Wilhelm Rediess

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Wilhelm Rediess
Born 10 October 1900
Heinsberg, Rhine Province,
German Empire
Died 8 May 1945(1945-05-08) (aged 44)
Oslo, Norway
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Years of service 1918; 1925–1945
Rank SS-Obergruppenführer Collar Rank.svg Obergruppenführer
(Lieutenant General)
Unit Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Schutzstaffel (SS) 1930 – 1945
Sturmabteilung (SA) 1925 – 1930
Reichswehr 1918
Commands held SS and Police Leader, Norway
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

Wilhelm Rediess (10 October 1900 – 8 May 1945) was the SS and Police Leader during the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War. He was also the commanding General (Obergruppenführer) of all SS troops stationed in occupied Norway, assuming command on 22 June 1940 until his death in 1945.

Early life[edit]

Rediess was born in Heinsberg, Prussia, German Empire, the son of a court employee. After school, Rediess became an electrician. In June 1918, he enlisted in the German army, serving as an infantryman until the end of the First World War in November 1918. He then worked as an electrician until losing his job in the German economic crisis of 1929.

In May 1925, Rediess joined the SA and in December 1925 was approved for membership in the Nazi Party. He led a Düsseldorf SA company in 1927 and was transferred to the SS with his unit in 1930. Promotion swiftly followed for Rediess, achieving the rank of Lieutenant General (SS-Obergruppenführer) in 1935.

World War II[edit]

At the onset of World War II, Rediess was an SS officer in Prussia, having previously served as the Division Commander of SS-Oberabschnitt Südost. In March 1941, citing reports of large numbers of Norwegian women impregnated by German soldiers, Rediess implemented the German Lebensborn program in Norway. This program encouraged the production of "racially pure" Aryan children, usually sired by SS troops. Ultimately, 8,000 children were born under the auspices of this program, making Norway second only to Germany in registered Aryan births during World War II.

Rediess committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound upon the collapse of the Third Reich in Norway on 8 May 1945. His remains were destroyed when Reichskommissar Josef Terboven detonated fifty kilograms of dynamite in a bunker on the Skaugum compound the same day.