Rudolf Schleier

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Rudolf August Emil Otto Schleier was born in Hamburg. An early supporter of the Nazi movement, he joined the staff of the German Embassy in Paris after being appointed as consul general by Otto Abetz on 14 June 1940. In November 1940, after Abetz received the title of ambassador, Schleier became his special envoy. His portfolio included the implementation of anti-Jewish measures in German-occupied France and the logistics of deporting tens of thousands of Jews. Together with Werner Gerlach, Schleier played a key role in the acquisition of the Schloss Collection on behalf of the German Embassy in Paris. On 27 April 1943, Schleier ensured that Dr. Göpel’s letter outlining the seizure of the Schloss Collection and suggested next steps reached Martin Bormann. On 24 May 1943, Schleier held his first meeting with President Laval regarding the Schloss Collection, where he emphasized Hitler’s interest in it. During the sale negotiations, he was responsible for keeping the Foreign Office in Berlin, as well as von Hummel, Voss and Göpel informed. On 29 November 1943, Schleier was transferred to Berlin, where he was put in charge of Ribbentrop’s anti-Jewish propaganda office X of the Foreign Office, later known as Information Office XIV (Anti-Jewish Foreign Action). By March 1945, he headed the Foreign Office, which had relocated to Thuringia. After the end of the war, Schleier was held in Allied internment and was interrogated several times. Nonetheless, he was not formally charged and was released from the Dachau internment camp in December 1947. In November 1948, Schleier was rearrested and transferred to France, where he faced a military tribunal in Paris. In 1959, years after his release from internment, Schleier committed suicide. Links: Archive of the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich: Vernehmungen des Rudolf Schleier 1947 im Rahmen der Nürnberger Prozesse und Schriftwechsel mit dem IfZ (PDF; 8,7 MB), Signature ZS-0622. Online at: Roland Ray, Annäherung an Frankreich im Dienste Hitlers? Otto Abetz und die deutsche Frankreichpolitik 1930-1942, München 2000.