On May 10, 1945, probably knowing that he was close to being captured, by swallowing a capsule of potassium cyanide at the Mürwik naval base in Flensburg-Mürwik, Richard Glücks ended his own life. Although the lack of official records or photos gave rise to speculation about his ultimate fate.
There are many biographies about this man, but I decided to stick with the facts that matter. No matter how you twist or turn it, Richard Glücks was an evil man.
Glücks was a major contributor to the execution of the “Final Solution,” the destruction of European Jewry. He established Auschwitz, where millions of Jews were exterminated; he was in charge of the construction of gas chambers, and he helped develop the program of medical experiments that were carried out in the concentration camps.
In 1942, Glucks was made responsible for a unit of the Economic-Administrative Main Office (Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt), which dealt with industrial companies regarding the use of concentration camp prisoners as slave laborers in their factories.
Some might say that Glücks was the worst of them and that he eased some of the sufferings in the camps.
Due to the extremely high mortality rate in the camps around 1942, which of course, had a negative effect on the deployment of prisoners as slave laborers, Glücks sent the following memo to all camp commanders on December 28, 1942:
“The first camp physicians are to do their utmost with all the means available to them, to considerably lower the mortality rate in the various camps [..] The physicians are to supervise the feeding of prisoners more than ever and submit proposals for improvement to the camp commanders according to policy. These are not to be just put on paper but must frequently be checked by the physicians. [..] The Reichsführer-SS has ordered the death rate be lowered considerably.”
But this was not because he felt sorry for the inmates in the camps, but it was solely for economic reasons.
From 1942 onward, he was responsible for slave labour and death by work.
In July 1942, he participated in a planning meeting with Himmler on the topic of medical experiments on camp inmates. From several visits to the Auschwitz concentration camps, Glücks was well aware of the mass murders and other atrocities committed there.
On July 8, 1942, Glücks had a meeting with Himmler, Professor Carl Clauberg, and others about the intended mass sterilization of Jewish women in the concentration camps. Auschwitz was designated as the camp where Clauberg was to start experimenting with various means of sterilization. Numerous prisoners succumbed to the consequences of these experiments; others endured excruciating pains and were maimed for the rest of their lives. Glücks was also ordered to develop gas chambers in certain camps, to kill the sick and weakened prisoners speedily and efficiently.
Glucks was one of the key figures of the concentration camp system. Together with Himmler and Pohl, he decided how many of the deported Jews were to be killed and determined that the hair of the murdered people was to be collected and made into “hair-yarn stockings for U-boat crews and hair-felt stockings for the railroad.”