Offered for sale is a
RARE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SIGNED BY ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED MASS MURDERERS
SS-STANDARTENFüHRER DR. RUDOLF LANGE
HE WAS A KEY FIGURE IN THE EINSATZKOMMANDO AND WANNSEE CONFERENCE
Offered for sale is this 1940 dated document, signed by SS-Standartenführer Dr. Rudolf Lange. He was a key figure in the Einsatzkommando and the Wannsee Conference. The son of a railway construction supervisor, Rudolf was born on November 18, 1910 in Weisswasser, in eastern Saxony. Lange received a doctorate in law in 1933 at the University of Jena and soon joined the Gestapo. He served in the Gestapo office in Berlin in 1936, transferring to Vienna, Austria in 1938 to coordinate the annexation of the Austrian police system with the Reich. In 1939, Lange transferred to Stuttgart. He ran the Gestapo offices in Erfurt and Weimar in 1939, before returning to Berlin. On June 5, 1941, Dr. Lange reported to Pretzsch, in the Wittenberg district in Saxony-Anhalt, and the staff of Einsatzgruppe A. Einsatzgruppe A murdered more than 250,000 people in less than 6 months. Lange rose to command Einsatzkommando 2 on December 3, 1941; he also held the position of commander of the Security Service in Latvia. He planned and executed the murder of 24,000 Latvian Jews at the Rumbula Forest near Riga from November 30 to December 8, 1941.
Lange was then invited to attend the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, to help discuss the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” It was held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, along Lake Wannsee on January 20, 1942. The three-story villa, in which the meeting was held, was built as a villa residence for factory owner Ernst Marlier, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical preparations, in 1915. Marlier purchased two plots of land on Grosse Seestrasse (later renamed Am Grossen Wannsee) from the Head Forestry Office in Potsdam and the Royal Prussian Waterway Engineering Authority. Marlier sold the property in 1921 to the North German Real Estate Company in Berlin for 2,300,000 Reichsmarks. Friedrich Minoux, a member of the board of this company, obtained the property in 1937. He was arrested in 1940 for helping to embezzle 8,800,000 Reichsmarks. While in prison, he sold the property for 1,950,000 Reichsmarks to the Nordhav Foundation, an organization that had been established in 1939 by Reinhard Heydrich to create and maintain holiday homes for members of the SS security services and their relatives. It was rumored that Heydrich planned to ultimately keep the property for his own home.
Although Lange was the lowest ranking of the present SS officers, Reinhard Heydrich viewed Lange’s direct experience in conducting the mass murder of deported Jews as valuable for the conference. Afterward, Lange returned to Riga, where he remained until 1945, when he assumed command of the Security Service and Security Police for the Reichsgau Wartheland, at Posen, Poland. He was promoted to SS-Standartenführer, but soon after, the Red Army surrounded Posen (now Poznań.) During the siege, Lange was wounded organizing the security police defenses in the city. He committed suicide at the Kernwerk core fortress in Posen on February 16, 1945, hours before Soviet troops overran these final defenses. He was posthumously awarded the German Cross in Gold.
Lange was said to have been a favorite student of Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler. He demanded unconditional obedience from his subordinates. Joseph Berman, a survivor of one of the concentration camps administered by Lange, described him as follows:
‘As far as Lange is concerned, he was the biggest murderer I have ever known. To write a book about him would definitely not be enough. As he is dead, it is no use talking about him. I would, however, mention that he was one of the most notorious anti-Semites in the 20th century. He hated Jews so much that he could not look at them; one never wanted to pass him either in the motor pool or anywhere else.’
Lange made himself one of the most feared officials among those responsible for the Riga ghetto. He supervised the arrival of the transports, aided by SS-Obersturmbannführer Gerhard Maywald, whom historian Gertrude Schneider, a survivor of the Riga ghetto, describes as Lange’s “sidekick”. Lange personally shot a young man, Werner Koppel, who he felt was not opening a railway car door fast enough.
In the document, dated 26 September 1940 and issued in Berlin, that bears his original signature he notifies (probably the SS-Hauptamt) that he was transferred to the Gestapo in Berlin and provides his Berlin address.
This item ships from one of our affiliates in Germany. It comes from a private collection and has never been offered for sale before. It was purchased directly out of a German archive. The seller gives a full money back guarantee for the authenticity of the document and signature. Includes shipping worldwide.