Fritz Freitag

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Fritz Freitag
Bundesarchiv Bild 101III-Alber-174-26A, Fritz Freitag.jpg
Born 28 April 1894
Died 10 May 1945(1945-05-10) (aged 51)
Graz, Allied-occupied Austria
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1914–19
1939–45
Rank Brigadeführer
Service number NSDAP #3,052,501
SS #393,266
Commands held 2 SS Infantry Brigade
SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer
SS Division Galicia
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Fritz Freitag (28 April 1894 – 10 May 1945) was a high-ranking member of the Waffen-SS and war criminal during World War II. He was the commander of the SS Division Galicia and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. He committed suicide at the end of the war in May 1945.

Career[edit]

Fritz Freitag was born on 28 April 1894, the son of a rail road official. After passing his high school examinations he joined the 1st (East Prussian) Grenadier Regiment of the Prussian Army.[1] During World War I, Freitag served on both the Eastern Front and the Western Front.[1] In 1919, Freitag joined the Freikorps and in 1920, the Schutzpolizei.[1] By the time of World War II, Freitag had been promoted to Oberstleutnant in the Polizei. During the invasion of Poland he was the Chief of Operations of the 3rd Police Regiment and the Chief of Staff to the senior police commander in the 14th Army.[1]

In September 1940, Freitag joined the Waffen-SS and was posted onto the staff of Heinrich Himmler. He was then posted to the 1 SS Infantry Brigade as chief of staff. He served on the Eastern Front organising anti-partisan operations in Belarus and assisting the Einsatzgruppen in rounding up the Jewish population in the occupied territories.[2]

Freitag was appointed commander of 2nd SS Polizei Infantry Regiment still serving on the Eastern Front. He was promoted to Standartenführer for his performance in command of a kampfgruppe during the fighting in the Volkhov pocket.[1] In January 1943, he was given temporary command of the SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer being replaced when becoming ill.[1] From April to August 1943 he commanded the 2 SS Infantry Brigade, and from 18 August 1943 till 20 October 1943 the 4th SS Polizei Division. He was then given command of the SS Division Galicia. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in September 1944. Freitag committed suicide in an American POW camp on 10 May 1945.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mitchum, pp 74-75
  2. ^ Hennes, War of Extermination, p.136
  3. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 318.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Hannes Heer & Klaus Naumann (2000). War of Extermination: The German Military in World War II 1941-1944. Berghahn Books. ISBN 1-57181-232-6. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). The German Defeat in the East, 1944–45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3371-7. 
  • 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.