The Info List - Otto Rasch

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_SS - Brigadeführer _ EMIL OTTO RASCH (7 December 1891 – 1 November 1948) was a high-ranking Nazi official in the occupied Eastern territories , commanding Einsatzgruppe C (northern and central Ukraine ) until October 1941. After World War II, Rasch was indicted for war crimes, but the case was discontinued for medical reasons in 1948. He died in 1948 while in custody.


* 1 Biography * 2 Einsatzgruppe * 3 In fiction * 4 References * 5 Bibliography


Rasch was born in Friedrichsruh , Northern Germany . He fought in the First World War
First World War
as a naval lieutenant. He studied philosophy, law, political science and received doctorates in law and political economy. With two university doctorates, Rasch was known as "Dr Dr Rasch", in accordance with German academic tradition. He became a lawyer in 1931 in Dresden
and practiced law in the private sector. In 1933 he became mayor of Radeberg and in 1935 lord mayor of Wittenberg .

Rasch joined the NSDAP
on 1 October 1931 with membership number 620,976. He joined the SA in 1933 and the SS on 10 March 1933; with membership number 107,100. Beginning in 1936 he was employed full-time by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). On 1 October 1937, as commissioner, Rasch assumed leadership of the State Police (Stapo) in Frankfurt am Main . In March 1938, again as commissioner, Rasch became director of security (based in Linz
) for Upper Austria . In June 1938, Rasch was assigned various responsibilities within the RSHA and was appointed chief of the Security Police (SiPo) and SD in Prague

In November 1939, as inspector of the SiPo and SD, Rasch was transferred to Königsberg
. Rasch suggested and oversaw the liquidation of Polish political prisoners (intelligentsia) who had been arrested by the Einsatzgruppen. Rasch himself checked which prisoners were to be killed; the killings took place in forests. However, the executions were not inconspicuous. So, with the approval of Reinhard Heydrich , Rasch organised and founded the Soldau concentration camp in the winter of 1939/40 as a _Durchgangslager_ (_Dulag_), or transit camp, for deportations to the General Government , and where Polish intelligentsia could be secretly executed.


In June 1941, shortly before the invasion of the Soviet Union , Rasch took command of Einsatzgruppe C . In this capacity, he perpetrated extermination actions against Jews. Rasch, along with General Kurt Eberhard and Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
, organised the Babi Yar massacre, which saw the murder of over 33,000 Jews.

According to the post-war affidavit of Erwin Schulz , commander of Einsatzkommando 5 (part of Einsatzgruppe C):

_SS Brigadeführer_ Dr. Rasch distinguished himself by particular ruthlessness. He ordered the leaders also to participate personally in the shootings.

Rasch made sure that all Einsatzgruppen
personnel, including the commanding officers, personally shot Jews, so that all members were culpable.

In August 1941, Hitler is alleged (in post-war interrogations of German prisoners) to have given a _Führerbefehl_ (Leader's Order) for the extermination of entire populations in the Eastern territories. The commando leaders subordinate to Rasch met with him to discuss this order. Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
later testified that Rasch basically quoted what had been stated by Friedrich Jeckeln , that "the measures against the Jewish population had to be sharper and that he disapproved of the manner in which they had been carried out until now because it was too mild". In other words, the order was to shoot more Jews. Erwin Schulz confirmed this:

After about two weeks' stay in Berdichev
the commando leaders were ordered to report to Zhitomir , where the staff of Dr. Rasch was quartered. Here Dr. Rasch informed us that _ Obergruppenführer _ Jeckeln
had been there, and had reported that the Reichsführer-SS had ordered us to take strict measures against the Jews. It had been determined without doubt that the Russian side had ordered to have the SS members and Party members shot. As such measures were being taken on the Russian side, they would also have to be taken on our side. All suspected Jews were, therefore, to be shot. Consideration was to be given only when they were indispensable as workers. Women and children were to be shot also in order not to have any avengers remain. We were horrified, and raised objections, but they were met with a remark that an order which was given had to be obeyed.

Rasch was discharged from his position in October 1941, and at the beginning of 1942, he became the director of Continental Oil, Inc. in Berlin

Rasch was indicted at the Einsatzgruppen trial at the end of September 1947 but the case against Rasch was discontinued on 5 February 1948 because he had Parkinson\'s disease and associated dementia . Otto Rasch
Otto Rasch
died later that year on 1 November in Wehrstedt , Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony


* Rasch appears in Jonathan Littell 's novel _ Les Bienveillantes _. He files a record that the military should concentrate on fighting bolshevism which should not be identified with Jews. He also gives the order that Jews should be paraded in public before executions to 'destroy in eyes of Ukrainian peasants the myth of Jewish power'.


* ^ Browning, p. 34 * ^ Friedlander, p. 139 * ^ Rhodes, p. 223 * ^ Rhodes * ^ Rhodes, pp. 124-25 * ^ Zenter, Christian and Bedürftig, Friedemann (1991). _ Encyclopedia of the Third Reich _, New York: Macmillan, p. 754. ISBN 0-02-897502-2 * ^ Rhodes, p. 275


* Christopher Browning (2004). _The Origins of the Final Solution : The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 – March 1942_ (With contributions by Jürgen Matthäus ), Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press. * Henry Friedlander (1995). _The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution_. The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4675-9 * Richard Rhodes
Richard Rhodes
(2002). _Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust_, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-40900-9 * Zenter, Christian and Bedürftig, Friedemann (1991). _Encyclopedia of the Third Reich _, New York: Macmillan, p. 754. ISBN 0-02-897502-2

* v * t * e

The Holocaust
The Holocaust
in Ukraine

Main article The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Related articles by country Belarus Estonia Latvia Lithuania Norway Poland Russia


* Babi Yar * Drobytsky Yar * Drohobych * Kamianets-Podilskyi * Lviv pogroms
Lviv pogroms
* Mizocz Ghetto * Odessa * Pripyat Swamps


* Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
* Werner Braune * Lothar Fendler
Lothar Fendler
* Hans Frank * Günther Herrmann * Friedrich Jeckeln * Ernst Kaltenbrunner * Fritz Katzmann
Fritz Katzmann
* Erich Koch * Felix Landau * Gustav Adolf Nosske * Otto Ohlendorf * Paul Otto Radomski * Otto Rasch * Walter Schimana
Walter Schimana
* Erwin Schulz * Heinrich Seetzen * Otto Wächter
Otto Wächter
* Dieter Wisliceny


* Einsatzgruppen
* Police Regiment South * Reichskommissariat Ukraine

COLLABORATORS _Individuals_ Vladimir Katriuk Petro Voinovsky Petro Zakhvalynsky _Organizations_ Schutzmannschaft
Ukrainian Auxiliary Police Nachtigall Battalion


* Bogdanovka
* Drohobych Ghetto * Syrets concentration camp * Vapniarka concentration camp


* Priest\'s Grotto * Syrets inmate revolt

Planning, methods, documents and evidence _Planning_ Generalplan Ost
Generalplan Ost
_Evidence_ Graebe affidavit


* Sonderaktion 1005
Sonderaktion 1005


* Einsatzgruppen trial * Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission


* Klymentiy Sheptytsky * Omelyan Kovch * Hermann Friedrich Graebe


* Babi Yar memorials * List of Babi Yar victims

See also History of the Jews in Carpathian Ruthenia Transnistria Governorate

* v * t * e

_ Einsatzgruppen
_ and _Einsatzkommandos _



* Reinhard Heydrich * Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Commanders of _Einsatzgruppen_

* Humbert Achamer-Pifrader * Walther Bierkamp * Horst Böhme * Erich Ehrlinger * Wilhelm Fuchs * Heinz Jost * Erich Naumann * Arthur Nebe * Otto Ohlendorf * Friedrich Panzinger * Otto Rasch * Heinrich Seetzen * Franz Walter Stahlecker * Bruno Streckenbach

Commanders of _Einsatzkommandos_, _Sonderkommandos_

* Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski * Rudolf Batz * Ernst Biberstein * Wolfgang Birkner * Helmut Bischoff * Paul Blobel
Paul Blobel
* Walter Blume * Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock * Otto Bradfisch * Werner Braune * Friedrich Buchardt * Fritz Dietrich * Karl Jäger * Friedrich Jeckeln * Waldemar Klingelhöfer * Wolfgang Kügler * Walter Kutschmann * Rudolf Lange * Gustav Adolf Nosske * Hans-Adolf Prützmann * Walter Rauff * Martin Sandberger * Hermann Schaper
Hermann Schaper
* Karl Eberhard Schöngarth * Erwin Schulz * Franz Six
Franz Six
* Eugen Steimle * Eduard Strauch * Martin Weiss * Udo von Woyrsch


* August Becker * Lothar Fendler
Lothar Fendler
* Joachim Hamann * Emil Haussmann * Felix Landau * Albert Widmann
Albert Widmann


* Viktors Arājs * Herberts Cukurs
Herberts Cukurs
* Antanas Impulevičius * Konrāds Kalējs * Algirdas Klimaitis



* SS * RSHA * SD * Orpo * 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer * _ Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz _ * Sonderdienst


* _ Schutzmannschaft