Peter Högl

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Peter Högl
PeterHöglpicture.jpg
Born 19 August 1897
Dingolfing, Bavaria
Died 2 May 1945(1945-05-02) (aged 47)
Berlin
Allegiance German Empire German Empire
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel
Years of service 1916-1919,1934–1945
Rank SS-Obersturmbannführer Collar Rank.svg SS-Obersturmbannführer
Unit Reichssicherheitsdienst
Commands held Chief of Department 1
Battles/wars Battle of Berlin

Peter Högl (19 August 1897 – 2 May 1945) was a German officer holding the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) who spent time in the Führerbunker in Berlin at the end of World War II.

Early life and career[edit]

Högl was born near Dingolfing in Bavaria. After he left school he worked as a miller in Landshut until he joined the 16th Bavarian Infantry Regiment in 1916; there, he then saw active service in World War I and reached the rank of Unteroffizier. He left the army in 1919 and joined the Bavarian police, transferring to the criminal police in 1932.[1]

Nazi career[edit]

He joined the SS and became a member of Adolf Hitler's bodyguard in 1933 and attained the rank of SS-Obersturmführer (first lieutenant) in 1934. From April 1935 he became the deputy to Johann Rattenhuber in the Reichssicherheitsdienst (Reich Security Service-RSD) and was appointed Chief of Department 1 (responsible for the personal protection of Hitler). In this capacity he was posted to the Obersalzberg, Munich and Berlin. From November 1944 forward, he was stationed in Berlin and held the title of Criminal Director.[1] Beginning in January 1945, Högl spent time in the Führerbunker located below the Reich Chancellery gardens in central Berlin. In April 1945, it became a de facto Führer Headquarters during the Battle of Berlin, and ultimately, the last one of Hitler's headquarters.[2]

Capture of Hermann Fegelein[edit]

On 27 April, Högl was sent to find Heinrich Himmler's liaison man in Berlin, SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS Hermann Fegelein who had left the bunker complex. Högl caught Fegelein at his apartment apparently preparing to flee Berlin with his Hungarian mistress to Sweden or Switzerland. Fegelein had cash, forged passports and was wearing civilian clothes. Högl also uncovered a briefcase containing documents with evidence of Himmler's attempted peace negotiations.[3] Fegelein, by that time was Eva Braun's brother-in-law.

A military tribunal was ordered by Hitler to court-martial Fegelein. Waffen-SS General Wilhelm Mohnke presided over the tribunal which included Generals Johann Rattenhuber, Hans Krebs and Wilhelm Burgdorf. On the evening of 28 April, the BBC broadcast a Reuters news report about Himmler's attempted negotiations with the western Allies via Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden. Hitler thereafter condemned Fegelein to death.[4]

Death[edit]

After Hitler's death on 30 April, Högl, Ewald Lindloff, Hans Reisser, and Heinz Linge carried his corpse up the stairs to ground level and through the bunker's emergency exit to the bombed-out garden behind the Reich Chancellery. There, Högl witnessed the cremation of Hitler and Eva Braun. On the following night of 1 May, Högl joined the break-out from the Soviet Red Army encirclement. After midnight on 2 May 1945, he was wounded in the head while crossing the Weidendammer Bridge and died of his injuries.[1] Högl was 47 years old.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Joachimsthaler, Anton (1999) [1995]. The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, The Evidence, The Truth. Brockhampton Press. p. 292. ISBN 1-86019-902-X. 
  2. ^ Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin – The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. p. 357. ISBN 0-670-03041-4. 
  3. ^ Joachimsthaler pp. 277, 278.
  4. ^ O'Donnell, James (2001) [1978]. The Bunker. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 182, 183. ISBN 0-306-80958-3.