Pemsel, Max, born on 15-01-1897 in Regensburg, Bavaria, entered the German Army during the First World War in April 1916 as a volunteer. He was assigned to the 11th Reserve Infantry Regiment of the Bavarian Army, with which he saw action at the Western front. On 30-04-1918 Pemsel was promoted to Leutnant. After the Armistice, Pemsel remained in the shrunken, 100.000 men, German Reichswehr, 8 Infantry and two cavalry divisions,. In 1935 Pemsel became a Staff Officer in the 1st Mountain Division , under General der Gebirgstruppe, Ludwig Kübler. During the Invasion of Poland, soldiers from the 1st Mountain Division assisted in the round-up of Jewish civilians from Przemyśl for forced labour. This event was documented in the divisional photographic album. Picture captions demonstrate strong anti-Semitism by the authors
On 06-07-1943 a unit from the division attacked the village of Borova in Albania. All of the village houses and buildings were completely burned or otherwise destroyed. 107 inhabitants were massacred including 5 entire families. The youngest victim was an infant of only 4 months, the oldest – a woman of 73. On 25-07-1943, soldiers from the division attacked the village of Mousiotitsa in Greece following the discovery of a cache of weapons nearby, killing 153 civilians. On 16-08-1943, the village of Kommeno was attacked at the order of Oberstleutnant Josef Salminger, the commander of Gebirgs Jäger Regiment 98 , a total of 317 civilians were killed. The first commander of the 98 Regiment was the then Oberst and later “famous” Generalfeldmarschall Ferdinand Schörner. Josef Salminger was killed by partisans, two months later, on 01-10-1943, age 40. Elements from the division took part in the murder of thousands of Italians from the 33 Acqui Infantry Division in September 1943 on the Greek island of Cefalonia following the Italian surrender. Soldiers from the division took part in the murder of 32 officers and an estimated 100 soldiers from the Italian 151st Perugia Infantry Division in Albania after the Italian surrender. The commander General Ernesto Chiminello, was shot on 04-10-1943, at 16:45; the next day the other 120 officers were shot on the beach of “baia Limione” (a small bay just north of Sarande) and their bodies were thrown in the sea. The last 32 officers Following the killing of Oberstleutnant Josef Salminger by Greek partisans, the commander of XXII Gebirgs-Armeekorps General der Gebirgstruppe Hubert Lanz issued an order of the day on 01-10-1943 calling for a “ruthless retaliatory action” in a 20 km area around the place were Salminger had been attacked. In the village of Lingiades 87 civilians were killed, a total of at least 200 civilians died. Lanz was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, however, after only three years, on 03-02-1951, he was released and died free at the age of 86, on 15-08-1982, in Munich.
During the World War II Pemsel fought in various theaters. In 1941 during the Invasion of Yugoslavia he was the Chief of Staff of the XVIII Gebirgskorps. By 1944 he had been promoted to Lieutenant-General and made Chief of Staff of the 7th under Waffen SS Obergruppenführer, Paul “Papa” Hausser
Army, during which coordinated the first German response to Operation Overlord. In August 1944 Pemsel was transferred to Finland and given command of the 6th Mountain Division , a command he held until 19 April 1945, a former commander was Field Marshal der Gebirgstruppe, Kommandeur der XXXX Panzerkorps, Ferdinand Schörner
. On 09-12-1944 Pemsel was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. Succeeded by Generalleutnant der Gebirgstruppe, Christian Philipp, Christian Philipp was captured in 1945 and was held until 1947. Philipp died age 70, on 16-10-1963, in Unterleinleiter. In April 1945 Pemsel was transferred to Italy, where he became Chief of Staff of the Ligurien Armee. He surrendered on 26-04-1945 and remained a prisoner of war until April 1948. On 26-04-1956 Pemsel entered the Bundeswehr in the rank of a Generalmajor and was given command of Wehrbereich VI (Munich). On 01-04-1957 he was promoted to Commanding General of the II Corps, stationed in Ulm. On 30-01-1958 he was promoted to Generalleutnant.
Death and burial ground of Pemsel, Max Josef Johann.
Pemsel retired on 30-09-1961 and lived in Munich where he died on 30-06-1985, at the very old age of 98, in Munich. Pemsel is buried on the Nordfriedhof of Munich, close by the graves of Putz victim, Andreas Bauriedl
and Hitler’s personal photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann
The famous German Kessler-Sisters (well-known from Lido-Paris) took part in a carnival-festivity in Munich, yesterday, and presented two dolly monkeys to Commander Pemsel of the new German army.