Heinz Röthke

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Heinz Röthke (born 19 January 1912 in Mürow – died 14 July 1966 in Wolfsburg) was a German lawyer and SS-Obersturmführer who, together with Theodor Dannecker, was one of the persons most responsible for the deportation of French Jews, which took place between 1940 and 1944, during the Holocaust.

Biography[edit]

Röthke studied theology, but decided to change studies, instead graduating with a doctorate of law from the University of Berlin. During the German occupation of France, he was initially in Brest, where he worked on the Kriegsverwaltungsrat ("war board"), before becoming the deputy to Theodor Dannecker in spring 1942 and succeeded Dannecker as the Chief of the Department of Jewish Affairs in France (in Paris) for the Eichmannreferat in July of the same year. Röthke served in this role until August 1944.[1] His assistants were Ernst Heinrichsohn and Horst Ahnert. His active role in the deportations of Jews to Auschwitz was teletyped on 5 November 1942 to the RSHA:

German: Am 5.11.1942 wurden in Paris 1100 Juden griechischer Staatsangehörigkeit festgenommen. Infolgedessen wird es notwendig, daß noch ein vierter Transport am Mittwoch, den 11.11.1942 nach Auschwitz abgeht.

English: On 5.11.1942, 1100 Greek Jews were arrested in Paris. Consequently, it is necessary that a fourth transport on Wednesday, 11.11.1942, go to Auschwitz.[2]

After the war, Röthke lived in Wolfsburg, where he worked unmolested as a legal counsel. In October 1961, he received a monthly pension from the Free State of Bavaria. Röthke died in July 1966 in Wolfsburg. According to Serge Klarsfeld, Röthke was convicted in 1945 in France and sentenced to death in absentia.[3][4]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007. ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8.
  • Bernhard Brunner: Der Frankreich-Komplex: die nationalsozialistischen Verbrechen in Frankreich und die Justiz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 9783892446934
  • Israel Gutman (Hrsg.): Enzyklopädie des Holocaust - Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden, Piper Verlag, München/Zürich 1998, 3 Bände, ISBN 3-492-22700-7
  • Serge Klarsfeld: Vichy – Auschwitz, Aus dem Franz. von Ahlrich Meyer, Nördlingen 1989; Neuauflage 2007 bei WBG, Darmstadt, ISBN 978-3-534-20793-0
  • Ahlrich Meyer: Täter im Verhör. Die „Endlösung der Judenfrage“ in Frankreich 1940–1944, WBG, Darmstadt 2005, ISBN 3-534-17564-6.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Serge Klarsfeld. French Children of the Holocaust. New York University Press, 1996, p. 1,823.
  2. ^ Quoted from Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich, Fischer Taschenbuch 2005, p. 504.
  3. ^ Short Biography on Heinz Röthke by Serge Klarsfeld: Vichy – Auschwitz, p. 597f
  4. ^ This article incorporates information from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia