Otto Telschow (27 February 1876, Wittenberge – 31 May 1945, Lüneburg) was a German Nazi Party official who served as Gauleiter in Eastern Hanover from 1925 to 1945.
Telschow was born in Wittenberge, the son of a judicial officer. Until 1893 he was a student at the Royal Prussian boys military education institute in Annaburg. Trained as a cavalryman, he served until 1897 with the 11th (2nd Brandenburg) Uhlan Regiment in Saarburg and from 1898 to 1902 with the 15th (Hannover) Hussars Regiment ("Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands") in Wandsbeck, attaining the rank of sergeant.
In 1902 he resigned from the military and became an administrative police official in Hamburg. Telschow joined the anti-Semitic German Social Party in 1905. He served with the police until the beginning of the First World War. He was drafted as a field hospital inspector and served from 1914 to 1917 on the front lines in Flanders, Romania and the Baltic States. From the end of 1917 to the end of 1918 he worked as a hospital chief inspector in Reserve Hospital III in Bremen.
After the war, he resumed his police career, working from 1919 to 1924 as an administrative officer in the Hamburg police department. He was dismissed from the police because of his activities from 1922 to 1924 as district leader of the radically völkisch and anti-Semitic German Völkisch Freedom Party (DVFP) in the Harburg district. From 1924 to 1925 he was the leader of the DVFP in Lüneburg and Stade, two Regierungsbezirk (government districts) of the Province of Hanover. He was also a member of the German Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund, the largest and most active anti-Semitic federation in Germany.
When the ban on the Nazi Party was lifted in February 1925, Telschow immediately joined (membership number 7,057). On 27 February 1925 he was named Gauleiter of the Gau Lüneburg-Stade. On 1 October 1928, the Gau was renamed Gau Eastern Hanover and Telschow was retained as Gauleiter, serving until the end of World War II. Telschow founded the weekly Nazi newspaper Niedersachsen-Stürmer, and often gave speeches against Jews, Freemasons and Communists. In November 1929 he was elected to the Hanover provincial Landtag. In September 1930 he was elected to the Reichstag for electoral constituency 15, Eastern Hanover, and remained a member until 1945.
After the Nazi seizure of power, Telschow was named President of the provincial Landtag in April 1933. He then was made a member of the Prussian State Council on 15 September 1933. Unlike most other Gauleiters, Telschow was not a member of either the SA or the SS. On 16 November 1942, he was appointed the Reich Defense Commissioner for his Gau.
Toward the close of the war, when British troops entered Lüneburg on 18 April, Telschow fled from his villa to a hunting lodge near Dahlenburg. There he was arrested by British soldiers. He attempted suicide by slashing his wrists and ingesting poison while being transported back to Lüneburg, where he died on May 31, 1945.
- ^ Höffkes, Karl: Hitlers politische Generale. Die Gauleiter des Dritten Reiches. Ein biographisches Nachschlagewerk, Grabert-Verlag, Tübingen, 1986, pp. 342-343, ISBN 3-87847-163-7.
- Karl Höffkes: Hitlers Politische Generale. Die Gauleiter des Dritten Reiches: ein biographisches Nachschlagewerk. Grabert-Verlag, Tübingen, 1986, ISBN 3-87847-163-7.
- Ernst Klee, Das Personen-Lexikon zum Dritten Reich. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt-am-Main, 2005, p. 619