RAHN, OTTO (19??-1939) Youthful poet, writer, researcher and SS member closely associated with Weisthor (Wiligut) and Himmler. Rahn's books on the Holy Grail and the medieval troubadours were required reading for SS recruits and students.
RATHENAU, WALTER (18??-1922) German Foreign Minister who was assasinated by antisemitic German nationalists in Berlin on June 24, 1922. Rathenauís wealthy Jewish father helped found the German Edison Co. in 1883.
RAUSCHNING, HERMANN (1887-1961) Joined the NSDAP in 1926 and became Danzig Senate president in 1933. Broke with Hitler and the Nazis and immigrated to Switzerland in 1936 and later to the United States. Wrote several highly critical but informative books on Hitler and his plans for the future. Some historians consider him a spurious source.
REMER, OTTO ERNST FRITZ ADOLF (1912-1997) Unrepentant Nazi who as a 31-year-old major helped Hitler retain control of Germany in the crucial hours following the failed assasination attempt of July 20, 1944. Remer in charge of a battalion stationed in Berlin initially followed a general's order to seal off the major government ministries. Goebbels interceded; however, and put Remer on the phone with Hitler, who promoted him on the spot to colonel and ordered him to crush the rebellion. Remer was instrumental in the arrest of the conspirators, including Claus von Stauffenberg, and their families. Many were executed and others sent to concentration camps. Remer was later promoted to major general, commanded a division and was responsible for Hitler's personal security. After the war he was not sought as a war criminal, but was active from 1950 until his death in various Neo-Nazi circles.
RIBBENTROP, JOACHIM von (1893-1946) German Foreign Minister 1938-45. Obtained his title of nobility through adoption and became prosperous as a result of his marriage to Anneliese Henkell. daughter of Germany's richest champagne maker. Joined the NSDAP in 1932 and became Ambassador in London in 1936. Sentenced to death at Nuernberg in 1946 and executed.
RIEGNER, GEHART Representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva during the war. Played leading role in altering American and British Jewish leaders to the scope of the Nazi plan to exterminate Europe's Jews.
RIENZI, COLA DI (1313-1354) Famous Roman patriot who in 1347 became so angered at the way the Roman Catholic Church and noblemen oppressed the common people that he called a meeting on Rome's Capitol Hill to demand a new government. Soon he became a tribune, or defender of the people, and received the powers of a dictator. For a while he ruled wisely, but his desire for more power caused the people to lose confidence and he was forced to flee to Naples. There, Emperor Charles IV imprisoned him until 1354. He then returned to Rome, was welcomed by the people and regained his lost power. But again he is said to have acted with the cruelty of a tyrant and was killed in a riot. Wagner's opera Rienzi glorified the tribune's concern for the common people and his rise to power through willpower, blaming his downfall and death on the Catholic Church. In 1939, Hitler told Winifred Wagner that his political career had been miraculously laid before him one night in Linz when, as a boy, he attended a performance of Wagner's Rienzi. "That was the hour it all began," Hitler said.
RIEHL, WALTER Elected chairman of the Austrian DAP (German Workers Party) and moved to Vienna in May 1918. He had joined the DAP (founded in 1904) in 1908 and helped write its charter at Iglau in 1913. Riehl was elected chairman in May 1918, and in August of that year changed its name to the German National Socialist Worker's Party (DNSAP) at a meeting in Vienna. In September 1919 Riehl sent copies of the Austrian Nazi program to Anton Drexler, chairman of the new German DAP. Riehl suggested that Drexler change the name of his new German organization to coincide with that of Riehl's Austrian Nazi party (DNSAP). In December 1919 the Interstate National Socialist Bureau of the German Language Territory was founded at a meeting in Vienna and Riehl was named Chairman. Representatives came from Germany, the Sudetenland and Polish Silesia; Hitler may have been among them. In February 1920, Riehl designed a new Austrian DNSAP party flag using a swastika on a white field. Between 1920 and 1923, Hitler spoke at more than a half dozen rallies in Austria sponsored by Reihl's group, and in February 1923, published an article in the Austrian Nazi Party (DNSAP) newspaper. Hitler and Riehl are said to have split over strategy and tactics in 1923. As Hitler's fame grew, Riehl was pushed into the background, but continued to play an active role in Austrian Nazi circles. (Forgotten Nazis)
RINGELBLUM, EMMANUEL (1900-1944) Historian of Warsaw Jewish history. After 1939 Ringelblum worked in the political underground. He established and administered the clandestine Oneg Shabbat ("ln Praise of the Sabbath") archive chronicling the fate of Polish Jews under German occupation. He also cooperated with Mordecai Anielewicz and the Jewish Fighting Organization in the Warsaw ghetto, surviving the April 1943 ghetto uprising and escaping from Trawniki labor camp in July 1943. He was captured and killed by the Germans in March 1944.
ROCKER, RUDOLPH (1873-1958) Rocker was born in Mainz, Germany, son of a workingman who died when the boy was five years of age. It was
an uncle who introduced him to the German SociaI Democratic movement, but he was soon disappointed by the rigidities of German socialism. As a bookbinder, he wandered from one employment to another, and, from the contacts he made in this occupation, he became interested in anarchism. He lived in Paris and in London until after World War I. Although of Christian background, he identified himself with the Jewish and Slavic immigrants who settled in East London. He edited a Yiddish newspaper, Arbeiter Freund, and a Yiddish literary monthly, Germinal. He contributed his organizing efforts to the jewish labor unions in England. Interned as an enemy alien in England in 1914, Rocker and his wife left England upon ther release. In 1919 he returned to Germany. With the rise of Nazism he fled to the United States. He is the author of a biography of Johann Most. His most widely read book was Nationalism and Culture, published in 1937. Rocker is considered one of the foremost theorists on Syndicalism.
RÖHM (ROEHM), ERNST (1887-1934) One of Hitler's earliest supporters. As an army captain in the early Twenties, Roehm funneled money and arms from the army to the Nazis and in 1923 participated in the Munich putsch, after which he was bruptly dismissed from the army. Served as a military advisor in Bolivia, 1928-1930. Recalled by Hitler in 1931 and made head of the SA. In June 1934, he was arrested on Hitler's orders during what has become known as "The Night of the Long Knives." Executed on Hitler's orders in Munich's Stadellheim prison after being accused of planning a coup d'etat against the Hitler government.
ROMMEL, ERWIN (1891-1944) German general and later field marshal whose clever tactics in North Africa earned him the nickname of "The Desert Fox." In 1944, he commanded a German army that opposed the Allied invasion of Normandy (F). He lost his command because he reported to Hitler that it was futile for Germany to continue the war. After being implicated in the July, 1944, plot to kill Hitler, he was given the choice of a trial or poison. His selection of death by poison spared Hitler much embarrassment.
ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN DELANO (1882-1945) American President who led the United States throughout most of World War II and held the office of President longer than any other man (1933-1945). Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term in November 1944, but not live to see the end of the war. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1945, less than a month before the German surrender. Roosevelt's policy regarding Jewish immigration is still the subject of vigorous debate.
(Note: The first American Roosevelt was said to be Claus (Claes) Maryenszen of Roosevelt, who came to America sometime in the seventeenth century. He and his son Nicholas were believed to be Dutch. Nicholas' son Jacobus married a German. His son Isaac married a Swede. His son James married an English woman. His son Isaac also married an English woman, as did FDR's father James; making FDR the eighth generation in that line -- almost 90% of English blood.) (Flynn)
ROSENBERG, ALFRED (1893-1946) Baltic emigrant who became a German citizen in 1922. During the 1920s, Rosenberg became the party's semi-official philosopher. Became editor- in-chief of Volkischer Beobachter in 1923. Director of Foreign Policy Office of NSDAP in 1933. Confiscated art treasures in France in 1940. Minister for occupied eastern territores in 1941. Sentenced to death and executed at Nuremberg.
ROTHSCHILD FAMILY A family of European bankers, financiers and philanthropists that for many years formed one of the ourstanding banking powers of Europe. The Rothshild banks greatly influenced European affairs, sometimes supporting wars, and sometimes preventing them by refusing the necessary loans. They helped to start national education systems in France and Germany, and aided in the industrial development of many European countries. Many of the later members of the family gained special fame and were frequent targets of antisemites who mistrusted their wealth and power. (World Book; Cowles; Davis; Schama)
RUNDSTEDT, KARL RUDOLF GERD von (1875-1953) Germany's most experiened general at the start of WWII; later promoted to field marshal. Rundstedt lead his army successfully in the Polish and French campaigns of 1939-1940. But Hitler interferred so such during his invasion of Russia in 1941 that he gave up his command and took over the German army of occupation in France. Hitler retired him from command in July 1944, but called him back to direct "The Battle of the Bulge."
RUST, BERHARD (1883-1945) Joined NSDAP in 1922 and became provincial party boss of Hanover. Minister of science, education and popular development, 1934-1935. Committed suicide May 8, 1945.
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