Kumm, Otto

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germanySS BrigadeführerWaffen SS

Kumm, Otto, born 01-01-1909 in Hamburg, at the time a sovereign state of the German Empire. He was the fifth and youngest child of merchant Eduard Kumm and his wife Frieda, born Block. Following his graduation from the Oberrealschule, Secondary School, in Hamburg-Hamm, he received a vocational education as type setter from 01-04-1925 and 31-03-1929 at the Hamburger Abendblatt, Hamburg Evening Newspaper. He then worked in a printer factory. He joined the SS-Verfügungstruppe,  SS Dis-positional Troops on 01-04-1934 and came to the I./SS-Standarte Germania in Hamburg. SS-Brigadeführer Otto Kumm was officially appointed the new Division Commander of the 1st  SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, LSSAH  as of 15-02-1945. This after the LSSAH had been transferred to Hungary to bolster the crumbling situation and the prior LSSAH Division Commander, SS-Brigadeführer, Wilhelm Mohnke

 was injured in an air raid.As the Division Commander, Otto Kumm and the LSSAH took part in Operation Spring Awakening, Frühlingserwachen.  It was the last major German offensive launched during World War II on 06-03-1945. The Germans launched attacks in Hungary near the Lake Balaton area on the Eastern Front. This area included some of the last oil reserves still available to the Germans. Almost inevitably, Operation Spring Awakening was a failure. Despite early gains the offensive was far too ambitious in scope. After the failure of Operation Spring Awakening, SS Oberstgruppenführer, Sepp Dietrich’s

 6th SS Panzer Army  and the LSSAH retreated to the Vienna area. He was the 138th Swords receiver  on 17-03-1945 as SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen-SS and commander of the 7th  SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division “Prinz Eugen.

 The Germans desperately prepared defensive positions in an attempt to guard the city against the fast arriving Soviets, in what become known as the Vienna Offensive. After Vienna fell, the bulk of the LSSAH division surrendered to U.S. forces in the Steyr area on 08-05-1945. The demarcation line between the Soviets and U.S. troops was Enns. Therefore, the roads to Enns were jammed with civilians and soldiers as they hurried to get to the west before 0100 hours on 9 May when the bridges over the river would be blocked. For the men of the LSSAH who made it west, they were marched off to different Prisoner of War camps. Most of the men went to the Ebensee camps for captivity. On 12 July 1943. in Muslim village Rotimlja near Stolac  7th SS Division killed 66 civilians, 25 of which were younger than 15. On the same day, other units of the division killed 68 civilians, 36 younger than 15, in Muslim village Kosutica near Sokolac The rest of the LSSAH, made up of the Leibstandarte SS Guard Battalion assigned to guard the Führer,  ended its fighting days in Berlin. Otto Kumm survived the war and went on to become a successful businessman. Kumm was a founder and the first head of the Waffen SS veteran organization, HIAG. “Mutual Help Association of Former Waffen-SS Members” Out of the four commanders of the division, one, an Austro-Hungarian, Romanian and German army officer who held the rank of SS Obergruppenführer and General der Wafgfen SS, Artur Gustav Martin Phleps

 was killed in battle, age 62 on 21-09-1944 in Simand, Romania, two of them were sentenced to death by hanging and executed in Belgrade 1947, and the fourth Otto Kumm, managed to avoid extradition to Yugoslavia by fleeing over the wall of the internment camp of Dachau.  At least through the 1970s, Kumm remained “the ever unreformed Nazi enthusiast” according to researcher Danny S. Parker, who was given access to the previously closed HIAG archives. Perceived by the West German government to be a Nazi organization, HIAG was disbanded in 1992.

Death and burial ground of Kumm, Otto.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101III-Zschaeckel-195-21,_Otto_Kumm  hqdefault He died on the 23-03-2004, old age 93 in Offenburg. At the time of his death, Kumm was the last surviving SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor of the Waffen-SS.  He was also the last surviving Waffen-SS holder of Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Kumm is buried, with his wife Ilse, who died also old age 93 in 2008, on the Stadfriedhof of Offenburg. Florea Claudia Sorina from Offenburg kindly sent me the grave pictures. On the cemetery Weingarten in Offenburg is buried Generalmajor der Infanterie, Feldkommandeur 813, Hans Dormagen.

Cemetery location of Kumm, Otto.

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