Burk, Karl, born on 14-03-1898, in Hessen, the son of a farmer. Burk left school and went to work on his father’s farm, until he enlisted in the Bavarian army on 15-04-1913 and last served in the First World War in 1918 as a Underofficer. Karl remained a soldier in artillery regiments after the war. In 1927 he became Oberwachtmeister.. In 1933, he joined the NSDAP (membership number 1.848.222) and the SS (membership number 68.910) as the SS Hauptscharführer. He commanded the 8th SS Standard Lower Silesia (like regiment) at the beginning of World War II in 1939 and was then deployed in the upper section southeast.
He became a SS Brigade Führer and General of the Waffen SS . To 01-08-1942, Burk was the first commander when the Flak-Abteilung. “Ost” was established. The SS-FHA ordered a reorganization of that formation in August 1942 and it became the Flak Abteilung of the SS Kavallerie Brigade with Sturmbannführer Helmut Barthelmes as its first commander. Karl Burk was awarded the German Cross in Gold , on 05-11-1942 and promoted to SS-Standartenführer . Burk as SS Brigade Führer had his last command of the 15th SS “Latvian I.” Waffen Grenadier Division , until the end of the war, he succeeded SS Oberführer, Führer 15th SS-Freiwilligen Division, Adolf Ax
. The 15th SS Waffen-Grenadier-Division, Lettische Nr. 1, was a division of the Waffen SS, with first commander SS-Brigadeführer Peter Hansen . Hansen died 23-05-1967, age 70, in Viersen. The division was raised in November 1943 from the Lettischen SS Freiwilligen Legion, enlarged to a Division and active on the Eastern Front. The members were mainly Letten, recruited by the Reichskommissariat Ostland in the Baltissch States. Several Regiments were organized like the Lettische SS-Freiwilligen-Legion, later the 15th Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS where he took over the command of SS Oberführer Adolf Ax .
In Podgaje on 02-02-1945 members of this division committed a war crime when, together with members of the SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Brigade “Nederland” , under command of SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Wagner , 32 soldiers of the Polish 1st Army were tied up in a barn with barbed wire and locked up. set the barn on fire. Some members of the division had previously been members of the Arājs Kommando, commanded by SS-Sturmbannführer Viktors Arājs , also members of the division, a unit of the Latvian Hilfspolizei, commanded by the Sicherheitsdienst.
Burk was in reserve for two weeks. After this, Burkt served as a military liaison of General Andrei Andreievich Vlasov‘s
Waffen-SS. Andrei Andreyevich Vlasov was a Russian General who first served in the Red Army and turned against the Stalin regime during World War II by heading the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), formed with German support. The 600th Infantry Division (Russ.) (German: 600. Infanterie-Division (Russ.)) was the official German designation for a primarily Russian infantry division at the end of World War II. The division was established on 01-12-1944 and was also known as the 1st Infantry Division of the Russian Liberation Army VS-KONR. At full strength, the division had 18,000 men and was equipped with, among other things, a number of T-34 tanks, Jagdpanzer 38(t) tank destroyers, several armored cars and various types of artillery guns.
To the extent that the US-KONR troops managed to reach Western lines, they were mercilessly extradited to the Soviet Union. Only the 8,000 Air Force troops, which had surrendered as a whole to the anti-Communist General George Smith Patton, who refused to cooperate with the extradition of the Russians, escaped this fate. Vlasov himself was arrested on May 12, under the eyes of the Americans, by a Red Army captain. Vlasov and other leading members of the KONR were imprisoned and tortured for more than a year in the notorious Lubyanka Prison in Moscow after their capture. During a show trial on July 31 and August 1, 1946, they were sentenced to death for terrorist and anti-state activities and subsequently hanged. Monument on a mass grave of VS-KONR soldiers in a cemetery in Prague, bearing the ROA emblem.
On 21-12-1979, Arājs was found guilty in the State Court of Hamburg of having on 08-12-1941 conducted the Jews of the greater Riga Ghetto to their deaths by the mass shootings in the Rumbula forest. For participation in the murder of 13,000 people, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. On 13-01-1988, on his 78th birthday, Arājs died in solitary confinement in a prison in Kassel.
The command was responsible for the deaths of some 20,000 to 30,000 Jews. Total casualties amongst the Waffen-SS will probably never be known, but one estimate indicates that they suffered 180.000 dead, 400.000 wounded, and 40.000 missing. World War II casualties indicates that the Waffen-SS suffered 314.000 killed and missing, or 34.9 per cent. By comparison, the United States Army suffered 318.274 killed and missing in all theatres of the war. The 15th Division was surrounded by the Russian near Neustrelitz, broke out and surrendered to the American Forces, near Schwerin. He was taken prisoner of war by the United States Army.Death and burial ground of Burk, Karl.
After the war Burk lived in Fritzlar, until his death at the age of 65, on 23-09-1963 and is buried on the Georgengasse cemetery, in Fritzlar.