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Leo Gürtler

Junior Fellow (10/2016-08/2017)


Franz Stangl. A Biography


GUERTLERThe Austrian police detective Franz Stangl had an astounding career during National Socialism: As a Gestapo agent, he was hired for the ‘Aktion T4’ programme and was active at the euthanasia killing-sites Hartheim. After that, he was appointed in the context of the ‘Aktion Reinhard’ first as commandant of Sobibor and finally as commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp. After 1945, he was able to flee via Syria to Brazil with the help of the Vatican. He was tracked down there by Simon Wiesenthal, was arrested in 1967, and extradited to the Federal Republic of Germany. He died in Düsseldorf prison after being found guilty at trial in 1970. The main goal of this dissertation project is to produce a comprehensive and nuanced biography of Franz Stangl as a historical and biographical case study, thereby to make a further contribution to contemporary historical biographical research and the research of perpetrators.


Leo Gürtler’s dissertation project is part of the research focus Diktaturen, Gewalt, Genozide (Dictatorships, Violence, and Genocides) at the Institute for Contemporary History at the University of Vienna, where he completed his Magister with the thesis Das Ghetto in Lublin 1941–42 (The Ghetto in Lublin 1941-42).

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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