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Bruno Streckenbach

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Title: Bruno Streckenbach  
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Subject: 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer, Einsatzgruppen, Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock, Reich Main Security Office, Erwin Schulz
Collection: 1902 Births, 1977 Deaths, 20Th-Century Freikorps Personnel, Einsatzgruppen Personnel, German Military Personnel of World War I, German Nazi Politicians, Gestapo Personnel, Kapp Putsch Participants, Military Personnel Referenced in the Wehrmachtbericht, Nazi War Criminals Released Early from Prison, Nazis Who Served in World War I, People from Hamburg, Recipients of the Close Combat Clasp, Recipients of the Gold German Cross, Recipients of the Golden Party Badge, Recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Recipients of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Recipients of the SS Honour Ring, Recipients of the SS-Ehrenring, Recipients of the Sword of Honour of the Reichsführer-SS, Recipients of the War Merit Cross, 1St Class, Rsha Personnel, SS-Gruppenführer, The Holocaust in Poland, Waffen-SS Personnel
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Bruno Streckenbach

Bruno Streckenbach
SS-Gruppenführer Bruno Streckenbach
Born (1902-02-07)7 February 1902
Hamburg, German Empire
Died 28 October 1977(1977-10-28) (aged 75)
Hamburg, West Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1922)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Years of service 1918–1945
Rank SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS and Polizei
Commands held 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Oak Leaves
German Cross in Gold
Close Combat Clasp in Silver
Heinrich Himmler and Bruno Streckenbach

Bruno Heinrich Streckenbach (7 February 1902 – 28 October 1977) held the rank of SS-Brigadeführer (Major General), when he was the head of Amt I (Department I): Administration and Personnel of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office or RSHA), but eventually achieved the rank of SS-Gruppenführer (Lieutenant General) both in Allgemeine-SS and Waffen-SS. He was responsible for many thousands of murders committed by Nazi mobile killing squads known as Einsatzgruppen.

He served in the last year of World War I and was a member of the Freikorps between the wars.


  • Career in Allgemeine-SS 1
  • Career in Waffen-SS 2
  • Post-war 3
  • Awards 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
    • Citations 7.1
    • Bibliography 7.2

Career in Allgemeine-SS

Streckenbach was chosen in 1933 to run the Hamburg political police after it had been swallowed by the SS as Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich took over one state police force after another in their plan to control the national police of Nazi Germany.

He was transferred to Poland after the Nazi occupation of 1939; being concerned with the arrest of the professors at Cracow University, and was one of the architects of the effective implementation of the Extraordinary Pacification Action. When Streckenbach's work was finished in Poland, he was ordered to return to Berlin for administrative duties.

Without warning, Streckenbach received a top secret order to proceed immediately to the police barracks at Pretzsch on the Elbe. He was met there by hand-picked members of the SD, the Gestapo and the Orpo police.

Bruno Streckenbach was tasked with the training and indoctrination of these men before the onset of the Russian campaign. Veterans of German atrocity in Poland became members of one of four newly constituted Einsatzgruppen destined for Soviet Russia.

Streckenbach detailed the mission of the Einsatzgruppen, they were to seize and destroy all political and racial enemy groups, such as Bolsheviks, gypsies, partisans and Jews. In addition, the Einsatzgruppen were to report on and evaluate material gained in every field of Russian operations and collect information from agents and spies from among the Russian population.

SS-Brigadeführer Streckenbach further ordered that all enemies of the Third Reich were to be deported to concentration camps and executed. Jews were especially singled out for Sonderbehandlung ("special treatment"), meaning extermination.

On 9 November 1941 he was promoted to SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Polizei.

Career in Waffen-SS

Streckenbach then requested to join a fighting unit, and in September 1942 he was transferred to the Waffen-SS as an SS-Obersturmführer ( First or senior Lieutenant) der Reserve - members of Allgemeine-SS (General SS) weren't necessarily allowed to keep their ranks in the Waffen-SS. He trained with anti-tank units and joined the SS Kavallerie Division as SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain) in March 1943.

By April 1943 he was in command of the division's anti-tank battalion, SS Panzerjägerabteilung. In that position he was able to prove his bona fide talents as a military leader, receiving rapid promotions to SS-Sturmbannführer (Major), SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and SS-Standartenführer (Colonel), this last in August 1943. Later in the autumn he replaced Hermann Fegelein as a divisional commander, and was promoted to SS-Oberführer (Brigadier General) on 30 January 1944.

On 13 April 1944 he was appointed commander of the 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian), taking over from deputy commander SS-Standartenführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock (former leader of the unit, SS-Oberführer Hinrich Schuldt, had been killed in action when visiting the frontlines in March). Streckenbach held this post to the end of the war, and in battles of 1944 - 1945 on Eastern Front serving with his crack Latvian unit enabled him to earn further advancement in rank to SS-Brigadeführer in July and finally to SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS in November '44. General Streckenbach was awarded the Knight's Cross, and later the Oak Leaves.


Streckenbach was taken prisoner by the Soviets and, in 1952, he was sentenced to serve twenty-five years in prison, but was released on 10 October 1955. During the Nuremberg trial, defendant SS-Brigadeführer Otto Ohlendorf stated that Streckenbach, in mid-June 1941, had transmitted the extermination order, at a meeting concerning the missions of the Einsatzgruppen.

The West German government eventually brought Streckenbach to trial in 1973 but the case was dismissed due "to the defendant's poor health". He died on 28 October 1977, at home, in his birthplace Hamburg.


See also


  1. ^ According to Scherzer as SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen-SS, the Reserves, and commander of the 19. Waffen-Grenadier Division der Waffen-SS (lett. Nr. 2).[4]
  2. ^ According to Scherzer as SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS and the Reserves.[4]



  1. ^ a b Thomas 1998, p. 360.
  2. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 464.
  3. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 414.
  4. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 730.
  5. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 95.


  • Krätschmer, Ernst-Günther (1999) [1955]. Die Ritterkreuzträger der Waffen-SS [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Waffen-SS]. Coburg, Germany:  
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall.  
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag.  
  • Silgailis, Arthur (1986). Latvian Legion. San Jose, Calif. : R.J. Bender Pub. ISBN 0-912138-35-1.
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag.  
  • Trang, Charles (2000). Division "Florian Geyer". Bayeux: Heimdal. ISBN 2-84048-141-3.
  • Von Seemen, Gerhard (1976). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 : die Ritterkreuzträger sämtlicher Wehrmachtteile, Brillanten-, Schwerter- und Eichenlaubträger in der Reihenfolge der Verleihung : Anhang mit Verleihungsbestimmungen und weiteren Angaben [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 : The Knight's Cross Bearers of All the Armed Services, Diamonds, Swords and Oak Leaves Bearers in the Order of Presentation: Appendix with Further Information and Presentation Requirements] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Verlag.  
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Commander of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
13 September 1943 - 22 October 1943
Succeeded by
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Preceded by
SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein
Commander of 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
1 January 1944 - 13 April 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Gustav Lombard
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock
Commander of 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
13 April 1944 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
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