9 January 1912|
Ansbach, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
|Died||20 November 2000
|Years of service||1938–1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Waldemar Fegelein (9 January 1912 – 20 November 2000) was a SS-Standartenführer (colonel) in the Waffen-SS during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.
Waldemar Fegelein was born on 9 January 1912, in Ansbach, the younger brother of Hermann Fegelein. His father operated a horse riding school in Munich which was forced to close due to the worldwide economic depression of the 1920s.
He volunteered to join the SS-VT/Waffen-SS and during World War II was awarded the Knight's Cross as a SS-Sturmbannführer (major) in command of the 2nd SS Cavalry Regiment in December 1943, which was serving on the Eastern Front. He was personally presented with the medal by Heinrich Himmler.
Fegelein, like his brother, Hermann, went on to command an SS Division, the 37th SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Lützow.
Waldemar Fegelein was implicated in the killing of Russian Partisans/Jews during the war and in one incident specifically he reportedly ordered his men to murder 21 Jewish men in the town of Starobin on 21 August 1941, at the end of an anti partisan sweep called "Operation Turov". His brother Hermann reported that over 13.000 Jews/Partisans had been terminated during this operation. Waldemar Fegelein was promoted to Standartenführer on 21 December 1944. Among his many decorations, Fegelein received the following: Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, German Cross in Gold, Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class, Wound Badge, German Sports Badge in Gold, SS Honour Ring and SS Honour Sword. Fegelein survived the war and was released from the prisoner camp in Darmstadt on 25 November 1946 and changed his name to Axel Fegelein, though he would sign autograph requests with his birth name. He led his own riding school near Bad Wörishofen and never had to justify himself for his war crimes.
Waldemar Fegelein died on 20 November 2000, age 88 in Obermeitingen. Fegelein is buried with his wife Anneliese, who died age 66 in 1990, on the Neuer Friedhof of Oberwinter.
- 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.
- 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.
|Commander of 37th SS Volunteer Cavalry Division Lützow
February 1945 – March 1945
Standartenführer Karl Gesele
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