Wolff, Karl Friedrich Otto

    Date of birth:
    May 13th, 1900 (Darmstadt/Hesse, Germany)
    Date of death:
    July 17th, 1984 (Rosenheim/Bavaria, Germany)
    Service number:
    SS:14.235/NSDAP:695.131
    Nationality:
    German (1933-1945, German Reich)

    Biography

    Karl Wolff was born on May 13th 1900, as the son of Dr. Carl Wolff. He was educated at the Ludwig Georgs Military Gymnasium and received his diploma in April 1917. Not even 17 years old, he volunteered in the Groβherzoglich-Hessische Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment nr. 115, with the rank of Fahnenjunker. He was promoted to Leutnant on September 14th 1918.

    Because of the reducement of the German Army after the Versailles Treaty, he was discharged from the Military Service.

    Out of his own choice, he became a member of the NSDAP on October 7th 1931 (number 695131)and volunteered for the 1.SS-Standarte in Munich (number 14235) at the same time. On October 27th 1931, he became Führer with the 2.Sturm des II/1.SS-Standarte. On June 15th 1933, Wolff was appointed SS-Führer with the rank of Sturmhauptführers Adjudant for Heinrich Himmler, then Reichsführer SS. On April 4th 1934 he became Himmlers Chef-Adjudant and on November 9th 1935 Wolff was promoted to SS-Brigadeführer. In 1936 he even became Chief of the Hauptamtes "Persönliches Stab Reichsführer SS". From January 30th 1937 Karl Wolff received the double ranking of SS-Gruppenführer and General-leutnant der SS-Verfügungstruppe.

    After the outbreak of the Second World War, he was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS on May 3rd 1940. It was Adolf Hitler in person who gave him this exceptional high ranking as a member of the Allgemeine SS.
    His promotion to SS-Obergruppenführer and General der Waffen-SS followed on January 30th 1942. He was appointed as highest ranking General der Deutschen Wehrmacht in Italy on September 1st 1943. The importance of his position became more obvious when he was appointed "Sonderberater für polizeiliche Angelegenheiten bei der Italienischen Faschistischen Nationalregierung on October 11th 1943, becoming the highest SS- und Polizeiführer in Italy.
    Without notifying Hitler, in February 1945, Karl Wolff contacted Allen F. Dulles, Chief of the American Secret Service in Switzerland, trying to reach a capitulation agreement for the Wehrmacht in Italy. Because of this, the German troops in Italy capitulated sooner then in Germany. The Allies were very grateful to Karl Wolff for this and did not prosecute him in the Nuremberg trials.

    Promotions:
    ?: Fahnenjunker;
    September 14th, 1918: Leutnant;
    October 10th, 1931: SS-Anwärter;
    October 19th, 1931: SS-Mann;
    December 11th, 1931: SS-Scharführer;
    January 19th, 1932: SS-Truppführer;
    February 18th, 1932: SS-Sturmführer;
    January 30th, 1933: SS-Sturmhauptführer;
    November 9th, 1933: SS-Sturmbannführer;
    January 30th, 1934: SS-Obersturmbannführer;
    April 20th, 1934: SS-Standartenführer;
    July 4th, 1934: SS-Oberführer;
    November 9th, 1935: SS-Brigadeführer;
    January 30th, 1937: SS-Gruppenführer;
    January 30th, 1942: SS-Obergruppenführer.

    Career:
    ? - April 1917: Ludwig-Georgs-Gymnasium;
    ?: Nationalen Jugendwehr;
    April 27th, 1917: Notabitur, Rekrutenausbildung;
    September 5th, 1917: Großherzogliche Hessische Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 115;
    May 1920: Demobilised;
    ?: Bankhaus Gebrüder von Bethmann, Frankfurt am Main;
    August 1923: Deutschen Bank;
    June 1924: Jobless;
    July 1st, 1925: Annoncen-Expedition Karl Wolff – von Römheld;
    October 7th, 1931: Entry NSDAP/SS;
    ?: Reichsführerschule der SA, München;
    February 18th, 1932 - September 1932: Führer Sturm 2 / II. Sturmbann / SS-Standarte 1;
    September 20th, 1932: Adjutant Sturmbann II / Standarte 1;
    March 1933: Adjutant der SS, Reichsstatthalter Bayern, General Franz Ritter von Epp;
    June 18th, 1933: Adjutant Stab des Reichsführers-SS;
    March 8th 1933: Member of the Reichstag;
    April 4th, 1934: 1. Adjutanten Stab des „Reichsführers-SS";
    November 9th, 1935: Chef des Persönlichen Stabes Reichsführer-SS;
    1939: Chef des Persönlichen Stabes Reichsführer-SS, Führerhauptquartier;
    July 1943: Höchsten SS- und Polizeiführer in Italien;
    July 26th, 1944: Bevollmächtigten General der deutschen Wehrmacht in Italien (unofficial);
    May 13th, 1945: Prisoner to the Maricans, Bozen Prison;
    August 21st, 1945: Kriegsverbrechergefängnis Nürnberg;
    ?: Wittness Neurenberger trials;
    January 1948: Prisoner to the British at Minden;
    November 1948: Sentenced to five years imprisonment (later change to four years);
    June 1949: Released.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    October 29th, 1936
    Deutsches Olympia Ehrenzeichen Erster Klasse
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    December 21st, 1938
    Ordine della Corona d'Italia - Cavaliere della Croce Grande
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    January 30th, 1939
    Goldenes Parteiabzeichen
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
    Unit:
    Chef des persönliches Stabes des Reichsführers-SS
    Awarded on:
    May 4th, 1939
    Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
    Unit:
    Chef des persönliches Stabes des Reichsführers-SS
    Awarded on:
    September 19th, 1939
    Spange zur Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Gruppenführer / Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS (Major-general)
    Unit:
    Chef des persönliches Stabes des Reichsführers-SS
    Awarded on:
    May 28th, 1940
    1.Stufe vom Ehrenzeichen für Deutsche Volkspflege
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    SS-Obergruppenführer / General der Waffen-SS (Lieutenant-General)
    Unit:
    Höchster SS- und Polizeiführer Italien
    Awarded on:
    December 9th, 1944
    Deutsches Kreuz in Gold

    Sources

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