Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
The Warsaw Ghetto
Introduction to the Ghettos of the Holocaust
Karl Kaleske was born on the 19 February 1895 in Dobrin, Poland. He served with the 61st Infantry Regiment in World War One, and won an Iron Cross 2nd Class. He was also wounded in the conflict.
He entered the police in 1922 and was married in 1925. His SS number of 290196 indicates he entered this organisation in 1937. Karl Kaleske joined the Nazi Party on 1 January 1940 with membership number 7906104.
He was promoted to Untersturmfuhrer on 20 April 1939 while serving in the SD Main Office in Berlin, and he also served with the Gestapo in Koszalin, Poland.
Karl Kaleske was adjutant to Jurgen Stroop, who crushed the Jews of Warsaw in the most brutal fashion during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in April / May 1943.
Kaleske survived the war and in 1946 the prosecution for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg obtained an affidavit from Kaleske that was used as evidence against Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the successor to Reinhard Heydrich as head of the RSHA in Berlin.
A portion of the statement reads:
Kaleske also went on to make the following statement:
"I remember the case of three hundred foreign Jews who had been collected in the Polski Hotel by the Security Police. At the end of the ghetto action, Kaltenbrunner ordered the Security Police to transport these people away.
When the leader of the underground in Warsaw was captured in June or July 1943, he was flown directly to Kaltenbrunner in Berlin.
I have read the statement over and I have understood it completely. I have made the statement freely and without compulsion I swear before God that this statement is in accordance with the full truth."
The Ghetto Men by French L Maclean, published by Atglen PA Schiffer Military History 2001.
Holocaust Historical Society.
Copyright Chris Webb & Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2008