|German Ambassador to Croatia|
15 April 1941 - 8 May 1945
|Member of Reichstag|
|Born||18 June 1903|
Strausberg, Berlin, German Empire
|Died||7 June 1947 (aged 43)|
Zagreb, Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
|Political party||Nazi Party|
|Alma mater||Potsdam Military Academy|
|Allegiance|| Weimar Republic|
|Years of service||1920, 1926-1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II in Yugoslavia|
Siegfried Kasche (18 June 1903 - 7 June 1947) was an ambassador of the German Reich to the Independent State of Croatia and Obergruppenführer of the Sturmabteilung (SA), a paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party. He was executed for war crimes.
Kasche was born in Strausberg. After attending cadet school in Potsdam and the Lichterfelde military academy, he spent 1919-20 in the Freikorps in Berlin and the Baltic states. He joined the Sturmabteilung in 1925 and the Nazi Party in 1926. He was also a leader of the SA in Pommerania. From 1928-31, Kasche was deputy Gauleiter in Ostmark, and in September 1930 was elected to the Reichstag. In 1934, Kasche was promoted to SA-Obergruppenführer, a rank equal to a lieutenant general in the Wehrmacht. Kasche was one of the few SA general officers to survive the Night of the Long Knives. Kasche survived by pleading his case with Göring until he arranged for Kasche to be left unharmed.
In April 1941, Kasche was assigned to the Foreign Ministry for diplomatic service. On 15 April 1941, when Germany recognized the Independent State of Croatia, Kasche was named ambassador. He arrived in Zagreb on 20 April. In the Independent State of Croatia, Kasche advocated joint effort of the Axis forces against the Yugoslav Partisans. Since he was very affectionate to Ante Paveli? and "Usta?e revolution", he justified policy and actions of Usta?e and Hitler called him a "greater Croat than Paveli?".
Kasche was in constant conflict with Edmund Glaise-Horstenau, a Plenipotentiary General in the Independent State of Croatia. After the unsuccessful Lorkovi?-Voki? plot, an attempt to align the Independent State of Croatia to the Allies, Kasche finally found a chance to denigrate Horstenau and make him withdraw from Croatia, as he was involved in the plot. At a meeting of the Nazi leadership on 16 July he was designated as the future Reichskommissar of the planned Nazi colony called Moskau, which was to comprise the main territories of central and northern Russia up to the Ural mountains. Military realities on the Eastern Front during the 1941-42 winter prevented its establishment, leaving the project in the planning stages.
During World War II, many Serbs were deported from Croatia -- some to Serbia and others to Germany. The order to deport Serbs did not originate with the leaders of the Independent State of Croatia, which preferred to forcibly convert, kill, or detain as slave labor those Serbs within its boundaries. According to the Nuremberg Tribunal, a conference was held in the German Legation presided over by Siegfried Kasche, "at which it was decided forcibly to evacuate the Slovenes to Croatia and Serbia and the Serbs from Croatia into Serbia. This decision results from a telegram from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Number 389, dated 31 May 1941". He reported to Berlin on 18 April 1944 that "Croatia is one of the countries in which the Jewish problem has been solved".
After the war in Europe ended, Kasche was returned to Yugoslavia by the Allies. He was tried by the Supreme Court of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in May 1947, convicted, and executed by hanging on 7 June 1947.