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Rudolf “Rudi” Lehmann, 30 January 1914 – 13 September 1983, was a mid-ranking commander the Waffen-SS of Germany during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Following the war, Lehmann authored a unit history of SS Division Leibstandarte published in German by HIAG, the post-war Waffen-SS lobby group, and in English by J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing.
Hubert-Erwin Meierdrees, 11 December 1916 – 4 January 1945, usually referred to as Erwin Meierdress, was a German Waffen-SS officer and tank commander who served with the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, SS-Verfügungs-Division before joining the SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf, which he served with until his death in January 1945. Meierdrees was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Hans Meyer, 13 September 1916 in Kiel, Holstein – 22 March 1979 in Munich, was a German officer of the SS and the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer the Waffen-SS and Knight’s Cross of the Second World War.
Hubert Meyer, 5 December 1913 – 16 November 2012, was a German Waffen-SS commander who served during World War II. He had junior postings with the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and commanded the SS Division Hitlerjugend in 1944. After the war, he became active in HIAG, a Waffen-SS lobby group.
Johannes-Rudolf Mühlenkamp, 9 October 1910 – 23 September 1986, was a German SS commander during World War II who led SS Division Wiking. He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves of Nazi Germany.
Born in 1910, Mühlenkamp joined the NSDAP (Nazi Party) and the SS in April 1933 (party number 2,800,042 and the SS service number 86,065) and was posted to the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) in 1934. Mühlenkamp was assigned to the Germania Regiment (SS Division Leibstandarte) in November 1937, and to the SS Division Das Reich. Between August and October 1944 he was the commander of the Wiking division. His last command was the SS Division 30 January in 1945.
Karl Nicolussi-Leck, 14 March 1917 – 30 August 2008, was an SS-Obersturmführer in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. Post-war, helped many SS personnel flee Europe.
In the late interwar period, Nicolussi-Leck helped to found the Nazi movement Völkischer Kampfring Südtirol which opposed the fascist attempts to Italianize his native, widely German-speaking region South Tyrol, annexed by Italy in 1919, and backed in 1939 the South Tyrol Option Agreement. In January 1940, Nicolussi-Leck volunteered for the Waffen-SS and served in the SS divisions Das Reich and Wiking.
He was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross for his leadership and courage during the Battle of Kovel in 1944. Nicolussi-Leck led a group of 9 Panthers from Wiking Division on a drive to reach the besieged city of Kovel on 30 March 1944. Despite being ordered to turn back owing to ferocious resistance, Nicolussi-Leck pressed on and reached his beleaguered comrades after destroying several Soviet positions.
After the war, Nicolussi-Leck helped many SS personnel leave Europe for South America. He immigrated to Argentina in 1948 but returned in the early ’50s to the South Tyrol, his native region, where he worked as an entrepreneur for Mannesmann. Karl Nicolussi-Leck died in 2008 in Bozen, South Tyrol.
Joachim Peiper, 30 January 1915 – 14 July 1976, also known as Jochen Peiper, was a field officer in the Waffen-SS during World War II and personal adjutant to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler between November 1940 and August 1941. He saw combat on both the Eastern Front against the Red Army and the Western Front against the Allies. By 1945, he was an SS-Standartenführer and the Waffen-SS’s youngest regimental colonel. Peiper was convicted of war crimes committed in Belgium and accused of war crimes in Italy. However, in 1968, both Italian and German courts concluded that there was insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution. Peiper was murdered in France in July 1976 when his house was attacked with Molotov cocktails.
Gerhard “Gerd” Pleiß (also: Pleiss), 2 April 1915 in Remscheid – 17 November 1941 at Rostov, was a German officer of the Waffen-SS with the rank of Hauptsturmführer and Ritterkreuzträger in World War II.
Walter “Bubi” Reder, 4 February 1915 – 26 April 1991, was an Austrian SS commander and during World War II. He served with the SS Division Totenkopf and the SS Division Reichsführer-SS. He and the unit under his command committed the Marzabotto massacre in Italy in 1944. After the war, he was convicted of war crimes in Italy.
Hans Reimling, 17 January 1918 – 7 March 1943, was an Oberscharführer in the Waffen SS and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. He was born in Karlsruhe-Mühlburg and became a member of the Hitler Youth. He joined the SS in 1937 and a year later signed on for four years with the SS-Verfügungstruppe. He was then posted to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, as a tank commander in the 2nd Company, SS Panzer Regiment 1 LSSAH. In a short time, he had 8 anti-tank guns killed. SS Oberscharführer Reimling was killed in action in March 1943 during fighting in the Third Battle of Kharkov.
Reimling is probably buried as an unknown soldier at the War Graves cemetery in Kharkov.
Herbert Reinecker, 24 December 1914 – 27 January 2007, was a very prolific German novelist, dramatist, and screenwriter.
Born in Hagen, Westphalia, Reinecker began to write short stories already as a high school student. In 1936 he moved to Berlin, where he became editor-in-chief of a youth magazine, Jungvolk. In the same year, he also co-authored a book, Jugend in Waffen (Armed Youth). This was a time when the Nazis had already been in power for three years and when the media had long been gleichgeschaltet. In 1943, he was the editor-in-chief of a book entitled Der Pimpf about the training system of the Hitler Youth. Throughout World War II Reinecker served in a propaganda company of the Waffen SS.
Franz Seraphicus Roth
Franz Seraphicus Roth, 5 April 1911 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary – 17 March 1943 in Kiev, was an Austrian photographer of who worked as a free-lance photo reporter at the US-American Associated Press and the Bildberichterstatter the Waffen-SS.
His military career began before the war when he, as an Austrian journalist working for a German newspaper, covered the Italian conquest of Abyssinia and the Spanish Civil War. Roth joined the SS soon after the Anschluss and became an SS-Kriegsberichter (SS war-correspondent). At that time he also worked for the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and as a photo editor for the American news agency Associated Press (The Associated Press photo department entered a formal cooperation with the Nazi regime in the 1930s and worked under the auspices of the German Ministry of Propaganda). Roth joined the Kriegsberichterstatter-Zug of the Leibstandarte SS under SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Meyer in 1940, and covered the division in Greece and the first year in the Soviet Union when this photo was taken, summer of 1941, through rebuilding in the west during the second half of 1942, and finally in the fighting around Kharkov in early 1943. He was awarded the Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse in 1941 and promoted to SS-Untersturmführer in September 1942. Franz Roth died on 17 March 1943, after he was seriously wounded during the Third Battle of Kharkov. He was covering Kurt Meyer’s reconnaissance battlegroup Kampfgruppe Meyer at the time.
Meyer mentioned Roth’s death in his memoirs ‘Grenadiere’. Roth left more than 120 rolls of film that give historians and history lovers a precious account of the war. The album contains more than 600 photographs from contact sheets kept by the U.S. National Archives in Washington D.C. Franz Roth was buried at Heldenfriedhof Askold’s Grave on the right bank of the Dnieper River in Kiev in Ukraine, and posthumously awarded the Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse on 25 March 1943. His images can be found in a variety of European World War II propaganda publications and in American newspapers.
Rudolf Sandig, 11 September 1911 — 11 August 1994, was an SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the Waffen-SS, who was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.
He was born on the 11 September 1911 in Eppendorf, Saxony. He volunteered for the SS and was given the SS service number 10,676. He was posted to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler and given command of the 7th Company. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross on the 5 May 1943 while in command of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment.
Sandig was in command of a strong Kampfgruppe (battlegroup) during the Ardennes Offensive, which consisted of his own Regiment less one Battalion, attached to the 1st SS Panzer Regiment ( Kampfgruppe Peiper ), plus the Stug (Assault Gun) Battalion.
Walter Schmidt, 28 January 1917 – 28 July 2000, was an Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves, an award that recognized extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by National socialist Germany during World War II.
Helmuth Schreiber, 25 March 1917 – 6 December 2008, was a Sturmbannführer (Major), in the Waffen-SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II. He was also one of only 631 members of the German Armed forces to be awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Gold.
Helmuth Schreiber was born in Giessen, Hessen on the 25 March 1917. He joined the Waffen SS and as part of the SS Standarte Deutschland participated in the Anschluss of Austria and the occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938. He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class in December 1941. He served as the Company commander of the 10th Company, 3rd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment Deutschland, 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Division Das Reich. He was also awarded the Knight’s Cross in July 1943, while in command of the 10th Company. He was promoted to Sturmbannführer and assumed command of the Deutschland Regiment when he was awarded the Close Combat Clasp in Gold, in May 1944.
Hans-Georg Hubertus “Ferret” Schulze, 11 September 1917 in Berlin – 27 July 1941 at Wlashin, was a German officer of the SS and most recently SS-Obersturmführer (SS No. 270,844) in the 1st Company of I. Sturmbanns of the Leibstandarte SS “Adolf Hitler” as well as a member of the Führer-Escort Commando.
Richard Schulze-Kossens, 2 October 1914 – 3 July 1988, born Richard Schulze, was an SS commander during the Nazi German era. During World War II, he served as a Waffen-SS adjutant to the foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and later commanded the SS Division Nibelungen and SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
Kurt Schumacher, 8 March 1923 in Hanover – 20 March 1945 at Stuhlweissenburg, Hungary, was a German officer of the Waffen-SS with the rank of SS-Obersturmführer and Knight Cross-Bearer of the Second World War.
Paul Senghas, 31 January 1916 in Böttingen am Neckar – 6 November 1996 in Flein near Heilbronn, was a German officer of the SS with the rank of SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer and Knight’s Cross bearer of the 5th SS Panzer Division “Wiking” during World War II. The tank ace destroyed 49 enemy tanks.
SS-Obersturmführer Werner Sternebeck a tough and charismatic officer who led Peiper’s tank attack in the Ardennes. His was probably the first tank to reach the Baugnez crossroads just south of Malmedy and take the GI’s captive. According to a SS veteran “you didn’t follow him unless you were totally prepared to give up your life, Peiper loved him”.