|“||I don't hold it against the men who beat me because undoubtedly there are some ruffians of every nationality and the English are not exceptions.||„|
|~ Oswald Pohl|
Oswald Pohl was born in Duisburg-Ruhrort on 30 June 1892 to blacksmith, Hermann Otto Emil Pohl, and his wife Auguste Pohl (née Seifert); he was the fifth of eight children. His parents were financially secure, and he attended a Realgymnasium where he studied classical Greek and Latin texts. From what Pohl claimed, he always wanted to study science but his father did not have the means to send him straight to university.
In 1912, he became a sailor in the Imperial Navy. During World War I, he served in the Baltic Sea region and the coast of Flanders. Pohl attended a navy school, and became paymaster on 1 April 1918. On 30 October of the same year, he married.
After the end of the war, Pohl attended courses at a trade school, and began studying law and state theory at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel; he dropped out of university soon again though, and became paymaster for the Freikorps "Brigade Löwenfeld", working in Berlin, Upper Silesia and the Ruhr basin.
In 1920, like many others involved in the Kapp Putsch, he was accepted into the Weimar Republic's new navy, the Reichsmarine. Pohl was transferred to Swinemünde in 1924
Pohl joined the Sturmabteilung (Adolf Hitler's private army) in 1925, joining the party itself the following year. Heinrich Himmler personally commissioned him as an officer in the Schutzstaffel in 1933, and he rose to become chief of the Reichsfuhrer SS administrative department, then administrative chief of the SD and Race and Settlement offices.
In 1942, Pohl and Himmler merged the SD office and the Race and Settlement office. into the SS Economic and Administrative office, leaving Pohl in charge and making him the third most powerful man in the SS after Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich.
Soon after, Pohl became chairman of Nazi-owned corporation Eastern Territories Incorporated, a position in which he denied rations to starving prisoners forced to work for the company. He later became head administrator of concentration camps, putting him in direct conflict with Theodor Eicke, director of the concentration camp inspectorate. Pohl solved the problem of Eicke by incorporating the CCI into his jurisdiction, forcing Eicke to serve under him. In this position, Pohl was able to impose exhausting forced labour and decreased rations onto inmates in all concentration camps.
Pohl went into hiding at the end of the war, but was captured in Bremen disguised as a farmhand in 1946. He was convicted of crimes against humanity and hanged on the 7th of June in 1951.