WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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hand man an éminence grise: Herbert Hagen, who was to be his personal deputy.

This was a dazzling promotion for Hagen, who was not yet thirty. He was also still in charge of Division VI of the S.D.-Security police, which was devoted to gathering intelligence on foreign countries, the French government, and the French political parties. Along with Section IV it was the best-organized branch of the Gestapo. It had twelve subdivisions. From then on, Hagen was to pull the strings of French politics, and influence upon them was gradually to pass from the military command and the German Embassy to the S.S.

Petain's ambassador to the German occupation authorities in Paris, Count Fernand de Brinon (who was shot after the Liberation), was well aware of who possessed the power in the splendid, high windowed house at 57 boulevard Lannes:
General Oberg was a fat Prussian with a shaven head who knew nothing about France or French ways of thought, could not speak our language, was not very intelligent, and was completely dominated by a young S.S. officer, Major Hagen. Hagen had the advantage of speaking French well, but the dreadful disadvantage of hating us and of nursing his resentment of us. He employed spies, and appeared to be General Oberg's chief of staff.

The Gestapo's Bureau for Jewish Affairs, on avenue Foch, was quite near boulevard Lannes. Hagen did not neglect his anti-Semitic activities. He attended all the summit conferences between Germans and between the German and the French authorities, in order to get the program for deportation going and remove all obstacles to effecting the final Solution to the Jewish Problem in France. All documents concerning the measures that were taken about the Jewish problem in France passed through the hands of Hagen as well as of Lischka, Oberg, and Knochen.

Hagen was an example of the "bureaucratic assassin." He never dirtied his own hands or took any pleasure in watching tortures, but he fanatically devoted his keen mind to the service of evil by devising operational procedures. Hagen's memorandums, written in his sunny offices overlooking the Bois de Boulogne, mapped the road that ended for the Jews at the Auschwitz railway station.

Hagen was completely aware of the fate awaiting the Jews. He was kept informed down to the last detail on their arrests and transfers. For example, the following memorandum from S.S.
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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