Born: 1902-11-04. Died: 1946-05-28.
Wikipedia: Otto Foerschner (November 4, 1902 – May 28, 1946) was a German SS-Sturmbannfuhrer and a Nazi concentration camp officer. He served as commandant of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp and the Dachau sub-camp of Kaufering. He was indicted for war crimes and hanged in May 1946.
Foerschner was born in the town of Dürrenzimmern, Bavaria on November 4, 1902 and was raised on a farm owned by his family. In 1922 he enlisted in the Reichswehr and would remain a soldier for the next 12 years. Following his departure from the army in 1934 he became a member of the SS and was assigned to its military-wing, the SS-Verfugungstruppe, the organization that would eventually become the Waffen-SS. Between April, 1934 and December, 1936 Foerschner attended the SS Officers School in Bad Toelz and became a member of the Nazi Party in 1937.
During the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Foerschner served as an officer with the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking . After being wounded in action and declared medically unfit for combat duty, he was transferred to the SS-Totenkopfverbände, taking over as commander of the SS guard battalion at the Buchenwald concentration camp in the spring of 1942.
In September, 1943 Foerschner was given command over the newly built concentration camp of Mittelbau-Dora, which at this time functioned as a sub-camp of the much larger Buchenwald. The purpose of Mittelbau-Dora was to provide slave-laborers from among its inmate population to the nearby V-weapons production facility of Mittelwerk. In addition to his position as commandant at Dora, Foerschner was also technically the managing director of Mittelwerk GmbH, the front company created by the German government for V-weapons production. He would hold this post until April,1944 when he was replaced by Georg Rickhey.
Foerschner had a contentious relationship with the various Nazi security services (the SD and the Gestapo) that operated in and around Mittelbau-Dora. His leadership was regularly criticized by them as being too “soft” on both the camp’s prisoners and personnel. Of particular concern for them was Foerschner’s practice of selecting prisoner functionaries almost exclusively from among the camp’s German-Communist inmates.
Foerschner’s reputation was badly damaged in November, 1944 when many of the prisoner functionaries he had appointed were rounded up by the Gestapo and revealed to have been involved in resistance activities inside the camp, most notably, the sabotage of V-weapons during the production process. After it was revealed that Foerschner had failed to report a bonus payment of 10,000 Reichmarks he had received from Mittelwerk GmbH, he was dismissed as commander of Mittelbau-Dora in February, 1945 and replaced by former Auschwitz commandant Richard Baer.
After being relieved of command at Mittelbau-Dora, Foerschner was transferred to Dachau, where he served briefly as commandant of the sub-camp of Kaufering.
In April, 1945 Foerschner was taken prisoner by the US Army. He was a defendant in the Dachau concentration camp trial in which he was indicted for war crimes stemming from his tenure at Kaufering. Namely, Foerschner was charged with responsibility for the brutal conditions which prevailed in the camp and his role in the management of prisoner executions.
He was convicted by a US military tribunal and sentenced to death, along with 35 other co-defendants, on December 13, 1945. He was hanged in Landsberg prison on May 28, 1946.