Mystery over fate of Gestapo chief Mueller ‘solved’

Reuters, BERLIN

Sat, Nov 02, 2013 - Page 6

Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller, the most senior Nazi whose fate has until now remained unknown, died in Berlin in 1945 and, in a chilling twist, lies in a Jewish cemetery, a German historian says.

Mueller, who ran the Gestapo secret police was last spotted in Adolf Hitler’s bunker in Berlin the day after the Nazi leader committed suicide in 1945.

US and British investigators hunting fugitive Nazis after the war found no conclusive evidence that Mueller had died in the fall of Berlin or had escaped.

Now Touro College Berlin professor Johannes Tuchel says he has found proof that Mueller died in Berlin in 1945, was first buried in a grave in a garden in Luftwaffe headquarters and then consigned to a mass grave in a Jewish cemetery in the city.

“From my point of view, all the mysteries around Heinrich Mueller are solved,” he said.

Mueller attended the 1942 Wannsee Conference, which laid out the “final solution” — the plan to exterminate the Jews.

Tuchel said Mueller “was responsible, with [Heinrich] Himmler, Hitler and [Reinhard] Heydrich for a lot of mass crimes, was deeply involved in the Holocaust, attended the Wannsee conference and was also responsible for the mass killings of Soviet prisoners of war.”

The historian was investigating a massacre ordered by Mueller when he came across documents about Mueller’s demise.

He re-examined evidence from a grave-digger after the war, in then-communist East Germany, who remembered burying a man in a general’s uniform in Berlin-Mitte Jewish Cemetery in 1945.

The East German police were not interested, but Tuchel traced the documents and military decorations found on the body to archives in Berlin and crossed that with data from German intelligence and the US’ CIA.

He concluded that Mueller was dead and traced the corpse to the historic Jewish cemetery.