Max Koegel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Otto Max Koegel
SS-Untersturmführer Max Koegel
Born(1895-10-16)16 October 1895
Füssen, Kingdom of Bavaria
Died27 June 1946(1946-06-27) (aged 50)
Schwabach, West Germany
Allegiance German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchFlag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service1916–1945
RankSS-Obersturmbannführer Collar Rank.svg SS-Obersturmbannführer
Commands heldLichtenburg concentration camp
Ravensbrück concentration camp
Majdanek concentration camp
Flossenbürg concentration camp
AwardsWorld War I Iron Cross 2. Class
War Merit Cross with Swords
SS-Honour Ring
Cross of Honor

Otto Max Koegel (16 October 1895 – 27 June 1946) was a Nazi officer who served as a commander at Lichtenburg, Ravensbrück, Majdanek and Flossenbürg concentration camps.


Max Koegel was born on 16 October 1895 in Füssen, in the Kingdom of Bavaria. He was the fourth son of a carpenter who worked at a local furniture factory. Shortly before his sixth birthday, Koegel's mother died from complications during childbirth. In 1907, his father died and Max was sent to live with a family at a nearby farm. He also had to leave school and began training as a shepherd and later worked as a mountain guide.

When the First World War broke out, Koegel volunteered to join the Bavarian infantry. He served in the military until 12 January 1919 and reached the rank of corporal. He was wounded three times, including once during the Battle of Verdun, and received the Iron Cross second class.

After the war, Koegel returned to Bavaria and worked as a customs clerk in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In 1920, he left the civil service and opened a souvenir shop. However, four years later he filed for bankruptcy after he was charged with fraud, for which he received a suspended sentence. He went on to travel for work in Switzerland and Austria before returning to Füssen, where he obtained a job in his father's old furniture factory. At that time, he joined the Völkischer Bund and Bund Oberland, both extreme nationalist and anti-Semitic organisations. In 1929, Koegel's eight-year-old son died from measles and a short time later, his marriage of ten years ended in divorce. Koegel became a member of the NSDAP (#1179781) on 2 May 1932, and of the SS (#37644) in June 1932.

SS service[edit]

Koegel became adjutant to the Dachau concentration camp commander in 1937. From 1938 to 1942 he was first "Direktor" (managing director) and then commander of the labour camp for women in Lichtenburg at Ravensbrück at the rank of Sturmbannführer (Major). In 1942 he was commander of the extermination camp Majdanek and was involved in the installation of gas chambers at this site. From 1943 to 1945 he was commander at Flossenbürg concentration camp.[1]

After the war, Koegel went on the run and was not arrested until June 1946 in Schwabach, near Nuremberg. He committed suicide by hanging in his prison cell only a day later on 27 June 1946.


  1. ^ Chris Webb, Carmelo Lisciotto (2007). "Majdanek Concentration Camp (a.k.a. KL Lublin)". H.E.A.R.T, Holocaust Research Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  • Silke Schäfer: Zum Selbstverständnis von Frauen im Konzentrationslager. Das Lager Ravensbrück Dissertation, TU Berlin 2002.
  • Tom Segev: Die Soldaten des Bösen. Zur Geschichte der KZ-Kommandanten. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-499-18826-0.
  • Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005. ISBN 3-596-16048-0.
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Sturmbannführer Alexander Piorkowski
Deputy director of Lichtenburg concentration camp
September 1938 – May 1939
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Commandant of Ravensbrück concentration camp
May 1939 – August 1942
Succeeded by
SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Suhren
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Karl-Otto Koch
Commandant of Majdanek concentration camp
August 1942 – November 1942
Succeeded by
SS-Obersturmführer Hermann Florstedt
Preceded by
SS-Sturmbannführer Egon Zill
Commandant of Flossenbürg concentration camp
April 1943 – April 1945
Succeeded by