August Schmidhuber

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August Schmidhuber
Bundesarchiv Bild 192-298, KZ-Mauthausen, Himmlervisite.jpg
August Schmidhuber (far right, in front) and other SS officers on tour of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, April 1941
Born(1901-05-08)8 May 1901
Augsburg, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died19 February 1947(1947-02-19) (aged 45)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia (hanged)
Allegiance Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branchFlag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service1919–45
RankSS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
Commands held21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian)
7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsGerman Cross in Gold

August Schmidhuber (8 May 1901 – 19 February 1947) was an SS-Brigadeführer of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen from 20 January 1944 to 8 May 1945, and the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) from May 1944 onwards.

During the security warfare in Kosovo, Schmidhuber issued orders to kill prisoners and burn villages. Convicted of war crimes in Yugoslavia, he was executed on 19 February 1947 in Belgrade.

Early career[edit]

August Schmidhuber was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, the son of a minor government official. After finishing basic military training in the Reichswehr in Ulm in 1919, he signed up for 12 years' military service on 5 May. He was initially assigned to the Schützen Regiment (rifle regiment) Number 42. From 16 June 1919 until the beginning of October, Schmidhuber served with the 9th Company of his regiment and then spent nearly a year in 3 company.

At the same time, beginning in May 1919 to mid-June, he also entered the ranks of the Freikorps, Major Franz Ritter von Epp. Schmidhuber then transferred to Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment (mountain hunters) Number 19 and on 1 October 1922 was appointed to the rank of Gefreiter (private). He remained in the regular German army until 4 May 1931, when he left as an Oberfeldwebel (sergeant major).

After leaving the army Schmidhuber worked as a brewer and became active in politics in Bavaria, joining the Bayerische Volkspartei (Bavarian People's Party). During the presidential elections, he stood for the district of Lindau but did not win. He then joined the NSDAP and on 16 July 1933 entered into the SA. In the SA he was part of the SA Gruppe Hochland and served first as the deputy director of SA schools in the region, and then later also as a director. Schmidhuber was a member of the training command of the SA.

SS career[edit]

In May 1935 Schmidhuber joined the SS where he was appointed SS Obersturmführer and immediately attached to the SS-Verfügungstruppe. Initially he commanded the 7th platoon of SS-1 Standarte and commanded troops there until early February 1936, when he was transferred to the SS Germania Regiment. Here he led the 1st Company until 1 May 1936. On 13 September 1936 Schmidhuber was promoted to SS Hauptsturmführer and transferred to the regimental staff of SS Germania. He remained there until mid-November 1937, where the company is responsible for training noncommissioned officers, until the end of February 1938.

On 30 January 1939 Schmidhuber was promoted to the rank of SS Sturmbannführer and put in command of the 1st SS battalion regiment Germania. On 21 June 1941 he was promoted to SS Obersturmbannführer and a year later he became the commander of the SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderberg" of 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. On 20 April 1943 Schmidhuber was promoted to SS Standartenführer (Colonel) and from 17 April 1944 until 20 January 1945, served as a commander of the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian). On 21 June 1944 he was promoted to SS Oberführer.

With regard to his anti-partisan activities in Kosovo during the war, the scholar Bernd Jürgen Fischer noted:[1]

Schmidhuber of the SS "Skanderbeg" issued orders to increase the burning of villages and killing of people. In keeping with these orders, between 19 September and 23 October, 131 NLM prisoners....were shot or hanged in Kosovo."

Following the German evacuation of Albania, Schmidhuber replaced SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm as commander of the remnants of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen to 8 May 1945.

A Yugoslav 3rd Army military tribunal sentenced Schmidhuber to death by hanging for his role in killing civilians in Yugoslavia, and he was executed on 19 February 1947 in Belgrade.[2]

Career summary[edit]

Schmidhuber's first SS rank was Obersturmführer as of May 1935; his highest rank achieved was Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS as of January 1945. Schmidhuber was awarded German Cross in Gold on 3 August 1943.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bernd Jürgen Fischer, Albania at War (1999), pp.226–227.
  2. ^ Lopičić 2009, pp. 21–50.
  3. ^ Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 411.


  • History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 528, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948
  • Bernd Jürgen Fischer, Albania at War, 1939–1945 (Purdue University Press, West Lafayette 1999), ISBN 1-55753-141-2.
  • Bernhard Kühmel, "Deutschland und Albanien, 1943–1944: Die Auswirkungen der Besetzung und innenpolitsiche Entwicklung des Landes." PhD. diss., University of Bochum, 1981.
  • Lopičić, Đorđe (2009). NEMAČKI RATNI ZLOČINI 1941-1945, presude jugoslovenskih vojnih sudova. Beograd: Muzej žrtava genocida. ISBN 978-86-906329-8-5.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II [The German Cross 1941 – 1945 History and Recipients Volume 2] (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
  • Georg H. Stein, The Waffen-SS. Hitler's Elite Guard at War (Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1966). ISBN 0-8014-9275-0
Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg"
15 April 1942 – 28 November 1943
Succeeded by
SS-Sturmbannführer Bernhard Dietsche
Preceded by
SS-Brigadeführer Josef Fitzthum
Commander of 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian)
1 May 1944 – January 1945
Succeeded by
SS-Obersturmbannführer Alfred Graf
Preceded by
SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm
Commander of 7. SS-Freiw.GebirgsDiv "Prinz Eugen"
20 January 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by