Otto Rothstock

Otto Rothstock (b. 10 April 1904[1]) was an Austrian Nazi who assassinated Jewish writer Hugo Bettauer.

As a young member of the Nazi party, Rothstock was enraged by Bettauer's satire of Nazi anti-semitism in his popular work, The City Without Jews. On March 10, 1925 Rothstock entered Bettauer's office and shot him five times at point-blank range. Hugo Bettauer died on March 26, 1925 from his wounds.

At his trial, Rothstock justified what he had done as necessary to save German culture from the menace of Jewish degeneration. His lawyer, Walter Riehl, (himself a Nazi functionary) argued that his client was guilty but insane, with which the jury agreed. However within twenty months Rothstock was released as “cured” from a mental hospital.[2] A fair amount of money was collected from the general public for him.[3]

Rothstock was an unrepentant Nazi. In a 1977 interview on the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Rothstock reportedly boasted of Bettauer's "extinction".[4]


  1. Library of Congress Name Authority File.
  2. Sachar, Howard M. (2002). Dreamland: Europeans and Jews in the Aftermath of the Great War, p. 185. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-40914-1
    Hillary Hope (2013). Vienna Is Different: Jewish Writers in Austria from the ... p. 142. ISBN 978-1-78238-049-8. Bettauer was at the center of a number of controversies, all of which were silenced when he was murdered by a Nazi party member in 1925. On March 25, Otto Rothstock, a twenty-year-old unemployed dental technician, followed Bettauer into ...
    John Efron (2016). The Jews: A History. ISBN 978-1-315-50899-3. At his trial, the murderer, Otto Rothstock, offered the defense that he killed the author in order to save German culture from Jewish degeneration. Declared insane, Rothstock was jailed but then set free after only eighteen months.
  3. Söderling, Trygve (19 July 2019). "En tidig varning för nazismen". Hufvudstadsbladet (in Swedish). pp. 24–25.
  4. "Kino-Ausstellung: "Stufenplan der Ausschließung"". Kurier. March 2, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.

Further reading

  • Hall, Murray G. (1978). Der Fall Bettauer (in German). Wien: Löcker. ISBN 3-85409-002-1.
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