majority of them Jews. It is not clear how many of these murders were committed under his command. Seetzen also ordered the murder of the remaining Jews in the Minsk area shortly before the Russian troops arrived. Under his orders, 6,500 Jews were transported to the killing site Maly Trostinec where they were shot and burned.

Towards the end of the war, Seetzen went underground in Hamburg using a false identity. When British troops discovered his hideout and attempted to arrest him on September 28, 1945, Seetzen bit into a cyanide capsule and died.

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