Baron Otto Gustav von Wächter (born July 8, 1901 in Vienna, Austria – died July 14, 1949 in Rome, Italy), was an Austrian lawyer and Nazi politician and administrative officer. During World War II, he was head of the Civil Administration in the Kraków and Galicia districts in the General Government (part of occupied Poland), before being appointed as head of the German Military Administration in Fascist Italy. For the last two months of the war he was responsible for the non-German forces at the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) in Berlin. Although he finished his career with the honorary rank of an SS-Gruppenführer (lieutenant general), his duties were confined to an administrative role and he was never part of the SS and Police forces in any of the occupied territories.
- 1 1901 – 1934 Early life and Nazi activist
- 2 1938 - 1939 State Secretary in the Nazi government in Vienna
- 3 1939 - 1941 Governor of Krakow, Poland
- 4 1942 - 1944 Governor of Galicia, Ukraine
- 5 1944 – 1945 End of the war
- 6 1945 - 1949 Post-war and death in Rome
- 7 Wächter and the Holocaust
- 8 Wächter and the Ukrainian Division
- 9 Wächter and his Legacy
- 10 Notes
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
1901 – 1934 Early life and Nazi activist
Otto Wächter was the third child and only son of Martha Pfob, daughter of the owner of the Graben Hotel in Vienna Centre. His father Joseph Freiherr von Wächter, was born in northern Bohemia and served in the Austro-Hungarian Army. In the last year of the First World War, Joseph Freiherr von Wächter was decorated with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Maria Theresia, that earned him the title of Freiherr (Baron). In 1922, after the first Austrian Republic was established, he was twice nominated as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of Monsignor Dr. Ignaz Seipel.
Otto Wächter spent his first years in Vienna before the family moved to Trieste then, Austria, in 1908. For the duration of World War I he lived in southern Bohemia, taking his A-levels in 1919 at the German High School in Budweis - České Budějovice, where everyday life was dominated by the national differences between Germans and Czechs.
The family moved to Vienna where Wächter studied law and joined a number of diverse national and sporting organizations. In 1923 he joined the SA and became Austrian Champion in M8+ (eight-man rowing team). He received his doctorate in 1925 and in 1929 began practicing as a lawyer. His clients included indicted members of the Nazi Party, which he joined on 24 October 1930(party No: 301093).
On 11 September 1932, Wächter married Charlotte Bleckmann (born 20 October 1908) daughter of a Styrian steel magnate. Wächter continued to work for the Nazi Party in Vienna as organizer and defender of accused Nazis in court and subsequently played a leading role in the organization of the failed July Putsch of 25 July 1934, which eventually led to the assassination of Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss by his former Vice-chancellor Major Emil Fey. After the failed coup, Wächter fled to Nazi Germany. He entered the SS on 1 January 1932, (SS No: 235368) and completed his German military service in Freising, Bavaria. In 1935 his Austrian citizenship was denied and German citizenship conferred upon him whilst he completed his academic training and education as a lawyer in Germany. In 1937 he started working in the relief organization of Austrian NS-refugees in Berlin.
1938 - 1939 State Secretary in the Nazi government in Vienna
Following the “Anschluss”, (the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany) on 12 March 1938, Wächter held the post of state commissar in the "Liquidation Ministry" under the Nazi governor of Austria Seyss-Inquart from 24 May 1938 to 30 April 1939. The government body he headed known as the "Wächter-Kommission", and responsible for the dismissal and/or compulsory retirement of all Austrian officials who did not conform with the Nazi regime. Because of the fact that the former Austrian bureaucracy was strictly Anti-Semitic, only a small fraction of the officials were actually dismissed.
1939 - 1941 Governor of Krakow, Poland
Following the defeat of Poland in September 1939, the Germans established a puppet state known as the General Government which was ruled over by Hans Frank. Until 1940 his deputy was the Austrian Arthur Seyss-Inquart, who took Wächter with him to the General Government where he was appointed as Governor of the administrative district of Kraków.
From the outset Wächter proved to be an effective administrator. He also understood that the policies of racial discrimination, brute force and coercion deprived Germany of substantial material assistance and alienated large sections of the local population. He preferred instead to draw upon the experiences of the Austrian Government up to the First World War. In this sense he chose the two crowns of Galicia in the coat-of-arms issued for the nobility of his father. As Governor of Kraków he was under the direct and local supervision of Frank and had to face the fanatical actions of the local SS and police forces. The arrest on 6 November 1939 of the entire staff of professors and academics of the Jagiellonian University and other academic institutions and their subsequent deportation to Sachsenhausen concentration camp called ‘Sonderaktion Krakau’ (special action Kraków), resulted in widespread condemnation worldwide. Wächter publicly criticised the action which took place without his knowledge and he did try to free the academics. Nevertheless because of the “Special action Krakow” he was indicted by exiled Poles in New York on 16 October 1942.
Although he exercised no direct executive authority in police or security matters, in his capacity as Governor an execution warrant for 52 Poles in Bochnia was issued 18 December 1939 under Wächter’s signature, as reprisal for killing two Viennese police officers.
Likewise in December 1940, a decree organizing the expulsion of the city’s 68,000 Jews also appeared under his name as did a further decree ordering the remaining 15,000 Jews to move into the newly created Ghetto ("Jewish Residence Zone") issued on 3 March 1941.
Wächter, unlike his wife who was often in the company of the Franks, tried to keep his distance from them. The family lived in a pseudo Romanesque villa in Przegorzaly on a steep slope above the Vistula outside Kraków, which belonged to Professor Szyszko-Bohusz, head of the restoration measures of the Royal Wawel. The atmosphere of the confiscated building did not meet with the approval of Wächter’s wife, so she built a dominant bent building next to it which she called “Wartenberg Castle”, and which is regarded as “the best Nazi architecture east of the Odra River.” Frustrated with the severe limitations of his role, Wächter was about to resign from his office in Kraków, when he received a new posting in Galicia.
1942 - 1944 Governor of Galicia, Ukraine
Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 21 June 1941, the Soviet-occupied eastern part of the former Austrian province of Galicia was attached to the General Government as the District of Galicia. Its capital city variously known as L’viv (Ukrainian), L’wow (Polish) and Lemberg (German) had been - after Vienna, Budapest and Prague - the largest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where Poles, Ukrainians and Jews had lived together for centuries. The first German governor was Karl Lasch, an intimate friend of Frank, who was later arrested and shot for extensive black market activities on orders of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Wächter was chosen by Hitler “as the best man on the spot” and inserted as Governor on 22 January 1943. His first official visit was to the Greek Catholic Metropolit Andrij Aleksander Szeptycki (Sheptytsky), a very influential and widely respected personality. With his assistance Wächter endeavored to promote a greater degree of co-operation among the occupying Germans and the various ethnic elements in the district of Galicia. Consequently he immediately found himself in conflict with SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Wil¬helm Krüger, the Reichsführer’s representative in the Generalgovernment and executor of his planned large scale resettlement programs. At the government meeting in Kraków on 17 February, Wächter publicly opposed plans to "germanize" the city of Lemberg, which would have resulted in the expulsion of its entire population stating: “A German colonization of the East during the war would bring about the collapse of production.” Wächter’s continued opposition to Krüger policies led to a number of open confrontations. To avoid further altercations, Himmler offered Wächter the chance to relocate to Vienna, which he declined. As Governor of Galicia, while he remained a firm believer in the principle 'Germany first', his administration often went further to accommodate the wishes of the population than it was required to. He was frequently obliged to use his influence and connections by first circumventing General Governor Hans Frank and by exploiting the strained relations between Frank and Himmler to pursue his own policies. Wächter consciously selected men with liberal views for the key posts in his administration, notably his department heads Otto Bauer and Dr. Ludwig Losacker, with whom he consulted before deciding all important issues. In late 1942 Wächter visited the “Reichskommissariat Ukraine” (eastern Ukraine) to witness first hand the effect of the implementation of the Nazi ‘Untermensch’ (subhuman) philosophy by Gauleiter Erich Koch and his policies of repression and subjugation. On his return in December 1942 he sent a secret ten page letter to Martin Bormann in the Führerhauptquartier (Führer Headquarters) in Berlin, criticizing the serious mistakes made in the handling of the Ukrainians and their far reaching ramifications with regard the overall conduct of the German policy in the east during the war against the Soviet Union.
Whilst Governor of Galicia, he established an Waffen-SS Division recruited from the Ukrainian population of Galicia, under German supervision, to fight against the hated Bolsheviks. The formation of the unit was approved by Himmler after the disastrous German defeat at Stalingrad. Wächter submitted the proposal to Himmler on 1 March 1943 and on 28 April 28 the SS Division 'Galicia' was publicly inaugurated.
1944 – 1945 End of the war
With the loss of the entire District of Galicia on 26 July 1944 to the advancing Red Army, Wächter sought to be released from his administrative obligations in the General Government so that he could take up a position in the Waffen-SS. In response Himmler agreed to order his release on the basis that he assume a new commission as "Chief of the Military Administration to the Plenipotentiary General of the German Wehrmacht in Italy headed by SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Wolff. As a talented and progressive administrator who was fluent in Italin, Himmler felt Wächter would be "of immense use in this equally interesting and difficult field." On assuming his new post “Wächter relocated to Gardone on the Lago di Garda.
As the German situation at the front worsened day by day, in a vain attempt to regain the military initiative the Nazi authorities became increasingly desperate and sought to exploit the Eastern European Anti-Bolshevik movements. In so doing, on January 30, 1945 Himmler appointed Wächter as subsidiary head of the Group D of the RSHA in Berlin, which sought to utilize and combine the Russian Liberation Army of General Andrey Vlasov and the newly formed ‘Ukrainian National Army’ which included the 1st Ukrainian Division (formerly the 14 Galician Division), the creation of which he had instigated.
Vlasov’s 'federalist' concept which required the subordination of all the other former Soviet nationalities to his overall command, proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for Wächter who was unable to bring about the unification of Vlasov and the separatist Ukrainians led by General Pavlo Shandruk. Nevertheless, Wächter redoubled his efforts with the Ukrainians whom he rejoined on April 7, 1945 in Carinthia. On May 8, 1945 Wächter informed General Shandruk of the unconditional surrender of the forces of the German Reich with the following words: "Now, General, you are the central figure in the action of saving the Division, and possibly of all of us who are with you." In Zell am See, amidst the German collapse, his wife burnt the crate full of documents he had methodically collected to justify his deeds, which should demonstrate “that he had done everything to help so many people”.
1945 - 1949 Post-war and death in Rome
Following German capitulation, Wächter remained with the staff of the 1st Division of the Ukrainian National Army until 10 May. He left them near Tamsweg in the Salzburg mountain district to avoid being taken prisoner and inevitable extradition to the Soviet Union. Together with a young member of the 24th Waffen-Gebirgs-(Karstjäger-) Division of the Waffen-SS, he successfully hid for 4 years, sustained by his wife who supplied both men with food and equipment from secret pick-up points. In the spring of 1949 Wächter crossed the border to South Tyrol in Italy were he met his wife and his elder children for the last time. On 24 April 1949 he arrived in Rome, were through the Austrian Bishop Dr. Alois Hudal, rector of the Teutonic College of Santa Maria dell'Anima, he found rudimentary accommodation in the clerical institute “Vigna Pia” on the southern outskirts of Rome under the name of Alfredo Reinhardt. In June he took part in an Italian movie playing the part of a dumb-actor and was in the process of collecting information about a flight to South America.
As a result of his daily morning swim in the polluted Tiber he contracted jaundice on 3 July. On 9 July, he was taken to the hospital “Santo Spirito” near the Vatican were Wächter revealed his true identity. He received the last Catholic rites from Bishop Hudal in the evening of 13 July and died peacefully in the early hours of 14 July 1949.
Wächter and the Holocaust
Largely as consequence of work undertaken by the famous Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, Baron Otto von Wächter has been portrayed as one of the executers of the Holocaust and one of the leaders of the Jewish extermination campaign in the General Government. Wiesenthal claims to personally have seen Wächter on 15 August 1942 inside the ghetto of Lemberg, rounding up four thousand elderly Jews, including his own mother, who were subsequently driven to the railway station to be sent to death camps. Unfortunately, in pursuit of his work in prosecuting former Nazi’s, Wiesenthal’s credibility as a reliable investigator has been discredited in some cases. In much the same way, Wiesenthal’s assertion that Wächter was present in Lemberg on the day in question is refuted by evidence that on this date Wächter was in Kraków. The man whom Wiesenthal may have seen was SS-Gruppenführer Fritz Katzmann, the higher SS and Police Leader in the District of Galicia, holding the same rank as SS-Brigadeführer as Wächter.
Wächter held the purely honorary rank of SS-Gruppenführer, conferred on him by the Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler to ensure his subservience. Recognising the inherent dangers in pursuing a more ‘humane’ course, Wächter attempted to circumvent his compromised circumstances by sacrificing form for substance. For example, while he wore his SS uniform almost permanently as a public demonstration of his loyalty to the Nazi regime, by so doing it served to conceal his personal agenda.
The dual German administration in the General Government meant from the outset, that he did not control the SS and Police matters which in Lemberg were within the sole remit of Katzmann. As police and security responsibilities were subsequently enlarged the possibility of Wächter influencing matters outside his responsibilities became successively smaller and finally non-existent. Wächters most radical remark is documented during the government session on 20 October 1941 in Kraków, where he camouflaged his attempt to alleviate the conditions for the Jews. The protocol states: "With regard to the solution found in the Krakow Jewish residential districts, the governor mentioned that according to the view that would have been followed here in Krakow, the Jew is to be forced to help himself." Yet the protocol ends as follows: "The governor points out, however, that ultimately a radical solution of the Jewish question is inevitable and that no consideration of any kind then - as certain artisan’s interests - could be taken“. This has been interpreted as proof that Wächter decided on the extermination of Jews by gassing, however, it is noted that he did not have control of influencing the fate of the Jews, which was a “Geheime Reichssache” – Secret state matter –and as such under the direct orders of Heinrich Himmler.
Wächter and the Ukrainian Division
As Governor of Lemberg.Wächter was finally able to realize his political ambitions. Even though he belonged to the Civil Government, he succeeded in establishing a native military force which he wanted to call the “Ukrainian Division” from the beginning. This was forbidden by Himmler who preferred to employ the term ‘Galician’, and was only eventually realized on 12 November 1944, due to Wächter’s efforts in his capacity as subsidiary head of the Group D of the RSHA in Berlin. Wächter worked on behalf of the Ukrainians and successfully secured the appointment of General Pavlo Shandruk, a former officer in the Polish Army, as commander of the Ukrainian National Army. From this point on he did his utmost to save this unit from extradition to the Soviet Union which was expressively demanded by Stalin at the Yalta Conference in February 1945.
The failure of the western allies to surrender the only Eastern multinational military force after the war in spite of pressure of the Soviet Union, can be directly attributed to Wächter’s influence which he exerted by secretly contacting General Wladislaw Anders of the Polish II Corps under western allied command and the intervention of the Ukrainian Archbishop Ivan Bucko of the Vatican.
The rescue of this division had already been planned in advance of a cessation of hostilities. The influence of this action affected the eight thousand or so soldiers held in the British internment camp at Rimini, Italy, and whose names appeared in the so-called “Rimini List” and represented a general attitude of the Western Ukrainians.
Wächter and his Legacy
Whilst he was in office, Wächter remained a feared individual by the Soviet government because of the success of his policies directly threatened Communist rule in Eastern Europe. With his contacts he would have been of value for the Western Allies already in 1949, when the Cold War between the world powers was in its infancy, however, he was too proud to ingratiate himself to his former enemies. Nevertheless, his activities have led to his name being respected in today’s Western Ukraine. As a distinguished member of the Nazi regime, Wächter’s vicissitudes had an impact on the fate of his family. His wife Charlotte, who became his most ardent supporter and played a dominant role in the family from the beginning, managed to start a successful career in international youth organizations.
Increasingly burdened with the past, in the 1960s she became a devout Catholic, something which was to have a profound effect on the whole progeny: Out of her twenty two grandchildren four started their professional life as catholic nuns or monks, and others joined militant religious groups.
The fate of Otto Wächter has also played a decisive role in the life of his second son Horst, (born 1939), who for the last years has been actively engaged in researching his late father’s life and activities.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (July 2010)|
- Hitherto the date of Wächter’s decease has been incorrectly cited in all publications, due to an imposing headline which appeared on September 2, 1949 in Rome and Vienna, one and a half months after his death.
- The pair eventually had six children with two sons: Otto Richard, 1933 - 1997 and Horst Arthur, born in 1939.
- This was particularly apparent in the public sector where the elimination of the Jews had already started in the First Austrian Republic. In 1933, among the 160,696 civil servants just 682 belonged to the mosaic religion: Maderegger p. 240 cit. after Irene Harand, So oder so? Die Wahrheit über den Antisemitismus (One way or another? The truth about Antisemitism), Wien 1933.
- Letter to his father, Krakow December 9, 1939. – Archive Wächter
- The action was disparagingly referred to by him as “smut”, Letter to his wife 17 December 1939 – Archive Wächter
- This is the only time Wächter is named in the Nuremberg Trial Proceedings: Vol. 12, 112th day (April 23, 1946), p. 106. The circumstances of the execution naming Wächters intervention is described by General Glaise von Horstenau in Broucek, p. 445
- Schenk p.60: “She interfered constantly in construction and plundered palaces in Warsaw and Krakow museums”. The harsh judgement of Professor Szyszko-Bohusz on Baroness Wächter is to understand on the background of his employment in the Wawel during the whole period of the war.
- Wächter Archive, memories Charlotte Wächter.
- Melitta Wiedemann, Wächter Archive sound recording Charlotte Wächter
- In a five page letter on February 24, 1942 Krüger reminded Wächter him after emphasizing that he was senior in both age and rank, that his pronouncements on the resettlement issue were a direct confrontation to the policies of Himmler: In a five page letter to Wächter, after emphasising that he was Wächters' senior in both age and rank, Krüger reminded him that his recent public pronouncements on this issue were a direct confrontation to the policies of the Reichsführer-SS: “Even though you wear the uniform of an SS Brigade Leader, in performing the tasks provided to you, you have never guided that you are members of the SS.”
- Losacker p. 127. Losacker was dismissed of all his functions on 10 October 1943 for defending Poles and put into an SS penal squad on the Italian front; Bauer was shot by the Soviet agent Nikolai Iwanowitsch Kusnezow on February 9, 1944 in place of Wächter after W. had been warned by the OUN – Oranization of Ukrainian Nationalists underground organisation UPA, calling him “a very decent human“ (written in italics in the original): letter September 28, 1943 in Archive Wächter.
- Despite mandatory enrolment requirements, on 30 October 1943 the Supplementary Office of the Waffen-SS produced the following breakdown for the registrations: Volunteered / Registered 80.000; called up for service 19.047; actually reported 13.245
- Letter: 28 Juli, 1944 dzt Kracow, Gouverneur des Distrikits Galizien, An den Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei Reichsinnenminister Heinrich Himmler, NA T175, roll 32.
- Wolf managed to shorten the war in Italy by six days through secret negotiations with Allan F. Dulles, head of the American secret services, in Switzerland.
- Telex Heinrich Himmler, August 1, 1944, Melnyk to Battle p, 175
- He heavily criticised SS-Gruppenführer Odilo Globocnik, who was one of the most brutal SS-leaders in the General Government. After being also sent to Italy he continued his extermination programs at Trieste. “G. who variously rages around here too.” Letter September 9, 1944: Archive Wächter.
- Germanic and Volunteer Central Office in the RSHA. He arrived in Berlin on February 26, 1945.
- The biggest hindrance came from the German side: Wächter visited Vlasov in the prison right after he had fallen into German hands on July 22, 1942, and was consequently warned by Austrian-born SS-General Kaltenbrunner, chief of the Reich Main Security Office, that he had to arrest him if he continued his activities in favour of Vlasov. Archive Wächter
- Shandruk: 28. The 1st Ukrainian Division.
- Shandruk: 29. The Surrender
- Archive Wächter, memory files Charlotte Wächter. Provisional list of individual Poles and Jews saved by him: in Archive Wächter.
- In Austria Wächter used other identities.
- Archive Wächter, bequest Otto Wächter
- Simon Wiesenthal, The Murderers Among Us, McGraw-Hill, New York,1967
- For example Wiesenthal’s well documented accusations against Frank Walus whom he mistakenly identified as the “butcher of Kielce.” It was subsequently proved in court that Walus had spent the war years as a farm laborer in Germany. "The Nazi Who Never Was," The Washington Post, May 10, 1981, pp. B5, B8. See also "The Persecution of Frank Walus," Reader (Chicago), Jan. 23, 1981, pp. 19, 30
- From August 14 to 16 1942 Wächter attended the NSDAP Party Congress in Krakow; see
- Losacker p. 127: Wächter’s outbursts of anger over Katzmann.
- Excerpt also in Präg, October 10, 1942
- Further examples in: http://operamundi.uol.com.br/conteudo/babel/31462/the+evaluation+of+my+father+otto+wachter.shtml
- See last passage in Shandruks memories and Archive Wächter
- Archive Wächter. For the fate of further Ukrainian soldiers see:
- Documents in Archive Wächter.
- Names of personalities in Lemberg in 2006 in Archive Wächter
- Wächter was extremely conscious of his family, each of his hundreds of letters to his wife ends with questions and greetings to his children.
- Christian Blankenstein, Die Merk-würdigen von Gestern und ihre Spuren im Heute pp. 176–192: Alois Hudal der Bischof und die Nazis, Nordhausen 2011
- Peter Broucek (ed.): Ein General im Zwielicht. Die Erinnerungen Edmund Glaise von Horstenau. Band 2. Böhlau Verlag, Wien - Köln - Graz 1983
- Hans Frank, Das Diensttagebuch des deutschen Generalgouverneurs in Polen 1939–1945 Microfilm Federal Archive Berlin – Munich.
- Towiah Friedman (ed.): Die zwei illegale (sic!) Nazis Dr. Otto Wächter als Gouverneur in Krakau und Lemberg und Rudolf Pavlu als Stadthauptmann in Krakau waren beteiligt an der Ermordung der Juden in Krakau und Lemberg, - Collection of documents, Haifa 2002
- Wolf-Dietrich Heike: Sie wollten die Freiheit. Die Geschichte der ukrainischen Division 1943 - 1945, Podzun-Verlag, Dorheim/H. 1974
- Ludwig Losacker: Von der Schwierigkeit ein Deutscher zu sein - Erinnerungen an das besetzte Polen (The difficulty of being a German - Memories of occupied Poland), ca. 1980 German Federal Archive Koblenz, copy Archives Wächter
- Michael James Melnyk: To Battle, The Formation and History of the 14th Galician Waffen-SS Division, Helion and Co, Solihull England 2002
- Sylvia Maderegger, die Juden im österreichischen Ständestaat 1934-1938, Vienna 1973
- Dieter Pohl: Nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien, 1941-1944. Oldenbourg, München 1997, ISBN 3-486-56233-9.
- Werner Präg & Wolfgang Jacobmeyer (ed.): Das Diensttagebuch des deutschen Generalgouverneurs in Polen 1939–1945, Stuttgart 1975
- Thomas Sandkühler: Endlösung in Galizien. Der Judenmord in Ostpolen und die Rettungsinitiativen von Berthold Beitz 1941-1944. Dietz Nachfolger, Bonn 1996, ISBN 3-8012-5022-9.
- Dieter Schenk: Krakauer Burg – Die Machtzentrale des Generalgouverneurs Hans Frank 1939-1945. Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2010
- Andreas Schulz/Dieter Zinke: Die Generale der Waffen-SS und der Polizei Band 6, pp. 77 – 127: Dr.iur. Karl Otto Gustav (Freiherr von) Wächter, Bissendorf 2012
- Pavlo Shandruk: Arms of Valor. Trenton, New Jersey, 1959: http://lib.galiciadivision.com/shandruk/index.html
- Hansjakob Stehle: Der Lemberger Metropolit Septyckyj und die nationalsozia¬listi¬sche Politik in der Ukraine. In. Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 34 (1986) S. 407-425
- Archive Wächter, Hagenberg Castle, Lower Austria: Bequest Charlotte von Wächter and recollections Horst von Wächter, unpublished
- Wolfgang Graf, Österreichische SS-Generäle, pp. 209–214, Klagenfurt 2012
- Ernst Klee, Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2003.
- Peter Witte, "Two Decisions Concerning the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question'", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 9/3, London/Jersusalem, 1995.
- Nikolaus von Preradovich, Österreichs höhere SS-Führer, Berg am See, 1987.
- Simon Wiesenthal, The Murderers Among Us, McGraw-Hill, New York,1967
- Basil Dmytryshyn, "The Nazis and the SS Volunteer Division 'Galicia'", American Slavic and East European Review, Vol. 15, No. 1. (Feb., 1956), pp. 1–10.
Philippe Sands, My father the good Nazi, article in Financial Times London May 3, 2013 http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/7d6214f2-b2be-11e2-8540-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2SGCeeChV Roberto Almeida, interview with Horst von Wächter in OPERA MUNDI São Paulo September 19–21, 2013, with evaluation of the latter September 26, 2013