SS Generals

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Otto Baum

Otto Baum, (15 November 1911 – 18 June 1998) was a high-ranking commander (Oberführer) of the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany.

Baum was born on 15 November 1911 in Hechingen-Stetten, a son of a merchant. From 1930 to 1932, he studied two semesters of agriculture at the University of Hohenheim. He served as a battalion commander in 3rd SS Totenkopf Infantry Regiment during the Operation Barbarossa, invasion of the Soviet Union. After recovering from severe wounds in 1943, he was promoted to regimental commander, and eventually reached the rank of SS-Oberführer . He took command of the SS Division Das Reich in July 1944, and saw action in the Falaise Pocket.

Wilhelm Bittrich

Wilhelm Bittrich (February 26, 1894 – April 19, 1979) was an SS-Obergruppenführer and Waffen-SS General during World War II.

Richard Walther Darré

Richard Walther Darré (born Ricardo Walther Oscar Darré; 14 July 1895 – 5 September 1953), was one of the leading Nazi “blood and soil” (German: Blut und Boden) ideologists and served as Reichsminister of Food and Agriculture from 1933 to 1942. He was an SS-Obergruppenführer and the seventh most senior officer of the SS. When the Second World War ended, Darré was the senior most SS-Obergruppenführer, with date of rank from 9 November 1934, outranked only by Heinrich Himmler and the four SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer.

Heinrich Fehlis

Heinrich Fehlis (born November 1, 1906 – dead May 11, 1945 ) was a German officer and police officer serving in Norway during World War II . He was the SS Oberführer and Colonel der Polizei, in charge of Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD), where he succeeded SS Oberführer Franz Walter Stahlecker as head of Sipo and SD in Norway in November 1940 and was “Befehlshaber” (BdSuSD ) at Victoria Terrace .

Karl Hermann Frank

Karl Hermann Frank (24 January 1898 – 22 May 1946) was a prominent Sudeten German Nazi official in Czechoslovakia prior to and during World War II and an SS-Obergruppenführer. He was tried, convicted and executed after World War II for his role in organizing the massacres of the people of the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky.

Herbert Gille

Herbert Otto Gille (8 March 1897 – 26 December 1966) was a high-ranking commander in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, making him the most highly decorated Waffen-SS member of the war. After the war, Gille became active in HIAG, a lobby group and a revisionist veteran’s organisation founded by former high-ranking Waffen-SS personnel in West Germany in 1951.

Heinz Harmel

Arthur Heinrich “Heinz” Harmel (29 June 1906 – 2 September 2000) was a high-ranking member in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany.

Born in 1906, Harmel volunteered for the SS-Verfügungstruppe (later known as the Waffen-SS) in 1935 and served as a company commander in the SS-Regiment “Der Führer”, with which he took part in the Battle of France in 1940. In 1941, Harmel took part in the Balkans Campaign and Operation Barbarossa. In December 1941, Harmel took command of SS-Infanterie-Regiment “Deutschland”. Harmel participated in the capture of Kharkov on 15 March 1943. Harmel received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 31 March 1943. On 7 September 1943, he received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. In April 1944, Heinz Harmel took command of the SS Division Frundsberg.

During the summer 1944, the division moved to the Western Front, in Normandy. Harmel had been ordered to break the enemy’s lines, to free the German units encircled in Falaise pocket numbering approximately 125,000 troops of the 7th Army. The operation ended with heavy losses and serious damage. Harmel was then sent to the Netherlands. He fought against the Allied offensive (Operation Market Garden) After the battles around Nijmegen, Harmel received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 15 December 1944. His division was then transferred to Alsace, where Harmel was ordered to establish a bridgehead to join the Colmar Pocket. After the failure of the December 1944/January 1945 offensive in Alsace, Harmel’s division was transferred to the Eastern Front, initially fighting in Pomerania and Brandenburg to hold the Oder Front. The division was subsequently transferred to Heeresgruppe Mitte where in late April it was ordered to counterattack the forces of Marshal Ivan Konev. Harmel refused and was dismissed from command by Field Marshal Schoerner. Harmel subsequently commanded an ad hoc battle group formed around the 24th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS, the SS Officer’s School at Graz and other smaller units. Harmel surrendered to the British forces in Austria.  Harmel died in 2000.

Paul “Papa” Hausser

Paul “Papa” Hausser ( 7. October 1880 – 21st December 1972 ) was a veteran of World War I , later General Reichswehr rank Generalleutnant ( Major General ) and an officer of the Waffen-SS in the rank of SS-Oberstgruppenführer und Generaloberst der Waffen-SS ( Colonel General ) after World war II . He was also also holds numerous military decorations, including the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords . It is called the father of the Waffen-SS .

August Heissmeyer

August Heißmeyer (or Heissmeyer – 11 January 1897 in Gellersen, which is now part of Aerzen – 16 January 1979 in Schwäbisch Hall), was a leading member of the SS. After World War II, Heissmeyer was sentenced to a prison term as a war criminal. His nephew, Kurt Heissmeyer, an SS physician, was as well.

Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (7 March 1904 – 4 June 1942) was a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II, and one of the main architects of the Holocaust. He was SS-Obergruppenführer (General) and General der Polizei, chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, Kripo, and SD) and Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia (in what is now the Czech Republic). Heydrich served as President of Interpol (the international law enforcement agency) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which formalised plans for the final solution to the Jewish Question—the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory.

Historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler described him as “the man with the iron heart”. He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), an intelligence organisation charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and killings. He helped organise Kristallnacht, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance. He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces that travelled in the wake of the German armies to round up and kill Jews and others deemed undesirable by the regime.

Heydrich was attacked in Prague on 27 May 1942 by a British-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile to kill him in Operation Anthropoid. He died from his injuries a week later. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Lidice was razed to the ground; all men and boys over the age of 16 were murdered, and all but a handful of its women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.

Hans Georg Hofmann

Hans Georg Hofmann (* 26 September 1873 in Hof , 31 January 1942 in Munich ) was a German officer , most recently Generalmajor as well as politician of the NSDAP . From 1932 until his death, he was a member of the Reichstag for the constituency of Niederbayern.

Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Ernst Kaltenbrunner (4 October 1903 – 16 October 1946) was an Austrian-born senior official of Nazi Germany during World War II. An Obergruppenführer (general) in the Schutzstaffel (SS), between January 1943 and May 1945 he held the offices of Chief of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt; RSHA). He was the highest-ranking member of the SS to face trial at the first Nuremberg trials. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and executed.

Hans Kammler

General Dr.-Ing. Hans (Heinz) Friedrich Karl Franz Kammler (born 26 August 1901; date of death unknown) was a German civil engineer and high-ranking officer of the Schutzstaffel (SS). He oversaw SS construction projects, and towards the end of World War II was put in charge of the V-2 missile and jet programmes. He was the last SS officer in Nazi Germany to receive a promotion to the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer with date of rank from 1 March 1945.

He is most commonly referred to as Hans Kammler.

Matthias Kleinheisterkamp

Matthias Kleinheisterkamp (22 June 1893 – 29 April 1945) was an SS Obergruppenführer (General) and a Heer (Army) officer who served in both World War I and World War II. During World War II, Kleinheisterkamp commanded the 3. SS-Division Totenkopf, 6. SS-Gebirgs-Division Nord, 2. SS-Division Das Reich, III.(germanische) SS-Panzerkorps, VII. SS-Panzerkops, IV. SS-Panzerkops, XII. SS-Armeekorps and the XI. SS-Armeekorps. He was also a winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.

Walter Krüger

Walter Krüger (27 February 1890 – 22 May 1945) was an SS-Obergruppenführer (Lieutenant General). He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Franz Kutschera

Franz Kutschera (22 February 1904 – 1 February 1944) was an Austrian Nazi politician (gardener by trade), SS-Brigadeführer and war criminal. During World War II, as SS and Police Leader in occupied by Nazi Germany Warsaw, the capital of Poland, he was sentenced to death by the Polish Home Army resistance movement in agreement with the Polish government in exile and executed in front of the SS headquarters in a special action by a combat sabotage unit (predecessor of Battalion Parasol) of Kedyw mainly manned by members of scouting and guiding Gray Ranks.

Otto Ohlendorf

Otto Ohlendorf (4 February 1907 – 7 June 1951) was a German SS-Gruppenführer and head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Inland, responsible for intelligence and security within Germany. Ohlendorf was also the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe D, which perpetrated mass murder in Moldova, south Ukraine, the Crimea, and, during 1942, the north Caucasus. He was convicted of and executed for war crimes committed during World War II.

Oswald Pohl

Oswald Ludwig Pohl (30 June 1892 – 8 June 1951) was a Nazi official and member of the SS. He rose to the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer, and was involved in the administration of German concentration camps during the Second World War. After the war he went into hiding and then was found in 1946, was judicially tried in 1947, repeatedly appealed his case, and finally was executed by hanging in 1951.

Hermann Prieß

Gerhard “Gerd” Pleiß (May 24, 1901 – February 2, 1985) was the commander of 3rd SS Division Totenkopf following the death of Theodor Eicke in February 1943. He was also a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern). The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves and Swords was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

He was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS on April 20, 1944. On October 30, 1944 he became the commanding officer of the 1st SS-Panzerkorps Leibstandarte and led it during the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, Hermann Prieß was convicted of war crimes because of his involvement in the Malmedy massacre and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He was released in 1954.

Johann ‘Hans’ Rattenhuber

Johann Rattenhuber (30 April 1897 – 30 June 1957), also known as Hans Rattenhuber, was a German police and SS general (Gruppenführer, i. e. Generalleutnant). Rattenhuber was the head of German dictator Adolf Hitler’s personal Reichssicherheitsdienst (Reich Security Service; RSD) bodyguard from 1933 to 1945.

Wilhelm Rediess

Friedrich Wilhelm Rediess (10 October 1900 – 8 May 1945) was the SS and Police Leader during the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War. He was also the commanding General (Obergruppenführer) of all SS troops stationed in occupied Norway, assuming command on 22 June 1940 until his death in 1945.

Heinz Reinefarth

Gruppenführer Heinrich Reinefarth (commonly known as Heinz Reinefarth, December 26, 1903-May 7, 1979) was a Nazi German military officer during World War II and government official in FRG after the war. During the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944 his troops committed numerous war atrocities. After the war Reinefarth became the mayor of the town of Westerland and member of the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag. Despite Polish demands for extradition, he was never convicted of any war crimes.

Felix Steiner

Felix Martin Julius Steiner (23 May 1896 – 12 May 1966) was an Obergruppenführer in the Waffen-SS during World War II, who commanded several SS divisions and corps. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Together with Paul Hausser, he contributed significantly to the development and transformation of the Waffen-SS into a military force made up of volunteers and conscripts from both occupied and un-occupied lands.

Steiner was chosen by Heinrich Himmler to oversee the creation of and then command the elite SS Division Wiking. In 1943, he was promoted to the command of the III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps. On 28 January 1945, Steiner was placed in command of the 11th SS Panzer Army, which formed part of a new ad-hoc formation to protect Berlin from the Soviet armies advancing from the Vistula River.

On 21 April, during the Battle for Berlin, Steiner was placed in command of Army Detachment Steiner, while Adolf Hitler ordered Steiner to envelop the 1st Belorussian Front through a pincer movement, advancing from the north of the city. However, as his exhausted unit was outnumbered by ten to one, Steiner made it clear that he did not have the capacity for a counter-attack on 22 April during the daily situation conference in the Führerbunker.

After the capitulation of Germany, Steiner was imprisoned and indicted as part of the Nuremberg Trials. He was cleared of war crimes charges and released in 1948. He was a founding member of HIAG, a lobby group of negationistic apologists, founded by former high-ranking Waffen-SS personnel in 1951 to campaign for the legal, economic and historical rehabilitation of the Waffen-SS.

Jürgen Stroop

Jürgen Stroop (born Josef Stroop, 26 September 1895, Detmold, Germany – 6 March 1952, Warsaw, Poland) was an SS General during World War II. He is best known for being in command against the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and for writing the Stroop Report, a booklength account of the operation. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, Stroop was prosecuted during the Dachau Trials and convicted of murdering nine American POWs. After his extradition to the People’s Republic of Poland, Stroop was tried, convicted, and hanged for crimes against humanity.

Anton Vogler

Anton Vogler , born 1882 , was a German SS – Brigadeführer and General Major in the Waffen SS . He was, among other things, Chief of Staff of SS-Oberabschnitt Süd and Deputy Commander of SS-Oberabschnitt Süd with a service center in Munich . In addition, he was Deputy Higher SS and Policf ( Höhere SS and Polizeiführer , HSSPF) in the Süd office with a service center in Munich.

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (1 March 1899 – 8 March 1972) was a high-ranking Schutzstaffel (SS) commander during World War II in charge of so-called anti-partisan warfare (Bandenkampf (literally: “bandit fighting”)) against “bandits” and any other persons assumed to present danger to the Nazi rule or Wehrmacht’s security in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe. It mostly involved the civilian population. In 1944 he led the brutal suppression of the Warsaw Uprising.

Despite his responsibility for numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, Bach-Zelewski did not stand trial in Nuremberg. He was convicted for politically motivated murders after the war and died in prison in 1972.

Karl von Eberstein

Friedrich Karl Freiherr von Eberstein (14 January 1894 – 10 February 1979) was a member of the German nobility, early member of the Nazi Party, the SA, and the SS (introducing Reinhard Heydrich to Heinrich Himmler in July 1931). Further, he rose to become a Reichstag delegate, an HSSPF and SS-Oberabschnitt Führer (chief of the Munich Police in World War II), and was a witness at the Nuremberg Trials.

Theodor Wisch

Theodor Wisch (13 December 1907 – 11 January 1995) was a high-ranking member of the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He was a commander of the SS Division Leibstandarte (LSSAH) and a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. He assumed command of the LSSAH in April 1943. He was seriously wounded in combat on the Western Front by a naval artillery barrage in the Falaise Pocket on 20 August 1944, and replaced as division commander by SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke.

Fritz Witt

Fritz Witt (27 May 1908 – 14 June 1944) was a German Waffen-SS officer who served with the 1.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler before taking command of the 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend. Witt was killed by an allied naval barrage in 1944.

Karl Wolff

Karl Friedrich Otto Wolff (13 May 1900 – 17 July 1984) was a high-ranking member of the Nazi SS, ultimately holding the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS. He became Chief of Personal Staff to the Reichsführer (Heinrich Himmler) and SS Liaison Officer to Hitler until his replacement in 1943. He ended World War II as the Supreme Commander of all SS forces in Italy. After the war, Wolff was also a central witness as to the alleged plot to kidnap Pope Pius XII.



German Military History with a focus on World War II History including other areas of German History