SCHELLENBERG, WALTER° (1910–1952) Nazi official. Born in Saarbruck to minor German officials, Schellenberg studied medicine and law and graduated from the University of Bonn. He joined the Nazi Party in May 1933 and the home office of the SD in 1934. He worked on the consolidation of the SD and the security police, and became a trusted adviser of *Himmler and *Heydrich as deputy chief of the foreign intelligence service of the SD. In May 1941 he concluded an agreement with the German Army on the operation of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) in the Soviet Union. He was head of the united SS and Wehrmacht intelligence. As early as the summer of 1942, he foresaw the impending defeat of Germany and tried to persuade Himmler to seek a separate peace with the West, which necessitated saving certain Jewish lives as leverage for negotiations and even halting the "Final Solution" in order to gain some time. When the Abwehr was dismantled after the attempt in 1944 on Hitler's life, Schellenberg became the head of the combined intelligence services of the SS and the Wehrmacht. His power was only surpassed by Himmler's within the SS. He was tried in the American Zone trials at Nuremberg. He was acquitted on the crime of genocide but found guilty of complicity in the murder of Soviet POWs. Sentenced to six years, he was released in 1951 and moved to Switzerland, where he wrote his memoirs.
G. Reitlinger, SS: Alibi of a Nation 1922–1945 (1956), index; idem, Final Solution (19582), index; IMT, Trial of the Major War Criminals, 24 (1949), index.
[Yehuda Reshef /
Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.