Waldeck von Pyrmont, Josias Georg Wilhelm Adolf Fürst von, born 13-01-1896 in Schloss Arolsen, Westfalen, was the oldest son of monarch Frederik from Waldeck-Pyrmont and his wife Bathildis from Schaumburg-Lippe . He had one brother Max Wilhelm de Waldeck und Pyrmont Their father the last ruling monarch of Waldeck was a younger brother of the Dutch Queen Emma,
who married the Dutch Prins Willem III and she died of pneumonia, age 75, on 20-03-1934, the same year as Paul von Hindenburg. Willem III died age 73, on 23-11-1890 and they were buried in the Royal vault in the New church of Delft. Waldeck himself was a full cousin of Queen Wilhelmina, Emma’s only daughter. During the first war Josias joined the army as a volunteer. In his four years of serving, during world War I, he was wounded several times. After the war he was involved in the opposition of the German people of Opper-Silesia against the decision of the Verdict of Versailles, that this part Upper-Silesia came under Poland. In November 1929 he became a member of the NSDAP as well as the SS. He soon was assigned as adjutant of SS Oberstgruppenführer, Kommandeur der SS-Division “LSSAH”, Dietrich “Sepp” Dietrich
and SS Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler and made a fast career inside the SS ranks. Promoted to Gruppenführer in 1933 he was deeply involved in the organisation of the “ Night of the long Knives” (see Ernst Julius Röhm) and (see Edmund Heines) as the SA top was liquidated by Adolf Adolf Hitler’s (did you know) orders. In 1933 he also was chosen for as representative of the Reichstag, the German parliament, and later with intercession of Hitler himself, he was appointed to judge of the Volksgerechtshof, Court of justice, like the disputed judge Roland Freisler , a court that only was busy with so called crimes against the state. In 1939 followed his appointment as Obergruppenführer and in such way he became the command of the Wehrkreis IX, Hessen and Thüringen, the concentration camp of Buchenwald belonged to this region. He and Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen
, an SS officer who was a judge in a German court, ordered the execution of the camp commander Karl Otto Koch, on 05-04-1945, age 47, accused of forging, mismanagement, darkening and undermining of authority.
Other camp officials were also charged, including Ilse Koch. The trial resulted in a death sentence for the Commandant, who was executed by firing squad on 05-04-1945. Morgen, who died age 73 on 04-02-1982 in Frankfurt am Main, was convinced that Ilse Koch was guilty of sadistic crimes, but the charges against her could not be proven; she was detained by German authorities until early 1945. Koch’s wife Ilse Koch-Köhler was even worse then her husband and she committed suicide in prison. A few days later the Red Army liberated the camp. Adolf Hitler appointed Waldeck-Pyrmont a member of the Ordnungspolizei (uniformed police) in April 1941 and, a year later, he was appointed High Commissioner of Police in German occupied France. One of his first acts in his new role was ordering French hostages to be placed on German troop trains, to discourage sabotage attempts on them. He was made a General in the Waffen SS in July 1944.
Waldeck-Pyrmont was arrested on 13-04-1945, and sentenced to life imprisonment by an American court at Dachau during the Buchenwald Trial on 14-08-1947. The first of the two successful charges against him alleged that he was personally responsible for crimes at Buchenwald, since the camp was located in his jurisdictional area, notwithstanding the fact that he was never in command of it, and that he even investigated the commandant of the camp for incitement to murder and embezzlement. The second charge was that he had ordered the execution of the Camp Commandant of Buchenwald, Standartenführer Karl Otto Koch, after it was discovered Koch had disgraced both himself and the SS. Military Governor of Germany, General Lucius Dubignon Clay,
ordered that the sentences of the Buchenwald Trial be re-examined on the basis of extensive records and, on 08-06-1948, confirmed fifteen of the death sentences and commuted seven. Most of the imprisonment sentences were also commuted, including Waldeck-Pyrmont’s (from life to twenty years). Waldeck-Pyrmont was taken to Landsberg am Lech , where Adolf Hitler stayed for his imprisonment in 1923. Josias served only three years of his sentence before being released in December 1950 for health reasons. He was granted an amnesty by the Minister President of Hesse in July 1953, which resulted in a significant reduction of the fine imposed on him. At the end of the war, his family lost their Principality as Waldeck and Pyrmont became a Free State in the new Weimar Republic.
Waldeck-Pyrmont became head of the House of Waldeck and Pyrmont upon the death of his father, on 26-05-1946, while under arrest. He died at his estate, Schloss Schaumburg , in 1967, and was succeeded as head of the house by his only son Prince Wittekind . Josias zu Waldeck was since 1922 married with Altburg Marie Mathilde Herzogin von Oldenburg (1903–2001) , the youngest daughter of Grosshertog Friedrich August vonn Oldenburg and they had five children, four daughters and one son: Margarethe Sophie Charlotte (1923–2003), from 1952 until 1979 married with Franz II Graf zu Erbach und von Wartenberg, Alexandra Bathildis Elisabeth Luise Helene Emma (1924–2009), since 1949 married with Botho Prinz von Bentheim und Steinfurt (1924–2001), Ingrid (* 1931), Wittekind Adolf Heinrich Georg Wilhelm (* 9. März 1936 in Arolsen), since 1967 Chef des Hauses Waldeck und Pyrmont and Guda (* 1939), from 1958 until 1962 married with Friedrich Konstantin 7e Fürst zu Wied .
Death and burial ground of Waldeck von Pyrmont, Josias Georg Wilhelm Adolf Fürst von.
Waldeck von Pyrmont however was also released in 1950 because of health reasons, but he still lived for 17 years retiring
in Arolsen and died age 71, on 30-11-1967. Waldeck von Pyrmont is buried on the Waldeck von Pyrmont private cemetery in Rhoden.