Otto Lasch

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Otto Lasch
Born25 June 1893
Died29 April 1971 (1971-04-30) (aged 77)
Allegiance Nazi Germany
RankGeneral of the Infantry
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Otto Lasch (25 June 1893 – 29 April 1971) was a German general in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the LXIV Corps. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.


After World War 1, Lasch served in the Freikorps in the East Prussian city of Lyck.[1] He joined the Wehrmacht in 1935 and later took part in Operation Barbarossa, playing a pivotal role in capturing Riga in June 1941.[2] He rose to the rank of General of the Infantry[3][better source needed] and functioned as Commandant of Königsberg in East Prussia from November 1944 onward. As Fortress Commandant of Königsberg he was responsible for defending the city and maintaining order among the flood of refugees fleeing from the advancing Red Army.

Following heavy fighting and a three month siege of the city during the Battle of Königsberg by the 36-division-strong 3rd Byelorussian Front under Ivan Chernyakhovsky, Lasch disobeyed Hitler's orders and surrendered Königsberg to the Red Army on 9 April 1945. As a result of his surrender Hitler sentenced him in abstensia to death by hanging, and his family, in Denmark and Berlin at the time,[4][better source needed] was arrested.[5] Lasch went into Soviet captivity and was convicted as a war criminal in the Soviet Union and sentenced to twenty-five years in a corrective labor camp. He was not released until 1955.[6] Lasch died in Bonn in 1971.

Lasch authored So fiel Königsberg. Kampf und Untergang von Ostpreußens Hauptstadt, which was published in 1958. In 1965 he wrote Zuckerbrot und Peitsche about his years as a Soviet prisoner of war.

Awards and decorations[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Wieck (2003). A Childhood Under Hitler and Stalin: Memoirs of a "certified" Jew. Univ of Wisconsin Press. pp. 274–. ISBN 978-0-299-18544-2.
  2. ^ Andrej Angrick; Peter Klein (15 January 2012). The 'Final Solution' in Riga: Exploitation and Annihilation, 1941-1944. Berghahn Books. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-0-85745-601-4.
  3. ^ de:Otto Lasch
  4. ^ de:Otto Lasch
  5. ^ R. Loeffel (29 May 2012). Family Punishment in Nazi Germany: Sippenhaft, Terror and Myth. Springer. pp. 88–. ISBN 978-1-137-02183-0.
  6. ^ Andrej Angrick; Peter Klein (15 November 2009). The 'Final Solution' in Riga: Exploitation and Annihilation, 1941-1944. Berghahn Books. pp. 450–. ISBN 978-1-84545-608-5.
  7. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 13.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
Military offices
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Friedrich Bayer
Commander of 217. Infanterie-Division
September 27, 1942 - October 1, 1943
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Walter Poppe
Preceded by
Commander of LXIV. Armeekorps
August 5, 1944 - November 1, 1944
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Helmut Thumm