• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
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  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
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  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
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  • T
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  • T
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  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
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  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
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  • blank check
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  • LITERATURE
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  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
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  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
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  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Dietrich, Josef Sepp

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(18921966)

    general of the Waffen SS

    Notoriously brutal, Sepp Dietrich, an early

    member of the NAZI PARTY, rose to the position

    of commander of HITLERs bodyguard regiment.

    He took a leading part in the Blood Purge of the

    SA in 1934. He commanded a tank corps in the

    attack on Paris, commanded an SS army on the

    Russian front and the Sixth Panzer Army in the

    ARDENNES offensive. During that offensive he

    was responsible for the murder of 71 American

    prisoners at Malmedy.

    Josef Dietrich was born in Hawangen, near

    Memmingen, on May 28, 1892, the illegitimate

    son of a servant girl. A butcher by trade and with

    little education, he worked at various jobs until

    in 1911 he joined the Imperial Army. During

    WORLD WAR I he was promoted to the rank of

    sergeant and decorated for bravery. After the

    war he had a series of jobs from laborer to

    policeman. He was an early member of the NAZI

    PARTY and the Brown Shirts of Ernst Röhm. In

    1928 he was made commander of Hitlers bodyguard

    and assisted in the formation of the Black

    Shirts (SS). In the REICHSTAG elections of 1930

    he was elected from the district of Lower

    Bavaria. In 1931 he was promoted in the SS to

    lieutenant general (SS-Gruppenfuehrer). After

    Hitler was appointed chancellor, Dietrich

    selected Hitlers bodyguard regiment, which

    would become Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.

    One of his notorious roles occurred in the NIGHT

    OF THE LONG KNIVES, also called the Röhm purge,

    336 Deutschland, Deutschland über alles

    against the SA in 1934. He carried out Hitlers

    orders and killed some of his closest associates.

    In 1938 the Leibstandarte unit became a motorized

    infantry unit under his command.

    During WORLD WAR II Leibstandarte SS

    became a panzer division and remained under

    Dietrichs command until 1944. In 1940 he commanded

    a tank corps in the attack on Paris.

    Later, on the Russian front, he commanded an

    SS army. In 1943 Dietrich was given the responsibility

    to return Mussolinis mistress to him. In

    winter 1944 he commanded the Sixth Panzer

    Army in the Ardennes Battle of the Bulge offensive.

    When he did not succeed in achieving his

    objectives, the offensive failed. It was at this time

    that some of his troops massacred 71 captured

    American prisoners. In 1946 he was arrested

    and tried for his responsibility in this massacre

    and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, of

    which he served 10. Later he was tried and sentenced

    in 1957 by a German court for his role in

    the Blood Purge. On April 21, 1966, he died in

    Ludwigsburg.

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