Harald Turner

Harald Turner (8 October 1891 in Leun – 9 March 1947 in Belgrade) was an SS commander and Staatsrat (privy councillor) in the German military administration of the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia in the partitioned Kingdom of Yugoslavia during World War II.[1][2] In a 1942 letter to Karl Wolff, chief of the personal staff of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, Turner indicated the murderous nature of Schutzstaffel (SS) activities in the occupied territory. In the letter he indirectly indicated that he intended to use vehicles most likely equipped with gas to murder Jews.[2]

Already some months ago, I shot dead all the Jews I could get my hands on in this area, concentrated all the Jewish women and children in a camp and with the help of the SD got my hands on a "delousing van," that in about 14 days to 4 weeks will have brought about the definitive clearing out of the camp..." Dr. Harold Turner's letter to Karl Wolff, dated April 11, 1942.[2]

His quotation marks around the vehicle's name indicate that the vehicle was meant for killing the Jews he mentioned.[2] This follows a similar practice by the Nazis to publicly call gas chambers in concentration camps, "shower rooms".

Turner was promoted to SS-Brigadeführer on 30 Jan 1939, and to SS-Gruppenführer on 27 Sept 1941. On 18 Feb 1944 he was promoted to SS Generalleutnant, effective 30 Jan 1944. After the war, he was executed by hanging in Belgrade.


  1. Visualizing Otherness II, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "...a 'Delousing Van'...": Euphemism for Murder, Turner Wolfe, www.holocaust-history.org.
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