Otto Reche

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Otto Reche.

Otto Carl Reche (24 May 1879 – 23 March 1966) was a Nazi German anthropologist and professor from Glatz (Kłodzko), Prussian Silesia. He was active in researching whether there was a correlation between blood types and race. During the Second World War he openly advocated the genocide of ethnic Poles. Once a member of the Nazi Party, he remained active in anthropological issues following the downfall of Nazi Germany.

Education and career

Reche was educated at the University of Breslau (now the University of Wrocław), the University of Jena and the University of Berlin.[1]

In his career, Reche served as the director of the Departments of Anthropology at the University of Vienna and then the University of Leipzig,[1] and also taught at the University of Hamburg. Among the organizations he was involved in were the Nazi Party and the German Society for Blood Group Research (which he founded along with Paul Steffan). In 1928, Reche and Steffan founded Zeitschrift für Rassenphysiologie, a magazine on the subject.[2]

Blood type research and conclusions

Reche's work with blood types, involving studies in northwestern Germany, was an attempt to prove a correlation between which blood type a person had and whether they were of German ancestry. He claimed that the three blood types, A, B, and O, were each originally attached to European, Asian, and Native American races, but that interracial marriage had diluted this over the centuries.[2]

Support for genocide of Poles

During Second World War Otto Reche became director of Institute for Racial and Ethnic Sciences in Lipsk. In this position he wrote about ethnic Poles that they "unfortunate mixture" consisting among others of Slavs, Balts and Mongolians, and they should be eliminated to avoid possible mixing with German race[3] When Germany invaded Poland he wrote "We need Raum(space), but no Polish lice on our fur" [4]

Life after the war

On April 16, 1945, Reche was arrested by American forces for membership in the Nazi Party but was released after sixteen months of detainment.[1]

In 1959, Reche was chosen by a German court investigating the claims of Anna Anderson that she was Anastasia Nikolaevna, a Russian royal thought to have been murdered along with the rest of the royal family. He concluded that Anna Anderson was either the Grand Duchess herself or an identical twin.[5] After Anderson's death, however, it was concluded based on DNA evidence that she was not Anastasia.

Reche died near Hamburg in 1966.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Geisenhainer, Katja (2002). "Rasse ist Schicksal" Otto Reche (1879–1966) – ein Leben als Anthropologe und Völkerkundler (in German). Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. ISBN 3-374-02015-1. 
  2. ^ a b Proctor, Robert N. (1988). Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-74578-7. 
  3. ^ The History of a Forgotten German Camp: Nazi Ideology and Genocide at Szmalcowka Tomasz Ceran, page 40, I.B.Tauris, October 2014
  4. ^ Eradicating Differences: The Treatment of Minorities in Nazi-Dominated Europe Anton Weiss Wendt page 66
  5. ^ Lovell, James Blair (1998). Anastasia: The Lost Princess. Robson. ISBN 0-86051-807-8. 

Further reading

  • Arthur L. Caplan, ed. (1992). When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust. Humana Press. p. 359. ISBN 0-89603-235-3. 
  • Neugebauer, Wolfgang. "Racial Hygiene in Vienna 1938". Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
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