The Nazi leaders who built these armed forces needed experienced police officers, said Michael Holzmann, the son of an Austrian Nazi who has been researching Gestapo activities in this country for many years. “Huber took this opportunity and turned from a small investigator into an extremely successful leader of the Gestapo terror regime in the former Austria,” he said.
In March 1938, after Germany annexed Austria, Huber was appointed Gestapo chief of most of the country, including the capital Vienna. Shortly afterwards, the Gestapo began an extensive hunt for dissidents in Austria, and Huber gave the order “to arrest unwanted, especially criminally motivated Jews immediately and to transfer them to the Dachau concentration camp”. A few days later the first two transports of Jews left Vienna for the camp, and many more followed.
Huber stayed at his post until the end of the war and was given more and more personnel and authority. During that time, 70,000 Austrian Jews who could not leave the country were murdered, nearly 40 percent of the original community, while their property was looted by the Nazis.
Eichmann confirmed in his trial that he was involved in the deportation of Jews, but refused to plead guilty of genocide and said: “I had no choice but to follow the instructions I had received.”
Huber took a different approach. In 1948, when he spoke to an officer at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal who interviewed him as a witness rather than a suspect, he said he knew nothing about the extermination until late 1944, when his deputy told him something vague.
“But the historical evidence paints a completely different picture,” says Prof. Moshe Zimmerman, historian and Holocaust scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Eichmann was perhaps a more familiar face to the Jewish community, but the one who shared responsibility for carrying out the terror against the Jews, their collection, their forced boarding on the trains and their deportation to the camps was subordinated to the police and the Gestapo Huber. “