He Who Holds The Devil: Hans Globke

The Lawyer of the Holocaust: From Nuremberg to Bonn

The Berlin Tour Guide presents He Who Holds The Devil, a documentary series investigation into the life and crimes of Hans Globke.


When we think of the crimes that the Nazi’s committed, the horrendous treatment and torture not only of the people, be them Jew or Gentile of Germany but also of Europe there are names and faces that we easily associate. Whether it is because of teachings in school, documentaries or even films, we know the names of the Third Reich, those that came to embody the crimes, such as Adolf Hitler, dictator, Hermann Göring President of the Reichstag, minister for the 5 year plan and Minister of Aviation, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS or Adolf Eichmann SS officer and representative of the Reichsverkehrsministerium amongst others. However, with our knowledge of these personalities, with the continued production of surface level historical documentaries and perhaps even laziness on the parts of producers or whom ever commissions history to be made digestible for audiences and capital generating, we have come to focus, all to often, full responsibility with the faces that we know.

In a study of the holocaust, the murder of 6 million Jews by the National Socialist regime of Hitler, when presented in modern media, the spotlight has come to shine on these major names, but in doing so it has left many of the most important names hidden within the dark and this is certainly the case with Hans Globke.

Unknown Names

Portraitaufnahmen von Staatssekretär Globke

Hans Globke to most English speaking natives, to most people even outside of Germany, is a name that does not spring to mind, but whilst Hermann Göring was the man who proclaimed the Nuremberg Race Laws in 1935 that brought about much of the beginnings of the legal persecution of the Jews by Hitler’s National Socialist regime, he was not the person writing the laws for that would be Wilhelm Stuckart who died a free man in 1953 in a car accident, nor was he the person who expanded on them, for that person was Hans Globke.

The personality of people like Hermann Göring, the bombastic morphine addict who used Jewish persecution to further ways of emblazoning his lifestyle with precious jewels and theatre costume uniforms, have absorbed the crimes of those who operated under them. Hierarchical structure does often have it that those at the top bare full responsibility for what happens beneath, however that does not excuse the crimes of those below. But in the case of Hans Globke, a lawyer within department one of the Reichs and Prussian Ministry of the Interior, penance for the laws that he wrote, that brought untold suffering, mentally, physically and financially to millions upon millions, was never served onto himself even as a devout catholic, or by the victorious allies at the end of the second world war or by the new West German government.

The Achung! History Podcast

He Who Holds The Devil

In our podcast series, available for free on all major Podcasting platforms, ‘He Who Holds The Devil’ Simon J. James ventures into the biography and the horrors induced by Hans Globke. A cruel and unrepentant man who was responsible for much suffering. Through the laws he helped craft and create both on instruction and on his own initiative Jews would have their names stolen from their, they would be categorised and defined on their heritage which in return would merit different punishments, and ultimately he would create the foundations for what would become the holocaust.

But for a man who created so much horror and not just against Jewish people but also citizens of the Czech lands, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Lithuania with his determination to impose ethnic cleansing he would not be brought to trial in the west. For the man who created these horrors who was allowed to walk free and quickly rise in power in the new West Germany and became the puppet master of Konrad Adenauer. However history is full of inconveniences for politicians and governments, and Globke’s past was, for the Adenauer regime inconvenient, but, rather than punishing and cleansing the CDU of the Nazis that filled a large proportion of their ranks in the years following the foundation of West Germany in 1949, they preferred to hunt those that might expose them instead. It was clear, protecting Hans Globke was more important for Adenauer and the CDU than justice for the 6 million Jews that were murdered that Globke had a hand in the persecution of or the countless millions that suffered under his ethnic cleansing ideals.

Listen Now!

Join Simon J. James in the Achtung! History 8 part series He Who Holds The Devils in exposing the history of Hans Globke and his crimes from Nuremberg to Bonn.

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All The Podcast Episodes