Pohl, Oswald, born 30-06-1892, in Duisburg-Ruhrort as the son of blacksmith Hermann Otto Emil Pohl and his wife Auguste Pohl (born Seifert); he was the fifth of a total of eight children. After graduating from school in 1912, age 19, he became a full-time sailor in the Königliche Navy , being trained in Kiel and Wilhelmshaven as well as the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. During World War I, he served in the Baltic Sea region and the coast of Flanders. Pohl also attended a navy school, and became paymaster on 01-04-1918; most of his time in the navy from then on was spent in Kiel. On 30 October of the same year, he married Eleonore von Brüning, early widowed with a daughter and a convinced member of the NSDAP. Disgraceful and undesirable: in 1938, a girl was born in the Lebensbornheim Steinhöring: Heilwig Weger Four years later the mother Eleonore von Brüning married SS Obergruppenfüher Oswahl Pohl, and close confidant of Heinrich Himmler. Heilwig grew up in the highest Nazi circles. Then comes the end of the war and the sudden crash. Heilwig experienced massive exclusion. It was only when she became acquainted with her biological father that she found herself again. A childhood in the shadow of Lebensborn After the end of the first war, Pohl attended courses at a trade school, and began studying law and state theory at the Christian Albrechts Universität in Kiel; he dropped out of university soon again though, and became paymaster for the Freikorps “Brigade Löwenfeld”, working in Berlin, Gauleiter Joseph Goebbels (did you know) , Upper Silesia and the Ruhr basin. From 03-02-1919, Korvette captain Wilfried von Loewenfeld had set up the 3rd naval brigade, Freikorps “Brigade Löwenfeld”, in Kiel. Von Loewenfeld died age 66 on 05-07-1946.
In 1920, like many others involved in the Lüttwitz Kapp Putsch . The Kapp Putsch was a 1920 coup attempt during the German Revolution of 1918-1919 aimed at overthrowing the Weimar Republic. Based on opposition to the Treaty of Versailles imposed at the end of World War I, the putsch was later labelled as right-wing monarchist and reactionary. Pohl was accepted into the Weimar Republic’s new navy, the Reichsmarine. Pohl was transferred to Swinemünd, now in Poland, in 1924. One year later, in 1925, Pohl became a member of the SA, then finally joined the re-founded Nazi Party on 22-02-1926 as member nr 30842. He met Heinrich Himmler
in 1933 and became his protege, SS nr. 147614, he was appointed chief of the administration department in the staff of the Reichsführer SS and given the rank of SS-Standartenführer on 01-02-1934 and began to influence the administration of the concentration camps. Pohl also left the Roman Catholic Church in 1935. In June 1939 Pohl became chief of both the “Hauptamt Verwaltung und Wirtschaft” or “main bureau for administration and economy”, part of the SS and the “Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten” or main bureau for budget and construction”, part of the Reich’s ministry for the interior.
On 01-02-1942, both institutions were combined into the SS Wirtschaft- Verwaltungshauptamt with Pohl in charge; among other things, the SS-WVHA was in charge of the organization of the concentration camps, deciding on the distribution of detainees to the various camps and the “rental” of detainees for slave labour until 1944. Pohl was made SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen SS on 20-04-1942. In 1944, Pohl was put out of charge of the concentration camps, with the Rüstungsministerium (ministry of armament) overtaking; at the same time, the responsibility for construction was also taken away from the SS-WVHA. However, Pohl remained in charge of the administration of the Waffen SS for the remainder of the war.
Death and burial ground of Pohl, Oswald.
After the end of World War II in 1945, Pohl first hid in Upper Bavaria, then near Bremen; nevertheless, he was captured by British troops on 27-05-1946 and sentenced to death on 03-11-1947 by an American military tribunal after the Nuremberg trials for crimes against humanity, war crimes and membership in a criminal organization as well as for mass murders and crimes committed in the concentration camps administered by the SS-WVHA he was in charge.
However, Pohl was not executed right away. He was executed shortly after midnight on 07-06-1951, age 58, in Landsberg am Lech, where he was hanged after a long series of appeals. Pohl insisted on his innocence until his death, stating that he was only a “simple functionary”.
After the death of Heinrich Himmler on 22nd May 1945, Himmler’s mistress Hedwig Potthast lived in Rosenheim with Eleonore Pohl , the wife of Oswald Pohl. According to Katrin Himmler , the granddaughter of Himmler’s brother Ernst , the author of The Himmler Brothers (2007) , Hedwig Potthast, did marry soon after the war but her husband died soon afterwards. His name gave her a new identity for her and her children. Her son was apparently in a poor state of health and remained with his mother. Her daughter trained and later practiced as a doctor. She remained friends with those Nazis who remained alive. This included Karl Wolff. Lina Heydrich and Gerda Bormann . Hedwig Potthast died in Cologne on 22 September 1994, age 82, in Baden-Baden..
Oswald Pohl is buried on the Spottinger Cemetery of Landsberg, the prison cemetery, with many other war criminals. Also buried there SS Standartenführer, Rudolf Brandt , Gauleiter Meckelen and SS Obergruppenführer, Adjudant from Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler Karl Hildebrandt , SS Hauptscharfführer, head of the Crematoria of Auschwitz, Otto Moll, Waffen SS Brigade Führer, Kommandant of Einsatzgruppe B, Erich Naumann , SS Standartenführer, Sonderkommando 4 A of Einsatzgruppe C, Paul Blobel and Reichsgeschäftsführer, Wolfram Sievers.
Cemetery location of Pohl, Oswald.