Voldemārs Reinholds

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Voldemārs Reinholds
Born 23 June 1903
Bauska, Russian Empire
Died 4 July 1986(1986-07-04) (aged 83)
Madliena, Latvian SSR
Allegiance Latvia Latvia
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
Years of service 1925–41
1941–45
Rank Obersturmbannführer
Unit 9th Rēzekne infantry regiment
16th Zemgale Police battalion
19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian)
Commands held 43rd Waffen Grenadier Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Iron Cross I Class
Iron Cross II Class
German Cross in Gold

Andrejs Voldemārs Reinholds (23 June 1903 – 4 July 1986) was an Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) in the Waffen SS during World War II who was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, which was awarded to recognize extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Waffen-Obersturmbannführer Voldemārs Reinholds was the commander of the 43rd Waffen Grenadier Regiment, 19th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (2nd Latvian) when he was awarded the Knight's Cross in May 1945.[Notes 1] He survived the war and died on 4 July 1986.[2][3]

Biography[edit]

Andrejs Voldemārs Reinholds was born in small Latvian town- Bauska on 23 June 1903. After graduation, he was drafted in Latvian army where he served in 2nd Ventspils infantry regiment. After his compulsory service, he stayed in the military. In 1925, he was moved to 9th Rēzekne infantry regiment where he served until 1939. In 1926, he graduated Military academy and was promoted to lieutenant. In 1929, he was promoted to the rank of First lieutenant. In 1937, Reinholds completed course of physical education of the Army. After the Latvian occupation in 1940, he remained in his service in the now Soviet Red Army, but was demobilised soon before Operation Barbarossa started.

In the autumn of 1941, Reinholds was among first Latvian volunteers who enlisted in German army. He was company commander in 16th Zemgale Police battalion. Battalion was involved in anti-partisan duties in the Leningrad Front (near the Lake Ilmen and Staraya Russa). At the end of 1942, Reinholds was promoted to Waffen Hauptsturmfuhrer (Captain). When the Latvian Legion was formed in the 1943, 16th Zemgale Police battalion was incorporated in newly formed 2nd Latvian brigade. Since 1944, Voldemars Reinholds was commander of a battalion in the rank of Waffen-Sturmbannführer. In autumn 1944, he was awarded with German Cross in Gold. In spring 1945, when fighting in Courland Pocket, he was given command of 43rd Waffen Grenadier Regiment der SS. In May 1945, he was awarded with Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, although he never physically received it.

After the German capitulation, Reinholds did not surrender. With some comrades, he went to forest and they planned to unnoticed go to the Allied occupation zones in Germany. However, they were caught and arrested by the Soviets soon after. They were intended to be shot but Reinholds managed to escape and for some time he illegally lived in Tukums and later in his native homestead in Kurmene parish. Later, he traveled to Riga where he worked as electrician under alias Andrejs Ostrovskis. There, he met many other former legioneres and one of them handed over his true identity to NKVD.

In 1948, he was tried and sentenced to 25 years in Vorkuta prison camps. Reinholds was released in 1958 and returned to Riga. There, he continued to work as electrician until 1977. Although he was observed by KGB, he managed to contact his former comrades.

Voldemārs Reinholds died in Madliena hospital on 4 July 1986.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Voldemārs Reinholds' nomination by the troop was received by Heerespersonalamt (HPA—Army Staff Office) on 25 March 1945. The HPA created a nomination numbered 4940 on 30 March 1945. A file card listing the same information is filed among the rejected nominations. The column verliehen (Awarded) in the book "Verliehene Ritterkreuze" (Awarded Knight Crosses) is blank. No proof exists that the Knight's Cross was awarded. The presentation date was assigned by the Association of Knight's Cross Recipients (AKCR)[1]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Scherzer 2007, pp. 165–166.
  2. ^ "frontkjemper". 
  3. ^ "axis.history.factbook". 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Henschler, Henri; Fey, Willi (2003). Armor Battles of the Waffen-SS, 1943–45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-2905-5. 
  • Mitcham, Samuel W (2007). Retreat to the Reich : the German defeat in France, 1944. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 978-0-8117-3384-7. 
  • 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 Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.