Odilo Globocnik, born 21-04-1904 into a family of Slovene descent in the Imperial Free City of Trieste, in what was then the capital of the Austrian Littoral administrative region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was the second child of Franz Globocnik from the Upper Carniolan town of Neumarkt who served as a Habsburg cavalry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army. His father was unable to accumulate the money to apply to resign from the army, so was instead given a job in the reserves as a postman. In 1914, the family left Trieste for Cseklész where Franz Globocnik was recalled to active duty with the outbreak of World War I. The same year, Odilo Globocnik joined the army via a military school. The war ended his military education prematurely. Odilo and his family moved to Klagenfurt. Globocnik enrolled in a civilian high school, leaving 1923 without obtaining a certificate. He performed jobs such as carrying suitcases at the train station in order to help support the family financially. Globocnik first appeared in politics in 1922, when he became a prominent member of the pre-Nazi Carinthian paramilitary organizations and was seen wearing a swastika. At this time he was a building tradesman. He was introduced to this when he was engaged to Grete Michner. Her father, Emil Michner, talked to the director of KÄEWAG, which was a hydropower plant, and secured Globocnik a job as a technician and construction supervisor.
In August 1933, Globocnik was arrested for the first time, for attempting to contact imprisoned Nazis in Klagenfurt. This was also the same year that he became a member of the Austrian SS. He was arrested because of his public support for the National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly known as the Nazi Party, as he had become a member of the Nazi party three years earlier, in 1930 while in Carinthia. Although he was arrested four times between 1933 and 1935, he spent little over a year in jail. This was due to Heinrich Himmler (see Himmler
)’s intervention, after two years of arguments between Globocnik and the authorities. His first documented activity for the NSDAP occurred in 1931, when his name appeared in documents relating to the spreading of propaganda for the party. By this point he had more or less abandoned his career as a building tradesman, and attached himself very closely to the NSDAP. One of his tasks for the NSDAP was to construct a courier and intelligence service, which channeled funds from the German Reich into Austria. Globocnik was inducted into the SS on 01-09-1934 with the number 292,776. In June 1933, in Vienna, a bomb was thrown at the shop of Jewish jeweler Norbert Futterweit, killing him. This was one of the first murders in Austria attributable to the Nazis, and a number of historians believe that Globocnik was involved in the attack. His fanatical devotion to the Nazi cause, like Adolf Eichmann (see Eichmann
) another desk murderer, paid off for Globocnik, as he quickly climbed the ladder of the party apparatus in his native Austria. He became a Deputy Gauleiter for the whole of the country in 1933 at the age of 29, and was a key player in the usurpation of the Austrian government by the National Socialists. Globocnik was rewarded for his diligence, being appointed Gauleiter of Vienna on May 24, 1938 by Adolf Hitler. While Gauleiter of Vienna, Globocnik spread anti-Semitic propaganda. As corrupt as he was fanatical, Gauleiter Globocnik was relieved of his post and stripped of his party honours in 1939 when it was discovered he was involved in illegal foreign currency speculations. Himmler transferred Globocnik to the Waffen SS in the rank of corporal as punishment, where he served with SS Standarte Germania
during the Polish campaign. Himmler liked Globocnik and recognized the value of the ruthless Austrian. In late 1939 Globocnik was pardoned, promoted to SS Brigadeführer and assigned to Lublin province.
Roma arrivals in the Belzec death camp
On 09-11-1939, Himmler appointed Globocnik SS and Police Leader in the Lublin district of the General Government. After a disappointing party career, Globocnik now had a second chance in the ranks of the SS and the police responsible for: Liquidating the Warsaw Ghetto, which contained about 500,000 Jews, the largest Jewish community in Europe and the second largest in the world after New York. Liquidating the Bialystok Ghetto, which stood out for its strong resistance to German occupation. Resettling a large number of Poles under the premise of ethnic cleansing and implementation and supervision of the Lublin reservation, to which 95,000 Jews were deported, with its adjacent network of forced labour camps in the Lublin district. He was also in charge of over 45,000 Jewish laborers. Following Italian leader Benito Mussolini's (see Mussolini
) downfall and having looted some of the stolen assets from the labor camps, Globocnik was transferred from the General Government of occupied Poland to the Julian March in the German-occupied portion of Italy in September 1943 and was stationed in his hometown of Trieste. He was appointed Higher SS and Police Leader of the Operation Zone of the Adriatic Littoral, as well as command of the Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp in Trieste.
Globocnik took with him a number of his staff from Operation Reinhard. His main task there was combating Yugoslav partisans, but again, he played a leading role in the persecution of Italian Jews. With the advance of Allied troops, Globocnik retreated into Austrian Carinthia and finally went into hiding high in the mountains in an alpine hut near Weissensee, still in company of his closest staff members. Globocnik was tracked down and captured by a British armored cavalry unit, the 4th
Queen's Own Hussars, at the Möslacher Alm, overlooking the Weissensee on 31-05-1945. The British unit, under the command of a Major Ramsey from SIS (MI6), had been tracking potential war criminals in Austria. Globocnik was taken to Paternion to be interrogated, and around 11.30 hours committed suicide in by biting on a cyanide capsule.
At least two contemporary photographs show Globocnik's body shortly after his death, and there are several reliable reports, including the Regimental Diary and Field Reports of the 4th
Queen's Own Hussars, detailing the circumstances of his capture and suicide. His body was taken to be buried in a local churchyard, but the priest reportedly refused to have 'the body of such a man' resting in consecrated ground. A grave was dug outside the churchyard, next to an outer wall and the body was laid to rest without ceremony.