Walter Harzer

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Walter Harzer
Born 29 September 1912
Died 29 May 1982(1982-05-29) (aged 69)
Allegiance  Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Rank Oberführer
Commands held SS Division Hohenstaufen
SS Polizei Division
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Walter Harzer (September 29, 1912 – May 29, 1982) was a German member in the Waffen-SS who commanded the SS Division Hohenstaufen and SS Polizei Division. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross of Nazi Germany. After the war, he became active in HIAG. a Waffen-SS revisionist and lobby group established by senior Waffen-SS men in 1951 in West Germany.

World War II[edit]

Born in 1912, Harzer joined the SS in 1931. In March 1934 Harzer joined SS-Verfügungstruppe and was assigned to the Sicherheitsdienst and later the SS Division Das Reich. He participated in the invasion of Poland. From mid-1942 until April 1943 Walter served as a staff officer first with the LVII.Panzer Corps and later with the SS Division Frundsberg.

In April 1943, Harzer was assigned to the SS Division Hohenstaufen.[1] As Hohenstaufen was ordered for a refit in the Netherlands, Harzer became its fifth commander, taking over for Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock. On Sunday 17 September 1944, the Allies launched Operation Market Garden and Harzer’s division was engaged in the Battle of Arnhem.[2][3] Harzer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions during these battles.[4]

In October 1944 Harzer became the Chief of Staff of V SS Mountain Corps before receiving the command of the 4th SS Polizei Division at the end of November 1944. Together with the rest of this division Harzer surrendered to the American Army on 8 May 1945.

Post-war activities[edit]

After the war Harzer worked as an official historian for HIAG, an organization of former Waffen-SS members. He helped coordinate the writing of numerous tendentious unit histories and memoirs by former Waffen-SS officers.[5] Harzer died in 1982.




  1. ^ English: Interviews by Cornelius Ryan mwith Walter Harzer regarding Operation Market Garden
  2. ^ Review of Bob Gerritsen's und Scott Revell's: Retake Arnhem Bridge: An Illustrated History of Kampfgruppe Knaust, September–October 1944. Renkum, Netherlands: R.N. Sigmond, 2010 ISBN 978-90-812703-3-5
  3. ^ Himmlers Krieger: Joachim Peiper und die Waffen-SS in Krieg und Nachkriegszeit, von Jens Westermeier, Page 572, Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh GmbH; (11. Dezember 2013), ISBN 978-3506772411
  4. ^ a b Scherzer 2007, p. 369.
  5. ^ MacKenzie 2013, pp. 136-137.


  • MacKenzie, S.P. (2013). Revolutionary Armies in the Modern Era: A Revisionist Approach. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415867771. 
  • A Bridge Too Far: The Classic History of the Greatest Battle of World War II by Cornelius Ryan (Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (1 May 1995), ISBN 0-684-80330-5, ISBN 978-0-684-80330-2).
  • 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. 
Military offices
Preceded by
SS-Oberführer Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock
Commander of 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen
29 August 1944 – 10 October 1944
Succeeded by
SS-Brigadeführer Sylvester Stadler
Preceded by
SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Schmedes
Commander of 4th SS Polizei Division
27 November 1944 – March 1945
Succeeded by
SS-Standartenführer Fritz Göhler
Preceded by
SS-Standartenführer Fritz Göhler
Commander of 4th SS Polizei Division
March 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by