Hansen, Max, born 31-07-1908 in Niebull, before joining the SS he was apprenticed to a locksmith. In 1933 he joined the SS Verfügungstruppe and by 1939 was the commander of the 12th Company in the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler under SS Oberstgruppenführer Josef “Sepp “Dietrich. NSDAP-Nr.: 478 376 and his SS-Nr.: 27 813. He was the type of warrior Reichsfùhrer SS Heinrich Himmler wanted in the SS: blond with full “Aryan” characteristics . In 1941, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold and promoted to SS Sturmbannführer. He was given command of the II./1st Panzer Grenadier Regiment LSSAH. It was whilst commanding this battalion, Kampfgruppe Hansen, during the Third Battle of Kharkov on 28-03-1943 that Hansen was awarded the Knight’s Cross . Max Hansen was one of only 98 German soldiers and officers that received both the Ritterkreuz and the Nahkampfspange in Gold. His battalion broke through to Red Square in Kharkov, conducted house-to-house fighting and opened the way to the city centre, so that the northern part of Kharkov could be taken.
Hansen later went on to command the 1st SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment LSSAH. With his regiment he took part in the Ardennes Offensive and the offensive in Hungaey Operation Spring Awaking in 1945 during which he was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross. Operation Frühlingserwachen (“Spring Awakening”) was the last major German offensive of World War II. The offensive was launched in Hungary on the Eastern Front. The Germans were able to amass around 70.000 men with the Fourth Panzer Army, against the 210.000 Red Army soldiers, The Fourth Panzer Army was commanded by General Hermann Hoth
A grandson of Hansen said: My Grandfather was a wonderful locksmith which had been our family business in Germany for 75 years. According to my Grandmother, my Opa was not a fervent Nazi, he simply found his way to serve his country and to him the SS was the elite of the elite. In 1939 he became the commander of the 12th Company in the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.
My Grandmother told me countless stories he told her about the atrocities that the SS were committing and that this played a terrible weight on his shoulders. He was regularly letting American and British prisoners escorted to their lines and released to their respective army’s. This came out during his trial in 1946. He was found not guilty on all the charges except one. He was charged with being involved with a criminal element of the Third Reich, his commanding of a Waffen SS Division. His last rank was Standartenfuher (colonel). A brother of Max was Christian “Cissy” Hansen . Christian was commander from the Génie Battalion with the SS-Artillerie-Regiment from 1. SS-Panzer-Division ‘LSSAH’. In 1943 he was commander from SS-Pionier Bataillon 1 with the 1. SS-Panzer-Division ‘LSSAH’. The SS-Pionier-Bau-Battalion 1 (listed as SS-Battalion Trettin in some sources) was formed in May 1944. It was made up of German officers with mainly Polish and Russian prisoners of war as workers. On 30-01-1945 he got promoted to SS-Standartenführer.
Later on Christian became commander from SS-Pionier-Abteilung with the ‘LSSAH’
Death and burial ground of Hansen, Max.
Max Hansen ended the war as a Standartenführer and returned to the town of his birth. He suffered from Alzheimer for many years before he passed away. From memory, in his obituary it says that his spirit had left for Valhalla long before his body followed. Max Hansen died on 07-03-1990, age 81 and is buried with his wife Merry, born Fick, who died age 74 in 1983, on the local cemetery of Niebull, but his gravestone is since 2015 removed from the grave.