August Schmidhuber

August Schmidhuber

August Schmidhuber (far right, in front) and other SS officers on tour of Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, April 1941
Born (1901-05-08)8 May 1901
Augsburg, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Empire
Died 19 February 1947(1947-02-19) (aged 45)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia (hanged)
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen SS
Years of service 1919–45
Rank SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
Commands held 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian)
7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen
Battles/wars World War II
Awards German Cross in Gold

August Schmidhuber (8 May 1901 – 19 February 1947) was an SS-Brigadeführer of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen from 20 January 1944 to 8 May 1945, and the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) from May 1944 onwards.

During the anti-partisan warfare in Kosovo, Schmidhuber issued orders to kill prisoners and burn villages. Convicted of war crimes in Yugoslavia, he was executed on 27 February 1947 in Belgrade.

Early career

August Schmidhuber was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, the son of a minor government official. After finishing basic military training in the Reichswehr in Ulm in 1919, he signed up for 12 years' military service on 5 May. He was initially assigned to the Schützen Regiment (rifle regiment) Number 42. From 16 June 1919 until the beginning of October, Schmidhuber served with the 9th Company of his regiment and then spent nearly a year in 3 company.

At the same time, beginning in May 1919 to mid-June, he also entered the ranks of the Freikorps, Major Franz Ritter von Epp. Schmidhuber then transferred to Gebirgs-Jäger-Regiment (mountain hunters) Number 19 and on 1 October 1922 was appointed to the rank of Gefreiter (private). He remained in the regular German army until 4 May 1931, when he left as an Oberfeldwebel (sergeant major).

After leaving the army Schmidhuber worked as a brewer and became active in politics in Bavaria, joining the Bayerische Volkspartei (Bavarian People's Party). During the presidential elections, he stood for the district of Lindau but did not win. He then joined the NSDAP and on 16 July 1933 entered into the SA. In the SA he was part of the SA Gruppe Hochland and served first as the deputy director of SA schools in the region, and then later also as a director. Schmidhuber was a member of the training command of the SA.

SS career

In May 1935 Schmidhuber joined the SS where he was appointed SS Obersturmführer and immediately attached to the SS-Verfügungstruppe. Initially he commanded the 7th platoon of SS-1 Standarte and commanded troops there until early February 1936, when he was transferred to the SS Germania Regiment. Here he led the 1st Company until 1 May 1936. On 13 September 1936 Schmidhuber was promoted to SS Hauptsturmführer and transferred to the regimental staff of SS Germania. He remained there until mid-November 1937, where the company is responsible for training noncommissioned officers, until the end of February 1938.

On 30 January 1939 Schmidhuber was promoted to the rank of SS Sturmbannführer and put in command of the 1st SS battalion regiment Germania. On 21 June 1941 he was promoted to SS Obersturmbannführer and a year later he became the commander of the SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderberg" of 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen. On 20 April 1943 Schmidhuber was promoted to SS Standartenführer (Colonel) and from 17 April 1944 until 20 January 1945, served as a commander of the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian). On 21 June 1944 he was promoted to SS Oberführer.

With regard to his anti-partisan activities in Kosovo during the war, the scholar Bernd Jürgen Fischer noted:[1]

Schmidhuber of the SS "Skanderbeg" issued orders to increase the burning of villages and killing of people. In keeping with these orders, between 19 September and 23 October, 131 NLM prisoners....were shot or hanged in Kosovo."

Following the German evacuation of Albania, Schmidhuber replaced SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm as commander of the remnants of the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen to 8 May 1945.

A Yugoslav 3rd Army military tribunal sentenced Schmidhuber to death by hanging for his role in killing civilians in Yugoslavia, and he was executed on 27 February 1947 in Belgrade.[2]

Career summary

Schmidhuber's firs SS rank was Obersturmführer as of May 1935; his highest rank achieved was Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS as of January 1945. Schmidhuber was awarded German Cross in Gold on 3 August 1943.[3]


  1. Bernd Jürgen Fischer, Albania at War (1999), pp.226–227.
  2. Lopičić 2009, pp. 21–50.
  3. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 411.


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Military offices
Preceded by
Commander of SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 14 "Skanderbeg"
15 April 1942 – 28 November 1943
Succeeded by
SS-Sturmbannführer Bernhard Dietsche
Preceded by
SS-Brigadeführer Josef Fitzthum
Commander of 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian)
1 May 1944 – January 1945
Succeeded by
SS-Obersturmbannführer Alfred Graf
Preceded by
SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm
Commander of 7. SS-Freiw.GebirgsDiv "Prinz Eugen"
20 January 1945 – 8 May 1945
Succeeded by
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