The Info List - Otto Rasch

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SS- Brigadeführer
Emil Otto Rasch
Otto Rasch
(7 December 1891 – 1 November 1948) was a high-ranking Nazi official in the occupied Eastern territories, commanding Einsatzgruppe C
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

Biography[edit] 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.[1] 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.[2] Einsatzgruppe[edit] 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, organised the Babi Yar
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.[3]

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.[4][page needed] 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
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.[5]

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.[6] Rasch was indicted at the Einsatzgruppen trial
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
Parkinson's disease
and associated dementia.[7] Otto Rasch died later that year on 1 November in Wehrstedt, Lower Saxony. In fiction[edit]

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 Related articles by country Belarus Estonia Latvia Lithuania Norway Poland Russia


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

Major perpetrators

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

Nazi occupation and organizations

Einsatzgruppen Police Regiment South Reichskommissariat Ukraine


Individuals Hryhoriy Vasiura Vladimir Katriuk Petro Voinovsky Petro Zakhvalynsky

Organizations Schutzmannschaft Ukrainian Auxiliary Police Nachtigall Battalion

Ghettos, camps and prisons

Bogdanovka Drohobych Ghetto Syrets concentration camp Vapniarka concentration camp

Resistance and survivors

Priest's Grotto Syrets inmate revolt

Planning, methods, documents and evidence

Planning Generalplan Ost Volksliste

Evidence Graebe affidavit

Concealment and denial

Sonderaktion 1005

Investigations and trials

trial Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission

Righteous Among the Nations

Klymentiy Sheptytsky Omelyan Kovch Hermann Friedrich Graebe


Babi Yar
Babi Yar
memorials List of Babi Yar
Babi Yar

See also History of the Jews in Carpathian Ruthenia Transnistria Governorate

v t e

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 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 Karl Eberhard Schöngarth Erwin Schulz Franz Six Eugen Steimle Eduard Strauch Martin Weiss Udo von Woyrsch

Other members

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


Viktors Arājs Herberts Cukurs Antanas Impulevičius Konrāds Kalējs Algirdas Klimaitis



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


(Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian) Arajs Kommando Lithuanian Security Police Rollkommando Hamann TDA Ypatingasis būrys



Łachwa Ghetto Minsk Ghetto Slutsk Affair




Burning of the Riga synagogues Dünamünde Action Jelgava Pogulianski Rumbula Liepāja (Šķēde)


Ninth Fort Kaunas June 1941 Kaunas 29 October 1941 Ninth Fort
Ninth Fort
November 1941 Ponary


Operation Tannenberg Intelligenzaktion AB-Aktion Operation Reinhard


Gully of Petrushino Zmievskaya Balka Lokot Autonomy


Babi Yar Drobytsky Yar Drohobycz Kamianets-Podilskyi Lviv pogroms Mizocz Ghetto Odessa


The Black Book Commissar Order Einsatzgruppen
trial Generalplan Ost Jäger Report Korherr Report Special
Prosecution Book-Poland (Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen) Eins