Biographical Sketches

Adolf Hitler in World War I

Hitler WWI

This World War I postcard from Germany, which shows a burial of German soldiers during the war.  On the reverse, the card is postmarked November 18, 1915.  Most importantly, it is also marked as coming from the 10th Company of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment in the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division.  The religious leader in the white cassock appears to be Father Norbert (Norbert Stumpf.)  The soldiers with the armbands are medical personnel.  While at full strength, a German infantry company fielded about 240 men, companies were rarely anything close to full strength, so an average of about 100 might be more accurate.  There seem to be about 50 men present in this photograph.

Why is this photograph anything more than one of the hundreds of thousands of routine depictions of World War I ?

Probably because by this date in 1915, Corporal Adolf Hitler was assigned to the 10th Company shown here, according to several expert sources.

I have looked at the photo for hours under magnification and am not able to say that I have found Hitler in the formation.  As his duties also consisted as a message carrier, or runner, to regimental headquarters, it is quite possible he did not attend this burial.

Adolf Hitler WWI Sample 1

This is a known photo of Hitler during the war.  Unfortunately, it seems that many men in his unit sported flourishing mustaches, so that feature does not narrow down identification.  Below is a second known photo.  When Hitler was in a small group having its picture taken, he often stood or sat near the edge of the group.  But the men at the funeral service probably had no idea that the group was having its picture taken.

Adolf Hitler WWI Sample 2

If you can identify the future dictator of Nazi Germany in the top photograph, please let me know who you believe it is!

 

Adolf Hitler in World War I2016-07-31T16:48:01-06:00

Theodor Dannecker

Theodor Danneker

Theodor Danneker

Theodor Dannecker, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 27 March 1913 in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, assigned to Office IV B 4 (Jewish Affairs) of the RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) under Adolf Eichmann, leader of the Judenreferat at the Sicherheitsdienst post in Paris that oversaw the deportation of 13,000 Jews to Auschwitz, in charge of deporting all Jews from Bulgaria to extermination camps, assisted in the deportation of more than a half a million Hungarian Jews between early 1944 and summer of the same year to Auschwitz and other death factories, committed suicide after being taken prisoner by the U.S. Army on 10 December 1945 in Bad Tölz, Bavaria.

Theodor Dannecker2016-03-29T20:56:26-06:00

Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner, born 8 April 1912 in Nádkút, Vas, Austria-Hungary, SS-Hauptsturmführer in the Gestapo, commander of the Drancy internment camp, oversaw deportations of tens of thousands of Jews from France, Austria, Salonika and Slovakia to extermination camps, assistant to Adolf Eichmann, fled to Syria after the war to avoid prosecution, known in Syria as Dr. Georg Fischer, condemned to death in abstentia in France in 1954, object of many manhunts and investigations over the years by different groups, serious injured several times by Israeli Mossad letter bombs, interviewed by Bunte magazine in 1985,  lived in an apartment building on 7 Rue Haddad in Damascus, probably died in Syria in 2010 and buried somewhere in Damascus, said in an interview in 1987:

“I first heard about gas chambers after the end of the war.”

Alois Brunner2016-03-29T13:39:09-06:00

Amon Göth

Amon Göth

Amon Göth

Amon Leopold Göth, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 11 December 1908 in Vienna, Austria, assigned to Operation Reinhard in Lublin in the summer of 1942, commandant of the Płaszów concentration camp, in charge of the liquidation of the Tarnów ghetto, and the liquidation of the Szebnie concentration camp, relieved of his position and charged by the SS with theft of Jewish property in 1944, diagnosed Göth as suffering from mental illness and he was committed to a mental institution in Bad Tölz , Bavaria, found guilty in Poland after the war of homicide, sentenced to death, hanged at Montelupich prison at Krakow on 13 September 1946, last words were “Heil Hitler,” remains cremated and the ashes scattered in the Vistula River.

Amon Göth2016-03-29T13:10:41-06:00

Franz Stangl

Franz Stangl shortly before his death

Franz Stangl shortly before his death

Franz Stangl, SS-Hauptsturmführer, born 26 March 1898 in Altmünster, Austria, served as the Police Superintendent of the T-4 Euthanasia Program at Hartheim Euthanasia Center, and later of the Bernburg Euthanasia Center, kommandant of the Sobibór and Treblinka extermination camps of Operation Reinhard, winner of the War Service Cross 1st Class, arrested in Sao Paulo in 1967, convicted of crimes against humanity, sentenced to Life Imprisonment, died of a heart attack 28 June 1971 in prison at Düsseldorf, on the Treblinka extermination camp:

“It was Dante’s Inferno.  It was Dante come to life.”

Franz Stangl2016-03-29T12:19:01-06:00

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch, wife of Karl Koch (Buchenwald commandant), born 22 September 1906 in Dresden, worked as a guard and secretary at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, reportedly collected items made of human skin, nicknamed: “the Bitch of Buchenwald”, arrested with her husband by SS authorities in 1943 on charges of private enrichment, embezzlement, and the murder of prisoners to prevent them giving testimony but charges dismissed due to lack of evidence,[convicted of crimes against German nationals in 1951, sentenced to life imprisonment by a West German court, committed suicide in prison by hanging herself with a bed sheet 1 September 1967 at the Aichach prison near Dachau, Bavaria, buried in an unmarked and untended grave in the cemetery at Aichach, reported last words on the day of her death were:

“Death is the only deliverance.”

Ilse Koch2016-03-29T11:52:10-06:00

Ernst Lerch

Ernst Lerch at time of trial

Ernst Lerch at time of trial

Ernst Lerch, SS-Sturmbannführer, born 19 November 1914 in Klagenfurt, Austria,  employed in his father’s Café Lerch in his home town in the 1930s, adjutant to SS and Police Leader Odilo Globocnik in Lublin, Poland, participant in Operation Reinhard (Aktion Reinhard)– the operation to kill the Jews of Poland, winner of the Iron Cross 1st Class, served as chief of Globocnik’s personal staff in the OZAK (Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland), tried in Austria in 1972 but trial adjourned without verdict, died in 1997, said of SS-Obergruppenführer Odilo Globocnik, the chief of Operation Reinhard:

“Globocnik has two souls: one sincere and pleasing one; he really was sociable and fun loving, even witty, and then there was another, completely reversed aspect – the harshness and unbending behavior in his work.  The orders, which came from above, were executed in each particular case; an order could not be discussed.  He had the extraordinary ability, sometimes like that of a priest, to obey these orders.”

Ernst Lerch2016-03-29T11:35:04-06:00

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny, SS-Standartenführer, born 12 June 1908 in Vienna, Austria, commando leader who rescued Benito Mussolini at Gran Sasso, commanded special commandos at the Battle of the Bulge, winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, author Skorzeny’s Secret Missions: War Memoirs of the Most Dangerous Man in Europe, by some accounts was an Israeli Mossad agent in the 1960s, died 5 July 1975 in Madrid, Spain, said on loyalty:

“I believe that if I am loyal to a man when he is winning I should also be loyal to him when he loses.”

Otto Skorzeny2016-03-28T22:08:28-06:00

Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Ernst Kaltenbrunner (right) during a visit to Mauthausen concentration camp with Heinrich Himmler

Ernst Kaltenbrunner (right) during a visit to Mauthausen concentration camp with Heinrich Himmler

Ernst Kaltenbrunner, SS-Obergruppenführer, born 4 October 1903 in Ried am Inn, Austria, Chief of the Reich Main Security Service (RSHA), successor to Reinhard Heydrich, winner of Nazi Golden Party Badge, Blood Order and Knight’s Cross of the War Service Cross, convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at Nürnberg, executed by hanging 16 October 1946 at Nürnberg, said of the Nazi concentration camp system:

“Concentration camps were not my responsibility.  I never found out anything about any of this.”

Ernst Kaltenbrunner2016-03-28T21:18:05-06:00

Hermine Braunsteiner

Hermine Braunsteiner

Hermine Braunsteiner

Hermine Braunsteiner, female SS auxiliary guard at Ravensbrück and Maidanek concentration camps, nicknamed “The stomping mare,” born 16 or 17 July 1919 in Vienna, Austria, convicted after the war of crimes against humanity in Austria but released, emigrated to the United States in 1959, lived in Queens New York, extradited to West Germany and convicted in 1981 of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, released from prison in 1996 due to complications from diabetes (amputation), died in Bochum, Germany on 19 April 1999, said of herself in 1964:

“I’ve suffered enough…after all I only did my duty…”

Hermine Braunsteiner2016-03-28T20:58:54-06:00
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