Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XI

Georg von Waldenfels

His Aryan Background under Scrutiny

The investigation process by the “department for Racial Purity” was dragging on deep into the war years and hung like the Sword of Damocles over Georg von Waldenfels. On May 1943 he received the following threatening message, “In his letter to the personnel main office dated April 15, 1943, the Reich’s Leader SS (Himmler) has ordered the review of your ancestry.” On June 12, 1943, the department for racial questions toned down the threat, “The Reich’s Leader SS desires the process for final clarification to start right after the end of the war.” Sepp Dietrich must have put a word in for Georg.

Two aspects saved von Waldenfels, who himself was caught in the Nazi net of racial insanity: The generosity of the SS towards people from the aristocracy even burdened with a questionable ancestry background. The name counted, when it could be used to advantage for the ’NS Movement’. Secondly, during the war against Poland and later as administrator in the agricultural field at Glückshütte near Schrimm/Posen Georg had earned considerable recognition for his work.

Whoever might have been Georg’s supporter, his SS career continued with lightning speed. On July 1, 1942 in Schrimm Georg was promoted to the rank of  lieutenant. With full support of his friend and boss Sepp Dietrich, he could boast bearing the rank of captain in April 1943. In the fateful and dangerous month of May Dietrich’s influence brought about Georg’s promotion to the rank of major in the SS. Right from the first contact with Sepp Dietrich Von Waldenfels had unerringly placed his bet on the right horse. Two promotions within 8 weeks from April to June 1943 is quite a remarkable fact. Sepp Dietrich must have had a ‘Spezi’ (Bavarian: meaning friend) in the department for racial questions making it clear with the bold statement, “I decide, who is a Jew!” Indeed he could care less whether Georg had a non-aryan grandmother or not.

Both Sepp and Georg knew how to play the game in this complex multi-faceted system, which in spite of its reputed ruthlessness left significant gaps, which allowed personal initiative, civil courage and connections to change or even reverse an administrative decision. Of course, outsiders had no such luck. However, if the Nazi regime had survived the year 1945, Georg von Waldenfels’s SS career would have in the long run ended in a big fall.

To be continued next Friday …

13 thoughts on “Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XI

  1. My cousin Wolfgang, who still lives in Germany, explained to me how he thinks his father, uncle, and grandfather survived the war. His grandfather Julius was 100% Jewish, but married a Catholic woman and was essentially banned from the family. We don’t know whether Julius converted officially, but their sons (Wolfgang’s father and uncle) were raised as Catholics, as was Wolfgang. Despite the fact that Julius was Jewish and his sons were half-Jewish, they were not deported or killed during the Holocaust. One lost his license as a pharmacist, and they were both sent to work camps, helping the German army during the war. Wolfgang’s only theory as to why they survived (and why he was born) is that someone in Bingen was looking out for them. Or, as he also said, the Nazis there were careless and stupid.

    It seems that your relative Georg also somehow knew people in the right places. Plus he was much more distantly Jewish than Wolfgang’s relatives. Just how far back was this mysterious Jewish ancestor?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Having someone in the right places was definitely important in the struggle for survival. Also like Wolfgang reported Jewish people who had married a non-Jewish person were relatively safe. For Georg his life was not threatened, only his career in the SS, which of course meant a lot to him. Our grandmother Emma was a direct descendent of the 100% Jewish Bauer family. I will report on her ancestry after I am done with my paternal aunts and uncles.


      • Somehow I missed this reply—sorry about that. What you said makes sense. I have been doing some research on another relative—Emil Jacob Seligmann—who was sent to Buchenwald. He was considered a Michling, First Degree because his mother was Catholic and he did not identify as Jewish. So I have been reading about those of mixed heritage and how the Nazis defined them. For the most part a Mischling, First Degree (someone with two Jewish grandparents) was not considered Jewish in the crazy Nazi way of thinking unless they practiced Judaism or married someone Jewish. Emil even served in the German army from 1940-1941. His records from Buchenwald suggest that he was arrested and imprisoned as a political Mischling so he must have gotten involved with the Resistance in some way. In the end he died at Buchenwald at the age of 43.

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  2. Well, what can I contribute?
    As far as I know Heydrich was also a yew and it is said, that he “worked” extremely hard to “compensate” for this. That was a hellish time…my partrner doesn’t want to reflect on this time, but I’m different.
    But from time to time you have to recover from studies on this subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wife is the same. But the story must be told. My cousin Georg, the black sheep of the family, is part of the family record. Besides his story throws some light on an era that so many people don’t know very well. Thank you, Gerry, for your insightful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am learning so much from this part of your family history, Peter! And I admire your sharing it with us. Too often, we only want to share the “best” of our family stories with others, but I think it is a good thing to acknowledge the whole truth. It help us learn from the past, and it also shows that humans who do good and humans who do bad can come from the exact same families…

    Liked by 1 person

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