SS Obersturmbannführer; high official of the Gestapo and SD (= Sicherheitsdienst, the SS intelligence and police organization). One of the foremost "specialists", along with Adolf Eichmann, on the "Jewish question" in Nazi Germany.

Lischka (born in Breslau in 1909), entered the SS as early as 1933, topping his black career by becoming deputy SD chief of occupied France and commander of the Nazi security police in Paris. He was instrumental in planning and supervising the deportation and subsequent murder of 80,000 Jews in France and of other 'enemies' of the Third Reich.

Lischka was arrested on December 10, 1945, after hiding in Schleswig-Holstein, but was subsequently released after a series of trials before various courts in Europe. He was able to live relatively undisturbed in West Germany until the 1970's, in spite of the fact that a French court had sentenced him in absentia to hard labor for life in 1950 for his wartime role in the 'Final Solution' in occupied France. For a time Lischka even became a judge in the Federal Republic, his French life sentence nonwithstanding.

In order to bring Lischka to France and make him serve his sentence, the German-born anti-Nazi activist and lawyer Beate Klarsfeld (also known for her role in bringing Klaus Barbie, "the butcher of Lyon", to justice in the 1980's) staged a kidnapping of Lischka in 1971. The kidnapping failed, however. But thanks to Klarsfeld's efforts, the case became widely publicized and Kurt Lischka was finally brought to justice before a Cologne court at the end of the 1970's. In 1980 the Cologne court sentenced Kurt Lischka to 10 years imprisonment.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center:

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