Josef Diefenthal

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Josef Diefenthal
Born 5 October 1915
Died 13 April 2001(2001-04-13) (aged 85)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Years of service 1939–45
Rank Sturmbannfuhrer
Unit SS Division Leibstandarte
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Josef Diefenthal (5 October 1915 – 13 April 2001) was a mid-ranking commander in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany and a war criminal during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 5 February 1945 for his actions during the Ardennes Offensive, while in command of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment, SS Division Leibstandarte.[1]

Diefenthal watches American soldiers of the U.S. 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th ID, as they surrender in Stoumont, Belgium on 19 December 1944.

Diefenthal was found guilty of war crimes committed during the Battle of the Bulge, and sentenced to death, which was later changed to life imprisonment. He was released in 1956.[2]



  1. ^ The 1st SS Panzer Division in the Battle of the Bulge By Steve Kane p.149
  2. ^ The 1st SS Panzer Division in the Battle of the Bulge By Steve Kane p.149


  • 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.