Hans-Adolf Prützmann

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Hans-Adolf Prützmann
SS-Gruppenführer Hans-Adolf Paul Prützmann.jpg
Birth date 31 August 1901
Place of birth Tolkemit, East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Death date May 16, 1945 (aged 43)
Place of death Lüneburg, British occupation zone in Germany
Allegiance  National Socialist Germany
Service/branch Freikorps Flag.jpg Freikorps
SA-Logo.png Sturmabteilung
Flag Schutzstaffel.png SS
Flag Schutzstaffel.png Waffen-SS
Years of service 1929–1930
Rank SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police and the Waffen-SS
Commands held Higher SS and Police Leader, "Baltic States and Northern Russia"; "Southern Russia"
Supreme SS and Police Leader, "Ukraine"
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Iron Cross
War Merit Cross
German Cross in Gold

Hans-Adolf Paul Prützmann (31 August 1901 – 21 May 1945) was a German Freikorps veteran, politician, member of the Reichstag and an SS general allegedly involved in Einsatzgruppen atrocities during WWII.


SS-Oberführer Reinhard Heydrich (left), SS-Oberführer Hans-Adolf Prützmann (centre; leader of SS Section X in Stuttgart) and SS-Obergruppenführer Heinrich Himmler, autumn 1933

After graduating from Gymnasium, Hans Prützmann studied agriculture in Göttingen. Between 1918 and 1922/24 he was a member of various Freikorps. He was u. a. involved in the Upper Silesian Volunteer Fighter Corps or Freiwilliges Jägerkorps Oberschlesien (also known as the Upper Silesian Volunteer Fighter Corps or Oberschlesisches Freiwilliges Jägerkorps) in the border and people's struggle in Upper Silesia (Upper Silesian Uprisings).

He then worked for several years as an agricultural official in Pomerania, Brandenburg and East Prussia before joining the SA in 1929. In 1930, Prützmann left the SA and switched to the SS (SS No. 3.002) in the same year, where he saw his personal goals better represented. At the same time he was accepted into the NSDAP (membership number 142,290). In July 1932, he became a member of the Reichstag

During the war he was stationed in the Soviet Union as head of the Police. Later, he was assigned the task of setting up the Werwolf force's headquarters in Berlin and organizing and instructing the force. Prützmann had studied the guerrilla tactics used by Russian partisans and the idea was to teach these tactics to the members of Operation Werwolf. 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.

In early 1945, under orders from Himmler, he is stated to have directed the assassination of the Allied-appointed mayor of Aachen, Franz Oppenhoff (Unternehmen „Karneval“).


Shortly before the end of the war, Prützmann was captured by the Allies behind enemy lines. He was taken to a British interrogation camp near Diest in Belgium, the forerunner of the Bad Nenndorf interrogation center (Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre), which only started operating in June 1945. In the camp near Diest, Prützmann was presumably tortured to death or simply murdered. For a long time, Prützmann was considered missing or lost without trace (verschollen), then died on 15 May 1945. In the meantime, published secret files suggest that SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Hans-Adolf Prützmann died on 21 May 1945, but this is not certain. Spread rumors about a suicide during the torture interrogation of the "victors" lack any evidence.


Awards and decorations