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Otto Max Koegel
Max Koegel
Born (1895-10-16)October 16, 1895
Died June 27, 1946(1946-06-27) (aged 50)
Place of birth Füssen, Kingdom of Bavaria
Place of death Schwabach, Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service 1916–1945
Rank SS-Obersturmbannführer
Commands held Lichtenburg concentration camp
Ravensbrück concentration camp
Majdanek concentration camp
Flossenbürg concentration camp
Awards World War I Iron Cross 2. Class
War Merit Cross with Swords
SS-Honour Ring
Cross of Honor

Otto Max Koegel (16 October 1895 in Füssen – 27 June 1946 in Schwabach) was a Nazi officer who served as a commander at Lichtenburg, Ravensbrück, Majdanek and Flossenbürg concentration camps.


Max Koegel was born on October 16, 1895 in Füssen, in the Kingdom of Bavaria. He was the fourth son of a carpenter who worked at a local furniture factory. Shortly before his sixth birthday, Koegel's mother died from complications during a childbirth. In 1907, his father also died and Max was sent to live with a family at a nearby farm. He also had to leave school and began training as a shepherd and later worked as a mountain guide.
When the First World War broke out, Koegel volunteered to join the Bavarian infantry. He served in the military until January 12, 1919 and reached the rank of corporal. He was wounded three times, including once during the Battle of Verdun, and received the Iron Cross second class.
After the war, Koegel returned to Bavaria and worked as a customs clerk in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In 1920, he left civil service and opened a souvenir shop. However, four years later he filed for bankruptcy after he was charged with fraud, for which he received a suspended sentence. He went on to travel for work in Switzerland and Austria before returning to Füssen, where he got a job in his father's old furniture factory. At that time, he joined the Völkischer Bund and Bund Oberland, both extreme nationalist and anti-Semitic organisations. In 1929, Koegel's eight-year-old son died from measles and a short time later, after 10 years, his marriage ended in divorce.Max Koegel became member of the NSDAP (#1179781) on May 2, 1932 and of the SS (#37644) in June 1932.

SS service

Koegel became adjutant of the Dachau concentration camp commander in 1937. From 1938 to 1942 he was first "Direktor" (managing director) and then commander of the labour camp for women in Lichtenburg at Ravensbrück in the rank of Sturmbannführer (Major). In 1942 he was commander of the extermination camp Majdanek and involved in the installation of gas chambers at this site. From 1943 to 1945 he was commander at Flossenbürg concentration camp.[1]

After the war, Koegel was on the run and was not arrested until June 1946 in Schwabach, a town near Nürnberg. He committed suicide through hanging in his prison cell only a day later on June 27, 1946.


  1. Chris Webb, Carmelo Lisciotto (2007). "Majdanek Concentration Camp (a.k.a. KL Lublin)". H.E.A.R.T, Holocaust Research Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  • Silke Schäfer: Zum Selbstverständnis von Frauen im Konzentrationslager. Das Lager Ravensbrück Dissertation, TU Berlin 2002.
  • Tom Segev: Die Soldaten des Bösen. Zur Geschichte der KZ-Kommandanten. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-499-18826-0.
  • Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005. ISBN 3-596-16048-0.

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