Paul-Werner Hoppe

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Paul-Werner Hoppe
Paul werner hoppe.jpg
Official portrait
Born (1910-02-28)28 February 1910
Died 15 July 1974(1974-07-15) (aged 64)
Allegiance Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen SS
3rd SS Division Logo.svgTotenkopfverbände
Rank SS-Obersturmbannführer
Entrance to Stutthof
American soldiers patrol perimeter of the Woebbelin concentration camp.

Paul-Werner Hoppe (28 February 1910 – 15 July 1974) was an SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) and was the commandant of Stutthof concentration camp from September 1942 until April 1945.

Hoppe joined the Nazi Party with membership number 1,596,491. He joined the SS in 1933 (membership number: 116,695).[1] In 1936, he married Charlotte Baranowski, the daughter of Hermann Baranowski, a concentration camp commandant.[citation needed]

Hoppe was assigned to the Concentration Camps Inspectorate (Inspektion der Konzentrationslager) under SS-Obergruppenführer Theodor Eicke. He was instrumental in helping Eicke form the Totenkopf Division of the SS in the fall of 1939 and served as Eicke's adjutant. In April 1941, he was given command of an infantry company. In the spring of 1942, he received a severe leg wound in fighting the Red Army near Lake Ilmen in the Demyansk Pocket in Novgorod Oblast, U.S.S.R.[2]

After convalescing he was assigned to the SS-Totenkopfverbände and sent to Auschwitz as head of a guard detachment in July 1942. He was recommended for the position of camp commandant of Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig by SS-Gruppenführer Richard Glücks, Eicke's successor as Inspector of Concentration Camps.[3] A promotion to SS-Sturmbannführer and Commandant of Stutthof were approved and he arrived at Stutthof in September 1942 to take up his new position.[citation needed]

As the Soviets advanced westward it was decided by Albert Forster, Gauleiter of Danzig and the SS Higher and Police Leader Fritz Katzmann of military district XX, headquartered in Danzig to evacuate Stutthof. The formal evacuation order "Einsatzbefehl No 3" was signed by Hoppe on 25 January 1945 at 0500. The evacuation began an hour later under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Teodor Meyer. The destination of the “death march” was a sub-camp of Stutthof near Lauenburg in Pomerania about 87 miles (140 km) west-southwest of Stutthof.

After the mass evacuation, Hoppe became commandant of Wöbbelin concentration camp, a temporary camp set up to take prisoners evacuated from camps about to be overrun by the Red Army. Wöbbelin was only in existence from 12 February 1945 to 2 May 1945 when it was liberated by the American army.[citation needed]

Hoppe was captured by the British in April 1946 in Holstein. He was sent to Camp 165 in Watten, Scotland in August 1947 until January 1948 when he was sent to an internment camp in Fallingbostel[4] which was in the British zone of occupation in West Germany.

While awaiting extradition to Poland Hoppe escaped and made his way to Switzerland where he worked as a landscape gardener under a false identity for 3 years before returning to West Germany. He was arrested by the West German authorities on 17 April 1953 in Witten, West Germany.

He was tried and convicted as an accessory to murder in 1955. On 4 June 1957 the district court in Bochum re-sentenced Hoppe to nine years and he was released in 1966.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Ailsby, Christoper (1997). SS: Roll of Infamy. Motorbooks Intl., p. 76. ISBN 0760304092
  2. ^ Ailsby, Christoper (1997). SS: Roll of Infamy. p. 76
  3. ^ Ailsby, Christoper (1997). SS: Roll of Infamy. p. 76
  4. ^ Andrej Angrick; Peter Klein (2009). The "final Solution" in Riga: Exploitation and Annihilation, 1941-1944. Berghahn. p. 449. ISBN 9781845456085. 
  5. ^ Klee, Ernst (2005). Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main. ISBN 3-596-16048-0
  6. ^ Campbell, Valerie (2007). Camp 165 Watten: Scotland's Most Secretive POW Camp. Whittles Publishing. ISBN 978-1904445609
  7. ^ Sydnor, Charles W. (1990). Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death's Head Division, 1933–1945. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1568658346