Karl Saur

Karl Otto Saur ( Dusseldorf , Germany , 16 of February of 1902 – Pullach , 28 of July of 1966 ) was an engineer and secretary with ministerial rank of the Todt Organization for the Ministry of Armament directed by Albert Speer and the last Minister of Defense Of the Third Reich. Saur was also one of the two recipients of the Knight Cross of the Cross of Merit award in 1944.


Karl Otto Saur was born in Düsseldorf in 1902, was trained as an engineer and was director of the steel company, August Thyssen-Hütte Co. until 1929.
He joined the NSDAP in 1931, was Gauleiter of Thuringia between 1931 and 1932 and in 1933 became assistant Fritz Todt with Franz Xaver Dorsch for the homonymous Organization of the Third Reich until 1942. That year , Todt died in a mysterious plane crash And Karl Saur happened to be assistant of the Minister of Armament and Ammunition. Albert Speer with the rank of Secretary of State. Saur was of a rather political and non-administrative tendency as Speer wished, and his contributions tended to satisfy hopes rather than realities in terms of armament production, but he became Hitler’s link with the German steel industry.

Karl Saur was closely related to the provision of slave labor for the various projects of the Todt Organization and was especially rigorous to the point of being indolent in achieving its objectives. Saur engaged the Ruhr basin’s steelworkers in the war machine in exchange for important benefits for these economic groups, as was the case with the Krupp family .

Saur issued the statistical reports of the Ministry to the Führer, often oversized to raise Hitler’s morale with regard to war-making production figures, thus gaining the Fuhrer’s esteem. 1 On October 5, 1943, he was granted the Knight’s Cross by order of Hitler.

Saur together with Franz Xaver Dorsch , who was an ally of Martin Bormann , were reluctant to lead Albert Speer in the Ministry of Armaments and together the doctor Karl Gebhardt made intrigues in the Ministry of Armaments in order to make him fall from the podium of confidence From Hitler to Albert Speer in 1944. 1 Karl Saur from 1944 onwards replaced Speer in the communications channel with Hitler, favoring a rarefied environment for Hitler’s arms minister. Speer called Saur an effective and diligent figure in subordinate positions; But an overly ambitious and unrealistic man whose reports isolated Hitler from the reality of the arms ministry. 1

On October 29, 1944, Karl Saur was awarded the Cross of the Knight of the Cross of Merit for his contributions to the civilian effort in Hitler’s war machine, paradoxically the award was imposed on him by Speer. 2

Karl Saur was considered in the testament of Hitler 20 of April of 1945 like Minister of Armaments of the Reich and was granted to him the Cross of Gentleman in Gold by its services.

Saur was arrested by the Americans who offered him immunity from charges 3 change contribute as a prosecution witness against the Steelers industrial cooperating with the Nazi regime and especially against Erhard Milch . For this reason, Saur was considered a traitor and was socially isolated in post-war Germany when he was denazized and released.

Saur died in Pullach , Bavaria in 1966 at age 64.


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c Albert Speer, His Struggle with Truth , Gitta Sereny-Vergara, 2006
  2. Back to top↑ SGM decorations
  3. Back to top↑ Documents of the Nuremberg Trials