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Camp commandant Karl d’Angelo (1890-1945)

Karl d’Angelo was born on September 9th, 1890 in Osthofen. His father owned a printing company. He attended primary school in Osthofen and received secondary education at a grammar school in Worms. After serving as a soldier in World War I, he joined his father’s printing company in 1918.

At the same time, d’Angelo started to get involved in politics by protesting against the French Occupation of Rheinhessen in 1919. He joined the Nazi Party in 1925 and was considered one of the most committed local activists. In 1930 he joined the SS and served for a time as chairman of the local division of the Nazi party.

Commandant of the Osthofen Concentration Camp

In 1933 Dr. Werner Best, the State Commissioner for the police in Hesse, put d’Angelo in charge of the Osthofen Concentration Camp. D’Angelo served as camp commandant on an honorary basis. He is not reported to have been personally involved in the abuse of prisoners, but he also failed to prevent the abuse and humiliation that the prisoners suffered from at the hands of other guards.

As a staunch Nazi and anti-semite, d’Angelo held many conversations with political opponents in an attempt to convert them to the Nazi ideology. He did not attempt to convert the Jewish prisoners.

Later career and death

Following the disbandment of the Osthofen concentration camp, Karl d’Angelo was transferred to Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich in 1935 where he served as Schutzhaftlagerführer (head of the “preventive detention camp"). After roughly one year, he was suspended from his post on the grounds that he was unsuitable. Because of his previous service, the SS refrained from any internal proceedings against d’Angelo.

In later years, d’Angelo held different positions as a senior police officer outside Hesse, for example in Cuxhaven near Hamburg and in Heilbronn. After the end of World War II he most likely committed suicide on either March 20th or 21st of 1945. His body was retrieved from the Rhine near Gernsheim, not far from Osthofen. 

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