Thursday, March 8, 2012

Captain Beiko's doppelgänger

According to wikipedia a doppelganger is: ‘a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune’. What does this superstition have to do with WWII history? Read on…

In the German occupied territories of the Soviet Union regular police units were organized to maintain order. Foreign Military Studies report P-122German Counterintelligence activities in occupied Russia 1941-44’ page 124 (available from fold3) has a fascinating story which illustrates the horribleness of the intelligence war between the German security services and the partisans:

The Feldkommandentura in Gomel ran six-month courses for chiefs of police. After completing such a course, a Captain Beiko was appointed chief of police of Novozybkov (Map 4). On the way to his post he was slain by partisans from the Batis Group. His uniform and documents wore taken by a partisan named Yagorov, who continued on to Novozybkov and assumed the duties of police chief on 10 July 1943. His real identity was not revealed until six months later, but in the mean-time he had corrupted the police to such an extent that 30 members had run away to join the partisans. As a result, the entire force had to be reorganized. Yegorov had been extremely cruel toward both the police and the local inhabitants and had encouraged robberies, excessive drinking, etc.

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