- Paul Hausser
Infobox Military Person
lived=birth date|1880|10|7|df=y — death date and age|1972|12|21|1880|10|7|df=y
Brandenburg an der Havel
German Empire(to 1918)
Weimar Republic(to 1933)
serviceyears=1892 - 1945
Oberstgruppenführerund Generaloberstder Waffen-SS
2nd SS Division Das Reich II SS Panzer Corps
awards=Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
Paul "Papa" Hausser (
October 7, 1880– December 21, 1972) was an officer in the German Army, achieving the high rank of lieutenant-general in the inter-war Reichswehr. After retirement from the regular Army he became the "father" (thus the nickname “Papa”) of the Waffen-SSand one of its most eminent leaders. Battling in both the Eastern and Western fronts of World War II, he was seriously wounded twice, losing an eye in the first incident. After the war he became a member of the HIAGwhich sought to rehabilitate the reputation and legal status of the Waffen SS.
Early life and career
Hausser was born in
Brandenburg an der Havelto a Prussian military family; his father Kurt Hausser was a major in the Imperial German Army. He entered the army in 1892 and from then until 1896 was at the cadet school in Köslin, and from 1896 he attended the cadet academy Berlin-Lichterfelde where he successfully graduated in 1899. On March 20, 1899he was commissioned as a lieutenant and assigned to Infantry-Regiment 155stationed at Ostrowoin Posen; on October 1, 1903he became the adjutant of the regiment’s 2nd battalion and he served in this capacity for five years, until October 1, 1908. Noted for his military gifts, he attended the Prussian Military Academyin Berlinfrom October 1908 until his graduation on July 21, 1911. From 1912, onwards, including the First World War, Hausser served in a number of General Staff assignments, including the greatly reduced postwar German army (" Reichswehr"), in which by 1927 he had become a colonel.
He retired from the
Reichswehron January 31, 1932with the rank of lieutenant-general. As a retiree, Hausser joined the right wing WWI veterans organization Stahlhelm, becoming the head of its Brandenburg- Berlinchapter in 1933. Soon, Stahlhelm was incorporated into the SA, and with the SA’s demise, into the SS. In November 1934 he was transferred to the SS-Verfügungstruppeand assigned to SS-Führerschule "Braunschweig". In 1935 he became Inspector of SS-Junkerschule and was promoted to Brigadeführerin 1936.
World War II
Hausser served in the Polish Campaign of 1939 as an observer with the mixed Wehrmacht/SS Panzer Division "Kempf". In October 1939 SS-VT was formed as a motorized infantry division with Hausser in command. He led the division, later renamed
2nd SS Division Das Reich, through the French campaign of 1940 and in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa. For his services in Russia, Hausser was awarded the Knight's Crossin 1941 and the Oak Leavesin 1943 (he was to get the Swords for his services in Normandy) and was severely wounded, losing an eye. After recovering he commanded the newly formed SS-Panzer Corps (renamed II SS Panzer Corpsin June 1943) and against Hitler's explicit orders withdrew his troops from Kharkovto avoid encirclement, only to recapture the city in March 1943. He led 1st, 2nd and 3rd SS divisions during the Battle of Kursk. After Kursk, his Corps was reformed (substituting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd SS Panzer Divisions with the 9th and 10th SS divisions) and sent to France where he commanded them in the early stages of the Normandy Campaign. After the death of Friedrich Dollmann(commander of the Seventh Army), Hausser was promoted to the command of Seventh Army. During the Falaise encirclement, Hausser remained with his troops until he was wounded (shot through the jaw). Paul Hausser was promoted to Oberstgruppenführeror Colonel General of the Waffen SS in August 1944 and subsequently commanded Army Group G from 28 Januaryto 3 April 1945. He ended the war on "Generalfeldmarschall" Albert Kesselring's staff. At the Nuremberg Trialshe vigorously defended the military role of the Waffen SS and denied that it was heavily involved in war-crime atrocities.
Hausser married on
November 9, 1912Elisabeth Gérard (born 1891) and had one daughter (born 1913).
ummary of his military career
Dates of rank
Leutnant: March 20, 1899
Oberleutnant: August 19, 1909
Hauptmann: March 1, 1914
Major: March 22, 1918
Oberstleutnant: April 1, 1923
Oberst: November 1, 1927
Generalmajor: February 1, 1931
* Charakter als
Generalleutnant: January 31, 1932
Standartenführer: March 1, 1934
Standartenführer: November 15, 1934
Oberführer: July 1, 1935
Brigadeführer: May 22, 1936
Gruppenführer: June 1, 1939und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS: November 19, 1939
Obergruppenführerund General der Waffen-SS: October 1, 1941
Oberstgruppenführerund Generaloberst der Waffen-SS: August 1, 1944
Cross of Honor(1934)
Wound Badgein Silver (1942)
Iron CrossSecond (1914) and First (1914) Classes
House Order of Hohenzollern
* SS-Honour Ring (?)
* Clasp to the Iron Cross Second (1939) and First (1940) Classes
Golden Party Badge(1943)
* Oak Leaves (1943)
* Swords (1944)
Waffen-SS Long Service Award(?)
Hausser is an author of several books on Waffen-SS and German military.
*Waffen-SS im Einsatz (Waffen-SS in Action), Plesse Verlag, Göttingen (1953)
*Soldaten wie andere auch (Soldiers Like Any Other), Munin Verlag, Osnabrück (1966)
* Yerger, Mark C. - "Waffen-Ss Commanders: The Army, Corps and Divisiional Leaders of a
*Gordon Williamson - "The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror: The Full Story From Street Fighters to the Waffen-SS " (Motorbooks International, (March 1994), ISBN 0879389052, ISBN 978-0879389055).
*Gordon Williamson - "The Waffen-SS (2): 6. to 10. Divisions (Men-at-Arms) " (Osprey Publishing (
March 25, 2004), ISBN 1841765902, ISBN 978-1841765907).
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