August Dietrich (Dieter) Allers


allers - chelm cemetery944


Dieter Allers standing next to Werner Blankenburg, Ernst Lerch and Gottlieb Hering foreground at Chelm Cemetery (USHMM)


August Dietrich (Dieter) Allers was born on May 17, 1910, in Kiel and studied law at the universities of Berlin and Jena. Whilst still a student he joined the Nazi Party in 1932, and the SA in 1934, subsequently becoming a civil servant in the Prussian government in 1937. He was conscripted on the outbreak on the outbreak of the Second World War, and as a non-commissioned officer, was sent to Poland to train recruits. Following a chance encounter between his mother and Werner Blankenburg, Dieter Allers was recruited into the T4 organization.

Allers rapidly became the organization's chief legal expert, heading its financial bureau (Central Clearing Office for Mental Institutions) and succeeding T4's first legal advisor Dr. Gerhard Bohne, who had resigned his position in June 1940, in a dispute over the corruptibility of his colleagues. During the spring of 1941, Allers was promoted to the position of general manager of T4, effectively becoming the principal assistant to Viktor Brack, his deputy Werner Blankenburg and T4's chief medical advisor, Paul Nitsche. 

Dieter Allers office coordinated efforts to disguise the killings, which involved deliberately misinforming both the relatives of the victims as well as the agencies involved in committing patients and paying for their care.Dieter Allers also succeeded Bohne as head of the Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care, usually referred as the Stiftung (Foundation), which was the T4 front organization responsible for all personnel affairs and financial matters. Although Allers supervised activities, acting in effect as managing director of T4, he was not directly responsible for the day to day administration, leaving this to Friedrich Tillmann.

As part of his duties, Dieter Allers visited all six of the of the main euthanasia killing centres within the Reich, on numerous occasions, ensuring the smooth running of the operation and following Hitler's order to discontinue the killings in August 1941, he was a member of the T4 Organisation Todt expedition to Russia the following winter.

That Dieter Allers was immersed in the business of murder is evident from a letter he wrote in 1943, to Dr Rudolf Lonauer, the physician-in - charge at Hartheim, near Linz, in which he stated that Herbert Linden wanted to transfer a 'mentally-ill' Russian named Boris Mirkolo to Hartheim and that Dr Lonauer should have no difficulty understanding the purpose. At Hartheim Mirkolo was shot but not killed was then dragged into the gas chamber and gassed. Herbert Linden's for wanting Mirkolo's death is unknown. 

Dieter Allers made several visits to Lublin and a number of witnesses claimed that he visited all three of the Aktion Reinhardt death camps in Poland, but Allers himself denied any such visits, and in 1962, he swore under oath:

' I myself undertook several duty visits to Lublin; the purpose of these duty visits was to meet Globocnik and Wirth. The object of these duty visits was not for the accomplishment of Aktion Reinhardt'.

Allers visits to Lublin were mentioned in a 1945, British Intelligence report, based on the interrogations of members of Globocnik's staff based in Lublin:

'Herr Allers worked behind closed doors in Globocnik's staff building. His face was seldom seen. He wore mainly civilian clothes, but sometimes also wore the uniform of a political leader. He carried with him at all times a locked and well-sealed briefcase. He was often absent from Lublin for several days. It is assumed that he functioned as liaison between Globocnik, Bouhler, and Blankenburg'. 

Dieter Allers and Werner Blankenburg  attended the funeral at the Chelm cemetery of the SS-Nco's murdered during the Sobibor death camp revolt, in October 1943, as evidenced by the photograph accompanying this biography. 

Dieter Allers remained manager of the euthanasia programme until May 1944, when together with other members of T4 he was posted to Trieste in Northern Italy. Allers replaced Christian Wirth, who had been murdered by partisans, as Head of SS-Einsatzkommando R. This unit was officially established to conduct anti-partisan operations, were mainly concerned with the rounding up of Italian Jews for extermination.

Dieter Allers was arrested by the British military in August 1945, and remained in various camps until his release in February 1947, at which time he became the manager of a mining company. He was re-arrested by the Americans during April 1948, and handed over to the German authorities. It would appear that his new captors either had no knowledge of Aller's activities, or alternatively possessed little desire to delve into them too deeply, for he was released again in September 1949. The investigation into Allers participation in the euthanasia programme was discontinued in May 1950.

Dieter Allers now entered into the law practice of his friend Johannes Ploger (former legal advisor to Viktor Brack) and in 1951, became legal advisor to the German Shipyard in Hamburg. Allers continued to be involved in right-wing politics and maintained contact with his T4 Alte Kameraden, as well as running 'Silent Help,' the secret organization set up to aid ex-SS members.

During August 1962, Dieter Allers was arrested once again on suspicion of his involvement in the euthanasia programme, but was released on bail in May 1963, to await trial. Allers lost his job with the German Shipyard, but continued with his Hamburg law practice. In October 1963, it was decided to link his case with that of Vorberg. This trial did not take place until April 1967, when the two men stood in the dock in Frankfurt am Main; the trial was to last twenty months.

The court had no doubt that both men had participated in the killings of ten thousands of mentally ill patients - although Allers activities in relation to the Aktion Reinhardt mass murder programme were not investigated in any depth- but the court were less convinced about their involvement in the Sonderbehandlung 14f13 programme. In December 1968, Dieter Allers was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, confirmed in October 1972, by the Federal High Court. However, since the term of his pre-trial confinement was deducted from the sentence, Allers was released after the verdict had been read out in court.

Dieter Allers died on March 22, 1975, in Munich.

Sources:

M. Conroy, Nazi Eugenics, Ibidem-verlag, Stuttgart 2017

M. Tregenza, Christian Wirth, Inspekteur Der SS- Sonderkommandos Aktion Reinhard, Zeszyty Majdanka Vol XV, Lublin 1993

Fotos Aus Sobibor, Metropol, Berlin, January 2020

Holocaust Historical Society March 17, 2020