Karl Wolfe

Karl Wolfe, the son of a wealthy businessman, was born in Darmstadt, Germany on 13th May 1900. He joined the German Army and during the First World War won the Iron Cross.

After the war he served in the Freikorps before finding employment as a clerk. Wolfe eventually formed his own advertising company. In 1931 he joined the Nazi Party and the following year he became a Schutz Staffeinel (SS) officer. In July 1933 Heinrich Himmler appointed Wolfe as his adjutant. Three years later he was elected to the Reichstag.

Just before the outbreak of the Second World War Wolfe began working at Hitler's headquarters. After Reinhard Heydrich left Germany for Czechoslovakia Wolfe became Himmler's deputy.

In September 1943, Wolfe became head of the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) in Italy. By 1945 Wolfe became convinced that Germany would lose the war and made contact with the Allies. He eventually signed the treaty of unconditional surrender on 2nd May 1945.

After the war Wolfe was arrested but only charged with minor war crimes. He was sentenced to four years hard labour but spent only a week in prison.

Wolfe became a successful businessman in Cologne but new evidence against him emerged during the trial of Adolf Eichmann. In January 1963, Wolfe was arrested and charged with committing genocide in Germany. Found guilty, he was sentenced to 15 years but only served seven years before being released. Karl Wolfe died in Munich in 1975.