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The 164. Infanterie-Division was formed in November 1939 at Truppenübungsplatz Königsbrück and was redesignated Festungs-Division Kreta in January 1942.


Known war crimes

A report from Leutnant Walther from Infanterie-Regiment 433 on 1 Novemeber 1941 reads in part:

As agreed with the SS Dienststelle, I have brought the selected Jews and Gypsies from the Prisoner of War camp of Belgrade. The trucks put at my disposal by field headquarters 599 have proven to be unsuitable for two reasons:
They are being driven by civilians. Secrecy can therefore not be maintained.
The trucks had no cover covering, so that the population of the city saw whom we had on the vehicles and where we were going. The wives of the Jews were assembled in front of the camp. They were crying and screaming as we drove out.
[…]
The digging of ditches takes most of the time, whereas the shooting is very quick (100 men 40 minutes).
Luggage and valuables were collected beforehand and taken in my truck to be handed over to the NSV [Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, a social welfare organization].
The shooting of Jews is easier than that of Gypsies. It has to be admitted that Jews are very composed as they meet death – they stand very quietly – whereas the Gypsies cry, scream and constantly move around once they reach the execution site. Some of them even jumped into the ditches before the shots were fired and pretended to be dead.
At first my soldiers were not impressed. On the second day, however, it became clear that one or the other did not possess the nerves to carry out the executions for a longer period of time. It is my personal impression that one does not have any mental qualms while actually shooting. These appear days later while one reflects upon it quietly in the evening. (1)

 

Commanders

Generalleutnant Konrad Haase (1 Dec 1939 - 10 Jan 1940)
Generalleutnant Josef Folttmann (10 Jan 1940 - 1 Jan 1942)

Area of operations

Germany (Jan 1940 - May 1940)
France (June 1940 - Jan 1941)
Romania (Jan 1941 - Mar 1941)
Greece & Yugoslavia (Mar 1941 - Nov 1941)
Crete (Nov 1941 - Jan 1942)

Order of battle

Infanterie-Regiment 382
Infanterie-Regiment 433
Infanterie-Regiment 440
Artillerie-Regiment 220
Divisionseinheiten 220

Footnotes

1. Yad Vashem Archive, M.29. FR /73

Sources used

Yad Vashem Archive, M.29. FR /73
George F. Nafziger - The Afrika Korps: An organizational history 1941-1943
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945

Reference material on this unit

- None known at this time -

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