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Otto Ohlendorf

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Otto Ohlendorf


World War II

Battles and wars
World War II

Years of service
1925 — 1945

Leipzig University

Otto Ohlendorf The Banality of Evil SSGruppenfhrer Otto Ohlendorf

4 February 1907Hoheneggelsen, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire (

SS-Gruppenfuhrer und Generalleutnant der Polizei

Commands held
Einsatzgruppe DAmt III, RSHA

June 7, 1951, Landsberg Prison, Landsberg am Lech, Germany

Similar People
Benjamin B Ferencz, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Friedrich Jeckeln, Hermann Kriebel, Friedrich Weber

Service number
NSDAP #6,631SS #880

Otto ohlendorf

Otto Ohlendorf (4 February 1907 – 7 June 1951) was a German SS-Gruppenführer and head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Inland, responsible for intelligence and security within Germany. Ohlendorf was also the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe D, which perpetrated mass murder in Moldova, south Ukraine, the Crimea, and, during 1942, the north Caucasus. He was convicted of and executed for war crimes committed during World War II.


Otto Ohlendorf Otto Ohlendorfquot by OMGUS Military Tribunal

Benjamin ferencz on remorse and otto ohlendorf

Early life and the SS

Otto Ohlendorf httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Born in Hoheneggelsen (part of Söhlde; then in the Kingdom of Prussia), the son of farm owners. He joined the Nazi Party in 1925 (member 6631) and the SS (member #880) in 1926. Ohlendorf studied economics and law at the University of Leipzig and the University of Göttingen, and by 1930 was already giving lectures at several economic institutions. He studied at the University of Pavia, where he gained his doctor's degree in jurisprudence; and by 1933 he obtained the position of a research directorship in the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (at that time Institut für Weltwirtschaft und Seeverkehr - Institute for World Economy and Maritime Transport). By 1938 he was also manager in the Trade section of the "Reich business board (Reichswirtschaftskammer).

Otto Ohlendorf Otto Ohlendorf Wikipedia

Ohlendorf joined the SD in 1936 and became an economic consultant of the organisation. Attached to the SS with the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer, by 1939, he had obtained the rank of SS-Standartenführer and was appointed as head of Amt III (SD-domestic branch), of the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA), a position he kept until 1945. In November 1944 he was promoted again to Gruppenführer.

Otto Ohlendorf Mug shot of Otto Ohlendorf an SS group leader member of

In June 1941, Reinhard Heydrich appointed Ohlendorf to be commander of Einsatzgruppe D which operated in southern Ukraine and Crimea. Ohlendorf's Einsatzgruppe was responsible for the 13 December 1941 massacre at Simferopol where at least 14,300 people, mostly Jews, were killed. Over 90,000 murders are attributed to Ohlendorf's command, who testified to this effect during his trial at Nuremberg.

Otto Ohlendorf HISTORY IN IMAGES Pictures Of War History WW2

He devoted only four years (1939–43) to full-time activity in the RSHA, for in 1943, in addition to his other jobs, he became a deputy director general in the Reich Ministry of economic affairs. He coordinated plans to rebuild the German economy after the war. Such planning for the post-war time was strictly forbidden, on one side. On the other side, Heinrich Himmler, who detested the state interventionist regime of Albert Speer as "totally bolshevik" and was himself hoping for a career in a militarily defeated Germany, protected the working group around Ohlendorf, Ludwig Erhard and other experts, who planned, e.g., how to introduce the new German currency Deutsche Mark. Ohlendorf himself spoke out for "active and courageous entrepreneurship", which was intended to replace bureaucratic state planning of the economy after the war.

Because of Ohlendorf's work in this field, petitions for leniency were filed after he was sentenced to death by hanging. These, however, were turned down by the Allies.

Nuremberg War Trials

Ohlendorf took part in Himmler's flight from Flensburg and was arrested with him near Lüneburg, where Himmler committed suicide.

During the Einsatzgruppen Trial, Ohlendorf was the chief defendant, and was also a key witness in the prosecution of other indicted war criminals. Ohlendorf's apparently reliable testimony was attributed to his distaste for the corruption in Nazi Germany and a stubborn commitment to duty. He expressed no remorse for his actions, telling prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz that the Jews of America would suffer for what the prosecutor had done, and seemed to have been more concerned about the moral strain on those carrying out the murders than those actually being murdered.

Otto Ohlendorf was convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during World War II. He was sentenced to death and hanged at the Landsberg Prison in Bavaria on 8 June 1951.

  • Ohlendorf appears at length in Jonathan Littell's docudrama Les Bienveillantes.
  • He was played by Christopher James in the 2006 British television docudrama Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial
  • He was portrayed by Nigel Hawthorne in the miniseries "Holocaust" (1978)
  • References

    Otto Ohlendorf Wikipedia

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