Werner BestWerner Best


With a doctorate in law, Werner Best became chief legal advisor to the Gestapo, as well as holding the position of Chief of the Bureau of the Secret State Police at the Reich Ministry of the Interior.

Ambitious, a cool amoral technician of power, Best used his academic and legal skills to justify the totalitarian practice of the Nazi regime. The climax of his career came in Denmark, where he was Reich Plenipotentiary from November 1942 to 1945.

In spite of his record as a “desk murderer,” there is evidence that he leaked information concerning the planned round up in 1943 of the Danish Jews while they were celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Only 477 out of more than 7,000 Danish Jews were finally rounded up by the Nazis. Because of the leaked warning, the majority of Danish Jews were able, with help from their fellow citizens, to escape to Sweden and safety.

Best was originally sentenced to death by a Danish court in 1948 following his extradition, but his sentence was commuted to five years and he was granted a clemency release in August 1951. He also appeared at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial as a witness.

source: http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/best.html