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Episode 263             Episode 265
Episode 264

August Meyszner
Wed, 2018-Jan-24 00:22 UTC
Length - 3:23

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Wednesday, 24 January 2018 is August Meyszner.

August Edler von Meyszner (3 August 1886 – 24 January 1947) was an Austrian gendarmerie officer, right-wing politician, and senior Ordnungspolizei (order police) officer who held the post of Higher SS and Police Leader in the German-occupied territory of Serbia from January 1942 to March 1944, during World War II. He has been described as one of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler's most brutal subordinates.

Meyszner began his career as an officer in the Gendarmerie, served on the Italian Front during World War I and reached the rank of Major der Polizei by 1921. He joined the Austrian Nazi Party in September 1925 and became a right-wing parliamentary deputy and provincial minister in the Austrian province of Styria in 1930. Due to his involvement with the Nazis, Meyszner was forcibly retired in 1933 and arrested in February 1934, but released after three months at the Wöllersdorf concentration camp. That July, he was rearrested following an attempted coup, but escaped police custody and fled to Nazi Germany, where he joined the Ordnungspolizei (Orpo) and then the Allgemeine SS. After police postings in Austria, Germany and occupied Norway, Himmler appointed Meyszner as Higher SS and Police Leader in Serbia in early 1942. He was one of few Orpo officers to be appointed to such a role.

Meyszner's time in Belgrade was characterised by friction and competition with German military, economic and foreign affairs officials, and by his visceral hatred and distrust of Serbs. During his tenure, he oversaw regular reprisal killings and sent tens of thousands of forced labourers to the Reich and occupied Norway. His Gestapo detachment used a gas van to kill 8,000 Jewish women and children that had been detained at the Sajmište concentration camp. In April 1944, his outspoken complaints about a reduction in reprisals against civilians allowed his enemies within the German occupation regime in Serbia to have him removed. Himmler transferred him to Berlin with the task of establishing a Europe-wide gendarmerie. After the war, he fell into the hands of the Allies and was interrogated by the United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality. Extradited to Yugoslavia, he was tried for war crimes, along with many of his staff from his time in Serbia. He was found guilty by a Yugoslav military court and executed by hanging in January 1947.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:22 UTC on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

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