Paul Hausser

Paul Hausser

Paul Hausser

Paul Hausser, including Dad Hauser (born 7 October 1880 in Brandenburg an der Havel, † 21 December 1972 in Ludwigsburg) was a lieutenant general of the army and the SS-group leader Colonel and Colonel-General of the Waffen-SS. Thus, Hausser was one of the two highest-ranking officers in the Waffen-SS. Units under his command were responsible for war crimes, particularly in the Soviet and Italian civilians, for which he was never charged. After the Second World War, Hausser developed a diverse lobbying for veterans of the Waffen-SS.


Origin and military career

Hausser was the son of the Prussian Major’s Kurt Hausser and his wife Anna Hausser (born Otto). In 1892 he came with twelve years at the Prussian cadet school Koszalin, then Berlin light field and was founded in 1899 in the army entering the 7th West Prussian Infantry Regiment No. 155 adopted. In March of the same year he was promoted to lieutenant and after uses as a battalion and Regimentsadjuntant and a visit to the Institute of War in August 1909 Lieutenant. After a commanding the Imperial Navy in 1912, he was placed in the General Staff. 9 November 1912 he married Elizabeth Gerard (born 18 July 1891 in Berlin, † 16 October 1979 in Munich). He got promotion to captain on 22 März, 1913.

In World War Hausser was partly used in front and General Staff uses and won several awards. When the war ended he was Major iG. After the armistice, he participated in the efforts used against Polish territory “Border Patrol East”. With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which organizations had to be resolved. Hausser was then taken over in 1920 in the Army as a career officer, where he was initially as First General Staff Officer (Ia) in the Reichswehr-Brigade 5, commandos used since 1922 on the staff of the Military District II.

In 1923 he was a lieutenant colonel commanding the III. Battalion of the 4th (Prussian) Infantry Regiment in 1925 and was then Chief of Staff of the 2nd Division in Szczecin. In July 1927 he became commander of the 10th (Saxon) Infantry Regiment and in November of the same year promoted to colonel in this position. In 1930 he was transferred as an infantry leader IV to Magdeburg, 1931 then appointed Major General. 1932 different Hausser at the age of 51 years old due to the nature of a Lieutenant General of the Reichswehr’s from. After his discharge from the Reichswehr Hausser completed in early 1933 at the anti-democratic, paramilitary Stahlhelm, where he held the position of leader of the country “Berlin-Brandenburg”.

National Socialism


In early March 1933, the steel helmet was adopted and incorporated by the Sturmabteilung. In the new SA Reserve II, which was formed from the former steel helmet, he now had the rank and duty position as a leader types. After a meeting of the Mounted SA in Braunschweig he joined in November 1934, the General SS. From the end of 1934, Hausser commander of a SS Junker School in Brunswick and Inspector of the SS Junker schools Brunswick and Tolz, from 1936, also Chief of Amt I (management office) in the SS Main Office and Inspector of the SS troops available. He took over the military training of all armed SS units (with the exception of the SS Death’s Head Units), including the SS Standard “Germany”, “Germania” and “The Leader” as motorized units. Between SS Death’s Head units available troops and there was a constant exchange of personnel. In the SS hierarchy, he rose up quickly. In 1935 he was SS chief officer, In May 1936, SS brigade leader and in June 1936 SS-group leader. As head of the SS training Verfügungstruppe Hausser led a camouflage for the soldiers.

After expiry of the four-year record lock for Neuaspiranten (“March Fallen”) took him to the Nazi Party in May, 1937. He had made no later than 1935 its membership application. Since the SS was a political organization of the Nazi Party, he showed as head of the SS leader Sciences Braunschweig that he was “necessary party membership” consider one. At the NSDAP had it before 1933 – he even looking back 1951 – “dressed”, that it intended the revision of Versailles, the left and fought for a “people’s community” occurred. He saw himself in a continuity of a “substantial part of the officer corps” of the army with National Socialism. According to Mark Gingerich should Hausser “in no way caught up in the Nazi ideology as such” have been, and therefore joined later for professional reasons the Nazi Party.

World War II

Hausser took the staff of Panzer Division Kempf (also armored unit “Prussia”), and who was, among other things, the SS regiment “Germany” assumes the Polish campaign in part. In October 1939 he presented the first independent SS battle group of: “SS Division available”, later Division “Das Reich”. At the same time it Hausser was awarded the right to wear the military rank of lieutenant general. He and Theodor Eicke, the first commander of the SS Division Totenkopf and before Inspector of Concentration Camps and the SS Death’s Head units, were the first SS officers wore shoulder pieces and the title of General in the Wehrmacht.

The Division has he led the campaign in the West in 1940, the Balkan campaign in 1941 and the attack on the Soviet Union. On 1 October 1941 Hausser was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer. After a in October 1941 during the advance on Moscow suffered serious wounds and a recovery break Hausser was charged with the preparation of the SS Panzer Corps (later the II SS Panzer Corps) in June 1942, which remained in the west first. In November 1942 he was given command of the company in Purple, the attempted coup against Toulon at anchor Vichy fleet deployed troops.

With the SS Panzer Corps and the three subordinate SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions Hausser early 1943 was transferred to Army Group South to the Eastern Front to contribute there to stabilize the critical situation after the heavy defeat at Stalingrad. During the fighting in and around Kharkov he ignored Hitler’s orders to hold Kharkov until the last man, and instead ordered the retreat from the city in order to protect his troops from the threat of encirclement by the Red Army. Hitler, who responded in such cases usually with different penalties, took out Hausser’s disobedience. Hausser, Hitler had three weeks earlier awarded the Golden Party Badge of the NSDAP and feared a loss of prestige if he would punish an officer in the Waffen-SS. Instead, he dismissed Hausser’s immediate supervisor, Hubert Lanz, the command, as this was also addressed in later religious ceremonies. As punishment, but because of Kharkov “Hausser honor the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross, not executed until July 1943″ was a proposal. Four weeks later the city by German troops under the leadership of Field Marshal Manstein was captured again, what the SS Panzer Corps under Hausser was involved. His SS units thereby committed against both soldiers of the Red Army against the Soviet civilian population as numerous war crimes and grave violations.

After participating in Operation Citadel Hausser’s corps was in the summer of 1943 – the Allies had landed in Sicily now – with the SS Division “Leibstandarte” moved to northern Italy. Hausser was ordered to disarm upon the occurrence of “If Axis” in northern Italy, the Italian armed forces, their families were to be deported to the Reich for forced labor as Italian military internees, as well as “cleaning up the Ostraumes”. In the implementation that meant – until now insufficiently studied – crime against Italian civilians in the fight against the Italian resistance against the occupation. Ensures that units under Jochen Peiper on 19 September 1943 the Piedmontese towns Boves and Castellar burned while committing massacre of the inhabitants. Hausser held responsible for the General Command of the II SS Panzer Corps at the time of the massacre, a message of Panzer Corps to the Army Group B stated: “The supply base for bandits and Boves Castellar were burned.” An explanatory response to the massacre, it has not ever given by Hausser neither at the time of the end of National Socialism. Instead, it always denied that there had been this and other crimes of his SS men at all.

In anticipation of the Allied invasion in the West, he was transferred with his corps to France in December 1943. After the occurrence of a severe crisis in the Army Group North Ukraine (→ Tank Battle of Kamenetz-Podolsky) the Corps but was then put back on the Eastern Front. Only after the Allied landings in Normandy (Operation Neptune →) the Corps in late June 1944, moved again to the West. On 29 June 1944 Hausser took over after the death of his predecessor Frederick Doll Man, the 7th Army at the invasion front, and was promoted to SS-group leader Colonel and Colonel-General of the Waffen-SS in early August 1944. Beside him, the notorious because of its exceedances Josef “Sepp” Dietrich had only this rank.

After the failed attempt at a counter-offensive at Mortain (→ Company Liege), which by Hitler as a further betrayal case after the assassination of 20 Interpreted in July 1944, he set the responsible commander West and Army Group B, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, from. He rightly suspected him of being in league with the rebels. Hausser he estimated as a trustworthy, so he sat him until the arrival of the successor model to Walter Wise place. Hausser was the breakout from the Falaise pocket on 21 August again severely wounded, which necessitated a longer recovery interval. Hitler awarded him 26 August at the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with swords, after Hausser had previously received a greater number of high order.

In January 1945, Hausser was given command of Army Group Upper Rhine, after a few days then the Army Group G in the southern part of the Western Front. In February, he issued orders to hold one in this final phase of the war, he threatened at this point of predictable collapse of the Nazi regime in the immediate shooting own straggling soldiers.

The extraordinary confidence that Hitler had always referred to in Hausser, suffered shortly before the war ended, given the different assessments of military strategic details a significant turbidity. Beginning of April 1945, Hitler Hausser relieved of his post as commander of Army Group G. Hausser, who remained unemployed until the end of the war, fled to Austria.


In May 1945 he stood in Zell am See, the U.S. troops and then went through various camps, the internment Dachau, and finally as an SS colonel group leader and Colonel-General of the Waffen-SS on the principle of “automatic arrest” in an internment to be transferred to NS loaded. In 1949, he was released from prison. Charges were not charged despite his high rank in the SS. It would seem that this is, at its temporary occupation in the camp Oberursel for the so-called Operational History (German) Section of the “Historical Division” due to the high under the direction of the Army Chief of Staff Franz Halder German military for the U.S. Secret Service studies on a history of the German operations in World War II developed. It was dominated by the confrontation about making the German Ostfronterfahrungen for operational problems in a possible war used against the Soviet Union.

In the Nuremberg trials n Hausser 1946 was “the most important witness for the Waffen-SS” (Mitcham). He tried with great effort to present the Waffen SS as an apolitical force, as the Wehrmacht had been one. He denied the importance of leaders adopting it of 17 August, 1938, against each other and separated by the General SS, Verfügungstruppe and Totenkopfverbände against the police and army. Accordingly, the available force as well as the Totenkopfverbände “neither a part of the army nor the police,” but “Outlines of the NSDAP” to Hitler’s “exclusive available” and the ideological and political principles of the SS were subjected. However, according to Hausser had “… the adoption of fundamental importance not to be attached” to. In fact, he had expressed himself on a SS leaders meeting in Berlin in January 1939 with a view to the adoption of open: “The VT is and will remain a part of the Schutzstaffel. It realizes the unity between the established political soldiers and the weapons carrier within the party “. Although he had to know exactly due to its official position that there was a very high number of commanding conclusions from the Death’s Head units in the Waffen-SS and vice versa, so that guards the camp, including the extermination camps, in several waves systematically in the Waffen-SS had been convicted, he claimed that the two sub-units of the SS had nothing to do with each other.

According to the British Secret Service was founded in 1949, he contacted the “Brotherhood” on, an association of former Nazis around the Exgauleiter Karl Kaufmann, who wanted to subvert the young Federal Republic of Germany.

From 1951, Hausser was with Otto Kumm and Herbert Otto Gille, one of the organizers of the aid community on reciprocity of soldiers of the former Waffen SS (HIAG). The purpose of this organization was assessed and watched by the Protection of the Constitution as Nazi-influenced, to make the legally and politically significant definition of the Waffen-SS as a “criminal organization” by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg undo and use it as a “regular military formation was “show. For this purpose, a written Hausser oriented autobiographical apologia, which appeared under different titles and with high circulation right publishers. Hausser’s publication “Waffen-SS im Einsatz” 1960 was indexed by the Federal Department for morally harmful to youth.

Since the emergence of the HIAG Hausser operating a diverse lobbying in favor of the veterans of the Waffen-SS. He justified the formation of HIAG in a public statement, resigned as speaker at soldiers meetings and had contacts with politicians, for example, in January 1957, Bundestag President Eugen Gerstenmaier. In 1958, he worked out a memorandum to a supply of the former soldiers of the Waffen SS by to achieve GG (known 131er), the Wehrmacht soldiers had been granted in 1951. Historian Hermann White According to which it was Haussers “partially trivializing characterization of the Waffen-SS attributed as one indeed elitist, but like soldiers of the Wehrmacht assimilable, fourth Wehrmacht Part ‘with’ that the German parliament in 1961 passed a similar provision.

Within the HIAG be Hausser put this one to make any independent central organization, but together with former Wehrmacht soldiers in the Association of German soldiers (VdS) to organize, in which he was a member of the Bureau. The background was the fear that an independent organization could be banned as a successor organization of the Waffen-SS and the part of the veterans of the Waffen SS represented claim that they are “soldiers like others” were. With this position, Hausser could not prevail in the HIAG. Internally often called “senior” means, Hausser is estimated prominent role in the HIAG as “guiding spirit”. As his confidant Otto Weidinger was in January 1958 Haussers intervention towards elected HIAG national spokesman in 1962 named the HIAG her social work by Hausser.

Until his death Hausser was always willing to “virtually unseen before every member of ‘his’ former Waffen-SS to provide.” He took “knowingly” also involved in numerous crimes members of this formation in protection. To Hausser’s funeral in 1972 on the forest cemetery in Munich, thousands former member of the SS The funeral speech was the former SS brigade leader Otto Kumm.

Orders and Decorations (selection)

Paul Hausser was awarded several times during the First and Second World War, including the

Iron Cross (1914) Class II and I in 1914 and winter 1915/16

•Bavarian Military Merit IV Class with swords

•Knight’s Cross of the Order of Albrecht I. Class with Swords

•Knight’s Cross of the Order of Frederick I. Class with Swords

•Anhaltisches Frederick Cross

•Austrian Order of the Iron Crown III. Class with war decoration on 11 July 1918

•Repeat Clasp to the Iron Cross 1939 II and I. Class 7 September 1939 and 17th June 1940

Wound Badge (1939) in silver on 9 May 1942

•Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords

◦Knight’s Cross on 8 August 1941

◦Oak Leaves on 28 July 1943 (261 awards)

◦Swords on 26 August 1944 (90 awards)


•Andreas Schulz, Günter Wegmann: Germany’s generals and admirals: The generals of the Waffen-SS and the police tape. 2; library Verl, 2003 from the series: Germany’s generals and admirals; Edited by Dermot Bradley in conjunction with Mark Rövekamp. Under al. by Ernest Henriot, ISBN 3-7648-2592-8, pp. 79-90.

•Hellmuth Auerbach: Waffen-SS. In: Wolfgang Benz (ed.): Legends, Lies, prejudice.A dictionary of contemporary history. dtv, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-423-03295-2.

•Heinz Hohne, The Order of the Skull – The story of the SS, Orbis Publishing, 2002, ISBN 3-572-01342-9.

•Guido Knopp: The SS A Warning of History, 2003. ISBN 3-442-15252-6. (The section Waffen SS comes from Sönke Neitzel)

•Samuel W. Mitcham Jr.: SS-group leader Colonel and Colonel-General of the Waffen SS, Paul Hausser, in: Gerd R. Ueberschär (ed.): Hitler’s elite military Bd 1, Primus Verlag, Darmstadt, 1998, ISBN 3-89678-083-2, page 89-96.

•Wolfgang Schneider: The Waffen-SS Rowohlt Berlin, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-87134-387-0..

•George H. Stone: History of the Waffen-SS Athenaeum and Droste, Königstein and Dusseldorf 1978.. ISBN 3-7610-7215-5.

•Gerhard Schreiber: German war crimes in Italy.Perpetrators, victims, law enforcement. Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-39268-7.

•Enrico Syring Paul Hausser – “door opener” and commanding “his” Waffen SS: Ronald Smelser / Enrico Syring (ed.): The SS elite under the skull. Schoningh, Paderborn 2000, ISBN 3-506-78562-1, pp. 190-207.

•Bernd Wegner: “My Honour is Loyalty” The SS as a Military Factor in Hitler’s Germany. In: Deist, Wilhelm (ed.): The German Military in the Age of Total War. Berg, Leamington Spa, 1985, ISBN 0-907582-14-1 pp. 220-239.

•Bernd Wegner: Hitler’s Political Soldiers. The Waffen-SS 1933-1945. 6 Edition, Schoningh. Paderborn 1999, ISBN 3-506-77502-2.

Historical revisionism

Witness at the Nuremberg Trials

Military person (Reichswehr)

Of the Order of the Iron Crown (third class)

Winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross

Holder of the Bavarian Military Merit

Support of the Albrechts Order (Knight 1st class)

Support of the Friedrich-Order (Knights)

NSDAP member

Winner of the Golden Party Badge of the NSDAP

Member of the Waffen-SS

SA Member

SS Member

Member of the Steel Helmet

Freikorps member

Person in the First World War (German Reich)

Person (Brandenburg)


Born in 1880

Died in 1972


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