Heinz Barz in Hamburg police uniform after the war. © Hamburg State Archive

Heinz Wilhelm Friedrich Barz

* "24 May 1915" – Torgau (Sachsen)
† "11 May 2000" – Wentorf, near Hamburg (Schleswig-Holstein)

Starting in 1944, Heinz Barz was a member of the ‘Hermann Göring’ Parachute-Panzer Division in Italy. He was in command of the troops responsible for the atrocities in Val di Chiana and Valdarno. 

After secondary school, Barz became an officer candidate in the Schutzpolizei, first in Magdeburg, then in Berlin. In 1937, he served as a lieutenant and platoon leader in Hamburg, joining both the Nazi Party and the SS that same year. In Sept. 1939, Barz was assigned as platoon leader to the 2nd Company of Reserve Police Battalion 101 and took part in the invasion and occupation of Poland.

After the war Barz continued his career as a police official in Hamburg; he was never brought to justice for his crimes.

Nationality
German
Formation
Police, SS
Joined the NSDAP
Membership no. 5.994.111 (1 Jan. 1937)
Armed force
Wehrmacht
Unit
‘Hermann Göring’ Parachute-Panzer Division
Years of service
1934-1945
Captain
Offensive
Annexation of Austria
Occupation of the ‘Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia’ 1939
Occupation of Poland 1939-41
Occupation of the Soviet Union 1941-43
Italian campaign 1944
Eastern Front 1944-45
Post war period

Hamburg police official

Training and wartime experience

In the occupied Soviet Union, the German military police participated in reprisals against partisans  and were responsible for numerous war crimes. Heinz Barz was assigned to Military Police Section 581, whose deployment area was the rear of the mid-section of the Eastern Front, for which the 2nd Panzer Army was responsible.

Participation in massacres of civilians

In his 1948-1950 trial, the commander of the ‘Hermann Göring’ Panzer Division, Wilhelm Schmalz, alleged that Barz was responsible for all the division’s crimes; he succeeded in convincing the military court of his innocence in this way. But the misspelling of Barz’s name prevented his identification and location.

The postwar period

Sources

Heinz Barz's career can be precisely traced through his personnel records to the early years of the war. Starting from 1941 and his transfer to the Police Division of the Waffen-SS, the data is incomplete. The deployment within the "Hermann Göring" Division can only be reconstructed indirectly through casualty reports of his unit and the investigations and legal proceedings of the post-war period. The following files are stored in the Federal Archives in Berlin-Lichterfelde: R 9361-III/6991; R 9361-III/515635; R 601/2411; VBS 1069 (R 19)/ZB 0902 A. 09. Biographical documents regarding the post-war period can be found in the State Archives of Hamburg.

Literature

Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary men. Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, New York, Harper Perennial, 1993.

Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg. Italien 1943–1945. Schöningh, Paderborn 2012, pp. 328, 333. 

Authorship and translation

Autor: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

© Project ‘The Massacres in Occupied Italy (1943-1945): Integrating the Perpetrators’ Memories’

2023

Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0

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