Otto Rasch

Emil Otto Rasch ( Friedrichsruh , Germany , 7 of December of 1891 – 1 of November of 1948 ) was a Brigadeführer of the SS and Nazi war criminal who led theEinsatzgruppe C , operating in the north and center of Ukraine, the occupied East, territories until October 1941 , during the Holocaust Jew in World War II .


Rasch was born in Friedrichsruh , North Germany. With a double doctorate in Law and Political Economy he was known, according to the German academic tradition, as “Dr. Dr Rasch”.

He worked for the Imperial Navy during World War I , and reached the rank of lieutenant, receiving the Iron Cross in his second degree for merit of war.

He obtained work as a lawyer in Leipzig and on 1 October 1931 he enlisted in the German National Socialist Party NSDAP , with file number 620976. Two years later, on March 10, 1933, he joined the SS with the number 107100 After the seizure of power of the Nazis was mayor of Radeberg and Wittenberg .

In 1938 he was appointed head of the Gestapo of Frankfurt.

With the approval of Heydrich , he organized the creation of the Soldau concentration camp between January and February 1940, where political prisoners could be executed in secret.

From June to October 1941 he commanded Eisatzgruppe C, responsible for the Babi Yar massacre , where 33,771 Jews from Kiev and 60,000 Gypsies and commissioners of the Russian NKVD service were killed, later shot. For this he received the Second Class Iron Cross . Rasch was widowed in 1944 .

For these crimes he was captured at the end of the war in 1945 and formally charged at the Einsatzgruppen trial ; But in February 1948 he was declared unable to stand trial due to Parkinson’s disease , for which he died on 1 November of that year.

Rasch spoke fluent English, French and Italian in addition to his German native.


It appears in the book The benevolent ( Les Bienveillantes ) by Jonathan Littell .