Gottlob Berger ( Gerstetten , Kreis Heidenheim / Württemberg , 16 of July of 1896 – Württemberg , Germany , 5 of January of 1975 ) was a high official Nazi with the rank of SS – Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen SS and member of the Reichstag , who was Responsible for the growth of the Waffen SS as a military weapon of Germany during World War II .
Service during World War I
Berger was the son of Johannes Berger who was a carpenter and owner of a sawmill in Würtemberg. However , he studied to be a school teacher from 1910 to 1914. In the First World War was presented to serve and was commissioned as a Lieutenant on November 6, 1916, commanding a company of assault and later as Deputy Battalion Infantry 476. It was Wounded four times in combat losing 70% of his combat ability, for which he received the Iron Cross in his two classes and the wounded Silver Medal. He lost his two brothers in this contest, one of them was shot by the US Army for being a German spy in September 1918. As he had been trained in sports education, he worked as a Physical Education Teacher after the war. He married Maria Berger in 1921 , with whom he would have four children.
Beginnings in Nazism
Berger joined the Nazi Party in November 1922, with file number 426.875. He participated in the Putsch of Munich on November 8 , 1923 and was briefly arrested. Reason for which he withdrew from the NSDAP . He rejoined the Party and the Sturmabteilung (SA) on January 1, 1931, where he entered with the rank of SA Sturmführer , having the responsibility of directing the “SA Sturm 10” of the Standarte 125, a position he held until 1931. Ascended to the rank of SA Oberführer headed SA Untergruppe “Nord-Württemberg” until April 1933 , when he retired from the Sturmabteilung (SA). He linked to the Wehrmacht ( Regular Army ) where he taught sports education. At the request of the SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler and the SS Obergruppenführer Hans Prutzmann entered the SS on January 30, 1936, with the number 275,991, and with the rank of SS Oberführer (General) with the responsibility of leading the SS Sports Section And integration as a member of the Staff of the Reichsführer until April 1940. He later directed several sections of the Main Office of Administration of the SS . He was a member of the Reichstag from August 1943 until the end of the war.
In 1941 he was appointed as a liaison between the SS Reichsführer and the Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories , Alfred Rosenberg , a position he held until 1945. Named Höhere SS und Polizeiführer ( HSSPF ) “Slovakia”, with its Headquarters in Bratislava , from On August 31, 1944. In September he is appointed Head of Staff for the German Volksturm , based in Douglasstraße, in Berlin-Grünewald.
During his tenure in the SS Central Administration, none other than Gottlob Berger under Himmler’s instructions had greater responsibility for the growth and multinational aspect of the Waffen SS . By the middle of 1940, the W-SS had about 100,000 members; In 1941, about 220,000 members; In 1942 , about 330,000; In 1943, about 540,000 members and in 1944 reached 900,000 members in total, the goal was one million men but the development of events truncated this goal.
Despite applying for command of a unit on the Eastern Front, Berger was kept coordinating military actions from Berlin where he was strategically most useful.
- SS- Obergruppenführer .u.Gen.dW-SS: 21.06.43;
- SS- Gruppenführer .u.Gen.Lt.dW-SS: 20.04.42;
- SS- Brigadeführer .u.Gen.Maj.dW-SS: 20.04.40;
- SS- Oberführer .: 30.01.36 (entered the SS with that rank);
- SA- Oberführer .: 15.10.32;
- SA- Standartenführer .: 1931;
- SA- Sturmführer : 1.01.31 (entered the SA with erse range).
After the War
Berger was arrested in 1949 and brought before an American Military Court and tried in the so-called “Wilhelmstrasse Case”, being sentenced on April 13, 1949 to 25 years in prison, after which the sentence was commuted to 10 years on 31 January 1951, to be finally released on December 15, 1951.
In 1952 Berger joined the staff of a monthly neo-Nazi newspaper called “Europe Nation”, which was published in Coburg by former SS Sturmbannführer and Head of the Waffen SS War Archive in Prague , Arthur Ehrhardt. He remained writing for this publication until 1965 .
Berger collaborated with many historians of World War II and died of natural causes in Gerstetten the 5 of January of 1975 .
Decorations and Medals
- Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes mit Schwertern: 15. 11. 1944 as SS-OGruf.u.Gen.dW-SS & Chef des Ergänzungswesens der Waffen-SS
- Deutsches Kreuz in Silber: 1. 07. 1943
- 1939 Spange zum 1914 EK I
- 1939 Spange zum 1914 EK II
- 1914 EK I: 01/21/1918
- 1914 EK II: 26.11.1914
- KVK I m. Schw .: 1.07.1941
- KVK II, m. Schw.
- Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Silver: 18.06.1918 (Received by the following wounds: Ankle, 31.10.1914; Wound wound in Ypres, 18 Mar. 1915; Stomach, 4.10.1915; Wounded by a grenade, June 1918)
- Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer
- Friedrichs Orden mit Schwertern: ca. 11.1918
- Württemberg Militär Verdienstmedaille in Gold: 05/21/1991
- Ritterkreuz des Militär Verdienstkreuz: 4.05.1918
- Goldenes Parteiabzeichen: 30.01.1943
- Goldenes Hitler-Jugend Ehrenzeichen mit Eichenlaub: 30.01.1944
- Dienstauszeichnungen der NSDAP in Silber u. Bronze;
- Deutsche-Olympia-Ehrenzeichen 1. Klasse: 16.08.1936; Ehrendegen des RF SS / Totenkopfring der SS
- Cross of the Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland: 1942
- Allgemeine SS, by Mark C. Yerger, Schiffer Military History, ISBN 0-7643-0145-4
- The Order of the Skull, by Heinz Höhne, Plaza & Janes Editores, 1977.