Helmut Knochen

Helmut Knochen

Standartenführer SS
Date of Birth: 14.03.1910
Country: Germany

Biography of Helmut Knochen

Helmut Knochen was a German SS Standartenführer, a professor of literature, and a doctor of philosophy. He was born into a family of school teachers. He completed his Abitur and bachelor's degree. In 1926, he joined the Stahlhelm organization. He studied in Magdeburg, Leipzig, Halle, and Göttingen, focusing on history and English.

In 1933, Knochen became a member of the SA and an Obertruppführer. In 1935, he defended his dissertation titled "Der Dramatiker George Colman" and earned his doctorate in philology. He worked as a teacher and journalist. From 1936, he served as an editor at the German Press Agency. From 1936 to 1937, he worked for the SD (in Berlin) and held the rank of Obersturmführer in the SS. He was married and had one son.

In 1939, Knochen joined the VI department of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). In 1940, he became the head of VI H in the RSHA. On May 5, 1942, he was promoted to SS-Standartenführer and police colonel, commanding the SD and ZIPPO in Düsseldorf. From June 6, 1942, to September 2, 1944, he served as the head of the SD and security police in France. He actively fought against the French Resistance and carried out large-scale anti-Jewish actions.

During the attempted coup on July 20, 1944, Knochen was arrested by the conspirators, but he was released after the failure of the plot. On August 20, 1944, he was summoned to Berlin and, for not resisting the conspirators, was demoted to a lower rank and transferred to the SS-Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler division. On January 15, 1945, he returned to the RSHA-SD as the head of IV E. After the war, he went into hiding.

On January 14, 1946, Knochen was arrested in Göttingen. In June 1946, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a British military court in Wuppertal. On October 10, 1946, he was extradited to France. In Paris, on October 10, 1954, he was sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life imprisonment on April 10, 1958. On December 31, 1959, he was sentenced to 20 years, but he was pardoned by Charles de Gaulle on Christmas in 1962.

He returned to Baden-Baden and, in 1963, settled in Offenbach. In 1982, he remarried. Knochen received several awards during his career, including the Chevron for old fighters, the Iron Cross 1st Class (1939), the Iron Cross 2nd Class (1939), the Totenkopf ring, and the Honorary Saber of the SS Reichsführer.

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