Rolf Scherenberg

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Rolf Scherenberg
Rolf Scherenberg.jpg
The following newspaper excerpt (dated 1 April 1943) describes why Scherenberg was awarded the Knight’s Cross: “Oberst Scherenberg held a wide sector southeast of Orel for a period of three days against heavy attacks.”
Birth name Rolf Hermann Oskar Otto Scherenberg
Birth date 27 May 1897(1897-05-27)
Place of birth Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Death date 10 September 1960 (aged 63)
Place of death Villach, Republic of Austria
Resting place Friedhof Hamburg-Ohlsdorf
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 National Socialist Germany
Service/branch War and service flag of Prussia (1895–1918).png Prussian Army
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
War Ensign of Germany (1921–1933).png Reichswehr
Balkenkreuz.jpg Heer
Years of service 1915–1920
Rank Generalmajor
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards German Cross in Gold, Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Relations ∞ 1933 Gertraude Marschall

Rolf Hermann Oskar Otto Scherenberg (27 May 1897 – 10 September 1960) was a German officer of the Prussian Army, the Imperial German Army, the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht, finally Generalmajor and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II.

Career (chronology)

Generalleutnant Ulrich Kleemann on Rhodos with Oberst Scherenberg (Stahlhelm)
Parade on Rhodos, Führergeburtstag 20 April 1944 (birthday of the Führer)
  • 15.4.1908 Entered the Oranienstein cadet house (Kadettenhaus)
  • 8.4.1915 War Volunteer in the Pommersches Füsilier-Regiment "Königin Viktoria von Schweden" Nr. 34
  • 29.1.1916 Company Officer
  • 14.2.1917 Deputy Company Leader
  • 16.7.1917 Deputy Battalion Adjutant
  • 26.10.1917 Company Leader (Kompanieführer)
  • 24.3.1918 Orderly officer in the battalion staff
  • 18.7.1918 Taken prisoner of war by the French
  • 11.3.1920 Return to the Vaterland
  • 17.4.1920 Transferred to the Pommersches Reichswehr-Jäger-Bataillon “Fürst Bismarck” Nr. 2 (IV./4) of the Ostmärkisches Reichswehr-Schützen-Regiment Nr. 4 (Reichswehr-Brigade 2, Stettin, Übergangsheer)
  • 1.5.1920 Platoon commander in the cycling company
  • 30.9.1920 Discharged from the Reichswehr
  • 21.10.1934 Joined the staff of the Infanterie-Regiment 48 (Truppenübungsplatz Döberitz)
  • 1.1.1935 Intelligence platoon leader of the Infanterie-Regiment 48 (Döberitz)
  • 15.10.1935 Commander of the 6. Kompanie/Infanterie-Regiment 48 (Neustrelitz)
  • 6.10.1936 Commander of the 7. Kompanie/Infanterie-Regiment 48 (Neustrelitz)
  • 3.1.1939 Commander of the 16. (Panzer-Abwehr-Ersatz-)Kompanie/Infanterie-Regiment 4 (Kolberg)
  • 26.8.1939 Commander of the II. Bataillon/Infanterie-Regiment 222
  • 21.1.1942 Führerreserve OKH (II)
  • 27.1.1942 Commander of the Infanterie-Regiment 532
  • 18.8.1943 Führerreserve OKH (II)
  • 2.1.1944 Commander of the Sturm-Regiment Rhodos
  • 28.9.1944 Führerreserve OKH (II)
  • 21.11. to 20.12.1944 Commanded to the 16th division leader course
  • 14.2.1945 Delegated with the leadership of the 320. Volksgrenadier-Division
  • 2.3.1945 to 19./20.4.1945 Delegated with the leadership of the 371. Infanterie-Division
  • 20./21.4.1945 Commander of the 371. Infanterie-Division[1]
    • After fighting around (Klein-)Beneschau (16 April 1945), the division was ready to defend itself on 17 April 1945 with a front to the north-west in the Boorwald (east of Buslawitz) in former Czech fortifications. The division then remained in these bunker positions of the Moravian-Ostrauer protection belt, with a combat group of 18. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division „Horst Wessel“ (Kampfgruppe "Schumacher" from 18 April 1945) subordinated to it, with only a few enemy contacts with the loss of Haatsch (21 April 1945) and a break-in at Groß-Darkowitz (25 April 1945) until 27 April 1945. Another enemy attack that day pushed the division southwest via Hultschin to Wrablowetz. In the two days that followed, the division put up stubborn resistance here, only to retreat further. On 1 May 1945, the high-water Oder was crossed near Petershofen and thus also Moravian-Ostrau was abandoned. The remnants of the division again took up positions on the Radwanitz – Peterswald road (2 May 1945). In the days that followed, the defensive front then shifted further south of Moravia-Ostrau. From here the remaining parts of the division went via Wagstadt to Olmütz, which was kept open until 5 May 1945. The further settling to the west was significantly hampered by Czech terrorists and up to the Russian captivity at Iglau – Deutsch-Brod on 12 May 1945 there were still a number of skirmishes with insurgents. The soldiers were then driven in long columns to Brünn and Pressburg and loaded from there to Russia.[2]

Prisoner of war

On 10 May 1945 in Prag, Scherenberg, with a part of his staff in the city, was taken prisoner and eventually deported to Russia. Afer foru years of captivity, torture, hunger and sickness, he was dragged before an MVD military court (Minsk Oblast) and on 30 June 1949 at the end of the show trial routinely sentenced to 25 years of labor camp. On 8 October 1955, as one of the last German soldiers (Spätheimkehrer), he finally returned home, along with General der Panzertruppe Sigfrid Henrici (de), Generalmajor Hermann Grothe and others.


Generalmajor a. D. Scherenberg died during a spa stay in Villach (Carinthia) on 10 September 1960, when he suffered a heart attack while swimming. The "Hamburger Abendblatt" reported on 13 September 1960, that the deceased was to be transferred to his place of residence in Hamburg for the purpose of burial.[3] The family Scherenberg, at the time, lived in a very wealthy part of Hamburg, in Blankenese (Am Sorgfeld 98). The widow's last known address in Hamburg was Alsterdorfer Straße 481.


Rolf was the son of the well-known portrait painter Hans Scherenberg (d. 30 June 1899) and his wife Käthe, née Otto. His grandfather was the painter, illustrator and caricaturist Hermann Scherenberg (1826–1897).


On 30 May 1933, Rolf Scherenberg married his fiancée Gertraude Marschall. In 1935, their daughter was born.


  • 24.1.1916 Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)
  • 30.9.1920 Charakter als Oberleutnant (1st Lieutenant)
  • 21.10.1934 Hauptmann (Captain) with Rank Seniority (RDA) from 1.12.1933
  • 1.8.1938 Major
  • 1.8.1941 Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1.2.1943 Oberst (Colonel)
  • 20.4.1945 Generalmajor

Awards and decorations

Further reading

  • Franz Thomas: Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945, Band 1: A–K (in German), Biblio-Verlag, Osnabrück 1998, ISBN 978-3-7648-2299-6
  • Walther-Peer Fellgiebel: Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German), Podzun-Pallas, Wölfersheim 2000, ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6
    • English: The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches, expanded edition, 2000
  • Klaus D. Patzwall / Veit Scherzer: Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber, Band II (in German), Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall, Norderstedt 2001, ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8
  • Veit Scherzer: Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German), Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag, Jena 2007, ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2

External links