Odilo Globocnik was born in Trieste on 21 April 1904 he was the son of an Austrian/Slovenian family of petty officials and was a builder by profession.
Globocnik addressing troops in Trieste
He joined the Nazi Party in Carinthia Austria in 1930 and became a “radical” leader of its factory cells in the province. In 1933 Globocnik joined the SS and was appointed deputy district leader of the NSDAP in Austria.
He was imprisoned for over a year for a number of political offences, he may have even murdered the Jewish jeweller Futterweiss. Globocnik re-emerged as a key liaison man between Hitler and the Austrian National Socialists, he was appointed provincial Nazi chief of Carinthia in 1936, and subsequently he was promoted to Gauleiter of Vienna on 24 May 1938.
But his decline was soon at; Globocnik was using an astonishing number of dirty tricks, particularly in financial matters.
Another was that he was an absolutely uncompromising person who was extremely successful in finding new opponents and enemies in the party ranks, mainly in the Catholic wing of the NSDAP.
A major factor was the fact that Hermann Göring (ReichsMarshall) endeavoured to have Globocnik removed from his high party office. On January 30, 1939, Globocnik was suspended as a Gauleiter and replaced by Josef Burckel.
Globocnik was pardoned by Himmler and appointed on 9 November 1939 as SS and Police Leader for the Lublin district in Poland. Globocnik was a brutal police commander who not only waged a terrible war on Polish Jewry, but who carried out drastic population expulsions in the Zamosc Lands, to germanise the Lublin area.
He was chosen by Himmler as the central figure in Operation Reinhard – named after Reinhard Heydrich, no doubt because of his scandalous past record and well-known virulent anti-semitism.
Put in charge of a special company of SS men not subordinate to any higher authority and responsible only to Himmler, Globocnik founded three death camps as part of Aktion Reinhard, and one combined death camp and concentration camp Majdanek (Lublin).
Globocnik drew rich rewards from the slaughter of 1.7 million Jews whose property ranging from their houses and valuables down to the gold in their teeth was seized by the SS.
As Globocnik’s Summary Reports show, he carried out Himmler’s orders with brutal efficiency and by November 1943 Operation Reinhard had been completed and the three death camps directly under his control were liquidated.
Aktion Reinhard had consisted of four separate tasks:
The extermination of Polish Jewry.
The exploitation of manpower.
The realisation of immovable property from the liquidated Jews.
The seizure of hidden valuables and moveable property.
According to Globocnik’s final accounts to Himmler, the overall value of the cash and valuables accruing to the Reich between 1 April and 15 December 1943 from Operation Reinhard came to approximately 180 million Reichsmarks.
For helping himself too liberally to some of this plunder, Globocnik was promoted to Trieste, together with a number of the “Aktion Reinhard Kommando”, to the post of Higher SS and Police Leader Adriatic Region.
At the end of the war, Globocnik succeeded in evading arrest by returning to his native country in the mountains south of Klagenfurt.
He was eventually tracked down and arrested by a British patrol on 31 May 1945 at Weissensee, Carinthia, and committing suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule, after the arresting officer Captain Ramsay, shouted his name across the courtyard, and Globocnik slightly turned his head.
A photograph of the dying Globocnik was taken by a German –born sergeant interpreter, who wanted a memento of** “the worst man in the world.”**
The Capture and Death of Odilo Globocnik
**Statement by W.K. Hedley **
4 January 1964
Dear Mr Dobson,
I attach a statement which should clear this affair up once and for all.
The retranslation of my letter of the 16th of January 1949 is of course erroneous as in it, I stated that Globocnik committed suicide (not attempted suicide).
If you require to get in touch with then Captain Wheeler he is now Lieutenant Colonel G.P.M.C Wheeler, Royal Scots Greys and is commanding the Royal Scots Greys in B.A.O.R.
If, any further corroboration is required I imagine reference to the 4th Hussars War Diary will provide the necessary information.
Statement By W. K. Hedley
When the war ended the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars were ordered to move to Paternion in the Drau Valley. The officers were quartered in the Castle at Paternion with the lock-up 100 yards away.
As the only officer who spoke German reasonably fluently I was detailed to deal with all matters which could affect the local population. This assignment sounded rather drab, but, became more exciting when it became apparent that Dr Friedrich Rainer, the Gauleiter was hiding in the neighbouring mountains and was thought to be the figurehead around whom a Werewolf Resistance Group was forming.
In the course of my duties I arrested a number of SS officers and lodged them in a local lock-up. They were given minimum rations of water in the hope that hunger would loosen their tongues. This proved to be the case as on the night of the 30th of May, when a party was given in the Officers Mess one of the captured SS officers stated he wished to make a statement.
This was to the effect that SS- Obergruppenfuhrer Globocnik and certain members of his staff were hiding in a hut above the Weissensee. He had been acting as a food carrier and stated they could not be taken by day as they withdrew to a vantage point above the hut from which they could watch troops bathing in the lake below and any approach to the hut.
A party of troops was organised and was accompanied by a number of special service officers of the parachute regiment who were attending the party in the officers mess.
The hut was surrounded (after an arduous climb) shortly before 4am, 31st May. It was locked and after both doors had eventually been opened a number of men and women were hustled out of the rather dim interior. Some were rather reluctant “to get a move on” and were encouraged with a kick in the pants.
One of them said in German “Don’t treat me like that I am the Gauleiter.” Rainer was known to have a duelling scar on his cheek and was easily identified from this and his circulated description. His presence tended to distract attention from the others in the hut, approximately seven men and three women.
After a preliminary search of the building I decided to escort Rainer to Paternion and arrange for more vehicles to go to the bottom of the mountain as our bag had greatly exceeded expectations. I handed over to Major Ramsay of the Parachute Regiment, a fluent German speaker.
During the search Rainer was found to have a metal phial containing a suicide capsule as issued to all senior members of the Nazi hierarchy. Little attention was, at the time, attached to a similar empty phial found on the floor of one of the rooms.
Rainer was lodged in the local lock-up and the main body of prisoners arrived in Paternion at about 11 am. The SS informer had identified all the prisoners by name and gave details of their duties in Trieste
With one exception they were all locked up, the exception stated, he was “a poor merchant from Klagenfurt frightened by the possible Yugoslav invasion.” He had almost convinced Major Ramsay of his innocence was walking up and down in the castle yard, very coolly, escorted by the regimental provost sergeant until his Klagenfurt references could be checked.
The informer insisted he was Globocnik. Major Ramsay and I decided that he (Ramsey) should sharply shout out the name Globocnik while I watched the captive’s reaction very closely. Then the name was called Globocnik’s step never falted, but his head moved fractionally.
I shouted to him (in German) “you have given yourself away, you moved your head very slightly “ and ordered Sowler to add him to the gang in the lock-up.
I then started to go to my room to have a bath only to hear shouts of “he’s dead, he’s dying.”
I ran downstairs to find Globocnik lying on the ground between the castle yard and the lock-up. He had held his suicide capsule under his tongue continually since his arrest and until using it about 11.25.
We had noticed at the time that he refused any form of food or drink. Captain M.M. Leigh RAMC, the Regimental Medical Officer, was quickly on the scene and he gave Globocnik two inoculations in the arm and one in the heart, but to no avail.
As soon as they saw his corpse Lerch, Hofle, Michaelsen and Helletsberger who had denied their identities admitted who they were and identified the corpse as their former commanding officer Globocnik. Rainer also identified the corpse as Globocnik.
Globocnik was subsequently buried by the regimental police in the presence of Captain G.P.M.C. Wheeler. I have tried to trace a number of photographs I have both of the corpse and the other prisoners but they are in a trunk, and I have not been able to find them.
If, very urgent I have no doubt I could produce them.