ϟϟ-Standartenführer der Waffen-SS Peiper

SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper
SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper

Joachim Peiper was born in Berlin-Wilmersdorf on January 30 1915, son of an Army officer. His father, Captain Waldemar Peiper served with the small German detachment that took part in the guerrilla fighting against the British troops and native auxiliaries in German East Africa during World War I. Jochen Peiper decided to join the SS, with the intention of becoming an officer in Himmler´s elite guard units. He first joined the elite SS-Reiterstandarte 7 of Berlin and was later accepted for duty with Sepp Dietrich´s Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Peiper was a member of the first class of officer candidates to graduate from the SS Junkerschule at Braunschweig in 1935. For more information on the military career and wartime of Joachim Peiper published within the Stabswache de Euros - use the search function on this site. After World War II, Joachim Peiper was prosecuted as a war criminal for the killings in Malmedy 1944, even though he gave no order to execute prisoners and was several kilometers away when the incident occurred. He was convicted and originally sentenced to death, however on January 30 1951 this sentence was changed to life in prison. About the troops under his command in 1944, Peiper said: I recognize that after the battles of Normandy my unit was composed mainly of young, fanatical soldiers. A good deal of them had lost their parents, their sisters and brothers during the bombings of Germany. They had seen for themselves in Cologne, thousands of mangled corpses after a terror raid had passed. During the Malmedy trial Joachim Peiper shared a cell in Dachau with tank commander SS-Untersturmführer Arndt Fischer. On November 17 1995 Fischer said: We didn't just talk about the daily progress of the trial. For example, he once told me that he had worked on the idea of a regimental march song. In this connection, I heard the following verses for the first time from his mouth: Einst reiten auf Flammen wir nach Walhall, man fragt nach der Einlasskarte, da rufen wir laut und mit lachendem Schall: Wir sind von der Leibstandarte; und einer spricht leis, der uns lange schon kennt: der sind vom 1. Panzerregiment — Once we rode in flames to Valhalla, They asked us for our invitation, Then we called out with much laughter; We're from the Leibstandarte; And one said softly that he'd known us for a long time - They're from the 1st Panzer-Regiment — I remember the text so well because I printed it with the stub of a pencil on one of the boards of our bunks for subsequent generations. I wonder if anyone ever read it? In 1956 Jochen Peiper was paroled and released from prison. Twenty years later, in 1976, he was murdered in France. The French did not expend a great deal of energy searching for those responsible for the attack upon Peiper and no one has been charged with the crime to this day. In respect to this revered Waffen-SS commander, veterans refer to Jochen Peiper as Der Letzte Gefallen, the Last of the Fallen. He is quoted as saying: I was a National-Socialist and I remain one. The Germany of today is no longer a great nation, it has become a province of Europe and History is always written by the victors, and the histories of the losing parties belong to the shrinking circle of those who were there. Images: These photos of Joachim Peiper were said to have been taken at the Austrian front in April of 1945. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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