Richard Schulze-Kossens

Richard Schulze-Kossens

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Richard Schulze-Kossens, the son of a Prussian Army officer, was born in Berlin on 2nd October, 1914. After graduating in 1934 he joined the Hitler's personal bodyguard regiment – Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler. He later recalled: "Volunteers were specially selected for their height and athletic prowess. It was a select troop of fine men who underwent a particularly hard and thorough training. So obviously one could get them to do things in their training that one couldn't do with ordinary soldiers."

Schulze-Kossens argued that Heinrich Himmler was not very popular with the men in the Schutzstaffel (SS). "There was always a gap between Himmler and his soldiers. He wasn't very popular with the men because of his concept of a State Protection Corps, or his ideological ideas about the ancient German tribes and their burial mounds, King Heinrich and all that stuff. We just laughed at it."

In 1936 Schulze-Kossens graduated from the SS officers' academy. The following year he served as adjutant to Theodor Eicke. Schulze-Kossens was seconded to the Foreign Office and accompanied Joachim von Ribbentrop to Moscow for the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact in August 1939.

During the Second World War Schulze-Kossens fought with the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler in Poland in 1939. The following year he was involved in the invasion of France and Belgium. His troops were later accused of war crimes: "Let me say as a soldier I condemn all crimes regardless of who committed them, whether by us or by others, and that includes the crimes committed against captured SS men after the capitulation. But I make no reproaches in that respect. I am not recriminating, I only want to say that in war, amongst the mass of soldiers, there are always elements who develop criminal tendencies, and I can only condemn them. I would not say that the Waffen-SS was typically criminal, but there are well-known incidents. I don't want to excuse anything, but I must say one thing which is, that it is natural in war, during hot and heavy fighting, for young officers to sometimes lose their nerve. I want to mention one example of this, Tulle in France, where a company found the bodies of sixty German soldiers who had not been killed in action but murdered. There they lie wounded and mutilated, and then in an instant there is a desire for revenge and they lose their nerve."

According to Andrew Mollo, the author of To The Death's Head: The Story of the SS (1982): "In October 1941 with the rank of major, he followed in his late brother's footsteps and became an orderly officer at Hitler's headquarters and from October 1942 until December 1944 he was Hitler's personal adjutant." In January 1945, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, took command of the Waffen-SS Officers' Academy at Bad Tolz. When the Red Army entered Nazi Germany, Schulze-Kossens was put in charge of the SS-Grenadierdivision Nibelungen. In April 1945 he took part in the bitter fighting at Vohburg, Landshut, Pastetten and Chiemsee.

Schulze-Kossens surrendered to the United States Army on 8th May 1945. He later recalled: "I was then sent to thirteen different camps where in all honesty I must say the prisoners were badly treated. I was beaten. I was handcuffed, put into a jeep and taken twice to Nuremberg as a defence witness. During our first year of imprisonment the treatment was so bad that it didn't conform to the Geneva Convention. Bearing in mind that we had been taken prisoner in Germany it was only after five months that we were allowed to write to our families. Half the camp was undernourished and I had to start a hunger strike. I think we were subjected to special treatment, because the Americans thought we were the hard cases, but in 1946-1947 things began to get better."

Schulze-Kossens was released in 1948 and worked for the next few years as a salesman. Schulze-Kossens was interviewed and appeared in the television documentary, The World at War (1973-74). However, he initially refused to be interviewed for an English documentary on the Waffen-SS: "I am not prepared to give an interview which begins with the events in the concentration camps, which will inevitably stir up feelings against the SS. As an officer in the former Waffen-SS I am not interested in allowing myself to be defamed again in England if our troops are again to be associated with the events in the concentration camps... I want to take this opportunity to say how deeply it would offend me to have our troops portrayed once again as a sort of 'soldateska' who committed a string of war crimes."

Richard Schulze-Kossens died in Düsseldorf on 3rd July, 1988.

Let me say as a soldier I condemn all crimes regardless of who committed them, whether by us or by others, and that includes the crimes committed against captured SS men after the capitulation. There they lie wounded and mutilated, and then in an instant there is a desire for revenge and they lose their nerve. But if I have to mention other crimes - war crimes, then let me mention Oradour. The Division in question had seventy companies and, because of partisans, one company often found itself fighting civilians and got into a situation which would have led to the commander being court-martialled, had he not been killed in action. I am not excusing this at all, and anyway nothing can be done about it, only war does generate inhuman impulses which might overwhelm someone who carries too great a responsibility at too young an age...

I was then sent to thirteen different camps where in all honesty I must say the prisoners were badly treated. I think we were subjected to special treatment, because the Americans thought we were the hard cases, but in 1946-1947 things began to get better.

Richard Schulze-Kossens, an SS officer who was an adjutant to Adolf Hitler for several years, died of lung cancer on July 3, according to the West German newspaper Die Welt. He was 73 years old.

Mr. Schulze-Kossens served as one of Hitler's adjutants from 1941 to 1944. He was promoted to a lieutenant colonel in the SS in 1944 and named head of an SS training school.

After the Nazi defeat in 1945, Mr. Schulze-Kossens spent three years in an American internment camp and later worked as a salesman and writer.

Mr. Schulze-Kossens first served as an aide to Nazi Germany's Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and was present when Germany signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union in 1939.

Die Welt said more than 100 former members of SS units attended the funeral last Friday, many wearing the insignia of a group formed by SS veterans to assist comrades after the war.

Richard Schulze-Kossens

Richard Schulze (2 October 1914 in Berlin-Spandau – 3 July 1988 in Düsseldorf) was a Waffen-SS officer during World War II who reached the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel). During World War II, Schulze commanded the 38. SS-Grenadierdivision Nibelungen, SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz and served as a Waffen-SS adjutant to Reichsaussenminister Joachim von Ribbentrop. He was also awarded with the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold and the prestigious Finnish Vapaudenristin ritarikunta.

Looking for Bio of Richard Schulze-Kossens

Post by SS-Researcher » 15 Oct 2003, 06:16

I'd like to get biographical data on him. I'd also like to know if he's still alive. A picture would be very great!

Best wishes and thanks in advance!

Post by skrable » 15 Oct 2003, 06:22

Post by SS-Researcher » 15 Oct 2003, 06:32

Post by Michael Miller » 15 Jun 2007, 02:07

Posting this a bit after the fact, but here's some information on Schulze-Kossens.

Sources include John P. Moore, Führerliste der Waffen-SS and Mark C. Yerger, Waffen-SS Commanders

Richard Schulze
[changed name to Schulze-Kossens postwar]
SS-Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS

* 02.10.1914 in Berlin-Spandau.
+ 03.07.1988 in Düsseldorf.

NSDAP-Nr.: [No Nr. given in the SS-DAL of 01.10.1944, nor in his SS file, however Mark C. Yerger states- in Waffen-SS Commanders – Krüger to Zimmermann - that he joined the Party 01.05.1937]
264 059 (Joined 09.11.1934)

09.11.1934 -- SS-Anwärter
01.04.1935 -- SS-Junker
09.11.1935 -- SS-Standartenjunker
10.02.1936 -- SS-Standartenoberjunker
20.04.1936 -- SS-Untersturmführer
09.11.1938 -- SS-Obersturmführer
01.08.1940 -- SS-Hauptsturmführer der Waffen-SS
24.02.1943 -- SS-Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS
09.11.1944 -- SS-Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS

ca. 1920 – ca. 1923 -- Attended 3 classes of Volksschule.
ca. 1923 – ca. 1933 -- Attended Gymnasium (Graduated Oberprima and passed his Abitur).
00.00.1931 -- Joined the Hitler-Jugend.
09.11.1934 - 27.11.1934 -- Joined the SS, assigned to 6.SS-Standarte (Base: Berlin).
27.11.1934 -- Transferred to the Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler".
27.11.1934 – 31.03.1935 -- Attended a Führeranwärter-Lehrgang at Jüterbog.
01.04.1935 – 10.02.1936 -- Attended the second class at SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
10.02.1936 – 31.03.1936 -- Participated in a Zugführerlehrgang at Dachau.
01.04.1936 – 01.03.1937 -- Assigned as a Zugführer to II.Sturmbann / SS-Totenkopfstandarte "Elbe" (Base: Lichtenberg).
01.03.1937 - 10.07.1937 -- Assigned to Stab / SS-Totenkopverbände as Adjutant to SS-Gruppenführer Theodor Eicke.
01.05.1937 -- Joined the NSDAP.
10.07.1937 – 15.11.1938 -- Adjutant of 3.SS-Totenkopfstandarte "Thüringen".
24.09.1938 – 22.12.1938 -- Temporarily attached to VII.Armee-Korps (HQ: München).
15.11.1938 – 01.04.1939 -- Assigned as a Hundertschaftsführer (= Kompanieführer) to 3.SS-Totenkopfstandarte “Thüringen”.
01.04.1939 – 08.06.1939 -- Attached to the Stab / SS-Hauptamt as Adjutant to Chef SS-Hauptamt (SS-Obergruppenführer August Heissmeyer).
08.06.1939 – 26.02.1940 -- Attached to the Stab / SS-Hauptamt as Adjutant to the Reichsaussenminister (Reich Foreign Minister [Joachim von Ribbentrop]).
26.02.1940 Returned to duty with the Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler”.
00.04.1940 - 11.06.1940 -- Zugführer in 2.Kompanie / Leibstandarte-SS "Adolf Hitler".
11.06.1940 – 18.06.1940 -- Chef of 2.Kompanie / Leibstandarte-SS "Adolf Hitler". Succeeded the wounded Ernst Meyer. Participated in the Western Campaign, May/June 1940.
18.06.1940 – 01.08.1940 -- Returned to service as Adjutant to the Reichsaussenminister.
01.08.1940 – 16.08.1941 -- Returned to duty with the Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler”, again assigned as Chef 2.Kompanie, and for a time as stellv. Bataillons-Führer I.Bataillon / Leibstandarte-SS "Adolf Hitler". Participated in the Balkan Campaign, April 1941, and the first Russian Campaign, June 1941 – August 1941).
16.08.1941 -- Wounded in action (grenade splinter in right forearm / bullet in left upper arm).
01.10.1941 - 00.10.1942 -- Ordonannanz-Offizer to Hitler.
29.10.1942 - 00.11.1943 -- Persönlicher Adjutant to the Führer.
20.11.1943 - 00.07.1944 -- Assigned as Taktiklehrer, “Sturmbannführer im Stabe”, and Lehrgruppen-Kommandeur (teaching group leader for training of “Germanic” officer candidates) at SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
25.07.1944 - 00.12.1944 -- Returned to duty at Führerhauptquartier.
06.12.1944 - 00.01.1945 -- Kommandeur of II.Bataillon / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 25 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division "Hitlerjugend" (in
the Ardennes Offensive).
00.01.1945 - 00.03.1945 -- Kommandeur of SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz. Succeeded Fritz Klingenberg.
00.03.1945 - 00.04.1945 -- Kommandeur of 38.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Nibelungen" (formation ordered 27.03.1945). Succeeded by Heinz Lammerding.

Postwar Confinement:
Captured by Allied troops, ca. 05.1945, then interned in 13 POW camps. He testified as a witness before the International Military Tribunal, Nürnberg, and following his release from Allied custody, changed his name to Schulze-Kossens.

Published Works:
Die Junkerschulen, Militärischer Führernachwuchs der Waffen-SS , Munin Verlag 1982.
Europäische Freiwillige im Bild , Munin Verlag, 1986 (with Heinz Ertel)

Decorations & Awards:
26.12.1941 -- Deutsches Kreuz in Gold as SS-Hauptsturmführer (for earlier command of 2.Kompanie / I.Bataillon / Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler”, Eastern Front Personally presented by Div. Kdr. "Sepp" Dietriich at Führer HQ)
00.00.1940 -- 1939 Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse
07.06.1940 -- 1939 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse
ca. 1943 -- Nahkampfspange I. Stufe (Bronze)
ca. 1940 -- Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in Bronze
00.00.1941 -- Verwundetenabzeichen, 1939 in Schwarz
00.00.19__ -- Goldenes Hitler-Jugend Ehrenzeichen
[01.12.1937] -- Deutsches Reichssportabzeichen in Bronze
[01.12.1937] -- SA-Sportabzeichen in Bronze
00.00.19__ -- Abzeichen der Deutschen Lebensrettungsgesellschaft- DLRG- in Bronze
00.00.19__ -- Ehrendegen des Reichsführers-SS
00.00.19__ -- Totenkopfring der SS
00.00.19__ -- Julleuchter der SS
ca. 1942 -- Military Order for Bravery in War 4th Class (1st Grade)(Bulgaria)
11.06.1942 -- Order of the Cross of Liberty 4th Class (Finland)

* Married after the war.
* Religion: Declared himself “gottgläubig”, 00.00.19__.
* Older brother of SS-Obersturmführer Hans-Georg Schulze (* 11.09.1917 in Berlin / + 27.07.1941 [KIA at Wlaschin, Russia while serving with 1.Kompanie / Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler“ SS-Nr. 270 844).

Richard Schulze-Kossens

Post by Max Williams » 12 Nov 2004, 14:53

Post by VJK » 12 Nov 2004, 15:14

You'll find a brief bio of him here:

Post by Max Williams » 12 Nov 2004, 16:23

Post by Panzermahn » 12 Nov 2004, 21:16

He was a former adjutant to Joachim von Ribbentrop before his attachment to the Fuhrer Hauptquartier and he was one of the German delegation that went Moscow to sign the 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Non-Aggression Pact. I have a photo of him standing between Marshal Shopashinkov, and Joachim von Ribbentrop while Molotov penned his signature and Iosif Dzugashvilli looks on with a grin but i'm sorry coz i didn't have a scanner

Post by Michael Miller » 12 Nov 2004, 22:54

Just pieced together the following from documents in his SS-Personalakte (Source: John P. Moore, Führerliste der Waffen-SS, Disk 6). Can't vouch for its accuracy 100%, but hope it helps.

Schulze-Kossens, Richard
SS-Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS

Born: 02.10.1914 in Berlin-Spandau.
Died: 03.07.1988.

NSDAP-Nr.: Unknown (Joined [01.05.?]1937)
SS-Nr.: 264 059 (Joined 09.11.1934)

09.11.1934 SS-Anwärter
01.04.1935 SS-Junker
09.11.1935 SS-Standartenjunker
10.02.1936 SS-Standartenoberjunker
20.04.1936 SS-Untersturmführer
09.11.1938 SS-Obersturmführer
01.08.1940 SS-Hauptsturmführer der Waffen-SS
24.02.1943 SS-Sturmbannführer der Waffen-SS
09.11.1944 SS-Obersturmbannführer der Waffen-SS

ca. 1920 – ca. 1923 Attended 3 classes of Volksschule.
ca. 1923 – ca. 1933 Attended Gymnasium (graduated Oberprima and passed his Abitur).
00.00.193_ - 00.00.193_ Hitler-Jugend service.
09.11.1934 – 27.11.1934 Joined the Allgemeine-SS, assigned to 6.SS-Standarte (Base: Berlin).
27.11.1934 Joined the Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler”.
27.11.1934 – 31.03.1935 Attended a Führeranwärter-Lehrgang at Jüterbog.
01.04.1935 – 01.04.1936 Attended SS-Führerlehrgang at SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
20.02.1936 – 31.03.1936 Attended Zugführerlehrgang at Dachau.
01.04.1936 – 01.03.1937 Assigned as a Zugführer to 3.SS-Totenkopf-Standarte “Thüringen”.
01.03.1937 – 10.07.1937 Assigned to Stab / SS-Totenkopfverbände as Adjutant to Theodor Eicke.
10.07.1937 – 15.11.1938 Adjutant to the Führer of 3.SS-Totenkopf-Standarte “Thüringen”.
24.09.1938 – 22.12.1938 Attached to VII.Armee-Korps, München.
15.11.1938 – 01.04.1939 Hundertschaftsführer in 3.SS-Totenkopf-Standarte “Thüringen”.
01.04.1939 – 01.07.1939 Adjutant to Chef SS-Hauptamt (August Heißmeyer).
08.06.1939 – 26.02.1940 As Führer beim Stab, SS-Hauptamt, assigned as Adjutant to the Reichsminister des Auswärtigen (also known as the Reichsaussenminister, Joachim von Ribbentrop).
29.02.1940 – 14.06.1940 Zugführer in 2.Kompanie / I.Batallon / Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler”.
14.06.1940 – 06.08.1941 Chef of 2.Kompanie / I.Bataillon / Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler” (document in his SS-Personalakte indicates he also served for a time as stellvertreter Bataillonsführer he served in the Western Campaign from 10.05.1940 – 26.06.1940, in the Balkan Campaign from 08.04.1941 – 28.04.1941, and on the Eastern Front from 22.06.1941 – 16.08.1941 [when he was wounded in action by shrapnel to the upper right arm and a Steckschuss to the upper left arm]).
26(?).06.1940 – 01.08.1940 As Führer beim Stab, SS-Hauptamt, assigned again as Adjutant to Reichsaussenminister von Ribbentrop.
01.10.1941 – 27.10.1942 Assigned to Führerhauptquartier as Ordonnanz-Offizier (OO).
27.10.1942 – 20.11.1943 Persönlicher Adjutant des Führers at Führerhauptquartier (another document in his SS-Personalakte gives start date of 29.10.1943).
20.11.1943 – 01.05.1944 Assigned as Taktiklehrer and Sturmbannführer im Stabe to SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
01.05.1944 – 12.01.1945 Lehrgruppenkommandeur (Instructional Group Commander) at SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
27.11.1944 Received an official reprimand (according to Stammkarte in his SS-Personalakte reason not indicated).
01.12.1945 – 00.05.1945 Führer (m.d.F.b.) of SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.
00.12.1944 – . 194? Kommandeur II.Bataillon / SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment 25 / 12.SS-Panzer-Division “Hitlerjugend“.
06.04.1945 – 09.04.1945 Kommandeur of 38.SS-Grenadier-Division “Nibelungen“.

Decorations & Awards:
26.12.1941 Deutsches Kreuz in Gold as SS-Hauptsturmführer (for earlier command of 2.Kompanie / I.Bataillon / Leibstandarte-SS “Adolf Hitler”, Eastern Front)
00.00.1940 1939 Eisernes Kreuz I. Klasse
07.06.1940 1939 Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse
ca. 1942 Nahkampfspange I. Stufe (Bronze)
ca. 1940 Infanterie-Sturmabzeichen in Bronze
00.00.1941 Verwundetenabzeichen, 1939 in Schwarz
00.00.19__ Goldenes Hitler-Jugend Ehrenzeichen
[01.12.1937] Deutsches Reichssportabzeichen in Bronze
[01.12.1937] SA-Sportabzeichen in Bronze
00.00.19__ Abzeichen der Deutschen Lebensrettungsgesellschaft- DLRG- Grundschein
(Badge of the German Life Saving Association- Basic Certificate)
00.00.19__ Ehrendegen des Reichsführers-SS
00.00.19__ Totenkopfring der SS
00.00.19__ Julleuchter der SS
ca. 1942 Military Order for Bravery in War 4th Class (1st Grade)(Bulgaria)
ca. 1942 Cross of Liberty 4th Class (Finland)

Published Work:
Militärischer Führernachwuchs der Waffen-SS - Die Junkerschulen (1982)

Religion: Declared himself “gottgläubig”, 19__.

Personal life

After the Second World War, Schulze changed his name to Richard Schulze-Kossens. He was held in an American internment camp for three years. After being released, he worked as a salesman and wrote several books. [4] He was interviewed and appeared in the 26-episode television documentary, The World at War.

Schulze-Kossens remained in contact with a group of former adjuncts, secretaries and other staffers who continued to have a favourable view of Hitler following the war. [5]

Schulze-Kossens died of lung cancer on 3 July 1988. [4] More than 100 former SS members attended his funeral, with many wearing the insignia of an SS veterans association, and his casket was draped with tributes from former SS units. Werner Grothmann and another former Nazi officer provided eulogies. [4]

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Germany 1918 - 1945
Schulze-Kossens, Richard - portrait photo 1945


Excellent portrait photo of Richard Schulze-Kossens. He served as a Waffen-SS adjutant to both, Adolf Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop and later commanded the 38th SS-Grenadier-Division "Nibelungen" as well as SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz.

The photo was taken in March 1945 at the front. A hand-written note to the back. Size: 8x12 cm.

Please note also item number 2000000475912 & 2000000505053. We offer more photos of Richard Schulze-Kossens in our 39. Contemporary Auction.

A Jewish Question – Herman’s Friendship with Richard Schulze-Kossens

Recently I have received comments from Jewish readers of Immigrant Soldierregarding Herman’s friendship with the SS Officer Richard Schulze.

One of these, an acquaintance and fellow author, wrote, “I understand that your uncle needed the help of Schulze to organize the POW camp, but I’m wondering how he could let their relationship become a close friendship considering the evil men that he [Schulze] assisted?”

Another reader of my blog, a long-lost second-cousin through my paternal grandmother wrote, “I am intrigued by the relationship Herman developed with Richard Schulze-Kossens. I’ve learned elsewhere that they remained good friends for the rest of their lives. I wonder if you have further insight into how Herman could feel such kinship [with an SS officer]?”

The issue of Herman’s friendship with Schulze was something I had to struggle with as a writer and as a student of the Holocaust. In order to be true to Herman’s story, I felt it was necessary to keep their developing friendship in my novel. Gradually, I came to see that it was important as the culmination of the book’s message of forgiveness without ever forgetting.

As a writer, I am not an apologist for my uncle’s actions, simply a reporter of his story as it played out. I tried to show in Immigrant Soldierhow Herman’s character and experience made it possible for him to deal with Richard Schulze the way he did and eventually feel a kinship with him.

• Herman was always easygoing—a man who did not carry his bad experiences forward into his new life. He developed the habit of not thinking about things that were unpleasant. I believe that, in the beginning, he did this purposefully, and later it became a habit. I tried to show this well-known, psychological coping mechanism in the earlier chapters.

Page 104—”Lost in a world of books, he made himself ignore all the harsh changes outside, and he became adept at blotting out unpleasant thoughts. He would not acknowledge the ugly graffiti or the signs that shouted, ‘No Jews Allowed.’ He ignored the low grades he was given for good work.”

• Herman seems to have been forgiving by nature—never one to hold a grudge. He quickly forgave his brother for the unwelcoming letter he received in Chicago.

Page 119—“Herman poured out his disappointment at the withdrawal of Fred’s invitation to live with him and his own determination to go to California, with or without his brother’s help. ‘He’s still my brother,’ he tried to explain. ‘There’s a special bond with family, . . .”

Page 124—“The long bus trip across deserts and mountains dissipated Herman’s anger toward his brother.”

• Herman did not have any truly brutal personal experiences while still in Germany. His experiences, though distressing (loss of friendships, loss of freedoms, loss of citizenship, etc) were fairly mild on the spectrum. Other than his great-uncle, no close family members were lost to the Holocaust.

• Herman’s visit to Dachau toward the end of the war opened his eyes to the horrors of the concentration camps. What he saw there caused nightmares and long sleepless hours. In the morning, he reminded himself it was hatred and prejudice of a group and every person who was part of the group that formed the essence of antisemitism. He had seen prejudice against African-Americans in the United States and the US Army and abhorred it as well. He made a conscious effort to put aside group hatred of any kind. Herman promised himself not to perpetuate any attitude of racial prejudice.

Pages 316-317–”Hate was what had destroyed Germany. He would not allow it to be part of him. He was a man of action now, and in his small way he would try to make the world better.”

• Herman judged Schulze by the German’s known actions—not on the actions of the men he worked for as an adjutant. Herman was particularly impressed with how Schulze protected the young cadets in his care, boys of about 16 and 17, from combat in the last days of the war.

Page 323—“It was said that the surrender was on Schulze’s orders and that none of the young soldiers had been injured during the two weeks he had marched them around the countryside, avoiding conflict with the Americans as much as possible. . . . In spite of his rank and association with Hitler, Richard Schulze seemed to have maintained a core of humanity that would set him apart from many diehard Nazis.”

• Herman’s feelings of kinship with Schulze surprised him, and it took him some time to acknowledge them.

Page 381—“His feelings about Richard Schulze were conflicted. Why did he respect this German—even feel a kinship with him? How could he continue doing his assigned job if he visited a man who had been Hitler’s aide, the type of Nazi that his work required him to weed out and expose?”

• Finally, on the last pages of Immigrant Soldier, Schulze seems to sense the awful burden future Germans will pay for the Nazi years. He and Herman share a short conversation of intense emotion, in which the SS officer asks, “Would you live here again? Or have we poisoned the homeland for generations?”

Herman was actually proud of the fact that he maintained a friendship with Schulze after the war. He told me how he was able to get Richard Schulze to be a witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials. Though there was surely a degree of self-preservation in his actions, Schulze’s insider’s knowledge of events at Hitler’s headquarters, The Wolf’s Lair, may have been instrumental in the conviction of several top defendants at the trials. In later years, Herman was pleased to have the ex-SS officer as a guest in his home in Long Island. In fact, it was at Herman’s family home that Richard Schulze was interviewed by Pulitzer Prize winning author, John Toland, for his book, Adolf Hitler, The Definitive Biography, published in 1976.

It was always my intention to write a true story, and Immigrant Soldier is true to the way Herman shared his memories with me. I knew the friendship between the hero of the novel and the SS officer would be troubling to some, especially to survivors of the Holocaust who lost everything and everybody they loved. It is understandable that they would prefer to see all SS officers portrayed as unredeemable. But that is not how Herman saw it.

Though I firmly believe the events of the Holocaust should never be forgotten, I also wanted Immigrant Soldierto be a bridge to forgiving current generations of Germans for the evils perpetrated by their fathers and grandfathers. Perhaps Herman was simply ahead of his time on the road to forgiveness.

How did you respond to Herman’s friendship with Richard Schulze? Did it make you respect him more or did it do the opposite?


In 1934, the armed branch of the Schutzstaffel (SS) started the original SS-Verfügungstruppe was called to form their own officers. In contrast to the Wehrmacht, applicants could also become officers without having at least a secondary school certificate.

The school was inaugurated by Adolf Hitler in 1936 . SS members were to undergo regular army training there. Former army officers were used as trainers. Because of their origins, some of the cadets required basic training in non-military matters. The cadets were given label books, e.g. B. contained instructions on table manners. The Nazi ideology was also taught in lectures. Furthermore, the students had to learn various sporting achievements (athletics and military field exercises).

The SS spared no expense in building the school: the facilities included a football stadium surrounded by an athletics track, a building for boxing, gymnastics, ball games, a heated swimming pool and a sauna .

In March 1945, the school's instructors and students were used to build the 38th SS Grenadier Division “Nibelungen” . The division never reached a nearly complete division status, but was used directly without a complete list in the fight against US troops in the Landshut area. The division capitulated on May 8, 1945 in the Bavarian Alps near Oberwössen near the Austrian border to US Army units.

The US General George S. Patton took over the post of military governor of Bavaria after the war and temporarily ruled from Bad Tölz. In memory of a fallen friend, he renamed the former junker's school "Flint barracks". Until the withdrawal in 1991, the Flint barracks was, in addition to an engineering school, also a European base of the Special Forces, commonly known as Green Berets . The words “Cleanest American Camp In Europe” appeared above the main entrance.

The barracks no longer exist in their original architecture, as the buildings have only been partially preserved. The sports facilities, including a football stadium and a building that was used as a gym, boxing and ball games and also equipped with a sauna and a heated pool, the cinema and the archway above the main entrance no longer exist. Nevertheless, the exterior and the ground plan of the former barracks are still largely recognizable. However, the buildings inside have been completely rebuilt as the city began major redesign in the late 1990s. There you can find various offices, shops and restaurants, the police inspection and in the courtyard of the former barracks the architecturally attractive “snail” (the construction costs of which were criticized by the taxpayers' association ) under the name “Flint Center” .

Richard Schulze-Kossens - History

Unit history by Miha Grcar
Sub-sections by AHF staff

The division was formed on 27 March 1945 from personnel and students of the SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz. It was first intended that the unit should be named SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz, but was renamed to SS-Division Junkerschule and finally to 38. SS-Grenadier-Division Nibelungen by the commander of the cadet school Richard Schulze-Kossens.
Although it was called a division it never had more than a brigade's strength (roughly around 6000 men). The division was raised in the upper Rhein regions Freiburg, Feldberg, Todtnau in Schwarzwald, with the divisional headquarters in Geschwend bei Todtnau.

Although that it was formed from men of the Junkerschule, the division also received additional strength from parts of other units. This included an SS “special use” Begleit-Battaillon Reichführer SS (received on 9 April 1945), two Zollgrenzschutz Battaillons, soldiers from 6. SS-Gebirgs-Division Nord, a company from 7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs Division Prinz Eugen (with Volksdeutsche members) officers from the 30. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (russische Nr. 2) (who were incorporated in the SS-Polizei-Bataillon Siegling) and a whole battalion of Hitlerjugend members. The first commander was Richard Schulze-Kossens, who was the CO of the SS-Brigade Nibelungen and the Junkerschule Bad Tölz. He was followed by Martin Stange on 12 April (Heinz Lammerding and Karl Ritter von Oberkamp were also assigned to command, but never took the post).

The division had 2 Grenadier regiments (SS-Grenadier-Regiment 95 under the KC holder SS-Ostbf. Markus Faulhaber and from 12 April SS-Ostbf. Richard Schulze-Kossens. SS-Grenadier-Regiment 96 was commanded by the KC & OL holder SS-Ostbf. Walter Schmidt), which were both raised from the SS-Brigade Nibelungen. Some sources also claim the existence of a SS-Grenadier-Regiment 97, but it is likely that it was never more than two battalions strong. The divisions SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 38 received the majority of its men from the ‘Prinz Eugen’ division and officers from ‘Nord’. The Abteilung received about 10 Jagdpanzer 38(t) shipped on 15 April and 1 Bergepz. 38(t) shipped on 16 April, it also had some 7,5 cm Pak mot.Z. (towed) anti-tank guns (the Abteilung served under 17. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen from 17 to 24 April, until it came under its parent division).

The 38. SS division was first alerted for action on 7 April 1945 - at the time only 7 battalions strong. The unit was recognised as ready for battle on 24 April, when it entered the ranks of the XIII SS Armeekorps on the Danube River Front, facing American forces south of the river. The ‘Nibelungen’ was supposed to hold the Korps’ right wing from Vohlburg to Kelheim. The frontline which it was supposed to hold was too long for its strenght, so the division retreated on the 26 Apr to a new front, which it held to the 28th. On 29 Apr they had to retreat across the Isar river and established a new position south of Landshut, while resisting strong pressure on its both flanks. The next day the division retreated again, this time to a defensive line northwest of Pastetten. 1 May brought more retreating as the unit withdrew for almost 20km to Wasseburg. The US 20th Armored Division breached the entire divisions’ front on 2 May, forcing the ‘Nibelungen’ to retreat to Chimsee. The remains of the division regrouped on 4 May and established a new defensive line west of Oberwoessen. Although battered, the division put up a determined resistance until the ceasefire was called on 5 May. The division surrendered to the American forces on 8 May 1945.


SS-Obersturmbannführer Richard Schulze-Kossens (6 Apr 1945 - 9 Apr 1945)
SS-Gruppenführer Heinz Lammerding (? Apr 1945 - ? Apr 1945)
SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Ritter von Oberkamp (? Apr 1945 - ? Apr 1945)
SS-Standartenführer Martin Stange (12 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Chief of Operations (Ia)

SS-Sturmbannführer Heinrich Wulf (6 Apr 1945 – 8 May 1945)

Quartermaster (Ib)

SS-Sturmbannführer Ernst Fritscher (6 April 1945 - 8 May 1945)

Chief Intelligence Officer (Ic)

SS-Untersturmführer Hermann Buhl (6 Apr 1945 – 8 May 1945)

Area of operations

Southern Germany (Mar 1945 - May 1945)


1. Armee (7 Apr 1945)
XIII. SS-Armeekorps (24 Apr 1945 – 8 May 1945)

Honor titles

Originally known under the name “Junkerschule” (“Officer School”) due to fact that the staff members and cadets of the Junkerschule Tölz formed the cadre for the division, it was eventually named “Nibelungen”. The Nibelungen were, in German mythology, a lineage of dwarves, whose treasures – the Nibelungenhort – were guarded by the dwarf Alberich. When Siegfried overcame him, the name passed on to him and his men and later the Burgunders. The Nibelungen saga was written around 1198 – 1204 by an unknown Austrian poet. Richard Wagner – one of Hitler’s favorite composers – adapted the material with his Ring der Nibelungen opera cycle.

Order of battle (Apr 1945)

SS-Grenadier-Regiment 95 (in some sources listed as SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 95)
- 3x Bataillon
SS-Grenadier-Regiment 96 (in some sources listed as SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 96)
- 4x Bataillon
SS-Artillerie-Regiment 38
- 1. Abteilung
- 2. Abteilung
-- 5. Batterie
-- 6. Batterie
SS-Panzerjäger-Abteilung 38
- 2x Panzerjäger-Kompanie
- 1x Flak-Kompanie
SS-Pionier-Abteilung 38
SS-Flak-Abteilung 38
SS-Nachrichten-Abteilung 38
SS-Ausbildungs und Ersatz Abteilung 38
SS-Polizei-Bataillon Siegling
SS-Wirtschafts-Bataillon 38

Notable members

Hardy Kruger (actor)
Richard Schulze (One of the four Waffen-SS divisional commanders who started the war as a platoon commander, adjutant to Adolf Hitler and to Joachim von Ribbentrop, name changed to Schulze-Kossens post-war)

Officers serving in the Einsatzgruppen and Concentration Camps

Einsatzgruppen 1
(includes officers serving in the Einsatzgruppen och Concentration Camps either prior to or after service in this unit)


A winged helmet is normally given as the symbol of the division but Richard Schulze-Kossens, first commander of the unit, post-war stated that no such symbol was ever used.

Sources used

Philip H Buss - Divisional signs of the Waffen-SS (Military Advisor, vol 19, number 4)
Georges M. Croisier - Waffen-SS (PDF)
Terry Goldsworthy - Valhalla's Warriors: A history of the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1941-1945
Dr. K-G Klietmann - Die Waffen-SS: eine Dokumentation
Kurt Mehner - Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945
Marc J. Rikmenspoel - Waffen-SS Encyclopedia
Gordon Williamson - The Waffen-SS: 24. to 38. Divisions and Volunteer Legions
Mark C. Yerger - Waffen-SS Commanders: The Army, corps and divisional leaders of a legend (2 vol)

Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler views a presentation album entitled, "Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung 1941" [probably at Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair), Hitler's field headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia].

Pictured from left to right are: unknown, Heinrich Hoffmann, Richard Schulze-Kossens, Himmler, and Karl Wolff.

About This Photograph

Biography Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945), Reichsfuehrer-SS, head of the Gestapo and the Waffen-SS, and Minister of the Interior of Nazi Germany from 1943 to 1945. Himmler, born in Munich, was the son of a pious Catholic schoolteacher. After graduating high school he joined the army in 1917, where he served as an officer cadet in the Eleventh Bavarian Regiment. After World War I Himmler studied agriculture at the Munich School of Technology from 1918 to 1922. He then worked briefly as a fertilizer salesman and a chicken farmer. In the early 1920s he became involved with the fledgling Nazi party and participated in the Munich Beer-Hall putsch of November 1923, serving as standard-bearer at the side of Ernst Roehm. Between 1926 and 1930 Himmler was the acting propaganda leader of the NSDAP. After marrying Margarete (Marga) Boden in 1928, he returned briefly to poultry farming, but was economically unsuccessful. Just over a year after his marriage, his daughter Gudrun was born. Unable to bear him any more children, Margarete adopted a boy, but Himmler showed him little interest, preferring to lavish his daughter with expensive gifts. As his marriage began to deteriorate, Himmler's visits to the family home in Gmund am Tegernsee became so few that Gudrun was often flown to Berlin so her father could spend a few hours with her. Meanwhile, Himmler became romantically involved with his secretary, Hedwig Potthast, who bore him a much-wanted son, Helge. In 1929 Himmler was appointed head of the SS, Hitler's personal guard, and the following year, was elected to the Reichstag as the Nazi deputy from Weser-Ems. Immediately after the Nazi takeover of power in 1933, Himmler became police president in Munich and head of the political police in Bavaria. This gave him the power base to expand the SS and secure its independence from Roehm's SA (Storm Troopers), as well as to organize the SD (Security Service) under Reinhard Heydrich. In September 1933 Himmler was made commander of all political police units outside Prussia, and in April 1934, head of the Prussian police and Gestapo. By June 1936 Himmler had won control of the political and criminal police throughout the Third Reich by virtue of his positions as Reichsfuehrer-SS and head of the Gestapo. In his pursuit of ever more effective means to put down political opposition, he set up the first concentration camp at Dachau in 1933. Himmler was inspired by a combination of fanatic racism and philosophical mysticism. His obsession with racial purity led to the institution of special marriage laws that encouraged the procreation of children by perfect Aryan couples, as well as the establishment of the Lebensborn (Fountain of Life) centers at which girls, selected for their Nordic features, coupled with SS men. In furtherance of his racial goals, Himmler also recruited Aryans of different nationalities into the Waffen-SS. He envisioned the creation of a pan-European order of knighthood owing allegiance to the Fuehrer alone. The outbreak of World War II allowed Himmler to pursue the other side of his program, namely the elimination of Jews and other so-called "sub-humans." In October 1939 he was appointed Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationhood and given full control over the annexed section of Poland. He immediately set out to displace the Polish and Jewish population of this area with ethnic Germans from the Baltics. By the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Himmler controlled all the organs of police and intelligence, the political administration in the occupied territories, and (through the SS) the concentration camp system in Poland. When he was made Minister of the Interior in 1943, he gained jurisdiction over the courts and the civil service as well. Himmler ruthlessly utilized these powers to exploit Jews, Slavs, Roma, and others for slave labor, to shoot and gas millions of Jews, and to subject thousands to forced abortions, sterilization and pseudo medical experimentation. After the failed attempt on Hitler's life in July 1944, Himmler's position was further enhanced when he was appointed chief of the Reserve Army and commander of Army Group Vistula. Near the end of the war, however, Himmler became convinced of Germany's imminent defeat and made several overtures to the Allies. He sanctioned the "Blood for Trucks" negotiations in Budapest, ordered the halt to the mass slaughter of Jews, tried to initiate peace negotiations with the Allies through Count Folke Bernadotte, permitted the transfer of several hundred camp prisoners to Sweden, and proposed the surrender of the German armies in the West while continuing the battle in the East. Hitler was enraged by this betrayal and stripped Himmler of all his offices. Following the German surrender, Himmler tried to escape by assuming a false identity, but was arrested by British troops. Transferred to Lueneberg, Himmler committed suicide by poison capsule on May 23, 1945 before he could be brought to trial.

[Source: Wistrich, Robert. Who's Who in Nazi Germany. New York, Macmillan, 1982, pp.138-42.]

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