Wünsche, Max, born 20-04-1914 in Kittlitz, Brandenburg, as the son of a farmer and forester, joined an agricultural union in 1928 and for a short time he was employed as an estate manager. In November 1932, at the age of 18, he joined the Hitler Youth . In July 1933, he joined SS, Nr 153,508, organization of the Nazi Party . After officer training at Jüterbog in Brandenburg and Bad Tölz
in Bavaria, he became a platoon leader of the 9th Company in the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (did you know). In October 1938, he was assigned to Adolf Hitler’s bodyguard unit as an orderly officer. In Jan 1940, after an incident in which Albert Bormann was involved Wünsche came back to LSSAH. Albert Bormann
was the brother of Party Chancellery (Parteikanzlei), Martin Bormann. The relationship between Martin and Albert became so caustic that Martin referred to Albert not even by name but as “the man who holds the Führer’s coat”. Albert Bormann died in Munich old age of 86, on 08-04-1989. Wünsche became SS Oberstgruppenführer, Sepp Dietrich’s adjutant as Obersturmführe in December 1940 and returned to the SS Leibstandarte unit as the platoon company in the 15th Motor Cycle Company and participated in the invasion of the Netherlands (see Jan Ackermans) and France.
under whom he participated in the German invasion of the Balkan Peninsula. During Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia, he flew reconnaissance flights in a Storch aircraft. In February 1942, he was given command of the Sturmgeschütz Battalion within the Leibstandarte; his battalion was involved in halting several Russian attempts to break through German lines in the following couple of months. On June 1st, he returned to Germany to study at the staff college; upon completion of his studies, he was promoted to the rank of SS Sturmbannführer . In September 1942, he returned to the Sturmgeschütz Battalion and resumed his role as its commanding officer.
In October, he was given command of a newly formed tank regiment, with which unit he participated in the First Battle of Kharkov at the end of that month. Between 10 and 13-02-1943, his troops broke through Russian encirclement of the 1st SS Reconnaissance Battalion, and then the two battalions jointly defeated the Russian VI Guards Cavalry Corps during the next two days; for this action he was awarded the German Cross in Gold On 25 February, Wünsche located an enemy force and defeated it on his own initiative, destroying 52 heavy guns and causing 900 casualties, earning him a Knight’s Cross on 28-02-1943.
In June 1943, Wünsche became the commanding officer of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment of the 12th SS Panzer Division “Hitlerjugend” under SS Obergruppenführer , Panzer Meyer stationed in France.
On 07-06-1944, his regiment was engaged in the Battle of Normandy, D-Day destroying 219 Allied tanks over the following month; he was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross for his achievements at Normandy.
In August, his regiment was trapped in the Falaise Pocket and here Hauptsturmführer Rudolf von Ribbentrop with the wounded Max Wünsche and Fritz Witt.
On 20-08-1944, he and two officers, Hauptsturmfüher Georg Iseke and Untersturmführer Fritz Freitag attempted to escape the pocket on foot. While they marched on foot, they encountered a enemy outpost where the injured Doctor was taken prisoner while Wünsche got wounded in the calf. Then Isecke became separated and was captured, too. Wünsche’s group was now down to two. Wünsche and Freitag found a German vehicle in good working condition and drove through St. Lambert in plain view of the Canadians that occupied the town. But later that day, while waiting under the cover of bushes for darkness they where captured by Allied soldiers on 24 August. After a day or two he was put in front of Bernard “Monty” Montgomery who very angry explained to Wünsche that he treated the German POWS after the Geneva convention but not the SS who was political scums and worms, and would be treated after that. He was a prisoner of war at Camp 165 for German officers at Caithness, Scotland, United Kingdom until the end of the war. Total casualties among 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 theaters of the war.
Max Wünsche was one of the SS men to receive the Honour Chevron for the Old Guard, Ehrenwinkel der Alten Kämpfer, this was a Nazi Party decoration worn by members of the EE. The silver chevron, which was worn on the upper sleeve on the right arm, was authorised by Adolf Hitler in February 1934. All members of the SS, who had joined the Algemeine SS , NSDAP or any other party organisation prior to 30 January 1933 were entitled to wear the insignia. Other notable recipients are Adolf Eichmann, Jacob Grimminger, Reinhard Heydrich, Emil Maurice, Julius Schreck and SS Gruppenführer Karl Wolff the adjutant of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler.
Death and burial ground of Wünsche, Max.
In 1948, Wünsche was released from captivity and returned to Germany. He became a manager of a industrial plant in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany until 1980. He married Ingeborg Dievetz, she died old age 80 on 14-12-2000 in Munich and they had 5 sons and became a manager of a industrial plant in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia, 1980. Wünsche rose from the ashes of nothing to financial security. Wünsche died at the high age of 80, on 17-04-1995 and is buried with his wife Ingeborg, born Piwitz, who died also age 80, in 2000, on the Nordfriedhof of Munich, close by the graves of the 1923 Putz victim Andreas Bauriedl and Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer and his daughter Henriette “Henny” von Schirach-Hoffmann who married the Hitler Youth leader, Baldur von Schirach, Dr. Gustav Kahr President of the Bavarian court in 1923 during the Putz and some further the secretary of Hitler, Traudl Junge-Humps
and Hans, the General der Flieger, Kommandeur Luftwaffe Hongaria, Kuno Futterer and Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Commander of the POW in Wehrkreis IV, Erich Botzheim, Hitler’s driver and founder of the SS, SS Oberführer , Emil Maurice
, Hitler’s doctor SS Obersturmbannführer, Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger
, a major and till the end in the Führerbunker, Bernd Freytag von Loringhoven, the architect Troost couple Paul Troost and Gerda, Generaloberst der Gebirgstruppe, Kommandeur der 3th Gebirgs Division , Eduard Dietl and the Dutch disputed actor/singer Johan Heesters. Adolf Hitler admired the actor Heesters.