Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pencil sketch of a Nazi by Dr K Prabhakar Rao


Otto-Heinrich Drechsler (1 April 1895 – 5 May 1945) was the General Commissioner of Latvia for the Nazi Germany's occupation regime (Reichskommissariat Ostland) during World War II. In this capacity, he played a role in setting up the Riga ghetto and was implicated in the extermination of the Latvian Jews. Throughout the time that Drechsler was in Latvia, large numbers of massacres, particularly of Jews, were carried out by the Germans, together with substantial assistance from Latvian collaborators. In addition, the Jews of Latvia were confined to ghettos, which facilitated their enslavement and murder. As early as July 1941, Drechsler was informed, by his subordinate Gebietskommissar Alnor, of the massacres of the Jews in Ventspils.[5] By October 1941, Heinrich Himmler developed a plan (later abandoned) for establishing, near Riga, an extermination camp similar to those later developed for Operation Reinhard, the secretive Nazi plan to mass-murder most Polish Jews and Gypsies in the occupied Poland. Jews from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia (the so-called "Reich
 Jews") were to be deported to this camp and then murdered. In late October, Himmler informed Lohse and Drechsler of this plan.[4] Also in October 1941, Drechsler received another report from Alnor, this one concerning the ongoing massacres of the Jews in Liepāja.[5] In autumn 1941 Drechsler was closely involved in setting up the Riga ghetto as a confinement zone for Jews.[5] Historian Ezergailis states that Drechsler may have been present at the largest massacre, at Rumbula, on 30 November 1941.[5] The great majority of the victims at Rumbula were from the Riga ghetto. He committed suicide on 5 May 1945, after being captured by the British forces.

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