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Bruno Streckenbach
7 February 1902(1902-02-07) – 28 October 1977 (aged 75)
Place of birth Hamburg
Place of death Hamburg
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1922)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1919-1945
Rank SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS and Polizei
Commands held 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Oak Leaves
German Cross in Gold
Close Combat Clasp in Silver
EK I
EK II

Bruno Streckenbach (February 7, 1902 – October 28, 1977) held the rank of SS-Brigadeführer (Major General), when he was the head of the RSHA's Amt I: Personnel, but eventually achieved the rank of SS-Gruppenführer (Lieutenant General) both in Allgemeine-SS and Waffen SS. He was responsible for many thousands of murders committed by Nazi mobile killing squads known as Einsatzgruppen.


He served in the last year of World War I and was a member of the Freikorps between the wars{See [1]}.

Contents

Career in Allgemeine-SS

Streckenbach was chosen in 1933 to run the Hamburg political police (SD) after it had been swallowed by the Gestapo. He was transferred to Poland after the Nazi occupation of (1939); being concerned with the arrest of the professors at Cracow University, and was one of the architects of the effective implementation of the Extraordinary Pacification Action.

When Streckenbach's work was finished in Poland, he was ordered to return to Berlin for administrative duties.

Without warning, Streckenbach received a top secret order to proceed immediately to the police barracks at Pretzsch on the Elbe. He was met there by hand-picked members of the SD, the Gestapo and the police .

Bruno Streckenbach was tasked with the training and indoctrination of these men before the onset of the Russian campaign. Veterans of many a Polish atrocity became members of one of four newly constituted Einsatzgruppen destined for Soviet Russia.

Streckenbach detailed the mission of the Einsatzgruppen, they were to seize and destroy all political and racial enemy groups, such as Bolsheviks, gypsies, partisans and Jews. In addition, the Einsatzgruppen were to report on and evaluate material gained in every field of Russian operations and collect information from agents and spies from among the Russian population.

SS-Brigadeführer Streckenbach further ordered that all enemies of the Third Reich were to be deported to concentration camps and executed. Jews were especially singled out for Sonderbehandlung, 'special treatment', meaning extermination.

On 9.11.1941 he was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei.

Career in Waffen-SS

Streckenbach then requested to join a fighting unit, and in September 1942 he was transferred to the Waffen-SS as an SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant Coloenl) der Reserve - members of Allegemeine-SS (General SS) weren't necessarily allowed to keep their ranks in the Waffen-SS. He trained with anti-tank units and joined the SS Kavallerie Division as SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain) in March 1943.

By April 1943 he was in command of the division's anti-tank battalion, SS Panzerjägerabteilung. In that position he was able to prove his bona fide talents as a military leader, receiving rapid promotions to SS-Sturmbannführer (Major), SS-Obersturmbannführer(Lieutenant Colonel) and SS-Standartenführer (colonel), this last in August 1943. Later in the autumn he replaced Hermann Fegelein as a divisional commander, and was promoted to SS-Oberführer (Brigadier General) on 30.1.1944.

On April 13 1944 he was appointed commander of the 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian), taking over from deputy commander SS-Standartenführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock (former leader of the unit, SS-Oberführer Hinrich Schuldt, had been killed in action when visiting the frontlines in March). Streckenbach held this post to the end of the war, and in battles of 1944 - 1945 on Eastern Front serving with his crack Latvian unit enabled him to earn further advancement in rank to SS-Brigadeführer in July and finally to SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS in November '44. General Streckenbach was awarded the Knight's Cross, and later the Oak Leaves.

In 1952 he was sentenced by USSR to prison for 25 years but he was released in 1955. Postwar attempts by West Germans to bring him to justice were delayed because of reports of his "ill-health". He died in Hamburg on 28.10.1977.

Awards

References

  • Trang, Charles - Division << Florian Geyer >> ISBN 2 84048 141 3
  • Silgailis, Arthur - Latvian Legion ISBN 0 912138 35 1

See also

Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Commander of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
September 13, 1943 - October 22, 1943
Succeeded by
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Preceded by
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Commander of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
January 1, 1944 - April 13, 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Lombard
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock
Commander of 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
13 April 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
none
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