Kurt Daluege

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Kurt Daluege
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-2007-1010-502, Kurt Daluege.jpg
Orpo Chief SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer Kurt Daluege, shown here in February 1936 as an Obergruppenführer.
Chief of the Ordnungspolizei
(All uniformed Police within the German Reich)
In office
June 26, 1936 – August 31, 1943
Preceded by Post Created
Succeeded by Alfred Wünnenberg
Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia
(Acting Protector)
(Konstantin von Neurath was titular Protector)
In office
June 5, 1942 – August 24, 1943
Preceded by Reinhard Heydrich
(as Acting Protector)
Succeeded by Wilhelm Frick
(as Protector)
Personal details
Born (1897-09-15)September 15, 1897
Kreuzburg, Upper Silesia, German Empire (now Kluczbork, Poland)
Died October 24, 1946(1946-10-24) (aged 49)
Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Nationality German
Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Spouse(s) Käthe Schwarz (married 1926)

Kurt Daluege (September 15, 1897 – October 24, 1946) was a German Nazi SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer and Generaloberst of the Police (ranks equivalent to Colonel-General, or four-star General) as chief of the national uniformed Ordnungspolizei (Order Police), and ruled the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia as Deputy Protector after Reinhard Heydrich's assassination.

Early life and career[edit]

Daluege, son of a Prussian state official, was born in the small Upper Silesian town of Kreuzburg (now Kluczbork) on September 15, 1897. He entered the Imperial German Army in 1916 and served with the 7th Garde Regiment West. During his service on the Western Front he was severely wounded a number of times, declared 25% disabled and decorated for bravery.

1920s[edit]

After World War I, Daluege became leader of Selbstschutz Oberschlesien (SSOS) - Upper Silesian Self Defense  — an Upper Silesian veterans' organization engaged in combat with the Poles in that region. In 1921, he also became active in the Freikorps Rossbach while studying engineering at the Technical University in Berlin. Two years later he joined the Nazi Party, or NSDAP and was assigned Party number 31,981.[1] In 1926 he joined the Sturmabteilung (SA), eventually becoming the leader of Berlin's SA and Goebbels' deputy gauleiter (or Party leader) in Berlin.

SS and police leader[edit]

In July 1930, in accordance with Hitler's wishes, Daluege resigned from the SA and joined the SS with the rank of SS-Oberführer and SS membership number 1,119.[2] His main responsibility was to spy on the SA and political opponents of the Nazi Party. Berlin SS headquarters was strategically placed at the corner of Lützowstrasse and Potsdamerstrasse, opposite the SA headquarters.

In August 1930, when Berlin SA leader Walter Stennes had his men attack the Berlin Party headquarters, it was Daluege's SS men who defended it and put the attack down. Sometime afterwards in an open letter to Daluege, Adolf Hitler proclaimed "SS Mann, deine Ehre heißt Treue!" (SS man, your honor is loyalty); and "Meine Ehre heißt Treue" (My honor is loyalty) was duly adopted by the SS as its motto.[3] Hitler promoted both Daluege and Heinrich Himmler to SS-Obergruppenführer, with Daluege the SS leader of northern Germany while Himmler controlled the southern SS units out of Munich in addition to serving as national leader for the entire SS. In 1932 Daluege became a Nazi Party delegate in the Prussian state parliament, and in November 1932 was elected to the Reichstag representing the Berlin East electoral district, a seat he retained until 1945. At the same time, Hermann Göring moved Daluege to the Prussian Interior Ministry, where he took over the nonpolitical police with the rank of General der Polizei. In 1936, the entire German police force was reorganized and administrative functions previously exercised by the now largely defunct federal states were reassigned to the Reich Interior Ministry. That same year, Wilhelm Frick appointed Daluege as chief of the Ordnungspolizei, or Orpo, which gave him administrative, though not executive, authority over most of the uniformed police in Nazi Germany. He commanded the Ordnungspolizei until 1943, rising to the ranks of SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer und Generaloberst der Polizei.

Memorial in the Czech Republic to children of Lidice murdered on Daluege's orders

Lidice[edit]

In 1942 Daluege became the Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, following the assassination of Deputy Protector Reinhard Heydrich. Although Konstantin von Neurath was nominally Protector, he had been stripped of his day-to-day duties in 1941, so Daluege was Acting Protector in all but name. In June 1942, along with Karl Hermann Frank and other SS operatives, he ordered the villages of Lidice and Ležáky razed to the ground in reprisal for Heydrich's death. All of the men in both villages were murdered, while many of the women and children were deported to Nazi concentration camps.[4]

Daluege (right) in 1939, shaking hands with Heinrich Himmler (left). Hans Frank is also standing between the two men.

Illness, arrest and execution[edit]

In May 1943, Daluege became seriously ill after a massive heart attack. In August, he was relieved of all of his day-to-day responsibilities and spent the rest of the war living on a property given him by Hitler. In May 1945, he was arrested by British troops in Lübeck and interned in Nuremberg until September 1946, when he was extradited to Czechoslovakia and tried for his many war crimes committed in the Protectorate. He was convicted on all charges and hanged in Pankrác prison in Prague on October 24, 1946. He is buried in an unmarked grave at Prague's Ďáblice cemetery.

Personal life[edit]

In 1926 Daluege married Käthe Schwarz (born November 23, 1901). In 1937, Daluege had himself attested sterile so he and his wife could foster the son of an SS officer named Belbe. Afterwards, this attestation was disproved as Daluege's wife bore three biological children, sons born in 1938 & 1940 and a daughter born in 1942.

Summary of SS career[edit]

Dates of promotion[edit]

Decorations[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

Trivia[edit]

When Stalin's son, Yakov Dzhugashvili, was captured by the Wehrmacht, Daluege is credited with the idea of offering to return Dzhugashvili to the Red Army in exchange for the release of Field Marshal Paulus. Joseph Stalin turned down the offer, allegedly stating that "a Lieutenant was not worth a General". Daluege then arranged for Dzhugashvili to be interned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he died at the age of 36. The Germans stated officially that Dzhugashvili had died by running into an electric fence. Some have contended that he committed suicide at the camp, while others have suggested that he was murdered.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biondi, Robert, ed., SS Officers List: SS-Standartenführer to SS-Oberstgruppenführer (as of 30 January 1942), Schiffer Military History Publishing, 2000, p. 7
  2. ^ Biondi, Robert, ed., SS Officers List: SS-Standartenführer to SS-Oberstgruppenführer (as of 30 January 1942), p. 7
  3. ^ Lumsden, Robin, A Collector's Guide to: The Allgemeine – SS, p. 49
  4. ^ Burian, Michal; Aleš (2002). "Assassination — Operation Arthropoid, 1941-1942" (PDF). Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lumsden, Robin (2002). A Collector's Guide to: The Allgemeine – SS. Ian Allan Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-7110-2905-9. 
  • Miller, Michael (2006). Leaders of the SS and German Police, Vol. 1. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 9-32970-037-3. 
  • Williamson, Gordon, The SS: Hitler's Instrument of Terror: The Full Story From Street Fighters to the Waffen-SS, Motorbooks International, (1994), ISBN 0-87938-905-2, ISBN 978-0-87938-905-5
Government offices
Preceded by
Reinhard Heydrich
(Acting Protector)
Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia
(Acting Protector)

5 June 1942 – 24 August 1943
Succeeded by
Wilhelm Frick
(Protector)