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Otto Reche

Otto Reche.

Otto Carl Reche (24 May 1879 – 23 March 1966) was a German anthropologist and professor from Glatz (Kłodzko), Prussian Silesia. He was active in researching whether there was a correlation between blood types and race. Once a member of the Nazi Party, he remained active in anthropological issues following the downfall of Nazi Germany.


  • Education and career 1
  • Blood type research and conclusions 2
  • Life after the war 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6

Education and career

Reche was educated at the University of Breslau (now the University of Wrocław), the University of Jena and the University of Berlin.[1]

In his career, Reche served as the director of the Departments of Anthropology at the Nazi Party and the German Society for Blood Group Research (which he founded along with Paul Steffan). In 1928, Reche and Steffan founded Zeitschrift für Rassenphysiologie, a magazine on the subject.[2]

Blood type research and conclusions

Reche's work with blood types, involving studies in northwestern Germany, was an attempt to prove a correlation between which blood type a person had and whether they were of German ancestry. He claimed that the three blood types, A, B, and O, were each originally attached to European, Asian, and Native American races, but that interracial marriage had diluted this over the centuries.[2]

Life after the war

On April 16, 1945, Reche was arrested by American forces for membership in the Nazi Party. He was released after sixteen months of detainment.[1]

In 1959, Reche was chosen by a German court investigating the claims of Anna Anderson that she was Anastasia Nikolaevna, a Russian royal thought to have been murdered along with the rest of the royal family. He concluded that Anna Anderson was either the Grand Duchess herself or an identical twin.[3] After Anderson's death, however, it was concluded based on DNA evidence that she was not Anastasia. (See Anna Anderson#DNA tests)

Reche died near Hamburg in 1966.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Geisenhainer, Katja (2002). "Rasse ist Schicksal" Otto Reche (1879–1966) – ein Leben als Anthropologe und Völkerkundler (in German). Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt.  
  2. ^ a b Proctor, Robert N. (1988). Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis.  
  3. ^ Lovell, James Blair (1998). Anastasia: The Lost Princess.  

Further reading

  • Arthur L. Caplan, ed. (1992). When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust.  
  • Neugebauer, Wolfgang. "Racial Hygiene in Vienna 1938". Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
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