Rudolf May (SA member)

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Rudolf May (born October 5, 1902 in Schossendorf , Bohemian-Leipa , † July 8, 1941 in the Soviet Union ) was an Austro-German SA leader, most recently with the rank of SA brigade leader .

Life and activity

May participated in the founding of the Austrian section of the NSDAP at the age of nineteen in 1922 . At around the same time he was involved in building up a police force for them, from which the Austrian branch of the National Socialist Sturmabteilung (SA) emerged. May joined the NSDAP ( membership number 52,963), which was newly founded in 1925 , at the turn of the year 1926/1927.

By the end of the 1920s at the latest, May put the focus of his work within the Austro-Nazi movement on activities within the Vienna SA. With the promotion to SA-Oberführer with effect from January 1, 1931, he advanced to one of the highest SA functionaries in the Alpine republic.

His participation in violent actions by the Austrian NSDAP and SA led to May being arrested at least once before 1933 and sentenced to a six-month prison term. In June 1933, the Vienna Police Department issued another profile for him. He was able to avoid arrest by going into hiding.

On June 24, 1933, May was employed by Hermann Reschny for the Austrian Legion , a paramilitary unit that was recruited from Austrian Nazi supporters and sympathizers who had fled to the German Reich. The Nazi government had started to set up this unit at the beginning of the same month. After starting work in the Lechfeld camp near Augsburg , where the legion was concentrated, on June 26, 1933, May took over the position of adjutant and head of personnel of the legion. In addition to Reschny and the chief of staff of the Kirchbach Legion, he was henceforth one of the legion's closest leadership groups.

His main task in the Legion was to check the refugees arriving from Austria for their political reliability in the interests of the National Socialists and to identify "impostors" and informers. May also took care of the business of the administrative manager of the Lechfeld camp from June to August. Shortly afterwards, on July 1, 1934, he was promoted to SA Brigadefuhrer within the SA.

At Reschny's suggestion, May received a badge from Heinrich Himmler on August 8, 1933 for the Bavarian Political Police (BPP). As a liaison between the Austrian Legion and the BPP, he was now authorized to independently arrest people whom he suspected of being smuggled into the Austrian Legion as informers of the Austrian government.

On September 13, 1933 May was transferred to the Supreme SA leadership . On December 16, 1933, he was naturalized as a German citizen.

In connection with the Röhm affair , May, who was suspected of being involved in the alleged overthrow of the SA-Röhm's chief of staff, was arrested on July 3, 1934: He was initially held in Dachau concentration camp and later transferred to Lichtenburg concentration camp . From there he was finally released on July 26, 1934 at the intercession of Reschny.

1936 May took over the leadership of the SA-Brigade 137 in Magdeburg . After Austria was forcibly incorporated into the German Reich in the spring of 1938, he was sent to Graz as leader of Brigade 95 “Styria” . In May 1939 May was then transferred back to the SA group in Central Germany and appointed to represent it with the leadership of the SA Brigade 38 in Halle an der Saale, which he then officially held from June 1, 1939 until his death.

From 1940 May took part in the Second World War as a soldier . He died in combat operations in Russia in July 1941 during the German-Soviet War .


  • Michael E. Holzmann: The Austrian SA and its illusion of "Grossdeutschland" , Berlin 2011.
  • Hans Schafranek : Mercenaries for the "Anschluss". The Austrian Legion 1933–1938 , Vienna 2011.