Baroness Anna von Waldenfels (née Klopp) – Part XV

More Promotions for Georg von Waldenfels

As noted earlier, Georg von Waldenfels had experienced a number of promotions in his officer’s career, quite unheard of and irregular in the German army, where advancements were based on military training and especially on merit on the battle field. The SS was, however, no regular army. On 1 July 1942, he was promoted to SS-Hauptsturmführer, somewhat equivalent to the upper rank of lieutenant  and in April 1943 to SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain).  Although von Waldenfels occupied the same ranks in another branch of the SS, he acquired them all over again in a more prestigious  division. Now under the protective umbrella of influential Sepp Dietrich he now became so-to-speak a ‘regular’ in the hierarchy of the Common SS. It is not surprising that after the war the Allies were facing an incomprehensible phenomenon within the hierarchal structure of the SS.They were unable to cope with all the confusing differences within the ranking system and ignoring them erroneously treated all cases the same. In May 1943, barely four weeks later, Georg was promoted to SS-Sturmbannführer (major).

In the spring 1944 there were definite signs that the idyllic life in the eastern province of Posen (Poznan) would come to an end.The commander Sepp Dietrich engaged on the western front arranged Georg’s transfer from the so-called ‘Common SS’ (Allgemeine SS) to the prestigious “Leibstandarte SS”. As support officer at the various battle locations after D-Day in France and Belgium he was never employed in a military function, but was responsible for providing food, drink and entertainment for his boss and his entourage. Georg must have experienced – obviously mostly far removed from the actual fighting – at least three of the four major battles, which took place after 6 June 1944.

The casino chef Georg von Waldenfels survived the dramatic weeks shortly before the Allied troops marched their troops into Paris away from the front lines in any of the numerous secure headquarters of the SS, which were mostly requisitioned hotels, residences and castles in and around Paris. Before the battle between Falaise and Caen, which ended in defeat and signalled the retreat of the SS units in August 1944, Georg, unsuitable for military duties, managed to be ordered back to Germany. By 1945 he acquired, no doubt with the help of some influential political ‘friends’, the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer.

16 comments

  1. thecedarjournal · August 9, 2019

    Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kopfundgestalt · August 9, 2019

    You’d think it was just promotions.
    As far as I know, Obersturmbandfüher has been a very high post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · August 16, 2019

      True, but the rank he held was more like an honorary position in the SS as he was never involved in any military function.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pure Glory · August 9, 2019

    Your cousin Georg was amazing in getting promotions and not doing military battle. Looking forward to the next installment.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Stella, oh, Stella · August 9, 2019

    All these high ranks must have been to his disadvantage after the war. But then you mentioned that they treated all the cases alike, so maybe he was lucky again …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peter Klopp · August 16, 2019

      The British sent him home to his wife. He got lucky again later in the 50’s to sell clothing articles en masse to the Bundeswehr.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy · August 10, 2019

    Sounds like Georg had a pretty cushy job with little danger to his well-being.

    I am puzzled by what you said about the US having trouble deciphering the SS ranking system after the war. Why would that have mattered? Weren’t they all considered enemy-combatants at that point?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · August 16, 2019

      True. But I was referring to the attempt to bring the war criminals to justice. The assumption was the higher the rank the more responsibility the person carried for committed war crimes. Georg had a high ranking position and was suspect, but had committed no war crimes in the eyes of the Allies.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amy · August 17, 2019

        Got it—thanks for the clarification.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. rabirius · August 11, 2019

    Excellent post, again.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ankur Mithal · August 11, 2019

    Some smart guys can manufacture luck 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Peter Klopp · August 16, 2019

      Well, Georg was one of them. Right after the war and his release from the internment camp he continued his father-in-laws textile business and made lucrative deals with the West German Army. Truly, a luck manufacturer!

      Liked by 1 person

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