Otto Rothstock

Otto Rothstock (10 April 1904[1] – 26 May 1990 in Hannover[2]) was an Austrian living in Germany, who assassinated Jewish writer Hugo Bettauer.

As a young member of various different political parties, Rothstock was enraged by Bettauer's newspapers that he claimed to be pornographic. 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 European culture from the menace of degeneration. His lawyer, Walter Riehl, (himself a National Socialist 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.[3] A fair amount of money was collected from the general public for him.[4]

Rothstock was an unrepentant Nazi. In a 1977 interview on the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Rothstock reportedly boasted of Bettauer's "extinction".[5]


  1. ^ Library of Congress Name Authority File.
  2. ^ "Bettauers "Erotische Revolution" – Dr. Murray G. Hall".
  3. ^ 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 an angry citizen 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 degeneration and it's youth from sinister newspapers that included pornography and more. Declared insane, Rothstock was jailed but then set free after only eighteen months.
  4. ^ Söderling, Trygve (19 July 2019). "En tidig varning för nazismen". Hufvudstadsbladet (in Swedish). pp. 24–25.
  5. ^ "Kino-Ausstellung: "Stufenplan der Ausschließung"". Kurier. March 2, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.

Further readingEdit

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