Josias to Waldeck and Pyrmont

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Josias zu Waldeck and Pyrmont in April 1947
Josias zu Waldeck and Pyrmont, here in the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer of the General SS, portrait card (from January 1936 to April 1942).

Josias Georg Wilhelm Adolf Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont (born  May 13, 1896 in Arolsen ; †  November 30, 1967 at Schloss Schaumburg near Diez an der Lahn) was a German nobleman, politician of the NSDAP , member of the Reichstag , SS-Obergruppenführer and general the Waffen SS and police. From 1946 until his death in 1967 he was head of the Waldeck-Pyrmont house and called himself Josias Fürst zu Waldeck and Pyrmont as such .

During the time of National Socialism he was higher SS and police leader with the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer . From 1941 he was also General of the Police and from July 1944 General of the Waffen SS . In 1947 he was sentenced as a war criminal by a US military tribunal in the Buchenwald Main Trial for crimes related to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp to life imprisonment, which was later reduced.

Biography until 1945

Hereditary Prince Josias, 3 years old
Waldeck-Pyrmont, here in the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer of the General SS (from January 1936 to April 1942).

Hereditary Prince Josias was the eldest son of Friedrich , the last ruling prince of the Principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont and Princess Bathildis of Schaumburg-Lippe . He was also the cousin of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina and nephew of the regent Emma zu Waldeck and Pyrmont , the second wife of the Dutch King Wilhelm III. and older sister of Prince Friedrich zu Waldeck-Pyrmont .

After receiving private tuition from 1902 onwards, he moved to the Wilhelmsgymnasium Kassel in 1912 , where he graduated from high school in 1914 . After the outbreak of the First World War he volunteered as a soldier and took part in the war with the infantry regiment "von Wittich" (3rd Kurhessisches) No. 83 . He was wounded several times; among other wounds, he was shot in the head.

In May 1919 he was discharged from the army and fought as a free corps officer in Upper Silesia . After having acquired practical experience in agriculture, among other things, he studied agricultural science , economics and law in Munich from 1921 to 1923 without a degree . In the autumn of 1923 he reported to the Reichswehr for two months to suppress rebellions in Thuringia and Saxony.

From 1923 and 1927 he was a member of the Young German Order , where he headed the auditing office and later became head of foreign policy. After leaving this organization, he was a member of the Stahlhelm until 1929 . He then became a member of the NSDAP on November 1, 1929 ( membership number 160.025) and of the SS in March 1930 (SS number 2.139). To Waldeck became adjutant of Sepp Dietrich and Heinrich Himmler , who enabled him a rapid rise in the SS hierarchy. At the end of 1931, the anti-Nazi press reported that Waldeck had been entrusted by Hitler with the task of building up the SS intelligence service.

As early as 1932, Waldeck was an SS group leader . From the 8th electoral term in 1933 he was a member of the Reichstag for the NSDAP , initially on the Reich election proposal and then from November 1933 for constituency 23 (Düsseldorf-West).

After the National Socialists came to power, Waldeck was given a leading position in the Foreign Office . In 1934, however, Waldeck returned to the SS. As Himmler's assistant he took part in the arrest and murder of a number of higher SA leadership ordered by Hitler in the course of the so-called " Röhm Putsch " from June 30 to July 2, 1934. On the evening of June 30, 1934 he organized the executions of six prominent SA leaders in the exercise yard of the Munich prison Stadelheim . In December 1934 Hitler appointed him " People's Judge" at the 2nd Senate of the People's Court . From 1936 to early 1939 he was a judge at the DAF's Supreme Court of Honor and Disciplinary Court .

Promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer at the end of January 1936 , in the same year he took over the leadership of the SS upper section “Rhine” and a year later the same function in the SS upper section “Fulda-Werra”, which he held until the end of the war .

In October 1938, Waldeck was appointed Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPF) for Wehrkreis IX, which also included the Buchenwald concentration camp . From October 1939 he was also Supreme Court Lord of the SS and Police Court XXII in Kassel. From February 1944 he held the title Higher SS and Police Leader Fulda-Werra and in October 1944 he was also Higher Commander of the prisoners of war . In his HSSPF function, he was also responsible for setting up a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp in the Kassel Druseltal, in which 150 concentration camp prisoners had to do forced labor from July 5, 1943 until the American invasion on April 4, 1945 . The Kassel subcamp was the former Zur alten Drusel inn , a half-timbered building with an extension. Two of the four barracks still stand today, between Panoramaweg and Wiegandtsstrasse, on top of a slope. Due to his function as Higher SS and Police Leader for Military District IX, Zu Waldeck was primarily responsible for the evacuation of the Buchenwald concentration camp and the resulting deaths.

Under his jurisdiction , the former commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, SS-Standartenführer Karl Otto Koch , was sentenced to death for continued embezzlement and for the murder of three prisoners in order to cover up his crimes and was executed on April 5, 1945.

After the end of the war

Josias zu Waldeck and Pyrmont as a defendant in 1947

On April 13, 1945 he was taken prisoner by the Americans. In 1946, Josias zu Waldeck learned of the death of his father, head of the Princely House of Waldeck and Pyrmont. On August 14, 1947, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by the US military court in the Buchenwald main trial in the Dachau internment camp for crimes in connection with the Buchenwald concentration camp, which was reduced to 20 years in prison on June 8, 1948. On November 29, 1950, Waldeck was released early from the Landsberg War Crimes Prison for health reasons . While in custody, he was denazified by the Fritzlar-Homberg Chamber in 1949 .

He spent the last years of his life withdrawn, including at Schloss Schaumburg (Rhein-Lahn-Kreis). In the years 1959 to 1961 several preliminary investigations were initiated against him, among other things on suspicion of murder, manslaughter and complicity in murder. Most of the preliminary investigations were closed because of the statute of limitations or "undetectable guilt".


Josias Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont had been married to Altburg Marie Mathilde Duchess of Oldenburg (1903-2001), the youngest daughter of Grand Duke Friedrich August von Oldenburg , since 1922 . Your children are:


See also


  • Ruth Bettina Birn: The Higher SS and Police Leaders. Himmler's representative in the Reich and in the occupied territories . Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 1986, ISBN 3-7700-0710-7 .
  • Karl Fischer: Josias Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont - A Contemplation , PDF .
  • Alfred F. Groeneveld, Anke Schmeling, Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar : In the Kassel external command of the Buchenwald concentration camp, with a biographical sketch of the Higher SS and Police Leader Josias Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont , [1] .
  • Eugen Kogon : The SS State : The System of the German Concentration Camps . 12th edition. Heyne, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-453-00671-2 (Latest edition: Nikol, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86820-037-9 ).
  • Gerhard Menk : The end of the Free State of Waldeck. Possibilities and Limits of Small State Politics . 2nd Edition. Bad Arolsen 1998 (Waldeckische Historische Hefte 1).
  • Gerhard Menk: Waldeck's contribution to today's Hessen . 2nd Edition. Hessian State Center for Political Education, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3-927127-41-8 , p. 123–157 (Hessen: Unity from Diversity, Vol. 4).
  • Gerhard Menk: Waldeck in the Third Reich. Prerequisites and effects of National Socialism in the north of Hesse . Archive and Museum of the District Town of Korbach, Korbach 2010, ISBN 978-3-9813425-0-5 , p. 108-124; 210–215 (contributions from the archive and museum of the district town of Korbach, vol. 1).
  • Anke Schmeling: Josias Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont: The political path of a high SS leader . Verlag Gesamtthochschul-Bibliothek Kassel, Kassel 1993, ISBN 3-88122-771-7 ( PDF, 7.84 MB - National Socialism in North Hesse - Writings on regional contemporary history, edited by Dietfrid Krause-Vilmar, issue 16).
  • Robert Wistrich : Who was who in the Third Reich ?, Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1987 ISBN 3-596-24373-4 .
  • Bernd Joachim Zimmer: Code name Arthur, The concentration camp external command in the SS leadership school Arolsen , 1994, [2]

Web links

Commons : Josias Prinz zu Waldeck and Pyrmont  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Although since the abolition of the privileges of the nobility in 1919 only the title "Prince" (/ "Princess" ), but not the first-born title "Prince" , which was previously granted in Primogenitur , has been part of the civil name, the latter was used by several bosses in the 19th century. Century of ruling, mediatized or lordly houses continued to be used unofficially.
  2. Ruth Bettina Birn: The higher SS and police leaders. Himmler's representative in the Reich and in the occupied territories. , Düsseldorf 1986, p. 347.
  3. State Archives Munich: Police Directorate Munich No. 6776, Bl. 59: "The Hereditary Prince in a Seidenhemd" (article from the Munich Post of September 26, 1931).
  4. ^ Directory of the concentration camps and their external commands in accordance with Section 42 (2) BEG
  5. Buchenwald concentration camp subcamp in the Druseltal valley
  6. Deputy Judge Advocate's Office 7708 War Crimes Group European Command APO 407, 1947, p. 36 f.
  7. ^ Klaus D. Patzwall : The Golden Party Badge and its honorary awards 1934-1944 . Patzwall, Norderstedt 2004, ISBN 3-931533-50-6 . P. 89.
predecessor Office successor
Friedrich Head of the Waldeck-Pyrmont house from