Fritz Freitag

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Fritz Freitag
Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Alber-174-26A, Fritz Freitag.jpg
Born 28 April 1894
Allenstein, Germany
Died 10 May 1945(1945-05-10) (aged 51)
Graz, Austria
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1914–1919
1939–1945
Rank Brigadeführer
Commands held 2nd SS Polizei Regiment
2 SS Infantry Brigade
8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
German Cross in Gold
Iron Cross I class 1914 & 1939
Iron Cross II class 1914 & 1939
Wound Badge with Swords
Eastern Front Medal

Fritz Freitag (28 April 1894 in Allenstein - 10 May 1945 in Graz) was a Brigadeführer in the Waffen SS during World War II. He was the commander of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division Galicia and awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He committed suicide at the end of the war in May 1945.

Early years[edit]

Fritz Freitag was born on 28 April 1894, the son of a rail road official. After passing his high school examinations he joined the 1st (East Prussian) Grenadier Regiment.[1]

World War I[edit]

During World War I, Freitag served on both the Eastern Front and the Western Front. In 1915, he was commissioned as a Leutnant and for the next three years served as a company commander, being wounded four times.[1]

Between the wars[edit]

In 1919, Freitag joined the Freikorps and in 1920, the Schutzpolizei.[1]

World War II[edit]

By the time of World War II, Freitag had been promoted to Oberstleutnant in the Polizei. During the Polish Campaign he was the Chief of Operations of the 3rd Police Regiment and the Chief of Staff to the senior police commander in the 14th Army.[1]

Waffen SS[edit]

In September 1940, Freitag joined the Waffen SS and was posted onto the staff of Heinrich Himmler. He was then posted to the 1 SS Infantry Brigade as the chief of staff and served on the Eastern Front on Anti partisan operations and assisting the Einsatzgruppen in rounding up the Jewish population in the occupied territories.[2]

Freitag was given his first Regimental command in December 1941, when he took over command of the 2nd SS Polizei Infantry Regiment still serving on the Eastern Front. He was promoted to Standartenführer for his performance in command of a kampfgruppe during the fighting in the Volchow pocket.[1]

In January 1943, he was given temporary command of the 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer being replaced when becoming ill.[1]

When he recovered he was given command of the 2 SS Infantry Brigade in April to August 1943. From 18 August 1943 till 20 October 1943 he was commander of 4th SS Polizei Division of Waffen SS and then he was given command of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia (1st Ukrainian). He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in September 1944.[3]

Fritz Freitag committed suicide on 10 May 1945.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mitchum, pp 74-75
  2. ^ Hennes, War of Extermination, p.136
  3. ^ Wendal, Marcus. "Knight's Cross Holders of the Waffen-SS". Axis History. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45. Stackpole. ISBN 0-8117-3371-8. 
  • Berger, Florian (2004). Ritterkreuzträger mit Nahkampfspange in Gold. ISBN 3-9501307-3-X. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Hannes Heer & Klaus Naumann (2000). War of Extermination: The German Military in World War II 1941-1944. Berghahn Books. ISBN 1-57181-232-6. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). 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. Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.