Otto Hofmann

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For the pipe organ builder, see Otto Jürgen Hofmann. For the German painter, see Otto Hofmann (artist).
Otto Hofmann
Otto Hofmann.jpg
Representative of the Race and Settlement Main Office To
The Wannsee Conference
In office
20 January 1942 – 6 March 1942
(Two Meetings)
Personal details
Born 16 March 1896
Died 31 December 1982(1982-12-31) (aged 86)
Bad Mergentheim
Military service
Allegiance  German Empire
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch SS 1931–45
RuSHA 1940–43
Years of service 1914-1919, 1933–45
Rank Obergruppenführer
Commands Chief of the RuSHA
Battles/wars World War I

Otto Hofmann (16 March 1896 – 31 December 1982) was an SS-Obergruppenführer and director of Nazi Germany's "Race and Settlement Main Office". Although Hofmann was sentenced to 25 years in prison for war crimes in 1948, he was pardoned on 7 April 1954. Thereafter, he worked as a clerk until his death in 1982.


Otto Hofmann, 1942

Hofmann was born in Innsbruck, Tyrol. Hofmann, the son of a merchant, in August 1914 volunteered for service in the First World War. In March 1917, he was promoted to lieutenant. In June 1917, he was taken prisoner by the Russians. However, Hofmann escaped from captivity and returned to Germany. Hofmann completed his pilot training before he was released in 1919 to civilian life. After short-term operation in a Freikorps, he trained as a wine salesman and was active from 1920 to 1925 in wine wholesale. He then started his own business as a wine representative.

In April 1923, Hofmann joined the Nazi Party (member: 145,729) and in April 1931 he joined the SS (member: 7,646). From 1933 forward, he worked full-time as an SS officer. On 29 March 1933, he ran unsuccessfully in the general election.

In 1931, the SS Race and Settlement Main Office (SS-Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt) or (RuSHA), was created by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and SS-Obergruppenführer Richard Walther Darré. In 1939, Hofmann was co-editor of the journal "Biologist". From July 1940 to April 1943, he was chief of the RuSHA. In this capacity, he participated in the "Germanisation" of the captured territory of Poland and in the Soviet Union. This involved the resettling of Germans in the Nazi occupied Eastern territories and ejecting the native families from those lands. He was responsible for conducting the official Race test on the population of the occupied territories for racial selection. The office was also responsible for the abduction of Polish children to Germany and for the SS - kin care. He was present at the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942, for the so-called "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". In April 1943, Hofmann was transferred to Stuttgart as SS and Police Leader for South-Western Germany (Württemberg, Baden and Alsace). He was the commander of the prisoners in the local Military District Villsmania.

Post war[edit]

After the war, Hofmann was put on trial in March 1948 for his actions as chief of the Race and Settlement Main Office. He was charged with Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes. Although in 1948 Hofmann was sentenced to 25 years in prison for war crimes, on 7 April 1954 he was pardoned and released from Landsberg Prison. Thereafter, he was a clerk in Württemberg until he died in Bad Mergentheim on 31 December 1982.

Fictionalized portrayals[edit]

In the 2001 HBO film Conspiracy, he was played by Nicholas Woodeson.

See also[edit]