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Hans-Adolf Prutzmann (born 31 August 1901 in Tolkemit, Province of West Prussia; died 21 May 1945 in Luneburg) was a Superior SS and Police Leader, as well as an SS Obergruppenfuhrer.
After completing his studies at the Gymnasium, Prutzmann studied agriculture in Gottingen, before he became a member of various Freikorps between 1918 and 1921. Prutzmann was indeed a member during these three years, but nevertheless avoided military and typically Freikorps-related aggressive situations. This, however, changed in 1923, when he interrupted his studies and accompanied a Freikorps involved in the border dispute in Upper Silesia.
Afterwards he worked for seven years as an agricultural official in Pomerania, Brandenburg, and East Prussia, before he joined the SA in 1929. Since Prutzmann had become quite a radical soldier as a result of his Freikorps experiences, and since his own personal goals did not match the clearly milder thinking found in the SA, he left the organization in 1930 and transferred in the same year to the SS. At the same time, he was admitted to the NSDAP. As of this point in time, Prutzmann's career began a steep rise.
While functioning as a Member of the Reichstag, he was appointed SS Brigadefuhrer in November 1933, and in February 1934 he was given the rank of SS Gruppenfuhrer. At the same time, Prutzmann was appointed Leader of the SS Upper Division Southwest in Stuttgart. From March 1937 until May 1941, Prutzmann led the SS Upper Division Northeast whose headquarters were in Konigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). By April 1941, he had been appointed Lieutenant General (Generalleutnant) of the Police. From June until October 1941, Prutzmann was appointed the Superior SS and Police Leader of Russia-North. He held the same position in the Ukraine and Russia-South until the summer of 1944.
One of his last promotions came in September 1944 when Prutzmann was appointed by his superiors to be "Inspector General for Special Defence to the Reichsfuhrer SS". This position meant that Prutzmann was now head of the "Werwolf" organization. As Superior SS and Police Leader in the USSR, Hans-Adolf Prutzmann played a leading rôle in the politics of eradication practised against the local Jewish population. As head of the "Werwolf" organization, he was hardly ever to be seen; however, he is supposed to have tried to wage a deliberate underground battle like a small war with well trained troops, and not, as Reich propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels would have had Germans believe in the media, a battle of desperation waged with untrained women and youths.
Shortly before the war ended, Prutzmann was captured by the Allies and became a prisoner of war. While in their custody, he ended his own life. Whether his suicide happened in Luneburg, or as another account has it, at the interrogation camp at Diest in Belgium is not quite clear, but it seems certain that his date of death actually was 21 May 1945.
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