Freitag, Fritz.

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Freitag, Fritz.
germanySS BrigadeführerWaffen SS
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Freitag, Fritz, born on 28-04-1894 in Allenstein, the son of a railroad official. After passing his high school examinations he joined the 1st (East Prussian) Grenadier Regiment of the Prussian Army.  During World War I, Freitag served on both the Eastern Front and the Western Front.and was wounded four times   In 1919, Freitag joined the Freikorps  and in 1920, the Schutzpolizei. By the time of World War II, Freitag had been promoted to Police Colonel. During the invasion of Poland, he was the Chief of Operations of the 3rd Police Regiment and the Chief of Staff to the senior police commander in the 14th Army, of later SS Obergruppenführer Udo Gustav Wilhelm Egon von Woyrsch .

In September 1940, Freitag joined the SS  and was posted onto the staff of SS Reichführer Heinrich Himmler He was then posted to the 1 SS Infantry Brigade as Chief of Staff. During the invasion of the Soviet Union,   he organized rear-security operations in Belarus and assisted the Einsatzgruppen in rounding up the Jewish population in the occupied territories.

Freitag was appointed commander of 2nd SS Polizei Infantry Regiment still serving on the Eastern Front. He was promoted to SS Standartenführer  for his performance in command of a Kampfgruppe during the fighting in the Volkhov pocket. In January 1943, he was given temporary command of the SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer  , succeeding SS Obergruppenführer Wilhelm Bittrich  being replaced by Gustav Lombard SS-Brigadeführer , when becoming ill. Gustav Lombard died 18-09-1992, aged 97, in Mühldorf,  From April to August 1943 Freitag commanded the 2 SS Infantry Brigade, and from 18-08-1943 till 20-10-1943 the 4th SS Polizei Division.  He was then given command of the SS Division Galicia .The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician)  was a World War II German military formation made up predominantly of volunteers with a Ukrainian ethnic background from the area of Galicia,  later also with some Slovaks and Czechs. Formed in 1943, it was largely destroyed in the battle of Brody, reformed, and saw action in Slovakia, Yugoslavia and Austria before being renamed the first division of the Ukrainian National Army and surrendering to the Western Allies by 10 May 1945. Despite the severity of the fighting, this division maintained its discipline and most of its members were ultimately able to break out of the encirclement. Of the approximately 11,000 Galician soldiers deployed at Brody, about 3,000 were able to almost immediately re-enter the division. Approx 7,400 were posted as “Missing in combat”. The losses for the 14th SS Division in Brody ran at 73%, higher than the rest of the Corps. The other battle-hardened German units which had formed XIII.A.K. produced similar casualty reports. About 5,000 men of Korpsabteilung ‘C’ which formed the spearhead of the breakout forces escaped the encirclement with sidearms but without vehicles, horses, and other weapons, supplies, and equipment. A total of 73 officers and 4,059 NCOs and men were listed as killed or missing. By comparison, the 361st Infantry Division, under command of Generalmajor Gerhard Lindemann   which deployed fewer troops at the beginning of the battle than the Galician Division and together with it formed the rearguard, suffered equal losses. Between 16–22 July, it sustained almost as many casualties with total losses amounting to 6,310 officers and men (dead, missing or wounded). The necessary manpower required to rebuild this and the other German formations was not available and they were subsequently disbanded and the survivors incorporated into other divisions.

Generalmajor Gerhard Lindemann died 28-04-1994, aged 97, in Bremen.  Freytag was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross  in September 1944.

Death and burial ground of Fritz Freitag.

   

Fritz Freitag committed suicide in an American POW camp in Graz, Austria, on 10-05-1945, age 51. Freitag is buried on the cemetery of Allenstein/Ostpreussen, .

 

 

Eddie Albert Eddie Albert

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