Hans-Adolf Prützmann


Hans-Adolf Prützmann

Infobox Military Person
name= Hans-Adolf Prützmann
lived= 31 August 190121 May 1945
placeofbirth= Tolkemit, Province of West Prussia
placeofdeath= Lüneburg


caption=
nickname=
allegiance=flagicon|Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
serviceyears=
rank= Obergruppenführer
branch= Schutzstaffel
commands=
unit=
battles= World War II
awards= |laterwork=

Hans-Adolf Prützmann (31 August 1901, Tolkemit, Province of West Prussia - 21 May 1945, Lüneburg) was a Superior SS and Police Leader, as well as an SS Obergruppenführer.

Biography

After completing his studies at the Gymnasium, Prützmann studied agriculture in Göttingen, before he became a member of various "Freikorps" between 1918 and 1921. Despite being a member, he nevertheless avoided military and typical "Freikorps"-related aggressive situations. This, however, changed in 1923, when he interrupted his studies to accompany a "Freikorps" involved in the Upper Silesian uprisings.

Afterwards he worked for seven years as an agricultural official in Pomerania, Brandenburg, and East Prussia, before he joined the SA in 1929. Since Prützmann had become quite a radical soldier as a result of his "Freikorps" experiences, and since his own personal goals did not match the clearly milder thinking found in the SA, he left the organization in 1930 and transferred in the same year to the SS. At the same time, he was admitted to the Nazi Party. As of this point in time, Prützmann's career began a steep rise.

While functioning as a Member of the Reichstag, he was appointed SS Brigadeführer in November 1933, and in February 1934 he was given the rank of SS Gruppenführer. At the same time, Prützmann was appointed Leader of the SS Upper Division Southwest in Stuttgart. From March 1937 until May 1941, Prützmann led the SS Upper Division Northeast whose headquarters were in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad).

World War II

By April 1941, Prützmann had been appointed "Generalleutnant" (Lieutenant General) of the Police. From June until October 1941, he was "Höhere S.S. und Polizeiführer" (Higher SS and Police Leader) of Russia-North, the post being responsible for internal security and combatting partisans. He held the same position in the Ukraine and Russia-South until the summer of 1944.

One of his last promotions came in September 1944 when Prützmann was appointed by Heinrich Himmler as "Generalinspekteur für Spezialabwehr" (General Inspector of Special Defense) and assigned the task of setting up the Werwolf force's headquarters in Berlin and organizing and instructing the force. Prutzmann had studied the guerrilla tactics used by Russian partisans while stationed in the occupied territories of the Ukraine and the idea was to teach these tactics to the members of Operation Werwolf.cite book | last = Biddiscombe | first = Perry | authorlink = Perry Biddiscombe | title = Werwolf!: The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement, 1944-1946 | publisher = University of Toronto Press | year = 1998 | pages = 464 | isbn = 978-0802008626 ] As originally conceived, the Werwolf units were intended to be legitimate uniformed military formations trained to engage in clandestine operations behind enemy lines in the same manner as Allied Special Forces such as Commandos. [cite book | last = Klemperer| first = Victor 077348681X| authorlink = | coauthors = Roderick H. Watt| title = An Annotated Edition of Victor Klemperer's LTI, Notizbuch eines Philologen | publisher = E. Mellen Press | year = 1997 | location = | pages = p. 305 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = ]

In early 1945, under orders from Himmler, he directed the assassination of the Allied-appointed mayor of Aachen, Franz Oppenhoff.

Shortly before the war ended, Prützmann was captured by the Allies and became a prisoner of war. While in their custody, he ended his own life. Whether his suicide happened in Lüneburg, or as another account has it, at an interrogation camp at Diest in Belgium is not quite clear, but it seems certain that his date of death was 21 May 1945.

Notes


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