|Karl Pfeffer Wildenbruch|
12 June 1888|
Kalkberge, German Empire
|Died||29 January 1971
Bielefeld, West Germany
|Allegiance|| German Empire (to 1918)
Weimar Republic (to 1933)
|Years of service||1907–1945|
|Rank||Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS|
|Unit||4th SS Polizei Division
VI SS Corps
IX SS Mountain Corps
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
Iron Cross 1st Class (1914) & (1939)
Iron Cross 2nd Class (1914) &(1939)
The Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
SS Honour Ring
Karl Pfeffer Wildenbruch (12 June 1888 – 29 January 1971) was a staff officer of the German General Staff during World War I and an Obergruppenführer General der Waffen-SS und der Polizei, during World War II. He commanded the 4th SS Polizei Division and the VI SS Army Corps and the IX SS Mountain Corps; he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.
Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was born on 12 June 1888, in Kalkberge, Rüdersdorf. After finishing high school he became a Fahnenjunker in the 22nd Field Artillery Regiment in March 1907. He was promoted to Leutnant in August 1908, and in 1911 he was assigned to the Military Technical School in Berlin.
World War I
At the outbreak of The Great War, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was assigned the command of a Battery, and was a Regimental Adjutant. He later became a staff officer on the German General Staff. He served under Field Marshal General, Colmar von der Goltz, in Baghdad who was the commander of the 1st Turkish Army. Pfeffer-Wildenbruch's next posting was as the IA to the German Military mission in Constantinople from May to November 1917. At the end of 1917 he returned to Germany, as a staff officer with the 11th Infantry Division. At the end of the war he remained on the General staff of the ZBV 55 and XXIV reserve corps.
In August 1919 Pfeffer-Wildenbruch joined the police service, and spent time in the Reich Ministry of the Interior. He became the police commander in Osnabrück and Magdeburg. In 1928 he went to Santiago de Chile, to serve as Chief of the Chilean Carabineros de Chile, returning to Germany in 1933.
In June 1933, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch became an Oberstleutnant in the National Police Regiment at Frankfurt an der Oder and from May 1936 he was the Inspector General of Police schools, being promoted to Generalmajor der Polizei in May 1937.
World War II
Germany initiated World War II by invading Poland in September 1939. Near the end of that year, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was given command of the 4th SS Polizei Division with the rank of SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant der Polizei. After the Battle of France he returned to the staff of the Reichsführer-SS, next serving as chief of the colonial police from 1941 to 1943.
In December 1944 Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was appointed commander of the IX SS Mountain Corps, stationed in Budapest, Hungary. He was responsible for the defence of the Hungarian capital against advancing Russian forces, from 24 December 1944 to 11 February 1945.
The siege of Budapest was one of the longest and bloodiest city struggles of the Second World War and the fight lasted 46 days. For his defence of the city he was awarded with the Knight's Cross on 11 January 1945 and the Oak Leaves on 1 February 1945. During the attempt to break out from Budapest, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was seriously wounded, and was captured by the Russians. On 10 August 1949 he was sentenced to 25 years of labor camps, but after Stalin's death he was released together with some 10,000 other "last prisoners of war" due to an informal agreement (concluded in September 1955) between German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin. His release came in October of that year.
Awards and decorations
- Iron Cross (1914)
- 2nd Class
- 1st Class (14 September 1917)
- Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918
- Anschluss Medal
- Sudetenland Medal
- Clasp to the Iron Cross (1939)
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
- Sword of honour of the Reichsführer-SS
- SS Honour Ring
- Battle for Budapest By Krisztián Ungváry, Ladislaus Löb, p. 67
- His service number was 292 713
- Latvia in World War II By Valdis O. Lumans, p. 287
- The German Defeat in the East, 1944-45 By Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., p. 234
- Thomas 1998, p. 149.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 337.
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 96.
- 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.
- 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. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- 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. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.