Wilfried Krallert, the editor of the Volkstumskarte series of maps, was a high ranking member of the Reich Security Office of the S.S. (RHSA), a cartographer, a spy, and an academic. Below is a brief biography of Krallert, who was born in Vienna, on January 23, 1912. The details below are summarized and paraphrased from a chapter written by Michael Fahlbusch, in the book entitled “German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing, 1920-1945″.
Early Involvement in Right-Wing Organizations and the SS
- At age 16, Krallert organized a local branch of the Deutsch Mittelschülerbund, an extreme right-youth association under the umbrella of the SA
- Became a member of a right-wing paramilitary organization, 1930-1932
- Joined the National Socialist Party of Austria in April 1933
- Became a member of the SS in April 1934 at the age of 22. He is employed as a staff member of the SS-Standarte 89. He was involved in information section of this organization
- During 1934, he joined the SD, as a member of the staff of the SD-Hauptamt. His activities within SD-Hauptamt included intelligence work in the Balkans from 1934-1941
Academic Work, Southeast German Research Society and Promotions in the S.S
- In the early 1930s to 1935, he studied at the University of Vienna, under Hans Hirsch and Hugo Hassinger (heads of the Southeast German Research Society (SGRC).
- He completed is PhD in 1935 and became secretary of the SGRS. The SGRS evolves into the Publikationstelle Wien by 1938
- After the Anschluss (annexation of Austria into the Third Reich in March 1938), Krallert became a branch director of the SGRC, when on business he traveled under the pseudonym of Bergmann
- Promoted to SS-Untersturmführer in July 1938
Role in the Reich Security Main Office and in the production of the Volkstumskarte Maps
- Officially became a member of the RSHA VI (foreign intelligence branch of the SS Reich Security Main Office – RSHA) in Spring 1939. Works at as a cartographer and ethnographic expert of Southeastern Europe. Krallert becomes the director of the Publikationstelle (P-Stelle) Wien.
- Promoted to SS-Obersturmfürer in July 1939
- Involved in the Second Vienna Award in August 1940. Meets Sabin Manuila, statistician for the Romanian Government, who provides Krallert with population data about Romania
- Involved with the Künsberg Sonderkommando, a section of the SS that specialized in the capturing of cultural materials, during the Balkans Campaign; Collects population statistics and maps from the unpublished Yugoslavian census.
- Late 1940 into 1941, the P-stelle, led by Krallert, produces the Volkstumskarte series of maps of Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. They also produced a Volkstumskarte of the Crimea peninsula.
- Krallert is promoted to SS-Hauptsturmsfürer in June 1942
- October 1943, appointed as commander of the Amt-VI-G department of the RSHA. Krallert oversaw 22 research institutes, subdepartments, and associations located throughout Germany and Austria, including the P-Stelle Wien. The primary focus was the collection of information and documentation about areas outside of Germany. He also became the secretary of the Kuratorium für Volkstums- und Landesforschung des Reichsführers SS).
- May 1944, under the auspices of Amt-VI-G , Krallert directed with the assistance of employees of the P-Stelle Wien, the confiscation of the stocks of Jewish antiquarian bookstores in Budapest
Activities Post World War II
- Near the end of the war, Krallert evacuated the P-stelle collection and offices to the Lambrecht Abbey
- He was arrested by the British on May 30, 1945 and interned and interrogated at a Prisoner of War camp by the British. He was released in 1948.
- Krallert worked for the French Intelligence and the Gehlen organization until the early 1950s
- Krallert continued to participate in research about the history and geography South-Eastern Europe. In 1960, He and his wife took over as managers of the Bibliothek des Südost-Instituts (Southeast Institute Library) in Munich.
- Krallert died in 1969
- Fahlbusch, M. (2006). The Role and Impact of German Ethnopolitical Experts in the SS Reich Security Main Office. In I. Haar & M. Fahlbusch (eds.), German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing: 1919-1945. (28-50). New York: Berghahn Books.
Last edited by Rosa Orlandini on July 22, 2016