Stadler, Silvester “Vestel”.

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Stadler, Silvester “Vestel”, born 30-12-1910 in Fohnsdorf, in the Steiermark region. of Austria, the sixth son of a Styrian miner and trained to become an electrician after elementary and state school in Judenburg but joined the Nazi party, NSDAP-nr.: 4 159 018, before joining the Schutzstaffel SS, SS-nr.: 139 495 on 02-05-1933.

The Schutzstaffel (SS; also stylised as ᛋᛋ with Armanen runes; ‘Protection Squadron’) was a major paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz (“Hall Security”) made up of party volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. In 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction (1929–1945) it grew from a small paramilitary formation during the Weimar Republic to one of the most powerful organisations in Nazi Germany. From the time of the Nazi Party’s rise to power until the regime’s collapse in 1945, the SS was the foremost agency of security, mass surveillance, and state terrorism within Germany and German-occupied Europe.

In 1935 and 1936 Stadler attended officer’s school at the SS Junkerschool at Bad Tölz, Bavaria.

   He became a company commander in June 1939, and a battalion commander in March 1942. For repeated demonstrations of bravery at the head of his battalion and for his outstanding leadership during the Kharkov battles, Stadler was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 06-04-1943. A few weeks later SS-Obergruppenführer, Paul “Papa” Hausser   informed him that he was being designated the regimental commander of the Panzer-Grenadier Regiment Der Führer  (see Adolf Hitler), part of the elite 2nd SS Division Das Reich. Stadler now a SS Hauptsturmführer could only stammer: Aren´t I too young for that? Hausser replied with a smile: Noncence, Stadler. Think of the great Napoleon

Hitler Visits Napoleon’s Grave.

Stadler wasn´t much older than you… Stadler, of course, proved to be more than up to the job. On 10-06-1944, part of Der Führer Regiment, led by SS-Sturmbannführer, Otto Diekmann    and SS Obersturmbannführer, Otto Weidinger  CIMG0527 (1) Commander of SS-Panzer Grenadier Regiment 4 “Der Führer”,

 undertook a massacre in the village of Oradour sur Glane in France,

It is still not possible to say with certainty why 642 people were murdered in cold blood in Oradour-sur-Glane. It is generally assumed that it was an act of revenge. The French resistance had blown up a railway bridge near Oradour. SS-Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe    was killed. This was a friend of Major Diekman who commanded the regiment that committed the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. In retaliation, 28 prisoners had already been shot dead, but Diekman wanted more.

Although Stadler ordered a court martial for Diekmann, the SS officer responsible, his reputation was tarnished. Otto Diekmann himself was killed in combat on the Normandien front before he could face trial. On 10-07-1944, Stadler was made commander of the elite 9th SS Panzer Division “Hohhenstaufen”  . At the age of 33, he was one of the youngest officers in the Waffen-SS to hold this rank, along with Obergruppenführer der Waffen SS, Kurt Meyer, “Panzermeyer”,

   The 9th Hohenstaufen fought in Poland, France, at the Eastern Front, in Normandy, at the defense of the infamous Hill 112 or Operation Jupiter which was an offensive launched by VIII Corps of the British Second Army  under command of Lieutenant-General Miles “Bimbo” Dempsey , on 10-07-1944, Dempsey died age 72 on 05-06-1969 in Yattendon

More than 40 German divisions were destroyed during the Battle of Normandy. No exact figures are available, but historians estimate that the battle cost the German forces a total of around 450.000 men, of whom 240.000 were killed or wounded. The Allies had achieved this blow at a cost of 209.672 casualties among the ground forces, including 36.976 killed and 19.221 missing. In addition, 16.714 Allied airmen were killed or went missing in direct connection with Operation Overlord.

The 9th Hohenstaufen fought also at the Falaise pocket and  in Arnhem, “Operation Market Garden” ,  and in the Ardennes offensive and in Hungary. During the Ardennes offensive, the SS-Oberführer Sylvester Stadler once again demonstrated his sense of military fairness, in which he exchanged wounded U.S. soldiers for captured soldiers of his division. On 04-05-1945 he negotiated a ceasefire with American forces and received assurances that 9th SS-Panzer Division Hohenstaufen would go into U.S. captivity. He surrendered his division to the United States Army in Austria. 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.

Death and burial ground of Stadler, Silvester “Vestel”.

,     Released from captivity in 1948 and released from captivity in 1948, living in Königsbrunn he started a life as a businessman. Stadler the family man with two sons died at the old age of 84, on 23-08-1995 and is buried with his wife Elisabeth, who died at the very old age of 94, in 2002, on the cemetery Romerallee, in Königsbrunn.


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