Saur, Karl Otto, born 16-02-1902 in Düsseldorf, was State Secretary in the Reich Ministry for armaments and war production in Germany during the Nazi era and de jure last defence minister of the Third Reich. Saur was an engineer by profession. After graduation, he joined Friedrich “Fritz Thyssen, he died age 77, on 08-02-1951, in Buenes Aires , then took over the running of the family engineering firm in Freiburg after the death of his father. This business went into bankruptcy in 1928 during the Great Depression. Saur went back to Thyssen in 1929 and was director of the August Thyssen-Hütte . He was a member of the NSDAP from 1931. He joined the National Socialist Guild of German Engineers and the Todt Organization where he rose to be the right-hand man to Armament Minister, Fritz Todt. Following Todt’s death in a 1942 plane crash, Saur became official deputy to the new Armaments Minister, Albert Speer. Saur was seen as particularly ruthless in the enforcement of military targets, was involved in all aspects of increasing production including orders that regulated the flow of forced labour towards the end of World War II. In 1945 he was duly awarded the Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross in Gold, a successor to the non-combatant Iron Cross, which was only awarded twice. Some sources state that this award was only suggested and not finalized due to confusion and the end of the war. Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross in Gold, without Swords. Saur was one of only two recipients of this award. In his political testament, Adolf Hitler (did you know) named Karl-Otto Saur as the new defence minister, Minister of Munitions Rüstung and successor to Albert Speer after the latter’s fall from favour for his role in preventing Hitler’s scorched-earth policy. After Hitler’s death, Gross Admiral, Karl Dönitz continued with Saur but also allowed Speer to return to office. From May 1945 Saur was in American captivity. In 1948 he became a witness for the prosecution at the Nurembergprocess of Alfred Krupp von Bohlen
– the Americans offered him immunity from prosecution for war crimes if he turned in state evidence, as they wanted a trial to demonstrate the collective guilt of German industry. For this he was viewed as a traitor by industry and was socially isolated. During denazification he was allowed to be classified as “fellow traveler” and was released shortly afterwards. Saur founded an engineering consultancy in 1949, and also became a small publishing house. The resulting company Saur Verlag only became economically successful from the beginning of the 60s under his son Klaus Gerhard Saur.
Death and burial ground of Saur, Karl Otto.
Karl Otto Saur retiring in Pullach died age 64, on 28-07-1966 and is buried on the cemetery Münchenerstrasse in Pullach. Only steps away the grave of World War II General der Kavallerie, Kommandeur der Ist Kavallerie Regiment, Gustav Harteneck and General der Panzertruppe, Commander of the 267th Infantry Division , Ernst Fessmann.