His father was a local secondary school teacher and he was educated in his hometown of Speyer. After finishing school in 1909, he enlisted into an infantry regiment (No.117) in whose third company he was appointed Second Lieutenant in 1910.
After several promotions, to the rank of Major on 1 February 1930, and to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 1 February 1933, he served as a battalion commander in Infantry Regiment No. 12 in Dessau. Hollidt next served as a Colonel (in the General Staff) in 1935 and as a Chief-of-Staff of the 1st Army Corps in Königsberg. After his appointment as Major-General on 1 April 1938, Hollidt was active as an infantry commander in Siegen. He also commanded Infantry Regiments No. 57, 116 and 136.
At the beginning of World War II, Hollidt served as commander of the 52nd Infantry Division. From 1 November 1939, he served as a Chief-of-Staff with Commander-in-Chief Ost, General Blaskowitz. Lieutenant General Hollidt (promoted 1 April 1940) served from October 1940 as the commander of the 50th Infantry Division in Greece. Promoted to the rank of General der Infanterie (Infantry General), Hollidt commanded XVII Army Corps, which was planned to take part in the relief operation concerning the 6th Army, then encircled in the Russian city of Stalingrad. After the surrender of the 6th Army, it was reconstituted in March 1943 and Hollidt was given its command. He was promoted to Colonel General on 1 September 1943.
In 1944, his 6th Army suffered severe losses during its retreat from its area of operations north of the Dnieper. Hollidt was subsequently dismissed from his command and put into reserve.
In 1945, Hollidt was captured by US forces. After a trial held at Nuremberg, he was convicted of the unlawful use of prisoners of war and of the deportation and enslavement of civilians. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, of which he served a little less than 14 months (from 27 October 1948 until his release on 22 December 1949). He died in 1985 in Siegen and was interred in his birthplace of Speyer.
In der Schlacht am Mius haben Infanterie- und Panzerverbände des Heeres und der Waffen-SS unter Führung des Generalfeldmarschalls von Manstein und des Generals der Infanterie Hollidt mit vorbildlicher Unterstützung der von General der Flieger Deßloch geführten Luftwaffenverbände wiederholt Durchbruchsversuche starker feindlicher Kräfte vereitelt und im schwungvollen Gegenangriff den nördlich Kuibyschewo eingebrochenen Feind geschlagen.
In the Battle at the Mius, infantry and tank units of the Army and Waffen-SS under the command of Field Marshal von Manstein and General of Infantry Hollidt with exemplary support of Luftwaffe units lead by General of the Flyers Deßloch, have repeatedly thwarted attempts of strong enemy forces to break through, and in a bold counter-attack struck the north Kuibyschewo broken through enemy.
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