Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch

Karl Pfeffer Wildenbruch
Born (1888-06-12)12 June 1888
Kalkberge, German Empire
Died 29 January 1971(1971-01-29) (aged 82)
Bielefeld, West Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
 Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Reichsheer
Waffen SS
Years of service 1907–1945
Rank Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei und Waffen-SS
Service number SS #292,713
Unit 4th SS Polizei Division
VI SS Corps
IX SS Mountain Corps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves

Karl Pfeffer Wildenbruch (12 June 1888 – 29 January 1971) was an Obergruppenführer in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. He commanded the 4th SS Polizei Division and the VI SS Army Corps and the IX SS Mountain Corps; he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves.


Born in 1888, Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch joined the army in 1907 and served in World War I. He joined the German General Staff, and served as a military attaché to the German military mission in Constantinople and as a staff officer with the 11th Infantry Division. At the end of the war he remained on the General staff of the ZBV 55 and XXIV reserve corps. In August 1919 Pfeffer-Wildenbruch joined the police service, and spent time in the Reich Ministry of the Interior. He became the police commander in Osnabrück and Magdeburg. In 1928 he went to Santiago de Chile, to serve as Chief of the Chilean Carabineros de Chile.[1]

In June 1933, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch became an Oberstleutnant in the National Police Regiment at Frankfurt an der Oder and from May 1936 he was the Inspector General of Police schools, being promoted to Generalmajor der Polizei in May 1937. In March 1939 Pfeffer-Wildenbruch joined the SS (No. 292 713) and served on the staff of the Reichsführer-SS. At the end of 1939, following the invasion of Poland, Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was given command of the 4th SS Polizei Division with the rank of SS-Gruppenführer. After the Battle of France he returned to the staff of the Reichsführer-SS, serving as chief of the colonial police from 1941 to 1943.

In October 1943 he took over as commander of the VI SS Corps, with a promotion to SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS und Polizei.[2] In December 1944 Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was appointed commander of the IX SS Mountain Corps, stationed in Budapest, Hungary. He was in command of the German forces during the Battle of Budapest from 24 December 1944 to 11 February 1945.[3] Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was awarded the Knight's Cross on 11 January 1945 and the Oak Leaves on 1 February 1945. During the attempt to break out from Budapest, he was seriously wounded, and was taken prisoner by the Soviet forces. On 10 August 1949 he was sentenced to 25 years.[4] In 1955, he was released together with some 10,000 other prisoners of war and war criminals due to an informal agreement concluded in September 1955 between German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin.[1] Pfeffer-Wildenbruch was killed in a traffic accident on 29 January 1971 at Bielefeld.[1]



  1. 1 2 3 Battle for Budapest By Krisztián Ungváry, Ladislaus Löb, p. 67
  2. Latvia in World War II By Valdis O. Lumans, p. 287
  3. Mitcham 2007, p. 234.
  4. http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_p/pfeffer_v.html
  5. 1 2 3 Thomas 1998, p. 149.
  6. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 337.
  7. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 96.


  • 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). 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 Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Thomas, Franz; Wegmann, Günter (1994). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Teil VI: Die Gebirgstruppe Band 2: L–Z [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the German Wehrmacht 1939–1945 Part VI: The Mountain Troops Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2430-3. 
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9. 
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