The black-and-white portrait shows Anton Galler from head to chest. He is looking directly into the camera. Galler is wearing the uniform of the Schutzpolizei without a cap.
Anton Galler in an officer's uniform of the Schutzpolizei. The soldiers of the battalion he led were responsible for most of the murders in Sant'Anna di Stazzema. © BArch, R 9361-III/50618

Anton Galler

* "30 January 1915" – Marktl near Lilienfeld (Austria)
† "21 March 1995" – Dénia (Spain)

Anton Galler is attributed with shared responsibility for the massacre at Sant’Anna di Stazzema. 

He hailed from Lower Austria and came into contact with the Nazi movement early on. In 1932, he joined Hitler Youth; in 1933,  he joined the SS. He then had to leave Austria for Germany, where he completed a training course for SS-leaders. Assigned to the Schutzpolizei, he participated in the deportation of Upper Silesia’s Polish and Jewish residents. In 1941, he took part in fighting with the 4th SS Police Division in Northern Russia.  Beginning in Dec. 1943 Galler commanded a company of the ‘Reichsführer-SS’ Division. After heavy losses in Tuscany, at the end of July he took command of the 2nd Battalion of SS Panzergrenadier Regiment 35. In this role, soon after he participated in the massacre at Sant’Anna di Stazzema. Following the massacre at Monte Sole, Galler took control there near the front, where more murders of civilians were perpetrated. In the postwar period, he evaded arrest and largely led a normal life.

Hitler Youth (20 Dec. 1932)
SS (1 March 1933)
Army branch
Ordnungspolizei, Waffen-SS
Joined the NSDAP
No. 5756757 (24 June 1937)
Armed force
Schutzpolizei (then 4th SS Police Division)
16th SS Panzergrenadier Division ‘Reichsführer-SS’
Years of service
Austrian ‘Anschluss’
Occupation of Czechoslovakia
Invasion of Poland
Invasion of Soviet Union
War in the East
Occupation of Italy 1944-45
Confirmed Massacres

Sant’Anna di Stazzema

Post war period

Lived a largely normal life in Austria

Proceedings on account of Nazi crimes in Poland were terminated

Emigration first to Canada, then to Spain

Training and war experience

Like many of the Nazi political refugees from Austria,  in Germany Galler was taken in by the aid organization of the SS  in Dachau. Soon afterwards, he joined the SS Verfügungstruppe (‘dispositional troops’), where he was selected for a leadership career. A psychological exam concluded that he had a “simple character of moderate intellectual capacities’.
A full-body shot of Galler in black and white. He wears the uniform of the Schutzpolizei without a cap and stands in front of a screen, apparently in a photo studio.
Anton Galler in an officer's uniform of the Schutzpolizei. © BArch, R 9361-III/50618

Participation in massacres of civilians

The postwar period


Galler’s SS-personnel files, offering a close picture of his life up to 1945, are kept in the German Federal Archives in Berlin (R 9361-III/50618, R 9361-III/525588 and VBS 1069 (R 19)/ZB 1026 A. 12). Galler’s life after the war is described in the book of Christiane Kohl, who also conducted an interview with his son in the autumn of 1999. 


Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg: Italien 1943-1945, Paderborn, Ferdinand Schöningh, 2012, pp. 294-296.

Christiane Kohl, Der Himmel war strahlend blau. Vom Wüten der Wehrmacht in Italien. Reportageband, Vienna, Picus, 2004.

Christiane Kohl/Peter Burghardt, Viel Bräune im sonnigen Pensionistendorf, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung Nr. 262, 12.11.1999, p. 3.

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

© Project ‘The Massacres in Occupied Italy (1943-1945): Integrating the Perpetrators’ Memories’


Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0