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Odilo Globocnik

Last Update 26 March 2006

Odilo Globocnik was born in Trieste in 1904, to Austrian – Slovene parents. His father was a Habsburg cavalry lieutenant, later a senior postal official. His mother was born in Hungary. Globocnik could claim partial Germany ancestry, since both grandmothers bore German names. The family moved from Trieste (Italy) to Klagenfurt (Austria). There is much conflicting evidence as to when this precisely took place, but according to a 1935 report of the Prefecture of Trieste, the move occured in 1923.
Globocnik stated on his SS personal file, that he was a master builder, and had joined the Nazi party in Austria in 1931, party number 442,939. On 1 September 1934 he joined the SS (SS number 292,776).
His illegal pro-Nazi activities in Austria led to several spells in prison; his role in the murder of the Jewish jeweller Norbert Futterweit in June 1933 is open to speculation (Futterweit was killed in a Nazi bomb attempt in Wien).

Before the annexation of Austria in 1938, Globocnik was active in the formation of Nazi cells in the provinces and in 1936 he was appointed provincial party leader in Kärnten (Carinthia). He played a leading role in the annexation, receiving personal instructions from Hitler at the Reichskanzlei (Reich's Chancellery) in Berlin.
On 28 May 1938 Globocnik became Gauleiter of Wien. He lost this position in the end of January 1939, due to financial irregularities, including accounts set up for the money obtained from Jewish sources, and mis-management of party funds. Pardoned by Heinrich Himmler he was appointed SS- und Polizeiführer für den Distrikt Lublin on 9 November 1939, and promoted from SS-Oberführer to SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor. Globocnik moved into a villa on Wieniawska Street in Lublin and enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle, as befitting the most powerful man in town. He surrounded himself with a number of fellow Austrians from Carinthia, to carry out Himmler's orders regarding Aktion Reinhard.
Not only did Aktion Reinhard kill about 1,7-1,8 million Jews, the action also resulted in the plunder of assets, valuables, and removable property, which all passed through Lublin, amounting to 178 million Reichsmark.
As well as being responsible for SS and police matters in Lublin, Himmler appointed Globocnik as his "Plenipotentiary for the Construction of SS- and Police bases in the former Soviet areas" in July 1941. His base commanders were: Georg Michalsen (for Riga), Kurt Classen (Bialystok and Minsk), Hermann Höfle (Mogilew), Richard Thomalla (Starakonstantinow, Zwiahel and Kiev). Hermann Dolp was also prominent in the construction of these bases at Minsk and Mogilew. Globocnik and these five SS officers played a leading part in Aktion Reinhard one year later.

Globocnik was responsible for
- the final liquidations of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Bialystok Ghetto.
- resettling a large number of Poles, particularly around Zamosc, under the guise of ethnic cleansing. Appointed by Himmler as head of the SS company OSTI (Ostindustrie GmbH), he was in charge of 45,000 Jewish labourers in forced labour camps camps like Trawniki and Poniatowa.
- the network of bigger and smaller work camps in the Lublin district, including the KZ Majdanek.

Globocnik decorating Hackenholt
Globocnik decorating
When the decision about Aktion Reinhard was taken in October 1941, Globocnik spoke out openly that after the "resettlement" of the Jews in the Generalgouvernement, the Polish population should be resettled to the East from this region and the Lublin district should become the first area where this action would be organised. German colonists (mainly from Bessarabia and Bukowina) would take the place of the Poles. This conception was part of the larger program to resettle the Slavic nations to the East, behind the Ural mountains and to prepare this region for German colonisation (Generalplan Ost). The Zamosc region was chosen by Himmler and Globocnik as a laboratory for the whole Generalplan Ost. Therefore around 110 villages in the Zamosc region were resettled between 1942 and 1943, often combined with mass executions.
Approximately 50,000 Polish peasants were deported to the transit camps in Zwierzyniec and Zamosc, later to Auschwitz, Majdanek, and to labour camps in Germany. Thousands escaped to the forests. Many villages were totally destroyed in the course of this action. The economy of the Lublin district totally collapsed.
Globocnik’s role as SSPF Lublin (SS- und Polizeiführer) and his central role in the supervision of the death camps of Aktion Reinhard, in addition to the Generalplan Ost, created some conflict between him and Ernst Zörner, the Civil Gouvernor of the Lublin district. This conflict arose due to Globocnik’s ambition to interfere with normal day to day civil matters within the Lublin area. Hans Frank, General Gouvernor in Poland, and Heinrich Himmler were involved in trying to resolve the conflict. Globocnik's position remained untouched because Aktion Reinhard had to be completed.
Goeth, Camp in the Background
Suicide in Paternion
Globocnik in Trieste
Globocnik in Trieste
Because the Polish underground started to resist Globocnik’s resettlement plan, the German civil administration in the Generalgouvernment pressed the SS authorities to stop the action. Generally the action did not provide the desired result because of large scale resistance, industrial sabotage and mass escapes of Polish peasants from the villages. Hans Frank reported his concerns to Berlin. As a result Himmler issued an order to stop the resettlement action. Globocnik fell out of favour because of the results of his cruel resettlement policy in the Zamosc area.

Following the completion of Aktion Reinhard and the cessation of the Generalplan Ost, Globocnik was ordered to Trieste (Italy), as HSSPF Adriatisches Küstenland, along with the majority of the Aktion Reinhard personnel. There he led Aktion R, the persecution of partisans and Jews in Istria.
In October 1944 Globocnik married Lore Peterschinegg, head of the Carinthian BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel), this followed a relationship with Irmgard Rickheim in Lublin.

Globocnik was arrested by British troops at the Möslacher Alm, overlooking the Weissensee Lake in Carinthia / Austria on 31 May 1945. He committed suicide by poisoning himself at about 11:30 a.m. the same day outside the small prison, 100 m west of the castle in Paternion. His body was photographed, together with Höfle, Lerch, and Michalsen.

See Auschwitz Commandant Höß' thoughts about Globocnik!


Joseph Poprzeczny: Odilo Globocnik
Siegfried J. Pucher: "... in der Bewegung führend tätig". Odilo Globocnik - Kämpfer für den "Anschluß", Vollstrecker des          Holocaust, Klagenfurt 1997
Gerard Reitlinger: The Final Solution
The Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust
Majdanek 1941-1944. Ed by T. Mencel, Lublin 1991.

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