Richard Glücks

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Richard Glücks

Post by KevinP » 17 Aug 2005 23:15

For a Dutch website - - about World War II I'm writing an article about Richard Glücks, Inspektor der Konzentrationslager.

Beside some (not many) literature I’ve found the next information on the internet:

GLÜCKS, Richard (DKiS)
(1889 - 1945)
SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS:
Born: 22. Apr. 1889 in Odenkirchen.
Suicide: 10. May 1945, in British captivity, .
NSDAP-Nr.: 214 805
SS-Nr.: 58 706
SS-Gruf.u.Gen.Lt.d.W-SS: 9. Nov. 1943;
Decorations & Awards:
Deutsches Kreuz in Silber: 1945;
1914 EK I: ; 1914 EK II:; KVK I m. Schw.: ; KVK II m. Schw.:;
Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer;
Ehrendegen des RF SS/Totenkopfring der SS.

Axis Biographical Research (Translation needed)

Who has more information about this person and can help me? Thanks for your reactions!

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Post by Mikedc » 17 Aug 2005 23:35

Hello Kevin,

I just did send you a PM.


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Post by Ludger » 18 Aug 2005 14:53

Two more books:

Wistrich (1983): Wer war wer im Dritten Reich, S. 87f

Koch, Peter-Ferdinand (1988): Himmlers graue Eminenz

Good luck!!

Greetings from


User avatar
Helly Angel
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Post by Helly Angel » 18 Aug 2005 16:11

Höss about Richard Glücks:

The second Inspector Of The Concentration Camps was S.S. General Glücks. Glücks came from Düsseldorf, and had lived in Argentina for several years before World War I. When the war broke out, he smuggled himself aboard a Norwegian ship through British control points and reported for duty in the armed forces. He was an artillery officer for the entire war. After the war he was liaison officer with the Armistice Commission. He later became a member of the Free Corps in the Ruhr area. He was a clerk for a business when Hitler took power in 1933.

Glücks joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party and the S.S. in the early days. For several years he was Chief Of Staff, Group West of the S.S., then he led a battalion of regular S.S. in Schneidemühl. In 1936 he joined Viecke as Chief Of Staff Of Concentration Camp Inspectors. Glücks was the typical bureaucrat, and had no sense for practical things. He believed he could direct everything from his desk. He was hardly noticeable as far as the concentration camps were concerned when Viecke was Chief. Even though he accompanied Viecke now and again to various camps, he really never noticed anything, and he never learned what to look for. Since he was only Chief Of Staff, he didn't have much influence with Eicke because Eicke took care of almost everything with the Kommandants during his inspections. But Eicke held him in high esteem, and as far as personnel matters were concerned, Glücks made all the decisions, much to the disappointment of the staffs of the Kommandants. Several of the Kommandants tried to prevent Glücks from having all that influence, but his position with Eicke was unshakeable.

As I mentioned earlier, when the war broke out, the active guard soldiers were transferred to the front lines and were replaced with reservists from the General S.S. New units of the Death's Head Division were formed from the younger age groups of the S.S. At first they were supposed to be supplements to the police and also the occupation troops. Eicke became Inspector General Of The Death's Head Units And Of The Concentration Camps, while Glücks was his Chief Of Staff. When Eicke was given the job of organising the Death's Head Division, the post of Inspector General was taken over by the Command Bureau of the Waffen S.S., so Glücks became Inspector Of Concentration Camps. He was subordinate to the Main Command Bureau of the S.S., which later became Operations Main Office. In 1941, the Inspectorate Of The Bureau Of Concentration Camps became Administration Group 2 in the Army Administration Main Office.

Himmler never really trusted Glücks and quite a few times had intended to use him in another position. But Eicke and Pohl always spoke up for him, and this is how he remained Inspector Of The Camps.

After Glücks became Inspector, nothing at all changed in the camps. Glücks believed that anything that Eicke had ordered could not be changed, even if it was completely out of date. He didn't want to rock the boat, but more so he didn't want to ask Himmler to change anything. He also thought that his position as Inspector was only temporary. He did not think he was authorised to make even the smallest change about the concentration camps without Himmler's permission. All requests for changes from the Kommandants to Glücks were denied without his even considering them, or if they were sent in writing, they were answered as evasively as possible. During the entire time he held office, he had a pathological fear of Himmler. If Himmler called him, Glücks became confused; and if he had to see Himmler in person, he was no use to anyone for days before the meeting.

When Himmler demanded reports and position papers, he fell completely apart. This was very surprising because normally nothing could disturb his even tempered nature. Therefore, he avoided everything that could possibly lead to a meeting with Himmler, or, worse, possibly lead to a rejection or even a reprimand from Himmler.

He didn't take the things which occurred in the camps seriously, as long as they didn't have to be reported to Himmler. Prisoner escapes upset him and gave him sleepless nights because they had to be reported to Himmler. Every morning the first question was: How many took off? Auschwitz along with others caused him the most worries. This constant fear of Himmler naturally influenced his whole attitude about concentration camps. So it became: Do what you want. Just don't let Himmler find out. When he became subordinate to Pohl, he breathed more freely. Now a stronger person was put between Himmler and the Kommandants, and he took the heat.

Even then, his deep fear of Himmler never left him because, as before, he still had to appear before Himmler or answer Himmler's questions. Pohl saved him many times. Glücks only inspected the camps if there were necessary reasons, or if Himmler or Pohl urged him to do so.

When he inspected a camp, he saw nothing, and he even said so. He was happy if the Kommandant didn't drag him through the camp for too long a time. It's always the same in every camp. What I'm not supposed to see, I won't see. Everything else I saw so many times already that it isn't interesting anymore. He preferred to sit in the officer's club of the camp and talk about every topic except the problems that bothered the Kommandant.

Glücks had an uncontrollable sense of Rhineland humour, and looked at everything from the bright side of life. He made the worst things appear ridiculous and cracked jokes about them. He remembered absolutely nothing and made no decisions. You couldn't even get angry at him, such was his nature.

He never took me seriously. He believed I overexaggerated my worries and needs about the camp, and he was astounded when he discovered that Pohl and Kammler agreed with me. Yet he never gave me help. He could have been such a great help by transferring the inefficient and unsuitable personnel out of Auschwitz. But because of the other Kommandants, he didn't want to do that. Don't rock the boat! Keep the peace in the Office Of Inspection Of The Concentration Camps. As for Glücks's inspections of Auschwitz, they were of no value and always ended without any changes. He really didn't like Auschwitz at all. Everything was too spread out, too complex, and caused too many difficulties for him. And besides that, the Kommandants had too many requests and complaints.

Twice he wanted to remove me or appoint a higher ranking officer over me, but he really didn't have the courage to do it because of his fear of Himmler. Another reason was that the number of escapes was low at Auschwitz, and high in other camps, for which Himmler gave him a lot of grief. Auschwitz was a constant thorn in Glücks's side because it made him uncomfortable and because Himmler had such a deep interest in Auschwitz.

From the beginning of the extermination of the Jews, he didn't want to have anything to do with Auschwitz. He didn't even want to hear about it. He could never understand that his lack of interest was the very reason that the catastrophic conditions developed later on. He was unable to handle any of the difficult problems in the camps, and was of no help in finding solutions to the problems. He left it up to the Kommandants to find a way to solve their problems. Don't ask so many questions! was the frequent comment during his conferences with the Kommandants. You know much more than I do about these things. He often asked Liebehenschel just before a meeting: What should I say to the Kommandants again? I don't know anything! And that was the Inspector Of All The Concentration Camps, the Supervisor Of All Camp Kommandants. He was supposed to give direction and set the course for the Kommandants whenever difficulties arose, many of which developed because of the war alone. Later they did turn to Pohl for help; this made Glücks very angry at them.

Glücks was too soft and did not want to hurt any of his subordinates, especially when it came to his old comrades, and S.S. officers who were his favourites. He gave into them much too easily. Because of his good heart, he saved S.S. officers who should have been brought before an S.S. court long before, or should have been removed from camp service. His good heart overlooked many of the sins of his staff.

After Liebehenschel left for duty in Auschwitz, Maurer became Glücks's deputy and I became Director Of Inspections. That's when Maurer and I began cleaning house in the staff positions by getting rid of the excess noncommissioned officers and lower staff officers who had been listed as indispensable. This, of course, caused many arguments with Glücks. Maurer finally threatened to go to Pohl, and Glücks gave in reluctantly.

He let Maurer gradually take control of this very loose way of doing things. Glücks's main worry was Himmler, although he did try to slow Maurer down when he thought Maurer was too strict with the men. Glücks had not been healthy for years. He was often absent from duty for weeks on end and never slept well. He ruined himself by taking many different medications.

He was really finished in 1944 when the constant air raids hit the Berlin area As the front lines came closer and closer, his worsening health showed the effect. The only time he felt any relief was when he was drunk!

He lived a very simple life -- withdrawn. He never invited anyone to his house when he was in Oranienburg. His wife was just like him. They had no children.

As far as the prisoners who served as barbers, gardeners, and craftsmen were concerned, he had close relationships with them and was good hearted and generous. He never witnessed an execution or a beating. Permission to administer a beating was left for the most part to his deputy.

Glücks was the exact opposite of Eicke in every respect. Both of them were extreme, and this made the development of the concentration camps a real tragedy!

XI 46.





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Post by KevinP » 18 Aug 2005 20:02

Thanks a lot to everyone who gave me this useful information. Especially “Höss about Richard Glücks” is very interesting information.

Of course information is still welcome.

Mark C. Yerger
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Post by Mark C. Yerger » 20 Aug 2005 16:09

His illustrated biography is in "German Cross in Silver Holders of the SS and Police."

Mark C. Yerger

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Richard Glücks

Post by steve248 » 23 Aug 2005 08:54

British war crimes investigators established the following information about Glücks' movements in April-May 1945:

16 April 1945, WVHA offices at Oranienburg were destroyed by Allied bombing and transferred to BORN on the Baltic coast. On same day, Glücks and his wife travelled to Ravensbrück by car driven by his chauffeur (named either Piper or Piber).

26 April 1945, they moved to Born.

30 April 1945, they moved to Warnemünde owing to Russian advances.

2 May 1945, they moved to Flensburg with several others cars with WVHA officials.

2 May 1945, afternoon, parked their vehicles in a wood near Friedrichshöh; Glücks and his wife stayed that night with Frau Stöhr, at 25, Friedrichshöh.

3 May 1945, some of the group moved to the Kriegsmarineschule, Murwik; Glücks and wife are not mentioned in this group and what he did for next few days is not known. However he is known to have met with Himmler during this period.

10 May 1945, claimed to be in Murwik hospital using the alias SONNEMAN (sic). A death certificate was issued for Glücks giving suicide ("Vergiftung durch Cyankali") at 1500 hrs
on 10 May 1945 signed by Dr Lorentzen, Marineoberstabsarzt, Teillazarett Trampedachlager; place of death given as Marinelazarett Murwik II. Glücks' personal belongings were removed from the hospital by a SS-Stubaf Ecklemann described as "Financechief of the VDA" and within days interned at 6 CIC (Neuengamme).

War crimes investigators ordered the exhumation of "The grave that was supposedly containing the body of GLUECKS and it was discovered without doubt that the remains in the grave were not those of GLUECKS." Lorentzen was arrested and held at Military Government Jail at Bad Segeberg.

However, an "Abschrift! Todesbescheinigung" with the above details of death were confirmed in Flensburg-Murwik on 10 September 1945 with "Die Richtigkeit der Abschrift bescheinigt".

Maybe they dug up the wrong grave but that isn't mentioned in the file.

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Post by KevinP » 23 Aug 2005 17:18

Thanks Steve, also very usefull information!

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Pohl and Glucks website

Post by PF » 24 Aug 2005 14:42

Type "Pohl and Glucks" on Netscape search engine and on the S. Weisenthal Museum website is a online transcription of an account (In German) of Generals Pohl and Glucks

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Post by KevinP » 24 Aug 2005 16:31

Thank you very much PF! This online transcription contains lots of very useful information. Especially the original documents which are included are very interesting to read/research. And very important: it’s for free. Writing articles for the website I work on is completely on voluntary base, with absolutely no financial profit. Unfortunately I can’t permit myself all the time to spent lots of money on books and other kinds of information for my research. Websites with free information like this website of the S. Wiesenthal Museum, but of course also Axis History and lots of others, are very good help for non-professional researchers who work on voluntary base!

This was the first time I called for help on the Axis History forum and I absolutely don’t regret it. Thanks to everybody who gave me this information. Information is still welcome, but I have enough tot start writing this article.

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Post by PF » 24 Aug 2005 23:22

Glad to be of help

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Post by Potsdamerplatz » 04 Aug 2007 14:02

Thanks for the information Helly Angel and also steve248.

It seems information about Glücks is hard to come by.

Does anyone have anymore information about the circumstances of his death?

Presumably by 10th May, Flensburg naval hospital would be under the control of the occupying British forces so it is possible that Glücks committed suicide before he was recognised.

I found this other thread on Glücks interesting, especially as there are several different stories as to his fate:


1. Arrested by British forces on 9th May in Flensburg. Taken to the naval hospital where he died the next day (suicide by cyanide).

2. Taken to Flensburg naval hospital by Ohlendorf and Höss in a "half-dead" condition. Suicide on 10th May - details as above

Why would Glücks be half-dead? He was not involved in front-line fighting and there is no record of him being injured in an air attack.

Would be interested in hearing more, especially as this thread is 2 years old and we have a lot more members now.

Best regards.

Phil Nix
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Post by Phil Nix » 05 Aug 2007 10:03

He could have been 'half dead' after taking poison
Phil Nix

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